My blog – a collection of articles and posts not directly related to music news, but most likely interesting (and maybe even entertaining) to someone somewhere – hopefully…
POSTED: May 10, 2013
I recently completed a custom WordPress theme for my friend and fellow musician, Ron Oswanski. Ron is an extremely creative keyboard player – he plays great piano, but is feels most at home on the Hammond organ or his accordion. If you’re a jazz fan he’s definitely somebody you should know.
I tried to create a moody theme with rich colors using photos he provided. The theme needed to resize nicely to smaller screens and mobile devices while leaving him plenty of room for the heaps and heaps of information he is putting up there. He’s posting news, concert dates, videos, a press kit, reviews and a complete online store where he sells CDs and high-quality digital audio downloads.
He’s using my MF Gig Calendar plugin for his calendar, plus a custom feature-slider plugin I built for him as well.
POSTED: April 7, 2013 | 3 Comments
As of version 0.9.8 you can display more specific event information from your MF Gig Calendar WordPress plugin on any Pages or Posts by including simple variables in your short code.
[mfgigcal id=event_id] – display only one specific event
[mfgigcal date=YYYY-MM-DD] – display events that are happening on a particular day
[mfgigcal range=YYYY-MM-DD:YYYY-MM-DD] – display a range of dates (START:END)
Note: The archive navigation will not be displayed.
POSTED: April 1, 2013
I had a few pages on my site that were password protected using WordPress’ built-in password feature. Recently it all just stopped working and it took me a while to sort it out.
Entering a password in the Quick Edit view
The WordPress feature is so easy to use – just type in what you want to be your password and save the changes. WordPress takes care of the rest, so when a user visits that page on your site they are presented with a nice little form saying that the post is password-protected and makes it easy for your visitor to enter the password and redirects to the page if they enter it correctly.
When this stopped working I did a bunch of browsing around – finding suggestions ranging from resaving permalinks, to repairing the database, to disabling plugins, to reinstalling wordpress. In my situation though, it was a problem with my theme and a recent update of WordPress.
POSTED: February 25, 2013
Rackspace Cloud Sites has a new WordPress install wizard! It’s really handy and saves me a few steps in setting up new WP sites. I discovered that this wizard, along with installing WP in a few easy clicks, automatically installs a plugin called Root Relative URLs. This plugin replaces WP’s absolute links with root-relative links.
So http://www.domain.com/path/to/file becomes /path/to/file
This is with the intention of making the transition easier from development to production servers. That makes perfect sense to me. Moving a WordPress installation to another server has always been a pain. This was already a production environment so I didn’t need to turn it on, but it certainly sounds like a useful plugin for future development!
My problem came up with a shopping cart plugin I was using on this site. WP eStore gets its PayPal IPN link from the WP settings – the same settings the other plugin was changing. So the result was that it was just sending PayPal a root-relative link for the IPN connection and none of the transactions could be completed. PayPal had no idea where to send the notice that the transaction was completed. Ouch!
POSTED: January 6, 2013 | 1 Comment
It’s a fact. You just won’t get much done in your practice session unless you know what you are going to practice before you sit down at the piano.
Life can be busy and practice time can be precious. I know that if I sit down at the piano without a plan I’ll start noodling around and next thing I know half of my practice session is gone! For that reason I’ve always been a list-maker. There’s almost always a list of some sort on or near my piano.
When I was in school and at my most productive I was super organized about it. I was on a mission to learn to play. I was specific because my time was limited. I kept a practice schedule on a piece of paper that listed all the projects I was working on in rows down the left side of the paper, and the days of the week in columns across the top. So if I did something on Monday I checked it off under the Monday column, when I sat down on Tuesday I knew immediately to start with something else. No time wasted. I updated the schedule every week with what I wanted to accomplish and looked honestly at what I got done the week before.
Here are a few of the things I included on that schedule every week.
POSTED: November 16, 2012
Just launched! A brand new website for jazz singer, Curtis Stigers.
This is a WordPress theme redesign that I just completed. One of the requirements in the design was a way to have music playing in the background as visitors browse pages. I didn’t want to use frames or flash (for obvious reasons) and instead I’m using a great AJAX page-loading plugin called Advanced Ajax Page Loader by resplace.net. It works fantastically – highly recommended!
I also tried to make the design flexible enough to work on various browser types – computer, iPads, mobile phones – and used the Responsive Grid System in the theme layout. What a time-saver.