Syndicate Press 1.0.30 Released

This is a bugfix release which resolves some issues in the lightbox and admin panel. Syndicate Press is powering advertising, news feeds and aggregation sites from around the world. Check Syndicate Press out here: http://syndicatepress.henryranch.net/

Syndicate Press version 1.0.20 released

We are pleased to announce the release of Syndicate Press version 1.0.20. This version includes a new short-code parameter that allows you to truncate an article title at a specific word. This is especially useful when working with affiliate product feeds and automated news feeds. Syndicate Press, the best feed aggregation plugin for WordPress. Join more than 18,000 Syndicate Press users around the world by installing Syndicate Press today.

Syndicate Press v1.0.19 released

This is a bug-fix release of Syndicate Press. This version fixes an article and article headline text truncation issue. Text is now truncated on word boundaries, rather than in the middle of the word. Syndicate Press, the best feed aggregation plugin for WordPress. Join more than 17,000 Syndicate Press users around the world by installing Syndicate Press today.

Syndicate Press v1.0.18 released

We are pleased to announce the release of Syndicate Press version 1.0.18. This version includes a new short-code parameter which enables the default article limit to be overriden for the short-code. Syndicate Press, the best feed aggregation plugin for WordPress. Join more than 17,000 Syndicate Press users around the world by installing Syndicate Press today. See the Syndicate Press home page here: http://henryranch.net/software/syndicate-press/

Syndicate Press version 1.0.17 now available!

Syndicate Press version 1.0.17 is now available for download or update in your WordPress blog!  This version contains a new SEO related feature that allows you to set the news feed article links to nofollow and will help protect the page-rank of your site.  Syndicate Press, the best feed aggregation plugin for WordPress.  Join more than 13,000 Syndicate Press users around the world by installing Syndicate Press today.  See the Syndicate Press home page here: http://henryranch.net/software/syndicate-press/

Syndicate Press 1.0.16 released

HenryRanchLLC is proud to announce the release of Syndicate Press version 1.0.16.  This release fixes a couple of small bugs and contains a new feature which allows you to customize the format of the time-stamp.  Syndicate Press, the best feed aggregation plugin for WordPress.  Join more than 10,000 Syndicate Press users around the world by installing Syndicate Press today.  See the Syndicate Press home page here: http://henryranch.net/software/syndicate-press/

Syndicate Press WordPress plugin update (Version 1.0.15)

Henryranch.net is pleased to announce the release of Syndicate Press version 1.0.15.  This version contains a performance enhancement that makes the plugin admin page a little faster.  Syndicate Press, the best feed aggregation plugin for WordPress.  Join more than 10,000 Syndicate Press users around the world by installing Syndicate Press today.  See the Syndicate Press home page here: http://henryranch.net/software/syndicate-press/

Ken-Mcconnell.com has a great review of Scrivener!

Ken McConnell, of Tyrmia fame, and one of the best up and coming science fiction authors has just completed a two part review of Scrivener, the quintessential book authoring program for Mac and Windows.  In his review, Ken leads the reader through a detailed overview of the Scrivener application from the authors perspective.   With plenty of screen-shots and examples using his latest science fiction work-in-progress, Ken digs in and reveals how the Scrivener tool-set makes authoring more efficient and more enjoyable.  Check out Kens review here: http://ken-mcconnell.com/2012/05/16/how-i-use-scrivener-to-write-a-novel-part-one/

Syndicate Press 1.0.10 released

Syndicate Press version 1.0.10 was released this evening with several bug-fixes that resolve a formatting issue and a filtering issue.  Be sure to update your installation soon in order to take advantage of these fixes!  If you haven’t already installed 1.0.9, you can jump to 1.0.10 without a problem and get access to the new showImages custom override feature found in 1.0.9.

Syndicate Press, the best feed aggregation plugin for WordPress.  Join more than 6900 Syndicate Press users around the world by installing Syndicate Press today.  See the Syndicate Press home page here: http://henryranch.net/software/syndicate-press/

Syndicate Press version 1.0.8 released with targeted filtering!

