MAMP Tutorials

Amazing tutorials to setup Apache, PHP and MySQL on Mountain Lion

After installing Mountain Lion I discovered that Apple changed their settings for Apache. Here are some amazing tutorials I came across that will help you get your Mac Mountain Lion Apache PHP MySQL server up and running.

Installing Apache MySQL, PHP and setup Virtual Hosts

Installing and configuring Apache, MySQL, PHP and phpMyAdmin

Enabling .htaccess

Fixing httpd.conf for



What is this blog about?

You may have stumbled upon this site and are wondering, what is it about? You’re seeing random posts about business, bicycles and code – what’s the tie in? I will explain, but first a story.

My friend and I met for coffee this week at Streaming Cafe. He asks me this question, “What’s your perfect day look like?” He said his was to wake up 7:30 am, be flexible enough to meet for coffee and pursue his dreams, while still getting everything done he needs to for his job. It’s an interesting question when he explained why he asked it. He said if you know what your perfect day looks like then you can plan to your life to get to it. Not every job is going to enable him to live that kind of day, so he needs to plan to get the right kind of job. You know what I mean.

Well this blog is part of my perfect day. It is the place that I write about anything that I am learning and find interesting and that I think will be valuable to me in the future when I look back at it, and hopefully valuable to others reading it. I’ve intentionally left the discussion broad. Interests change and topics on this blog might change too.

It’s probably going to be more relevant to you if you are starting a business, or thinking of starting a business. Because I am a young founder of a young business, I write about many of the problems that we have faced. I also write about other topics as well, but business definitely get’s written about more than the others. I try to write posts for myself that I would read, so that one day I can look back on these pages and remember what I was learning. Hope you find this interesting and thanks for visiting.

On Business

Celebrate milestones or die

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years
Abraham Lincoln

You work hard and want to see your business grow. Are you doing the simple things that can mean the difference between sustaining your businesses growth or drying up and dying? How many of you set milestones? I do. I was taught that when we set goals and write them down we are more likely to achieve them (there’s probably a really good statistic that could go here, but I don’t know it). I took that lesson to heart and now scribble new goals and pin them to my fridge whenever I can. Setting goals at the office is a near daily affair. We have to break our projects down into feasible milestones to work hard towards, and then go on to the next one. I’ve found setting milestones to be great. They help to channel all our energy into a focused goal.

Not that long ago I burned out. It was a pretty unexpected, and even though I was tired I didn’t see it coming. My experience had always been that when I became tired I would keep working and eventually I wouldn’t feel tired anymore. You know, the whole “push through it” mentality. It worked well enough for a long time until it didn’t work at all.

I have a good amount of respect for my friend who is a solid businessman in my city. One day after chatting with him he asked, “Do you set milestones?” I replied, “Of course we do.” Almost surprised by his question. They he responded, “Do you take time off when you achieve them?” I had nothing to say. The thought of taking time off to celebrate an accomplished milestone seemed wrong and counter productive. I grew up thinking that celebrating milestones was foolish. Maybe it was my thinking that was wrong?

Bart Simpson punished for setting milestones

Why is it important to celebrate milestones, when we’ve been told that it is a waste of time? If you are an entrepreneur starting your businesses the only thing keeping you moving is you. When you get a little bigger, it’s you and your team. But ultimately, if you go down so does the ship. What I’ve quickly come to learn is that when we celebrate milestones we recharge. Celebrations make the accomplishment real and reinforces the feeling of satisfaction from achieving our goals. It boosts our energy and our entire teams’ moral. However, when we immediately begin working toward our next milestone without taking time to appreciate the accomplishment of the first, the opportunity to recharge our energy can be lost. That’s fine at first, but not forever.

Sometimes we need to break from old school business mentality and create a fresh way of doing business. As Abraham Lincoln stated, “…It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” So with that in mind today I am excited to announce the one year date of this Blog. Milestone reached! A year ago, to this day I published this article Life lesson #1: What do you need to do to succeed in business? You need to be inspired. Thanks for your support visiting this site. I appreciate all the comments and feedback I have received. Let me know what you think!

On Business

Google’s shocking announcement that it is dropping support for IE8

ie8 gets the bootOn Nov 15, 2012 Google will drop support for Internet Explorer 8, just 9 days after the U.S. election and 19 days after Microsoft releases Windows 8 and IE 10. Why? Because, with the release of Windows 8 Google expects IE8 to die with Windows XP.

