Welcome to Mike Shannon's website. Below you can read my blog about programming, Drupal, search, etc., learn more about me or visit my SEO business website. You can also read more of my thoughts on search marketing and related ideas here.

Version control with Subversion is Essential!

After working with countless files and making changes to those files over the years it gets difficult to remember exactly what you did, say, 2 years and 4 months ago on a specific file.  Wouldn’t it be great to know what you did way back then… wouldn’t it be great if you could see what somebody else did way back then so you could continue their work?

Working with CSS and Firebug

I work with web sites a lot, so that means I have to deal with CSS quite a bit.  CSS is notoriously tricky, most web developers might say, but I’ve recently found a good tool that makes CSS work a lot easier: firebug.  I recommend getting it for several reasons:

Compressing Files using the Linux Tar Command

Once in a while I need to compress a bunch of files and directories into a single, easy to transport file that can be later de-compressed as needed.  Sometimes I do this for backup purposes and sometimes just to move websites to new hosts.  What’s nice about the tar command in linux is that it allows you to compress entire directories and all sub directories below it recursively.

To compress a directory, run this tar command:

tar cvzf <output file> <input directory>

Send HTML emails using PHP with Ease

One of my clients recently asked for an email newsletter type solution where they remotely send an email address via XML to a PHP script that would then send an HTML email template off to that specific email address.  I spent some time looking around at different solutions only to find that apparently no one had a solution that would meet our needs - that meant writing the script from scratch!  

Process HTML files as PHP files

 In your .htaccess file (*nix servers only) you will need to place the following two lines:

AddType application/x-httpd-php .htm
AddType application/x-httpd-php .html

From here on out your .htm and .html pages will be processed as PHP files by your web server but without actually having to use the .php extension on a given web page to run PHP code.  Pretty handy stuff if I do say so myself - this way you don’t have to 301 redirect a bunch of html pages if you wanted to start utilizing PHP

Working with Print Screen on a Mac Keyboard

For web development purposes, I often need to use the “print screen” function on my windows keyboard to copy the contents of my screen to memory and then paste it into photoshop. Right now, I’m using OS X at work and use a mac keyboard but I also have parallels installed so that I can run windows along side by OS X install (parallels is awesome by the way and I will probably write an entire post about it).

Stop/Prevent SSH Timeouts

I use ssh quite a bit and am extremely annoyed when my shell session times out after a certain period of inactivity, say 20 minutes - what a hassle! Then you have to log back in, open up your files again, try to remember what you were working on, etc. To make a long story short, ssh timeouts cause a lot of headache and so I’ve taken the time to find out how to stop it from happening. The ssh timeout problem doesn’t come from the ssh deamon you are working with but rather…

Developing in IE6 and IE7


IE6 vs IE7

Useful Linux Commands # 1

There are several pretty cool linux commands that I use quite often during development. Some of these commands are basic stuff to the average developer, but I think newer/learning developers will find this information pretty good - so here is a list detailing a few useful tricks:

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