Syndicate Press version 1.0.8 has been released this evening with a highly requested new feature!  Many of you have asked for the ability to define filters within the page or post.  This version provides the WordPress author with the ability to define inclusive and exclusive filters targeted directly at a given feed on a given page!  Be sure to update your installation soon in order to take advantage of this great new feature!  ;-) Syndicate Press, the best feed aggregation plugin for WordPress.  Join more than 5700 Syndicate Press users around the world by installing Syndicate Press today.  See the Syndicate Press home page here: http://henryranch.net/software/syndicate-press/

Syndicate Press 1.0.7 released!

We have just released version 1.0.7 as a rapid follow-on to the 1.0.6 version.  Syndicate Press 1.0.7 fixes an image display bug and moves the cache control buttons in the admin page in-line with the update button.  This simple change significantly eases use of the admin page.  Be sure to update your installation soon in order to take advantage of these changes!  😉  Syndicate Press, the best feed aggregation plugin for WordPress.  Join more than 5500 Syndicate Press users around the world by installing Syndicate Press today.  See the Syndicate Press home page here: http://henryranch.net/software/syndicate-press/

Syndicate Press 1.0.6 released!

After a lot of UI work, we are pleased to announce the release of Syndicate Press 1.0.6.  This version features a completely redesigned admin UI using embedded tabs.  The new tabbed admin page is much easier to use and far more user friendly.  Join more than 5500 Syndicate Press users around the world by installing Syndicate Press today.  Syndicate Press, the best feed aggregation plugin for WordPress.  See the Syndicate Press home page here: http://henryranch.net/software/syndicate-press/

Updated Yerba Mate Review!

With a new year comes new reviews at one of the most viewed Yerba Mate review pages on the net!  We have added reviews of Itapua La Potente, Cachamate and Campesino with more information on the special blend of herbs that make these Mate products unique and wonderful.  Additionally, we have updated all of our links to take you directly to the best deals on the net for each product!  Lastly, we have added a section about the recent Dr. Oz show where he discusses the amazing Yerba Mate “miracle drink”.  To read the latest updates and reviews please see our article here: http://henryranch.net/reviews/yerba-mate-reviews/

Light-box tutorial for embedded web-servers

Light-boxing is a technique for cleanly popping up  information in a web-page while simultaneously darkening the main page to provide focus to the popup content.  All of the major javascript libraries provide very nice light-box implementations, but they come at the cost of large memory footprints that may not work in an embedded application where memory resources are constrained.  In this tutorial, we present a simple, yet elegant light-box implementation using CSS and minimal JavaScript: http://henryranch.net/tutorials/simple-small-fast-css-lightboxing-for-embedded-web-servers/

Syndicate Press version 1.0.5 released

Syndicate Press lets you include RSS feeds directly in your WordPress Posts or Pages at a location YOU choose. This plugin provides a very easy to use administration page and includes great features such as feed caching, filters and several display options.  The 1.0.5 version removed some hard coded formatting enabling the user to further customize the look of the article titles!

New Version of Syndicate Press Available

Syndicate Press version 1.0.3 has been released!  This version contains a small fix which enables you to insert advertisements between news feeds.  If you are running a WordPress site and you would like to incorporate news feeds from around the world, give Syndicate Press a try.  Syndicate Press supports RSS, Atom and RDF feeds and even works with Twitter feeds!  For more information, see the Syndicate Press homepage at: http://henryranch.net/software/syndicate-press/

New article about the MURS License Free Radio Band

The traditional CB (Citizens Band) channels have been clogged for many years.  The FRS (Family Radio Service) bands are becoming increasingly noisy and clogged as more people buy FRS radios.  The MURS (Multiple Use Radio Service) band is still relatively clear and can be used by any US Citizen without a license.  For more information on the MURS band and some great radio recommendations, see the new article: http://henryranch.net/radio-communication/murs-citizens-band-radio-service/

New Ballistic Pop Bottle Rocket Tutorial

If you have seen the wimpy pop bottle rocket videos on YouTube, you might want to take a look at this tutorial where we have ramped up the good ‘ol pop bottle rocket into a honcho pop bottle missile with ballistic flight characteristics.  It’s seriously awesome and perfect for airsoft games or some mad scientist experiments.  Check out the tutorial here: http://henryranch.net/airsoft/airsoft-pop-bottle-rocket-tactical-mortor-or-battlefield-missile/

Syndicate Press 1.0 released!

