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James Rutherford

Web, design, Newcastle, games and fun!

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Archive for March 11th, 2010

I close brackets that have been opened- that’s tidy and the correct thing to do, right?

Apparently not for PHP files- The recommendation is that you miss off the final ?>

Why? Because whitespace at the end of the file may be sent to the browser, and header() declarations then won’t function properly.

This is the kind of tip you pick up on quickly if you work in a team, but miss out on if you’re solo!
Thanks onion2k.

I’ve gone all this time not knowing that holding down Windows key and pressing ‘E’ will open a new explorer window.

There are plenty more keyboard short-cuts for the curious power user!

Some things are just emotionally difficult to think about, and I recognise that I can subconsciously make ill-considered decisions in lieu of rational ones.

My lost laptop scare brought some of these sharply into focus:

Backup – I conscientiously backed up all work code, websites and graphic files. There are, however, a few important things I’d missed, which would damage my productivity or take me longer to recover. Chiefly, I need to back up my emails, product registration codes and program settings files (like XAMPP config and local test databases). I need to think through the restore process and ensure I have an efficient recovery plan. I have a spare machine, but it’s a Mac rather than a PC. Would this be a problem?

Personal data – I need to copy the photos from my camera memory card and back them up- many exist there alone.

Insurance – I picked my travel insurance with very little thought on a couple of internet recommendations (from people who had not made claims). It has a maximum single item cap of £200 and pays current value rates rather ‘than new for old’… not sufficient for my laptop.

Travel – When packing, I should expect to lose everything and see how I feel, travelling ‘disposably’. This might mean purchasing a cheap netbook for taking abroad.

Security – It’s most likely that a thief would just wipe a laptop to sell on cheaply. However, I need to make sure any item is as worthless to the thief as possible- encrypting data and locking down the computer with a password to prevent identity fraud. [see: Encryption]

Police recovery – I need to take note of all serial numbers and perhaps take pictures of my items to aid any investigation. I should travel with a paper copy of these and/or have these available for me to find online.

‘Cloud’ storage – I could use GMail to store my emails rather than keeping local copies. Online backup systems may also be worth investigating.

With precautions, I could travel with peace of mind, rather than with blinkers!