Adding a sidebar to post view in Twenty Eleven WordPress Theme


Something else I missed when looking at themes for my new blog was post template options.

Seems as though the Twenty Eleven theme won’t display the sidebar when viewing a post/article.

Thankfully, it’s not a huge modification and there is lot’s out there on how to do it.

Basically, you modify the theme’s single.php file and add the get_sidebar() function. But that in itself will not be enough, you need to adjust some CSS as well.

I had tried with just the get_sidebar() modification… but after a quick search I found an example.

Check out Zeaks “ADD SIDEBAR TO POST VIEW IN TWENTY ELEVEN THEME” for an example on how to modify the CSS to make this work.

I used it as a reference and it worked great.

How to add custom banners to Worpress TwentyEleven theme


I’m setting up a new personal blog and settled on using WordPress’s Twenty Eleven theme that ships with current downloads.

I wanted to create custom banners to be displayed in the “Header” settings under the “Appearance” menu.

I thought they could be uploaded, this was something I simply presumed and didn’t actually check. I had seen the options to display a random header but hadn’t actually tried it… or read everything for that matter… 😉

There aren’t any uploaders. If you do upload a custom banner it is set as the banner for all pages.

The work around was quite easy, if you can follow PHP code of course.

First, create the banners you want to have on the blog, at appropriate sizes of course (defaults are 1000 × 288 pixels for the banners on the Twenty Eleven Theme out of the box). Then, your thumbnails (230×66 pixles, less important as it’s for the admin panel)…. then go into the theme’s image folder (unless you want to change those settings, but we won’t get into that here). Theme folder should be in:

Upload your banners and thumbnail images.

Once that is there, you must open the theme’s functions.php file (in twentyeleven’s root folder). In there, find the register_default_headers() function. You’ll want to configure your custom banners in the arrays as such:

register_default_headers( array(
'every-man-lives' => array(
'url' => '%s/images/headers/first-banner.jpg',
'thumbnail_url' => '%s/images/headers/first-banner-thumbnail.jpg',
/* translators: header image description */
'description' => __( 'Banner 1', 'twentyeleven' )
'love-dies' => array(
'url' => '%s/images/headers/second-banner.jpg',
'thumbnail_url' => '%s/images/headers/second-banner-thumbnail.jpg',
/* translators: header image description */
'description' => __( 'Banner 2', 'twentyeleven' )
) );

Once you’ve registered the new banners, refresh the admin panel Header or Custom Header page and check out the public site.

Was nice and simple.

Dying Brands – Blackberry?


Blackberry’s sales and popularity has been in decline for sometime. Well, in markets here in North America and Europe… but in some other countries they are still strong.

But, one has to wonder in this age of mobile apps and fast moving technological advance. Once the ball has started rolling backwards, just how far can it roll before you can make a comeback?

It’s a shame, they seemed to have a dominance just a short time ago and decent products. But, as the months rolled on other mobile providers haven’t only caught up but far surpassed RIM‘s Blackberry in terms of apps, marketing….etc.

Seems as though they will be taking another hit as Google has announced that they will no longer be supporting the Gmail Blackberry app.

How much sliding downhill can a large IT/Mobile Tech business take before mounting a comeback?

Blog comment spam – Internet annoyance


Something that I’ve noticed over these last 5 or 6 years since I started blogging as a hobby is that the rise of “spam bots” submitting comments to blogs is just a continual annoyance. Not that many have ever made it through filtering and/or manual checking.

But it’s almost as constant as the air itself.

In a short time I amassed some 177 spam comments on 1 blog and 78 on another. I tend to have my filters set so that I review them just in case something legit gets caught in the cross fire. Thankfully you can usually tell by looking through the list rather quickly which are “crap” and which are real. Usually, of course, the spam filters rarely make a mistake and most that are held in question are rightfully labelled as “crap”.

But I wonder sometimes if any of the creators of these spam bots have ever profited from this continual gibberish. I mean, I know most of them, nowadays, include hyperlinks so as to attempt and increase their SEO value. But search engines have been continually getting updated through the years to become more intelligent so as not to rank gibberish sites in real search results.

