Category Archives: Tools I use

View WordPress Page Drafts in the Dashboard

Wordpress Draft pages on Dashboard

TheDashbaord page of yourWordPress admin interface offers a quick and useful high-level view of your site’s content with the ability to quickly take action as well. There are a number of modules on the dashboard, one of which is the QuickDraft module. Not only does the QuickDraft module allow you to quickly begin a draft of a new post but it also presents you with a list of drafts. For some reason it has been decided that this module should only display drafts of Posts. It would seem to make perfect sense that draft Pages would also be included, but they’re not. However, there is a quick fix for this!

For some reason it has been decided that this module should only display drafts of Posts. It would seem to make perfect sense that draft Pages would also be included, but they’re not. Have no fear, there is a quick fix for this!

To make draft Pages show up in your QuickDraft module on your WordPress Dashboard simply edit the dashboard.php file in your WordPress install. This file can be found here:

> wp-admin > includes > dashboard.php

The line in question is in the function wp_dashboard_recent_drafts. Search for this function and edit the following:

'post_type'      => 'post',

and change it to

'post_type'      => 'any',


That’s it! Now you’ll have your draft pages listed right there on your dashboard for easy access.




Google Analytics Event Tracking for Universal Code

Google AnalyticsYou may not have realized that since Google Analytics made the switch to its Universal Analytics code you event tracking code has to change. The common error resulting from using classic analytics event tracking syntax with the new Universal Analytics code is:

Uncaught ReferenceError: _gaq is not defined

This is because the new code uses ‘ga’ instead of ‘_gaq’.

Also, the syntax of the call has changed. If you don’t update the syntax you may end up with this error:Uncaught syntax error”: Unexpected identifier

Uncaught syntax error”: Unexpected identifier

Here’s an example of what you use with classic analytics:
onClick=”_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘Phone’, ‘Click’, ‘Click to Phone’]);”

What you should be using now looks more like this:
onClick=”ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘Phone’, ‘Click’, ‘Click to Phone’);”

LastPass with Multiple Accounts and Browsers

LastPass with Multiple Accounts and Browsers
LastPass and Multiple Accounts and Browsers

LastPass is a great tool for managing your passwords. The number of passwords we all have these days makes it incredibly difficult to maintain the security of your accounts with strong passwords and actually remember all of those passwords. With LastPass you only need to remember one strong password; it will do the rest.

LastPass comes in the form of browser plugins/extensions for all major browsers. It will remember your passwords across browsers, wherever you are. The LastPass security model is sound so you don’t have to worry about someone getting access to your important information.

One common problem that people encounter with LastPass is when multiple people use the same computer and have different LastPass accounts. By default, LastPass wants to keep you logged in as the same user in all browsers on a computer. Even if you have the plugin/extension/addon installed on completely different browsers (like Firefox and Chrome, not just different browser windows with the same browser) Lastpass will try to keep the same user.

So, if you are logged in as UserA in Chrome and then log in to the extension on Safari as UserB, your LastPass session on Chrome will automatically change to be UserB, the most recent user account you’ve logged in as on any browser on the computer.

This the default LastPass behavior can be very annoying if you share your computer with a spouse or roommate.  Fortunately there is a way around this.

Click on your LastPass icon and up will come the menu. From there, click on Preferences. On the next screen, click on Advanced and then Advanced again in the next window or dialogue. On this second Advanced window/dialogue is a checkbox near the bottom that reads “Share login state between other browsers.” Uncheck this checkbox in each browser on your computer and the problem is solved.


Easy Fix For Broken WordPress Permalinks

Wordpress Permalink Fix

Have you ever had your WordPress blog’s posts or sub-pages stop working for no apparent reason? Well, that happened to me recently. The home page worked fine but any page other than that resulted in an error page from the browser. How this happened I don’t know (if you have a theory, please let me know) but I did come across a quick and easy fix.

To fix this, you need to reset your permalinks in the WordPress admin interface. To do this, log in to your admin interface and click on ‘Settings’ in the left side bar. This should open up a sub menu. In that sub menu, click on ‘Permalinks’.