This is big news for the web community and it makes me very happy! The trouble is that so many of our clients still use older versions of Internet Exploder. So with most of the web community chanting “What Would Google Do?” and picking up shovels of dirt to bury IE 8 along with the rest of the gang, I am left with a conundrum, who is going to tell our clients?

As an owner of a web development company I have experienced numerous times when I wished that we didn’t need to support older versions of Internet Explorer. I remember the glorious days reading .Net Magazine and discovering that the broader internet community was unilaterally dropping support IE 6. For those of you who don’t know, IE 6 is the scourge of human society (and IE 7 is a close second).

However, many of our clients hadn’t heard this glorious news yet, and still requested that we develop solutions that satisfied the unquenchable thirst of Internet Explorer 6. Those days are thankfully past. However, now it seems our clients are stuck with IE7. With Google discontinuing support of IE 8 it seems only natural that IE 7 will fade into oblivion, right? But by stuck I mean our clients are stuck!

So what do you think? Will Google’s decision rock our world? Or will the world remain largely the same, with late nights trying to make a perfectly designed circle fit the unforgiving squares of IE 8 and lower? Or do you think that Google should have dropped IE8? Why or why not?

On Business On Teams

Life lesson #3: What you are doing is great, now find friends who think so too

Focus on working with people who are passionate about what they are doing @rigelstpierre

I want to thank @rigelstpierre for inspiring this blog article.

It’s vitally important to have passion when you are running a business, working on projects and changing the world. Passion helps sustain us when very little else is. It’s also really important to know what inspires you. I learned this lesson the hard way. Inspiration is like the stream that brings life into your passion. I learned what it felt like to have passion dry up. There is another lesson that I’ve learned along the way as well. Surround yourself with people who are passionate about what you are doing and want to see you succeed.

I used to attend UBCO and I had this class in my third year where everyone sat at opposite sides of the room. It’s normal for people to spread out, but this was to the extreme. Everyone kept to themselves. Every once in a while I get little ideas. I don’t usually act on them, but one day, before the lecture started, I thought it would be fun to try an experiment and start a conversation with the guy at the furthest corner away from me in the classroom.

Long story short, it broke the ice in the room. What ended up happening over the course of the next few weeks was a major shift in the social dynamics of the class. An unexpected outcome was that I became a really good friend with one of the guys in the class. My new friend was disciplined, intelligent and very interested in what we were learning. Way more disciplined than I was at the time. His passion about what we were studying rubbed off on me. Looking back at my university days the subjects that I really enjoyed and still think about today were ones I shared with my friend.

A couple things happened. First my marks improved. We were both competitive and watching the other guy do well motivated both of us to do better. Second I became more passionate about what we were doing. It was way more fun writing a paper on a subject that I was actually interested in.

One of my favorite Steve Jobs quotes is “Great things in business are not done by one person, they are done by a team of people.” I think what is even more enlightening about that quote was his comment preceding it.

“My model for business is the Beatles: they were four guys that kept each other’s negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of its parts.” – Steve Jobs

He looked at four guys that when they worked together could create something better than when they worked apart. Why do you think that was? I think it was because their passion was infectious, not just because they balanced one another. The Beatles not only impacted their zeitgeist but their mark is felt in the cultures of all the generations since.

Many people are passionate about what they do. For example, a judge might be passionate about seeing justice upheld. However, is he always passionate about the cases that he is presiding over? Possibly, but not always. There is a difference between being passionate about what one does and what one is doing. My friend was passionate about what he was doing and that passion was infectious. Find people who share your passion for what you are doing and then hangout with often. You might just find that the total is greater than its parts.

On Business On Social Media

Thanks Grooveshark

Grooveshark T-shirt and stuff

Apparently writing a blog pays in t-shirts. So a few weeks ago I responded to an article written by Gizmodo (which they posted about a year ago) proclaiming that Grooveshark was done for. Obviously they got that one wrong and I wrote about why I am glad Grooveshark is alive and swimming. I mean I love Grooveshark I use it everyday. Well after writing the post I got this tweet informing me that Grooveshark wanted to thank me for writing that article and would send me a tshirt, as long as I lived in the U.S.

