brandonmartinez

Toy Hack: Kidoozie Deluxe Build-a-Road With Elevator

One of the best things about being a parent? You get to play with some awesome kid-toys again! Seth received the a Kidoozie Build A Road X-Track set as a Christmas gift. We love building different tracks, finding different obstacles to integrate with the road, and just beings kids (at-heart, in my case).

Kidoozie Build A Road X-Track (Amazon.com)

After having such a blast with that set, I decided to pick up the deluxe expansion from Amazon. However, while the set provided some cool additions, there was something about it that was bothering me: the multi-directional gates required manual intervention or you’d never reach the full track. Continue reading…

Deploy WordPress Using Git

With this site’s recent migration to Windows Azure, the true power of Git-based deployments has become very apparent. Being able to source control an entire WordPress site, including plugins, themes, configuration, and of course, WordPress itself, makes it very convenient to manage. Adding automatic deployments just sweetens the deal.

If you’re not running on Windows Azure, but still want to take advantage of Git-based deployments, it’s a relatively easy process to setup. I’ve tested this setup on multiple sites and it’s been working very well for me.

Continue reading…

Free Windows and IE Virtual Machines for Cross-Browser Testing

If you spend a lot of your time doing web development, then you’ll realize how important cross-browser testing is. Ensuring that your site looks and functions (mostly) the same across modern, or legacy, browsers is vital.

However, one of the most difficult browsers to test is Internet Explorer. This is largely due to its availability only on the Windows platform, as well as changes between major version numbers. Well, that all changes now thanks to an offering from Microsoft. Continue reading…

Having a Virtual Presence

During my time working for Orion, we had a two-way video conferencing solution that we put together to make my remote status more visible on-site. We dubbed it “The Virtual Presence” (or VP for short), and overall, we found it to be a successful means for making me more like an on-site employee. I felt it would be a good mini-case study to put together, so here’s my quick overview of my previous remote working conditions.

Continue reading…

Moved to the Cloud With Windows Azure

While I do realize that “the cloud” is really just a buzzword for “hosted on the internet”, I’m still proud to announce that my personal WordPress sites are now all hosted on Windows Azure.

Windows Azure-ified!

I’ve been really impressed with the overall simplicity of getting a WordPress multisite up-and-running, as well as how the performance has been compared to my last host. As an added bonus (if I calculated correctly), I’ll be saving $5 a month in hosting fees by using Azure (Windows Azure Web Sites, Blob Storage, and ClearDb).

If you’re currently running a WordPress site on a shared host, I’d highly recommend looking into Azure. Besides a decent price and good performance, their git-based deployment setup is stellar. Seriously, check it out!

Create Custom Photo Backdrop Backers for Easy Hanging

For the past year, Joy and I have been putting together a small collection of photo backdrops for indoor portrait work. While backdrops are extremely convenient for changing the scene of a photo while indoors, unless you have a proper setup they can be difficult to work with. Over the weekend, I put together a small lifehack to make handling backdrops easier. Continue reading…

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