Once in the ‘Permalinks Settings’, change your settings to something other than what they are currently set to by clicking on one of the other radio buttons in the upper section of the page. If you’re using a ‘Custom Structure’, make sure you copy what is in there first as it will be wiped out when you change this. Now click on ‘Save Changes’. Then, change this setting to how you had it before and click ‘Save Changes’ again. Voila! Your links should work again!

Easy. Quick. Nerdy.

Twitter iPhone App and Instapaper: A Great Combo

Twitter iPhone App
Twitter iPhone App

If you’re like me an often come across useful links and tweets in your Twitter feed I can’t recommend this combination enough. I’ve used several different Twitter apps on my iPhones but the app that has one out for me is the actual app from Twitter. The app used to be called Tweetie and was a paid app. However, Twitter bought it in April of 2010 and made it free. Thanks Twitter!

I also use Instapaper to keep track of  items on the net that I don’t have time for when I come across them but want to read later. I used Instapaper infrequently prior to using the Twitter iPhone app but since finding the built in integration my Instapaper use has exploded.

It’s so useful to be able to go through my Twitter feed when I’m stuck in a line-up or at a red light and add them to my Instapaper list in a couple taps. Then, when I have a bit more time to kill I can fire up Instapaper the app and read all those juicy items I didn’t have time for previously.

Instapaper iPhone App
Instapaper iPhone App

Check out the Twitter iPhone App at the iTunes Store

Check out the Instapaper iPhone App at the iTunes Store

Check out the Instapaper site

Check out the Twitter site

iPhone + Google Calendar + Google Sync = Awesomeness

Google Sync and Mobile Devices
Google Sync and Mobile Devices
Two tools that I love enormously are Google Calendar and my iPhone.  Google Calendar is incredibly powerful. It allows you to have multiple calendars with any mix of private and public/shared calendars you like. It has a powerful quick ad option for adding events with plain English, amazingly configurable repeating events and reminders, and the feature list goes on and on.

When Google launched Google Sync earlier this year the loop from my Google Calendar to my iPhone and back was completed. Sync allows you to view and edit events on either your iPhone built in calendar or on Google Calendar on the web and see the changes propagated almost immediately.

Google sync used to only allow 5 of your Google Calendars to sync to your mobile device but I noticed yesterday that they now allow up to 25 calendars to sync. If you are a Google Calendar power user this is music to your ears.

I highly recommend this combination of tools. If you haven’t tried it yet you are missing out on some serious awesomeness.

Official Google Mobile Blog: Google Sync

Better Paste Takes the Annoyance out of Pasting Formatted Text – Clipboard – Lifehacker

Copying text from a web site and then pasting it somewhere else usually results in the formatting being copied over as well, which in 99% of cases in not what I want.  I’m definitely not alone on that either.

Someone has created this wonderful script for the extremely useful windows tool  ”Autohotkey‘ that will remove all formatting from a normal control-v paste.  For those rare occaisions when you DO want the formatting, simply control-shift-v and there it is.

So handy!

I have yet to write a post about Autohotkey itself but it is definitely one of the more useful Windows tools in my arsenal. You can check it out here:  Autohotkey

Check out more about the script at Lifehacker:

Paste Takes the Annoyance out of Pasting Formatted Text – Clipboard – Lifehacker.

HighlightCam: Easy Video Surveillance

HighlightCam is a very good site if you are interested in basic video surveillance. You can easily set up a simple security system using your existing webcam. The key features include

– motion detection

– email alerts

– free and paid levels of service

– reduces hours of video into seconds containing only the important bits

– view videos from any internet connected computer

The free version of the service is quite worthwhile. The main advantages to upgrading to the paid version, currently $8.99 /month, is that it  gets you video storage for 2 weeks (up from 24 hours) and the ability to download recordings. Other than that you also get no ads (they are unobtrusive anyway) and higher resolution video.

HighlightCam is definitely worth checking out. I use it to monitor my home when I’m out of town.