JoshMcCarty.com Redesign for 2016

A Quick Note: This blog post is long overdue. It’s been sitting in my drafts for about six months, so keep in mind that most of this is in the context of late 2016. It’s been a few years since I paid much attention to my personal website from a development perspective, so I decided to refresh the […]

Retooling for a Mobile-first Apollo Education Group 2013 CSR Report

Screenshot of csrreport.apollo.edu home page.

My employer, Apollo Education Group, published our 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Annual Report in February of this year. The project, like our 2012 report, was a fantastic team effort and fun project for me personally. From a web development perspective, my team added a lot of tools and techniques to our repertoire during this project, […]

JoshMcCarty.com Redesign for 2014

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2013 was to redesign my personal website. It didn’t happen. I think most web developers tend to neglect their personal site a bit because they are always working on other projects. At least that seems to be the consensus with my coworkers. Well, it’s still pretty rough around the […]

A CSS Naked Day WordPress Plugin

CSS Naked Day is tomorrow, April 9th. Being an advocate of web standards, I think this is a very cool (albeit not well-known) event. You can read more about it at http://naked.threepixeldrift.com/. I wanted to participate this year, but the only WordPress plugin for CSS Naked Day I could find was several years out-of-date (and therefore […]

I’m Participating in the SOPA Blackout

I try to keep my personal politics off of my blog site because its focus is more on my hobbies involving technology. However, I feel very strongly that SOPA and PIPA are crossing a line onto a slippery slope (look at that, two cliches in one sentence!) of internet censorship. Is piracy a problem? Of […]

My 2011 Year in Review

This is my first “year in review” style blog post. I feel that this year was particularly eventful for me in terms of my web designer/developer career and my personal life, and I thought it’d be a good idea to reflect on those events and capture it here for myself and any interested readers. (more…)

Let it snow! Try my jSnow Plugin for WordPress

Update 2016-12-17: I release a new version of this plugin on the official WordPress plugin repository. Head over there or search for “flurry” in your WordPress site’s “Plugins > Add New” admin page.

Update 2013-12-09: jSnow is not compatible with recent versions of jQuery. Download my latest falling snow WordPress plugin at https://github.com/joshmcrty/jam-flurry. All other information below remains accurate.

Update (12/12/2011): I made a couple of small tweaks to optimize the file size after noticing an issue with the WordPress 3.3 update today. If you downloaded version 0.1 of this plugin, I recommend grabbing version 0.2. The link to the plugin above has been updated to point to the new version.

I love using JavaScript to add simple holiday effects to a website. I’ve tried several different “falling snow” WordPress plugins for my blog, but none of them quite fit my personal tastes. Instead I started looking for a good JavaScript or jQuery plugin that I could wrap up myself as a WordPress Plugin. Eventually I came across an updated/modified version of the jSnow plugin for jQuery.

I liked the simplicity of the plugin and the fact that it performs rather well on all of the browsers I tested (as with most of these animated JavaScripts, performance is highly dependent on the browser and computer itself). I also liked the fade out effect and the fact that I could set it to have a short height, essentially keeping the “falling snow” effect within my website header. (more…)

Access Ubuntu VM Files from a Windows Host

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series WordPress Development Environment.

I do most of my WordPress development using a test environment that I installed on a Ubuntu Virtual Machine (VM). This let’s me play around as much as I want without any risk to my production website or my computer; everything is contained within the VM, and it costs me nothing because I only use open-source and/or free software (read about it at http://wp.me/p1iF71-4x).

However, I prefer to do the actual development and testing from Windows 7 because I prefer using it to any other OS. While my VM is running my WordPress installation, I can access the files from my Windows host OS and use development tools like Notepad++ to access the WordPress files via my home network.

To accomplish this, Ubuntu will need to install a sharing service so Windows can “see” it using the virtual network adapter. When we’re finished, the VM will appear to be just another computer on the network.

Enable Sharing

First, navigate to opt/lampp/htdocs and right-click on the wordpress folder. Select “Sharing Options” to open the Folder Sharing window.

Select "Sharing Options" for the wordpress folder.
Select "Sharing Options" for the wordpress folder.

Check the box for “Share this folder” and click the Install Service button when prompted. You’ll need to enter your password. (more…)

Organize Series Plugin for WordPress

I just installed the Organize Series plugin for this site. Right out of the box it comes with everything needed to organize related blog posts into a “series” of posts with a specific order. I’ve seen this on a lot of other WordPress sites when people do a series of articles about a specific topic. […]

Create a Shortcut to Start XAMPP in Ubuntu

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series WordPress Development Environment. I do most of my WordPress development using a combination of VirtualBox and Ubuntu. Over time I’ve developed a few simple tips that make my workflow a little more efficient, so I wanted to share them with anyone else who read my […]