After nearly a year in release candidate status, Syndicate Press has been released into the WordPress Plugin repository.  Users may now download the latest Syndicate Press version directly through their WordPress admin page.  For details see: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/syndicate-press/.  The Syndicate Press homepage with documentation and FAQs can be found here: http://henryranch.net/software/syndicate-press/.  If you are not already using Syndicate Press to add RSS feeds to your blog, you should!  Syndicate Press is already powering more than 600 feed aggregation sites across the world!

Major RC Airplane sale going on

I recently bought my first RC airplane and I am learning how to fly it.  What an adventure! Back in the day, an RC airplane cost hundreds of dollars, but NitroPlanes.com is changing all of that.  With an excellent mix of high-quality and low-prices, NitroPlanes.com is making it very easy to get into RC flying.

There is a major sale going on right now, so get your new plane or servos before the sale ends! Here is the link: HUGE SALE on R/C Planes! Electric and Gas! 50- 70% OFF!

Huge sale on Yerba Mate and free mate with every order!

This is the season for huge sales on Yerba Mate!  Order now to take advantage of these great deals!

Get great deals on the following products:

  • Organic Salante Strawberry
  • Taragui Traditional Yerba Mate
  • La Merced Yerba Mate Tea Bags

And don’t forget that all Yerba Mate and health products are discounted when you buy a certain amount of product.

Quantity Discounts:

  • $25 or more: 10% off
  • $50 or more: 15% off
  • $100 or more: 20% off

2-13-2011: Free mate with every purchase this week!   If you order this week, you will receive a free 1/4 lb bag of Premio Erva Mate!  Premio Erva Mate is one of Brazil’s premium large leaf mates.  With little dust and wonderful flavor, Premio Erva Mate is a mate lovers paradise.  Use promo code premio.  Even if you miss out of the free deal, the sale on Salante’s Strawberry flavored mate is sure to make you smile.

How to recover from a failed WordPress update

Occasionally, a WordPress update will fail for one reason or another.  If your WordPress site is stuck in “maintenance” mode, or will not upgrade automatically, this tutorial will show you how to clean up your WordPress installation and get your site running again.  So let’s get your site fixed!  Follow this link for the tutorial: http://henryranch.net/tutorials/how-to-recover-from-a-failed-wordpress-update/

The best tools for open source development on Windows

If you are starting to develop open source software on the Windows platform, you may not be aware of all of the great tools available to you.  Henryranch.net has put together a list of the best free and open-source tools available for office productivity, source control, debugging, decompiling, editing, merging, diff’ing, and even graphic design.  Get your project off to a great start by reviewing the best open source development tool list for Windows: http://henryranch.net/reviews/open-source-development-tools/

Access WMI directly from java

Did you know that you can make WMI (Windows Management Interface) queries directly from Java? In this tutorial, I present the jWMI library which provides access to the WMI in pure java. With jWMI, you no longer need JNI, COM, or other libraries to query the Windows registry, system services or other Windows information. Take a look at the article here: http://henryranch.net/software/jwmi-query-windows-wmi-from-java/. Join nearly 1000 other developers who are already using jWMI!

WordPress requested URL ‘/$’ error

If you recently updated your WordPress installation, you may see the following error when trying to post a comment: “The requested URL ‘/$’ was not found on this server. “

If  you see this error, relax… it is likely just a plugin that is not compatible with your new version of WordPress.  To fix the problem, simply update all of your plugins to their latest versions, then try posting a comment again.  The problem should be resolved.

How to backup your website

Backing up your website does not have to be a difficult thing to do.  If you have a static website, the easiest way to make a backup is by using the open-source tool ‘wget’.

To recursively back up your site, including all of the images, execute the following at a command line:

wget -r -k -p yourWebsiteURL

After the application completes, your website will be replicated locally on your system, with all relative links converted to work from your filesystem.

Filter coffee with a bombilla

Did you know that a bombilla makes a great coffee filter?   The bombilla is a traditional South American drinking straw with a filter on the bottom and is typically used to filter yerba mate.   While the bombilla has a long history as a yerba mate filter, it also works great as a coffee filter.

