Category Archives: Various Articles

My iPhone “Coding” Setup

Us IT guys, we all have our preferred setups. Software, tools, operating systems, keyboards, prefered browsers… We could fight unholy wars about them.

I consider myself to be a pretty flexible guy, myself. I don’t really worry about IDE’s, mostly because I can’t remember what IDE stands for and because I use Coda 2 for 90% of the things I do.

Coda 2 is a Mac app, and while I’m a Mac user at work my Mac(s) aren’t always in use. I usually use my Windows 10 laptop, but that means I’m struggling when the time comes to write some code or SSH into a server.

In that case, I could whip out my Macbook and find a way to make it work on my desk, or I could whip out my iPad / iPhone. They both also have a version of Coda installed. It’s a bit more limited in its features but it can access the credentials Coda2 stores in the cloud, and it’s got an easy to use SSH client. The only downside is that you’d be typing on an on-screen keyboard.

But today, I found what might be the ideal setup when I’m in a literal tight spot and need to use Coda for a bit. I present to you, my iPhone-As-A-Coding-Device setup

SetupIPhone

This setup leaves me with plenty of room for my notebooks and the likes, while still giving me a good programming experience. Here’s what my setup looks like:

  • iPhone 6 Plus with Coda installed
  • Apple keyboard, connected through bluetooth

That’s pretty basic so far. But take a look at my screen. I am streaming my iPhone to my PC, so I’m able to work in a big, easy to use window!

That’s because I’ve got 5kplayer installed, a tool that allows you to use Airplay to stream your iPad / iPhone to your Windows machine (if they’re on the same network). The configuration couldn’t be easier. Just install the software, and your iDevice will recognize the PC and it’ll be able to stream both sound and video.

You can resize the window, and up until 1920×1080 and even a bit higher, the content looks pretty great. Perfect when you need to do 15-20 minutes of programming. Or, in my case, when I need to stream a video from my iPhone to my Windows PC because my PC refuses to play the file. Long story, don’t ask.

How about you guys? Do any of you have particular or unusual setups or hacks? Let us know in the comments!

 

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My WordPress Test Site Got Hacked

I am sure you’ve heard about the “scandal” in which millions of WordPress sites got “defaced” by those pesky hackers. As it turns out, according to reports from leading security companies, it wasn’t particularly hard to pull off either.

WordPress introduces a REST API which allows you (and others) to do all kinds of wizardry remotely. Apparently, that included the option to edit all your posts and pages without providing any kind of credentials. Great job, WordPress!

With millions of people being “hacked”, of course my test website couldn’t miss out. You see, I have WordPress sites in all sorts and shapes that I keep up to date. Personal blog. Work websites. Fun blogs. However, there are also my “test blogs”, which I use to test plugins for WordPress. I also have those kind of sites for Joomla, but that’s another story.

Most of those sites are hosted on Siteground, but one is hosted on a server I shall not name. One where updates don’t happen automatically, and WAF’s are non-existent.

Well, my friends, that website got “hacked”. The reason I keep writing “hacked” is because alledgedly it takes nearly zero knowledge or effort to pull it off. You just need to know about the exploit, do two minutes of work and you can go crazy.

Which they did. The nice Syrian Peshmerga message left a message stating that ISIS sucks and that they’re going to do stuff. I’m guessing it’s related to shooting them. There was also the online pharmacy that wanted to promote some sort of products.

In my case, no damage was done. This is a test site. I don’t update it, because the site is a “throwaway” site. If something is broken, I’ll just start over. There’s the fair expectation that something WILL go wrong. Seeing the REST API hack in action on that site wasn’t scary, it was more of a “Ahah, it’s that easty?” moment.

However, can the same be said about those other sites? How about your sites? Can you afford to have your website defaced? Probably not. It would be bad for business.

That’s why you need to make sure your websites are up to date. And educate yourself on what to do when you DO get hacked. To help you with that, here’s a short and sweet strategy guide.

How not to get hacked

  1. Keep Your WordPress site up to date. Or, have someone else do it for you. Our friends over at Siteground allow you to enable automatic updates. If I’m not wrong – and I often am – they offer to enable this by default. The feature is super easy – once a new version is released Siteground will roll it out for you. Alternatively, some “Installers” like Installatron also roll out automatic updates. Of course, you could do it all manually. Assuming you’ve picked up on the news that an update is released. Unlike Joomla, WordPress doesn’t send reminders that a new version is available.
  2. Make sure you’re using quality web hosting. It’ll prevent you from most server side exploits. And if your hosting company is *really* good they’ll have rules and checks in place to prevent common exploits, like (again) our friends over at Siteground have in place.
  3. Don’t install shady plugins. Or themes. That’s an open invitation to be hacked. And those “cracked” versions of ExpensivePlugin? Yeah, that’s not a good idea either.
  4. If your website is technically sound, make sure that *you* aren’t the weakness. If your password is easy to crack, change it. Websites like HaveIBeenPwned can tell you if you’ve been part of security breaches. That can lead to a big “Oh, shit” moment when you were using the same password everywhere. Also, make sure to enable two-factor authentication.

