A PHPMyAdmin alternative with a user friendly interface

Almost all LAMP Developers start their careers with the use of PHPMyAdmin which is a reasonable MySQL client to begin with but I think PHPMyAdmin hasn’t evolved with the same pace as rest of the Web Development techniques have.

MyWebSQL on the other hand is as robust as PHPMyAdmin with a user friendly interface and almost everything a Web 2.0 Application needs. Moreover its open source too, free to use with plenty of support for users from the development team.

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1 mistake that 40% of Under Grad Students in Pakistan make

Pakistan has quite a noticeable share of its population as young students and professionals. Everyone in Pakistan is hoping this youth will bring a brighter and better future with them. Which I believe we can, we have done it in the past and we are still doing it. We are producing exceptional talent in almost every field with the minimum possible resources and dedication to groom these jewels.

I think the part above was enough for practicing my below average writing skills, I will get back to the point.

The most common mistake that I have noticed freshly graduated students do is using an improper + non-professional email address for job hunt and other professional activities.

I personally know many students who were not called for an interview just because of their email addresses. Come on guys, how much time does it take to create a simple email address having your first and last name in it. Why would you want to tell the employer how cool, hot, sexy, kid, champ etc you are.

People are even moving away from using yahoo.com and hotmail.com for their professional email addresses. An email address like one of the following will do it

Consider First to be the first name and Last to be the last name in these examples :

  • first.last@…
  • last.first@..
  • first.last1@..
  • first.last{any_number}@…     // use this if above are not available
  • firstl@…    //using the initial of last name or first name with the other name
  • lfirst@…

These are just general examples to give you an idea of how simple it is to create an email address which won’t make the other person laugh. This seems very obvious, and yet I have seen resumes with inappropriate email addresses.

A friend of mine, Umair Ali Rashid, gave a very good suggestion that Universities should provide every student with an email address from the beginning of their Degree Programs, which can then be used on their resumes as well. This practice is being followed in many Universities outside Pakistan, however there is no Pakistani University doing this in my knowledge. At least not my University.

Follow me on twitter – @umairr

Template Path in WordPress Child Themes

WordPress Child themes are a great Idea to extend the theme a bit without getting your hands dirty with the big deal, but I encountered a problem with my child theme when I wanted to load some of my Javascript files which I kept with in the child theme so that the parent theme remains unchanged and all the development is also done in one directory.

When I tried loading the Javascript using the Template path obtained by

$template_path = get_bloginfo('template_url');

I got the path to the parent theme which of course is wrong in my case as my JS file was in child theme’s folder.

I had to make a custom function to get my child theme’s path. I am copying this function below for people who are facing the same issue. Feel free to copy this function into your functions.php file of your child theme. If you don’t have a functions.php in your child theme then create one


function get_childTheme_url() {
    return dirname( get_bloginfo('stylesheet_url') );
}

After copying this function in functions.php, call this function anywhere to get the path to your child theme; as shown below

$template_path = get_childTheme_url();

Share this article if it was of any help, that might help others as well.

Sharing files with a linux guest on VirtualBox

One of my friends recently installed Ubuntu on a VirtualBox, and he had a really tough time sharing files between the Ubuntu guest and the Windows 7 host machine. In this article I will describe the two most common ways to share files between the host and a *nix guest os inside VirtualBox.

Some information in this article assumes you are fimilar with working on a linux command line. Even if you have not used the linux commandline before, fear not, as you can copy and run the commands without any modification on a Ubuntu guest machine. For other versions of linux, you might be required to make a few changes to the commands (mentioned wherever possible)

Let’s get started. Assuming you have already performed the following steps before we can enable file sharing between the host and guest machine.

1. Create a virutal machine for Ubuntu in VirtualBox.
2. Install Ubuntu (its free!)
3. From the machine settings, enable Network adapter (either bridged or host only adapter, host-only is recommended) and shared folders.
4. Login once onto the Ubuntu GUI with your userid and password.
5. Install Guest Additions on the Ubuntu machine from the VirtualBox GUI and restart the machine once.

Now we are ready to start sharing files between our host and guest os.

Sharing files over the Network

  • Right click the Network Icon on the top right corner of desktop and select ‘Edit  connections’.
  • Double click the ‘auto eth0’ entry and select the ‘IPv4 ettings’ tab on the dialog that just opened.
  • Depending on whether you selected briged network or host-only adapter for the virtual machine setting, configure the network. I usually prefer host-only network as it keeps the machine secure and the data transfer is pretty fast, not to mention hassle free configuration.
  • Once the network is configured, Open network browser using the Menu ‘Places -> Network’ on the top left of screen.

You should see ‘Windows Network’ as a folder in the explorer pane. Double click it and you should also see your host machine name displayed. Inside it you will see your folders listed that you shared over the network. Please note that you might be required to enter a valid Windows machine userid/password when you access the folder.

Configuring and using Shared Folders

  • In VirtualBox GUI, open virtual machine settings and select ‘shared folders’ tab.
  • Click the plus sign icon. In the dialog, enter the path to the folder on your host machine which you want to share, and also give it a name. For this example, I will name it ‘Shared’. Uncheck ‘Auto-mount’ option and check ‘Make Permanent’ option. This will make sure when the virtual machine restarts, the folder will still be accessible inside the machine.
  • Back to the virtual machine, if you are comfortable with text file editing in linux, add the following line to /etc/fstab file (you might need to use sudo)
    Shared /media/sf_Shared vboxsf defaults,rw,uid=1000,gid=1000 0 0
  • Alternatively, open a new Terminal from the Applications -> Acessories menu on top left of screen and run the following command inside the terminal.
echo "Shared /media/sf_Shared vboxsf defaults,rw,uid=1000,gid=1000 0 0" | sudo tee -a /etc/fstab

This will have the same effect as if you edited the file as described above.

  • Now run the following command inside the Terminal
sudo mount -a

If all went well, you can now use the shared folder inside your virtual machine. Open Places -> Computer from the top left menu. Open FileSystem and then double click the ‘media’ folder. You should see a folder called ‘sf_Shared’. This is the folder you just shared from your host machine. If you get ‘access denied’ error, you will need to do a bit extra to access the folder, which is also described at the end of this article.

Troubleshooting folder access problems

In some cases (usually when Ubuntu has more than one user accounts), you will get access denied errors when you try to access a shared folder. To fix this problem, try the following:
Open a Terminal window and type the command ‘id’ (without the quotes). The output will be something like this

uid=1005(samnan) gid=1005(samnan) groups………..

Note the uid and gid number from the command output. Now instead of the original command we used to enable shared folder inside the virutal machine terminal, type the following command, replacing <<uid>> and <<gid>> with the numbers you just picked from the ‘id’ command output.

echo "Shared /media/sf_Shared vboxsf defaults,rw,uid=<<uid>>,gid=<<gid>> 0 0" | sudo tee -a /etc/fstab

Follow the rest of the steps as usual and you should be able to access the folder without any problems.