Best Taco Seasoning…Ever!

Last year for my birthday – some friends bought me spices from: The Spice House. The seasoning was not like any other I had ever had – but I instantly thought “I want to eat this every day.” I love just about everything hot and spicy, but this taco seasoning – even though it was not hot at all – it was amazing (it is the cinnamon that makes it).

If you are looking for a gift for someone – check out The Spice House and especially the Taco seasoning.

Next up? I am going to try making their pickle recipe.

Install Varnish in Under 5 Minutes With Bitnami

If you have been following my posts for the last month (or talked to me about what I have been up to recently) you will not be surprised I have another post about the ease of use/awesome documentation when using Bitnami.

I still am 100% impressed with the documentation – as each example I have followed has worked flawlessly (not something I can say much…especially after spending an evening trying to fix my PS3 vs. play it a few nights ago).

What is Varnish?

Varnish Cache is a web application accelerator also known as a caching HTTP reverse proxy. You install it in front of any server that speaks HTTP and configure it to cache the contents. Varnish Cache is really, really fast. It typically speeds up delivery with a factor of 300 – 1000x, depending on your architecture.

Source: https://www.varnish-cache.org/about

Where is this amazing 5 minute install documentation?
Bitnami Varnish Installation

Seriously…check it out!

Bitnami Applications: Test Drive Applications

Ever curious how something like Redmine, DreamFactory, or a number of other tools, content management systems, etc looked like/worked? If you did – but did not have the time to download the code, configure your server, etc – Bitnami to the rescue (again!).

Within minutes, you can have a server up and running with everything you need, configured and ready to go with in a few painless steps:

  1. View a list of applications available: https://bitnami.com/stacks
  2. Select an application you want to test drive
  3. Launch a free server instance
  4. Check it out for an hour, and the decide if the application suits your needs.

If the application is what you need – you can easily install it using Bitnami. If it is not what you were looking for – the demo will expire and you can try something else. Either way – it makes test driving applications painless.

Save yourself time and frustration and just check it out already!

New Favorite Pizza Recipe

I love pizza, tomatillos, goat cheese, and bacon. This recipe has all – and it is absolutely fantastic. Looking for an awesome new pizza recipe that you will love?

One bite in and I already had it in my mind this would be the next recipe my friends/family would expect me/want me to have at gatherings.

Thanks Rick Bayless for another great recipe!

Hello Bitnami!

After needing to get Redmine up and running and having nothing but problems with installing gems, I decided to take a look at Bitnami where they advertise “Deploy your favorite apps in the cloud and anywhere else.”

I decided to give that a shot as well as to use Bitnami Cloud Hosting for some of my sites. I had been with my managed host for almost ten years – and after a number of issues (redmine installation being the last straw) – I wanted to try something new. After a few weeks of playing around, testing, and monitoring – I have really come to love everything about Bitnami.

I am easily able to focus on development and fun projects without being bogged down with system level issues. My favorite part? I still have full root server access to my servers to customize my environment if needed. My second favorite part? Monitoring (notifications too) as well as backups are a breeze.

Jappler Recommends: 1Password

After spending too much time and effort trying to remember passwords, save them securely, share them between computers and devices, I decided to ask a few people what they had used and tried some of their suggestions. In the end I started using 1Password. The application is available for Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.

What do I like best?

  • One click simplicity. After putting your credentials, you can have 1Password open your browser, take you to a site, fill in your username and password, and log you in – all in one click.
  • Great interface. The application looks great on all my devices and makes working with it a great experience.
  • Sharing made easy. If you need to share a password – you can do so securely via iMessage, email, and even shared vaults.
  • Easy organization. Group, favorite, tag, search all your credentials.
  • Data Sync. 1Password syncs your data across all my devices automatically.
  • There are a number of other great features that makes 1Password easily one of the best apps I have used this year. If you are still keeping your credentials, bank information, etc on random sticky notes, in a document, etc – stop the insanity, increase security and check out 1Password.

Have a Humidifier? Make Sure You Clean It!

Holy cow. Last night we decided to put the humidifier on for the boys since it is getting to be that time of year when the air is dry and the colds/sinus problems begin. A few years back I purchased a really cute Winnie the Pooh humidifier for Evan and we ran it most winter nights. When I went to turn it on last night – we noticed there was not any visible cool air coming out. I decided I would take it into the kitchen and take a look. I was horrified to see the grossness in the base. Calcium, junk, and general grossness. I cleaned it out as best as I could with some toothpicks and hot water, then let it soak with some Vinegar in it.

While Evan did not enjoy the vinegar smell – 30 minutes later that humidifier was pumping out the cool air and was actually clean.

Vinegar might just be my new best friend!

Jappler Recommends: Google Drive

I back up all my files locally and then on to Amazon S3. I am not sure what made me give Google Drive a test but I did and I have been very happy with it ever since. What is it that I like better than everything else I have tried?

  1. Since I am always logged in to Google for email, calendar, reader, etc – it is right there.
  2. I can access my files from a great web interface and even view over 30 file types (even if I do not have the application needed to open them locally)
  3. I can manage my files either locally or by using the web interfaces – making the whole management of files really easy regardless of where I am or what I am using to view them.
  4. I can easily send a link to a file to someone or share it with other people I work with who generally always have a Google account (no additional account creation needed)
  5. Searching through my documents is quick and easy.
  6. There is even a Google Drive WordPress plugin that you can use to backup your database and files back in to your Google Drive.
  7. Your first 5 gigs of space is free and the pricing for anything above that is completely reasonable.

I can go on. If you have not checked it out – take a tour: https://www.google.com/intl/en/drive/start/features.html