How to recover from being hacked

  1. Restore your back-ups. What’s that? You didn’t make any, and assume your host is making them for you? While that might be true in some cases, that is NOT a safe bet to make. Setup your own backup tool, like Akeeba Backup or Vaultpress, an configure it. Make backups to more than one location. AND TEST YOUR BACKUPS
  2. Audit your website. Do you know how they got in your website? Then you probably have no idea how big the damage really is. If your website is used professionally, and your income depends on it, consider hiring an expert who knows what he’s doing. Unfortunately, that excludes  most of the $5 freelancers from a certain continent that “claim to be expert in Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Grav, Prestashop, OsCommerce, Ghost, Facebook and Microsoft Word.”

    If you are using Joomla, a tool like MyJoomla can help you audit your website. I’m sure similar websites for WordPress exist as well.

  3. Patch your security holes. Don’t just restore your website, and assume you’re not going to get hacked again. You’d be wrong, and stupid to assume that you were just unlucky.

Of course, some people would suggest that my list is missing “Migrate away from WordPress, lol.” I mean, yes. That can be an option if the security holes in WordPress concern you. Just keep in mind that no CMS is perfect, and prone to security problems. Yes, even the one you built yourself. Especially the one you built yourself.

Do you have tips or suggestions to update our list? Questions and being hacked? Use the comments below to be heard. Please keep the “WordPress sucks lol get gud noob” jokes to a minimum.

 

Checking on your disk usage in Windows 10 (and beyond)

In this day and age, running out of disk space should be hard. I mean, if you haven’t got at least an 1TB hard disk in your computer, isn’t it about time to consider an upgrade?

However, we can still be surprised by running out of place. How can you figure out where all that storage capacity went off to?

In today’s video we teach you two ways to check your disk usage. The first option uses a new option that shipped with Windows 10. It’ll allow you to get a rough idea of what’s eating up your disk space.

For a more detailed look into your hard drive, you we highly recommend using WinDirStat. It offers more details on both the folder level and the file level and helps you identify who’s claiming all that space. It’s usable in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 and, if you’re really be hind the times, probably works on Windows Vista and Windows XP.

You can see both of the options explained in our latest video.

Did Likes Kill Conversations?

Yesterday, I couldn’t help thinking about a trend that I have noticed lately. You see, I started a brand new blog (which you can find here) about my photography. In a few days, I saw quite a few links incoming. More than I get on this blog on average (although the sharp decline in quality posts is probably to blame for that) but not a single comment. Continue reading Did Likes Kill Conversations?

Hands-on Website Support By Experts

You have read the articles and seen the Youtube videos, but you still can’t solve the problem. You are looking to upgrade your website to the latest version, but you don’t know how to start. Maybe you are looking for help with a migration.

From now on, you don’t have to look much further

Support by (Joomla) Experts

We’re offering hands-on support with your existing website or new project. Our experts will give you advice or do the hard work for you, for a reasonable price.

We don’t like to call ourselves “Guru’s” but our team has got lots of experience. We are, of course, specialized in the Joomla! CMS but we can also aid you with your WordPress, WooCommerce or PrestaShop problem. Is your technology not on the list? We are looking forward to adding it to our repertoire.

We focus on helping you with the technical side of your project. Additionally, we can offer you help with your content (E.G data entry).

Fixing Your Problems

Our experts can help you identify and fix problems with your site(s). We can help you fix problems with your site, and advice you on how to avoid them in the future. Some of the problems we fixed in the past were hosting related problems, components that gave problems or helping the user understand how his website works.

If your website is hacked, we can help you get it back online, or at the very least point you in the right direction.

Preventing Problems

Let our experts help you prevent problems on your website. We perform audits of both your website and your hosting environment to detect and prevent problems that can lead to your site being hacked.

Our experts can setup back-ups and updates for your website, as well as enable Two-Factor authentication, setup your site for the use of SSL or help you to configure tools such as a WAF or CDN to ensure your site never goes offline.

Keeping your site up-to-date

As a business owner, you have other concerns than keeping your site up to date. You can let our experts do the boring work, like updating the CMS and plugins, or adding content and products to your website – all for a reasonable, fixed fee or pay-as-you-go.

Making sure you’re heard

Our marketing guys (and girls) can help you get your website out there. We can help you advertise, leveraging Google Analytics and Facebook Ads so that you reach as many people as possible. We can also help you establish a presence on Social Media, so your website is represented everywhere your future and current clients hang out.

Interested in working with the experts behind Joomla & More? Contact us today, and we’ll see how we can help each other.

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