Two things went through my mind. I thought first that it was probably a scam and then that I don’t live in the United States. But I responded anyways. Luckily for me it was real, and the kind folks at Grooveshark were nice enough to mail me this package anyways. Which I found in my mailbox today and am stoked on.

As a founder of a tech startup myself I thought this was really cool. I don’t know if you have experienced this too, but one of the things that I have found neat about the startup culture is the strong sense of community. Most everyone I meet is open to talk about ideas, brainstorm solutions and throw together an event for nearly any reason.

This is what makes startup businesses unique. (At least some of them). When they let that culture of openness and the desire to think different permeate into a company, they create something that stands out from the crowd. They embrace open conversation and in some cases even reward it. It’s also great advertising. I wrote about Grooveshark once and now I am writing about them again. Thanks again Grooveshark.

On Leadership

What would you do if you saw a man sitting beside his car at an intersection?

Intersection | NYC by Navid Baraty on

I had to ask myself this question a couple weeks ago. Biking home I passed a man sitting beside his car at an intersection. The only thought that went through my mind was, “That’s strange for him to be parked there, it’s kind of dangerous.” As I pedal past the intersection I heard someone yelling at me, turning around I saw the man at the car gesturing at me. Screeching my brakes to a halt I spun my bike around, waited for a car to pass, and went to see what was up. Turns out that while driving his car this man, now sitting beside the road, suddenly broke out in a sweat became nauseas and pulled over. Through broken breaths he explained that he was completely disoriented, dizzy and needed help. After speaking to a 911 responder on a cell phone a police officer arrived at the scene and I was released to go. As I biked away I had this thought, why hadn’t I stopped, why did I assume he had everything taken care of? I always imagined that in moments of need I would rise to any challenge and be the hero. But I hadn’t done that, instead I had biked right past this guy without stopping.

This got me thinking, what if I needed to make decisions about what I will do before I encountered disasters, rather than hope I will do the right thing when the moment arises. So I did just that, I made a personal choice that the next time I saw someone that looked like they may be in need (even if they are not), I would stop and ask if they needed help.

Well already a few opportunities have arisen in the last week and a half. Again while biking home last week I saw a man lying beside a women sitting in a wheelchair. But this time I braked  to stop and ask if they were alright. I was quickly greeted with two laughs as the man was only adjusting something on the wheelchair. The next week while driving from a meeting I saw a man on the side of the road gesturing to the traffic. As a car drove past I spun my car around and pulled over and asked if they needed help. Turns out they did. They needed jumper cables. Luckily I had some and we were able to start their car.

The moral of the story isn’t that I am a hero. No, it’s that I’m not a hero, yet after making the decision to help first and ask later I’ve found myself responding to opportunities where I would normally have driving past. I think that my change in behaviour is interesting. It has me wondering if we are wired to act on decisions that we have already made, rather than hoping we will make the right decision in the moment. In other words, will indecision lead to inaction and vice versa. Even as I write this I can think of numerous examples where I can see this applying elsewhere, but I won’t write all those thoughts now. Instead I would love to hear your thoughts on this, have you noticed pre-decisions making a difference in your life or business? Or do you think it matters at all?

On Business On Teams

Remote teams part 2: Is it working?

Remote Teams

I like the photo above because I think it does a good job of telling the story of remote teams. Remote teams take work, and you need to be in it for the long distance. About four months ago I wrote a post about starting a remote team, I was pretty curious to see how things would go. And then things got busy, really busy. To be frank I thought creating a remote team would mean that things would get less busy. What I didn’t realize was how much communication was needed to keep everyone on the same page. I think the cliche “managing people” is a bad phrase. Instead I prefer “managing communication”, because that is what having a remote team really entails.

I kind of have a hard time delegating,… but I’m getting better at it. Taking the step to set up a remote team was really tough for me. I dragged my feet because I like being really involved in the production of everything. Just being honest here. Also, something that I love about our office is that we have a team culture. We are all in the same boat. I wanted our remote team members to feel they are apart of the team too.

4 months later you are asking, is it working? Yes it is. It did take a ton of time initially setting up clear lines of communication. But here are 3 things I have found have helped “managing communication”.

1. After a while I learned to set a regular time where I can meet via Skype with my core team members once a day. If we can’t meet for some reason we let each other know the previous day.

2. After spending tons of time communicating our core values, code practices, and naming conventions etc. I let our longest standing remote team member lead our newest team member. Now the job of passing on our culture and coding practices is largely his. So far that has worked out really well.

