Switching From Rackspace to NearlyFreeSpeech

  • Posted on: 13 July 2015
  • By: davis

I had some growing pains switching from Rackspace to NearlyFreeSpeech today. I needed to port four Wordpress sites and a Drupal installation. I encountered quite a few stumbling blocks along the way, mostly due to the way NearlyFreeSpeech configures their permissions.

To get new Wordpress installations working on NearlyFreeSpeech:

SSH into your server with Putty. You will be dropped in /home/public by default. Wordpress files need to belong to the "web" group. Use the following commands

Building An Arduino-Powered Infinity Table

  • Posted on: 7 July 2015
  • By: davis

Matt Ibarra and I wanted a fun project. My girlfriend Amanda wanted a table.

Thus, we decided on an Infinity table. We accomplished this project in one night!

We wanted a coffee table to play around with, and the infinity effect seemed pretty cool. We've tried building an LED hoop before, with moderate success. This time, we wouldn't have to deal with the downsides of stuffing LEDs in a hoop.


  • Posted on: 21 April 2015
  • By: davis

This started because I logged into my computer at 8:00 A.M. Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

I started setting up our daily emails and needed a good quote for SITE1's email.

I went to the site - it was down. That's weird. I was getting a 500 Internal Server Error - big problem.

The Outreach theme (which SITE1 uses) relies on a file called header.php.

Retrieving RSS with Javascript and NoCache

  • Posted on: 30 March 2015
  • By: davis

I use Google Feeds API to power my RSS fetching for a couple applications. One inevitable problem with dynamically accessing RSS feeds is that they tend to be cached.

The easiest cache-busting Javascript trick, in my opinion, is to append your RSS Feed URI with ?nocache and a random value.

UPDATE 4/42015 - Removed the trailing '/' from the RSS URL below. The code will fail with Google Feed's API if you do not remove the trailing '/'. Alternatively, you may replace the ? with & if you wish to leave the slash.

Display Gravity Forms Poll Results With Wordpress Shortcode

  • Posted on: 8 January 2015
  • By: davis

Gravity Forms does not come with an easy mechanism for displaying poll/survey results independently of user actions. This seems to be a pretty big oversight. 

I was trying to put up a post that showed the results of a previous poll, but found no way to simply display the results to users. Gravity Forms Polls usually only display the result post-survey, or via a "View results" link.

Anti-DDoS XMLRPC Tweak Breaks Jetpack's Site Management

  • Posted on: 5 January 2015
  • By: davis

I've written before about using a special XMLRPC access rule to stop Wordpress DDoS attacks.

Quick summary: My server was being bombarded with hundreds of thousands of requests from foreign hosts (mostly Chinese). It took about a week before finding a fix - during which time my servers were slow, prone to crashing, and generally unusable. I found a helpful tip here. I simply added the following code to the bottom of my .htaccess file.