I remember a time, when searching for a technical problem, I had come across many search results that led me to crap-spam-gibberish sites instead of the valuable information I was looking for.

But it’s been quite a while since that has happened. Bravo to Google for their continual improvement on search results to block out that garbage.

That’s my rant for this morning.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer thinks you need to be a computer scientist to use an Android phone


Found this interview with Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO, and thought it was interesting.

It’s neat to hear him talk about Microsoft’s products and take questions reflecting some of the technology giant’s future. But I just couldn’t help but be amused by some of the question/answers.

For instance, when it came to questions about Windows phones… and then being asked to compare to Apple’s iPhone and Android phones. Ballmer says you need to be a computer scientist to use the Android phone.

Well, come on Steve. It’s really not that bad. Have you ever actually used one? I understand you can’t get excited about Android phones… I mean, you’re trying to sell and push the Windows phones right?? Oh yeah, right.

Anyways. It’s amusing.

The part about the Android phone is at about the 21 minute mark.


How do I de-authorize a computer on iTunes?


I came up against this question very recently.

You see, I had signed up for an apple ID quite a few years back and have been buying music from them since.

Lately, I had noticed I maxed my Apple ID to the 5 computers that an account has as it’s authorized limit. 3 of those computers had died long ago. So there were only 2 computers that were active.

I wondered how I could deauthorize the computers that were “long gone” and couldn’t be accessed.

Well, it turns out that it’s quite easy. You can deauthorize them 1 by 1…. if you still have access to them. Or, you can deauthorize your account on all computers!!

That’s right. It’s rather simple as I found out.

Go into the iTunes Store (not the Store menu but the “iTunes Store” to the left) and click to sign in or if you are logged in, click on your user id which is in the top right corner of the screen. This will bring up your Account Information where you will see your Computer Authorizations with the Apple ID you’re logged in with.

If you choose “Deauthorize All”, it will wipe the Authorize settings for all computers associated with your Apple ID.

Then, to reset the computers that you want as authorized with your Apple ID, simply go into the Store menu to the top of iTunes and click on “Authorize this computer” and the computer will be set as authorized with your Apple ID.

Not hard at all. Glad I didn’t have to call support.


Truncate a table on a remote server in MS SQL Server 2008


I’ve been learning alot since I’ve been in my new job and I must say I love it.

I’m working with a completely different set of tools. For instance, most of the development I will be doing will be in .NET and looking in the occasional Delphi apps.

Over the years I’ve worked with MySQL alot and with MS SQL Server a bit (2000 and 2005).

In this position, I work with MS SQL Server 2008. And most of what I do is using stored procedures which is a switch from most of the solely web based apps I’ve done in the past.

I’ve been learning many aspects of MS SQL Server and how to work with link servers. While I’ve been learning, I’m only scratching the surface of what MS SQL can do.

So working with a linked server, I needed to truncate a table and fill it with data from another server.

I’m not sure this is the most elegant way, but this is what I came up with.

— Truncate the acuheader table
EXEC(‘TRUNCATE TABLE [Test_DB].dbo.thisTable’) AT [Link-Server]
— insert the data
INSERT OPENQUERY([Link-Server],‘SELECT * FROM [Test_DB].dbo.thisTable’)
FROM [Test_DB].dbo.thisTable

For those of you who haven’t used TRUNCATE, it is a much more efficient way to remove all table rows.

Basically, this combine with a Job allows to keep a table on another server in sync with another. Of course, you wouldn’t necessarily want to replicate your tables this way, the built in replication functionality is what you’d want for that.

But for the case this was used in, it seems to work fine and well.

I look forward to learning a lot more with MS SQL Server. It’s a powerful beast.


WordPress Mobile App



Seems like Smart Phones and mobile apps have changed everything.

I pretty much do everything on my smart phone now. Email, banking, Twitter… I don’t do much YouTube unless I’m at home on my network… 🙂

I’ve recently discovered WordPress’s Android App and figured I should really try it out.

So as I sit watching my daughter’s soccer practice in a grassy field, I can now write a short blog article on my HTC Incredible S.

