Entries from 2013

Year-End Review and Goals for 2014

With the year almost over, it's time to review my goals for 2013. And since announcing those goals publicly seemed to be good motivation, let's try again for 2014. If you have any thoughts about the review or the goals for next year, please let me know in the comments section. [Continue reading]

Incorporate Recent RSS Entries into MailChimp as a Bulleted List

MailChimp's RSS-to-email feature provides a special tag for automatically linking to the recent articles of a blog. However, the tag doesn't add bullets before each article title, making it difficult to distinguish which article is which. I've tried a number of things to add the bullets, some suggested by MailChimp support, with no luck. It turns out that there is a way—just not using the standard tag. [Continue reading]

Quickly Enter Today’s Date in phpMyAdmin

With the date-field types, phpMyAdmin provides a pop-up calendar for quickly selecting a time frame. However, I commonly create new entries by editing an old row and choosing the "Insert as new row" option. Using older entries causes the calendar to show dates based on the original entry. Since phpMyAdmin doesn't have an option for jumping to today's date, I end up clicking through the calendar options or typing the date manually. Well there's another, sometimes faster, way. [Continue reading]

Pre-Populate Forms that Are Hosted on Other Websites

Lately, I've been more involved with submitting content to other organizations' websites. Getting indexed on those websites helps make the content more widely available. Since the information being submitted is already in a database or doesn't change from submission to submission, it would be nice if I didn't need to re-type or copy/paste everything. Luckily, there is a quicker way. [Continue reading]

Avoid Overly Complicated Code by Stopping Scripts Early

The if construct is commonly used within PHP. It lets us execute blocks of code based on certain condition(s) being met. We can even layer if constructs within if constructs to perform operations that are very specific to the task at hand. While this gives us greater control over how the overall script executes, there may be cases where piling on the if constructs can lead to unnecessary complications. [Continue reading]

Compose Email Faster with Outlook’s AutoText Feature

When composing emails, I find myself typing certain phrases over and over. Some phrases are used so often that the words come naturally without much thought. Other times, I need to dig through my sent mail searching for how it was written previously. To save time, I've been looking to Microsoft Outlook for help. That's when I stumbled across the AutoText feature. [Continue reading]

Beware of the Trash in JotForm

JotForm is an excellent tool for building online forms. The problem with the service is they're a little stingy with storage space. This could be an issue if you accept file uploads. If you do, it's a good idea to clear out form submissions regularly. Just keep in mind that clearing submissions doesn't always free up space. [Continue reading]

Build Forms Quickly with JotForm

For those developing forms online (or if you want to), have you heard of JotForm? It's simple to use and it provides most of the features needed to build forms without knowing any code. Plus, they can be customized with CSS. There are even some useful features like having forms remember what visitors type. If someone's computer crashes while filling out the form, the information will be repopulated when the form is opened again. Let's take a quick peek at JotForm. [Continue reading]

Mid-Year Review: 2013 Goals

My goals for 2013 were posted at the end of last year. Instead of waiting until the end of this year, I wanted to share the progress towards meeting those goals. Some are going better than others to say the least. With a few course corrections, hopefully I can get back on track. [Continue reading]

Understanding How the Modulus Operator Works

I've used the modulus operator in PHP for a while, but I didn't truly understand how it works. Now, I know how to divide. I also know that the modulus operator returns the remainder when one number is divided by another. However, my calculation just didn't match the returned result. So let's look at where I went wrong. [Continue reading]