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Rails / LAMP / WordPress Setup Guide

I’ve had huge amounts of pain getting WordPress set up locally over the last few weeks on my old machine and when it struck again with my new development environment it definitely time to write down the required steps to get a great LAMP/Rails setup prepared (for me)!

Leopard has PHP and Apache fairly up to date, and probably MySQL as well, but I decided to get MySQL up to scratch using the Universal Binary along with a few command line instructions available here (guide and links to downloads).

I didn’t use this script myself, and at a year old it may have a few imperfections, but HiveLogic have a fairly well rounded Ruby/Rails install going on.

Finally, WordPress to go on your LAMP stack will be a lot less painful using this guide for Tech Recipes.

Any suggestions additions or replacements for this list? Drop a comment!

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Git Pro Tips!

Stumbled across this fella on Twitter today, noticed he worked at Slide (who make successful/annoying Facebook Apps). None the less (I joke) he writes a blog at and has recently been writing a series of ‘ProTips’ on using Git Repos for his work colleagues.

I think it might prove useful: will be taking a read in my spare time.

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Final Cut Express Choppy Output Resolved

Final Cut Express seems by default (or maybe I did it) set the default Render frame rate to 50% to speed up the NLE previewing process.

These render files however are the same ones that are used to put together the ‘finished product’ if you don’t use one of the Quicktime Conversion options.

If your output (to DVD or whatever) is choppy and you think the frame rate is possibly messed up the easy way to check is to pause your Quicktime movie, then use the left and right keys to move through frames. If each pair of frames is the same then you have not got a full output. To resolve it, go to your User Preferences screen, click Render Control and select 100% from the Frame Rate drop down.

I did fix this problem several months ago, but seeing as I am waiting for something to render I thought it was an opportune moment to write it down.


Update: pssst don’t forget to try deinterlacing if your video looks rubbish ;)

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Belfast Giants Cardiff Devils LIVE FREE WEBCAST

Hi All

This Saturday evening Live from the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland, HiDavid Ltd and are proud to present to you the Belfast Giants in action for the first time this season as they face the Cardiff Devils.

The Elite League kicks off it’s new season this weekend and you can check out all the action from Belfast this year live on the web. It is our intention to broadcast all of the games from home ice this season live and for free, so tune in on Saturday about 6.45 to (the website will be live Friday morning).

Also available this year we will be selling DVDs of each match-up, ready and available to buy at the next home game and who knows maybe there’ll be a ‘season ticket’ DVD offer for those who wish to buy all games.

Watch here ->

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One thing… (aka. The joys of rendering)

There is one thing that would put me off the notion of working semi-professionally in the video field. That thing is Rendering. Rendering is when you take some source videos, audio and whatever processing you wish to apply to them and prepare an exportable video format (putting many into one).

Just like when Jessica was learning the song.. every time she asked “what chord comes after ‘angels’?” the answer is ‘C.’ Every time.

When something goes wrong with a video project, what is the problem? Rendering. RENDERING.

The problem is not just waiting for the render to take place, that has become a non-issue in the last year or so, I’m used to it. But what really bugs is when there are two folders


  • Have only one render folder selected for A and V
  • If you have any problems go into the “/[Audio ]Render files/Project Name” folder and trash it all (clear trash)
  • And force re-render after re-starting Final Cut.
  • THEN re-encode the DVD  :|


And on another note, WHY does the FOX tv channel always, perputally broadcast distorted audio? I was channel flicking a few nights ago and had to turn it off it was annoying me so much (so unlike me), and in any case it was pre-season NFLstuff.  Not that interesting, lots of football-nerd talk (c.f. above).


PS I think this one qualifies for RANT status, though it should probably be filed under the SCHOOLBOY ERROR column as well.

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Angus Buchan Mission Northern Ireland

Check out for information about the mission going on in Newtownabbey this week starting Sunday evening and continuing til Wednesday. (Follows in Magherafelt).

There’s two videos on the right hand side of that page which I put together for those in charge. Hope they go well!

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Summer Ahoy

The to do list can now be tackled, this blog can be styled once again and working out what’s going to occupy my time come September is back on the agenda.

Lying in the back yard all day: priceless.
For me it’s now summer time and today’s weather approves that, it’s the most sun I’ve seen since last summer in the States!! Plenty of time to chill out, soak up some heat, read some bits of paper and write a 20 point to do list and four pages of notes on the matter. Tonight I’m meeting a client to discuss some pre-America work, which I’ll of course mention when it’s done.

Realiging face-lifts are due and some updating, building a fine web design company and indeed a certain fine Northern Irish Event Management and Audio Visual Solutions company.

Anyway, eating time, hoping to make a decent blog diary this summer in the states, where I intend to have time to *think*.

Four weeks to go!

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Ruby Uninitialized Constant Error (Mental Note)

The reason I always get initialized constant errors occurring in Ruby is accidentally naming models the plural form of the database table name and not letting Rails automatically create the pluralisations.

script/generate scaffold contact_skill contact_id:integer skill_id:integer description:string
script/generate scaffold contact_skills ...

(This reason is one I constantly forget, and Google never helps me. Now I will not forget)


edit: I’ve had a LOAD of google hits from this search query in the last few days, if this helps you or doesn’t please leave a comment to make this article more complete.

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Songs for Sao Paulo

My buddies Pete and Andy and their bands will be playing a gig in aid of the COI centre’s mission team to Brazil this summer. It’s being held in the Oasis Café on Elmwood Avenue, Belfast (behind where I used to live) on Monday 21st April at 9 PM (After CU).

The music’ll be a mix of acoustic styling and profiling (from Nathan Jess), rock covers and original songs by Pete and Paul (formerly of Midnight Noise Conspiracy) and headlining is Andy Good’s band “Maguire and I” who have recently cut a demo which will be handed out free to the first [arbitrary number of] people through the door. You can grab some mp3s of the demo from Lurgan Parish Youth’s site (click on the Amplify logo)

Facebook Group is here. And here’s a map to the Oasis.

Hope to see you there (I’m doing sound.) Dave.

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Giants Hull Coventry Webcast

Giants play Hull Stingrays (where do they get these names?) tonight and Coventry on Saturday on what could just be the single most important game in the second half of the season. Giants will go top by 1 point with a win tonight, but that will create a four game gap between them and Coventry, so Saturday’s match is a four-pointer to claw back points and games from the Chav/Blaze.

Many thanks to Paul at Through the Plexi / Breakthrough for their coverage of our webcasts, check out the hockey blog.

Detail to be found here:

Off to the O.

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