This might come in handy when I’m on the road.

What will come about next??? Who knows.

ColdFusion 4.5

How I got started in ColdFusion


ColdFusion 4.5I saw some people writing these posts yesterday and though I’m late to the party (1 day common!!) I thought it would be neat to write a bit.

Back in 1998 I enrolled in a 2 year college program in IT. Our focus was kind of a broad spectrum of topics. From PC repair, networking, database design, Visual Basic, Windows and Linux servers…. C++ and even writing.

When I got out with my diploma I wasn’t quite sure which direction to go. In my first year’s “on the job training” I had been in a PC repair and sales shop. I really enjoyed the work. In my second year, I had started to study MSCE exams and really thought that network administration was the direction I was heading.

But in my second year’s “on the job training” I was with a local web dev shop (Cifta Technologies). They worked primarily in ColdFusion 4 at the time.

There were several of us in the OJT basically taking a crash course in ColdFusion (and MS Access!). The company had told us that 2 of us could land jobs for the summer and I was one of the lucky ones who got to stay on board.

The company was upgrading from CF 4 to CF 4.5 at about the same time I started the summer position.

From there at the end of the summer my term with Cifta was up and it was time to start looking for work. I applied for a couple of jobs and didn’t think prospects were to bright. There weren’t many shops around and most of the places I looked at were asking for years of experience.

All of a sudden I was contacted by a small company about 45 minutes away who needed someone with ColdFusion experience. I took the job. It wasn’t the best paying gig but having just gotten out of college I figured that I needed to take what I could in order to gain experience.

I was there (InfoTech) for 2.5 years. In that time I not only did a bunch of ColdFusion but also worked on and learned about implementing Linux servers… (like Postfix, Bind DNS, Apache…etc). We had servers in house.

I also did work like network configuration and PC repairs for clients.

After that 2.5 years I was adventurous enough to try my hand at being self employed. So I started a small business (in 2004), which lived in full time or part time mode until 2010. From 2006 to 2008 I also worked for a local business development firm managing servers, network and coding a whole bunch of ColdFusion based projects.

Since my college diploma ColdFusion work has actually kept me fairly busy. And in that time my approach gradually evolved from a procedural approach (used a bit of Fusebox way way back) to using MVC/OO style frameworks (ColdBox being a favorite).

In 2010 I spent almost the entire year working in PHP. I worked for a couple of different local businesses where PHP was the tool they preferred using for development. The experience wasn’t negative for me. I used an MVC framework called Kohana that I really enjoyed working with.

In 2011 I started the year without employment and shortly after began working for another company maintaining an existing ColdFusion based e-com system and re-writing it.

ColdFusion as a language has been good to me. Kept me busy through the years and has also helped me learn programming principles which transcend “language”. Such as “Object Oriented” principles…etc.

I’ve recently been offered another position which will take me out of the CF world once again. Looks like I’ll be learning Delphi, C# and other languages that are a bit more foreign to me. But I look forward to the challenge. My previous experience in learning… throwing myself into something new has been that it helps me understand programming in new and different ways…. and hopefully makes me better.

I’ve been toying with the idea of joining an existing Open Source CF project or starting a new one. We shall see.


Object-Oriented programming in ColdFusion – Great resource


Last spring I bought Object-Oriented programming in ColdFusion (written by Matt Gifford and published by Packt Publishing) to brush up and also learn more about OO techniques using the ColdFusion language.

I have to say that I loved the book. I read it in a short time. I know I’m quite late to write about it but I thought I should because my experience with it was very positive.

Basically I thought it was very easy to read, clear, to the point and easy follow with practical code examples. For me reading about beans helped me as I had never typically used beans before. But the chapter that really got me thinking in a different way was the chapter on the Service Layer.

This might be elementary for some of you reading this, but in my web application development background, for many of the projects I would be involved in, there was never such a breakdown and encapsulation of functionality that would have me thinking of a Service layer. In the old days everything seemed to be strictly procedural.

I began to see more examples and more reason why my code could be easier to maintain.

I would suggest this book as a great read for anyone interested in exploring Object-Oriented programming in ColdFusion.


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