3. Remote teams work really well in pods. What I mean by this is that when working on a project remotely it feels natural to work with the same people during the whole project. Whereas when we are in the office we tend to pass projects on to each other at specific phases. For whatever reason remote teams work better in 2’s and 3’s. For programming I’ve found tools like github essential in this process.

If you are thinking about setting up a remote team, here’s what you need to know. It is going to take a lot of your time preparing for each work day. You need to prepare what everyone is doing. It’s not possible for a remote team member to pull you aside during the work day and ask you a question. So be ready to plan ahead. You will need to be actively thinking about communication and be really intentional with it. It’s easy to forget to book those Skype chats, but if you don’t projects could derail very quickly.

Lastly, spend a lot of time before choosing your first remote teammate or employee. I looked at well over 80 resumes before selecting a few and starting the interview process. I wanted a self-starter, someone who was eager and who I wouldn’t have to chase around or need to spend a lot of energy motivating them. So it took a while, but it was worth it because we are pleased with our new bigger (more remote) team. If you’ve been thinking about setting up a remote team, but are concerned about the unknown, I encourage you to just go for it. I was afraid too, but now I’m really glad I took the risk (at least so far).

On Companies

The Complete Guide to Understanding Kickstarter’s New Policies

kickstarter online platform to raise money for projectsRecently Kickstarter made some changes to their polices and those who had been happily using the service and enjoying the ability to raise funds for their project might have grown a little anxious wondering whether these changes would be for the better or for the worse, and how in general it might affect them. Meanwhile tech analysts and others might have been interested by these changes and why Kickstarter decided to implement them. Here we will look at the changes from both angles – what it means for you, and why Kickstarter have decided to change the rules…

The Nature of the Changes

Kickstarters new policies cover a lot of ground, but the overall idea of the move according to Kickstarter’s own site was to make users feel ‘less like they are using a shop’. In other words the changes were implemented in order to remind people that they are choosing to support projects that aren’t yet complete, that they aren’t just buying things. This presumably is to protect the buyers and the bidders and thus ensure the cogs keep turning on the site.

                Thus the changes include:

  • Creators must fill out a ‘Risk and Challenges’ section to detail the risks and challenges that they might face in the process of creating their project, and to detail while they think they are suitable for overcoming them. You have to remind users that this could still go wrong, but you will also be given a chance to fight your corner.
  • Product simulations are now no longer allowed. In other words you aren’t able to show image of your product doing things it can’t yet do. So if you’re inventing a jet pack, that means you can’t make an animation in a 3D modelling package and then show people it flying around – because that’s a little misleading. Working prototypes are fine though as long as you show the prototypes in their actual current form. Using 3D printing then and injection moulding to create working prototypes just got even more important.
  • Finally you can no longer offer multiple quantities of an item as a reward. In other words, if you are creating a car you can’t offer someone five cars if they pledge five times the amount. The reason for this is that it creates the illusion again that the person is paying for a completed object. The challenge currently is creating one instance of your project so it’s a little rich to start offering multiple copies already.

What Does it Mean?

For creators then it means making sure to spend more time coming up with your creation, and to spend lots of time thinking about the problems you might face and how you’re going to get around them. While it might seem like it means you’ll struggle more now to get people to back your projects, in the long run this is very good news for creators as it means fewer Delboys on there who might scare off potential supporters in future. Kickstarter are focussed here on building trust and that shouldn’t be underestimated…

David Harrison is a business blogger and shares his experiences through guest posting. He is a part of the team at Berkeley Sourcing group, world’s best injection molding manufacturers.


Machiine is almost 1 years old!

To celebrate I am giving away a book. Not just any book, this is actually my favorite book on business. Growing a Business by Paul Hawken.

Growing a Business by Paul HawkenI first read this book after having closed shop of Saint Clothing. I had just graduated with my degree and was looking at starting a new venture with my now business partners. This book was extremely encouraging and helpful. It lays out such simple and useful strategies on how to grow a business from the ground up.

After having read many books on business since then, this one remains my favorite.

Okay, so how can you win it? Easy, just make a comment on any of the posts on this blog and you are automatically entered. It will be a random draw and I will announce it here on October 24, the one year birthday of Machiine.

Again, a big thanks for reading this blog and encouraging me to keep writing posts with your visits.