Odd Roku Remote Pairing Failure

I’m a fan of refurbished electronics. In my experience, they’re just as reliable (if not moreso) than new units, and they’re much, much cheaper. That said, every once in awhile, you run into something weird.

My Top 5 less than obvious Roku channels

There are a number of streaming set-top boxes on the market these days. My box of choice happens to be the Roku. These are a few of my must-have channels beyond the obvious (Netflix, YouTube, Hulu+, etc.) ones that everyone uses.

Movies, and cameras, and DVRs… oh my!

Some of you might remember my first serious foray into the world of hardware. Well, as it turns out, I’ve come to consider it something of an ongoing project. It just keeps evolving.

CakePHP… when WordPress isn’t quite customizable enough

These days, I work almost exclusively with WordPress. But there was a time not so very long ago that I shunned pre-built CMSes in favor of hand-coding (I was kind of a masochist back then…).

How cheap can you build a decent PC?

I started this project way back in June 2013 to see how cheap I could build a halfway decent PC. It took me awhile waiting for online sales and hunting through garage sales and Craigslist’s free section, but I finally finished it. Here’s the results:

Fun with routing… or, how I finally got my server to freaking work

Just to prove to you that even people that consider themselves tech-literate can do stupid things…

WordPress 3.7 and Automatic Updates

So, WordPress 3.7 has been released, and as of version 3.7, Wordpress now has an automatic core update feature. Awesome, right? Wordpress does all the updating for you, so all those pesky security patches get applied automagically.

Installing Ruby on Rails and Redmine with XAMPP on Windows 7

I like Xampp. It sets up a full Apache/MySQL/PHP development environment with very little hassle, which means it’s installed on just about every computer I use on a regular basis. I recently had a need to look into Ruby on Rails (specifically so that I could use the Redmine project management web app) and figured it would be easy to integrate it into my existing dev environment. It kind of… wasn’t.

Peeling an image off a white background

A lot of times, I need to remove the background from an image in Photoshop as part of a layout. Until recently, I was using Photoshop’s magic wand tool, which, as I’m sure anyone who’s familiar with Photoshop is aware, is kind of hit or miss. Sometimes the result looks great… other times you end up with jagged edges or halos around the image. As it turns out there’s a much cleaner (though more complex) way of doing this.

My first real hardware project… building a home media server

Some of you may be wondering how I spend my free time when I’m not designing websites or writing Wordpress plugins. Generally, the answer is “really geeky things”. This past weekend, for instance, I set up a media server on my home network that can stream to the Roku set-top-boxes on my living room and bedroom TVs.

Removing partitions from a USB thumb drive

Have you ever accidentally partitioned a USB thumb drive, and then been unable to get rid of those partitions? Here’s how to fix it.

Forcing Facebook to notice new images on your pages

For the past week, one of the websites I manage has been running a “12 days of Christmas sale”. Rather than creating a new article for each day, they’re updating a single article every day with a new deal. Each new deal has it’s own cute little image next to it.

Nikki’s favorite development tools

Someone asked me recently what program I use to build websites. My answer? Several.

Ooma Review – One Month Later

Some of you may have read my post back in September about how I switched my landline phone service from Comcast to Ooma. Here we are, a little over a month later, so I thought I’d write up a more in-depth review.

How to programmatically import media files to WordPress

On several occastions, I’ve been asked to create a custom import from one CMS to Wordpress. One of the biggest problems I have is moving images and not only keeping the file association but also generating the various image sizes used by Wordpress programatically rather than through Wordpress’ interface.

Nikki Blight – Web/PHP Developer