To use a bombilla with coffee, simply fill your cup with hot water and pour in a few teaspoons of coffee grounds.  Let the coffee steep for a few minutes and give it a stir with your bombilla.  Then drop your bombilla in the brew and enjoy your fresh, hot cup of coffee.  One of the best bombillas available right now is the Ultimate Bombilla.  It only costs a couple of dollars and is perfect for yerba mate, coffee and loose-leaf tea!  Get yours today!  For a deeper discussion of the bombilla and some of the great yerba mate brands, check out this review: http://henryranch.net/reviews/yerba-mate-reviews/

New review of the Blue LiPo brand battery

In the market for a LiPo battery that works in your airsoft AEG gun, model airplane, helicopter or RC car and won’t cost an arm and a leg?  Hopefully you are looking for just the right balance of price and performance.  If so, then I think I have found the perfect candidate for you.  Take a look at my new review of the Blue LiPo branded Lithium Polymer battery here: http://henryranch.net/reviews/blue-lipo-battery-review/

Mint, strawberry and vanilla flavored Yerba Mate for the summer!

Cool summer mornings, hot summer days and beautiful summer evenings… What better way to enjoy the summer than with a cup of iced yerba mate! Take a look at this review for some great summer mate recommendations: http://henryranch.net/reviews/yerba-mate-reviews/.   If you are a fan of iced tea and you have not yet tried iced yerba mate, then you are missing out on a great experience.  Yerba mate is a South American drink similar to tea, but much smoother and less acidic.  There are numerous flavored mate’s and my three favorites are mint, strawberry and vanilla.

New tutorial on how to find out where a java class was loaded from

Have you ever been working on some java code, when all of the sudden it appears that the app is NOT doing what you expect and the code clearly does something different than the compiled app?  You probably have an old version of the compiled class lurking somewhere in your classpath!  Check out this new tutorial that puts the power back in your hands when it comes to sniffing out that sneaky class: http://henryranch.net/tutorials/how-to-determine-where-a-java-class-is-being-loaded-from/

New review and repair article for the KIT150 PIC programmer

Looking for a great programmer for PIC Microcontrollers including the 16F and 18F series of chips?  The KIT150 is a versatile programmer that supports a wide variety of chips and can program standalone chips via a ZIF socket or in-circuit chips via the ICSP port.  While the programmer sports a compact and robust design, it can be damaged if you insert a chip backward!  Read the article for a general review of the programmer and how to fix the it if you blow out the TR2 or TR3 transistor. http://henryranch.net/hardware/kit150-usb-pic-programmer/

Problem checking out a plugin from the WordPress SVN site?

Ever encountered the following error from svn when trying to checkout (or checkin) to a wordpress plugin repository:

svn: OPTIONS of ‘http://plugins.svn.wordpress.org/yourPlugin’: 200 OK (http://plugins.svn.wordpress.org)

Unfortunately, that error message makes almost no sense and is a bit frustrating, especially when you are in a hurry to get working on your repository…

After a bit of testing and trying various things, it turns out that the problem is that the WordPress SVN plugin developer instructions provide the incorrect protocol for the URL.  Rather than using ‘http‘, try using ‘https‘.  This should get you going again.

Awesome tequila shrimp!

These tequila shrimp are nothing short of awesome and if you like shrimp, then you need to try this.  All you need are some simple ingredients and about 15 minutes including prep and cooking time.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 to 1 pound of raw or cooked shrimp that have been peeled, de-veined, thawed and gently rinsed.
    • I prefer raw shrimp as it gives me more control over the ‘done-ness’ of the shrimp and helps avoid over-cooking them
    • The shrimp should be completely thawed.
      • I like to thaw my shrimp on a metal cookie sheet as the metal appears to help them thaw faster by dissipating the cold temperature.
      • Don’t force thaw shrimp under running water as the water will damage the flesh
  • Cilantro: 1/2 cup of washed, chopped, fresh cilantro
  • Cream or half-and-half: 1/2 pint
  • Butter: about 1/2 stick
  • Salt: 1/4 tablespoon
  • Pepper: 1/8 tablespoon of pepper
  • Garlic: about 1/8 tablespoon of garlic powder or 1 freshly minced clove
  • Tequila: 1 tablespoon of medium to high quality golden or white tequila.

Cook ’em up…

Mix all the ingredients, except for the shrimp, in a deep sided frying pan.  Bring the sauce to a gentle boil while stirring often.  You don’t want to scorch the butter or cream, so be careful.  You will want to let the sauce gently boil/steam for a while to thicken it up a bit.  If you like really thick sauce you can add rice flour as a thickener.  Rice flour is a perfect thickener because it does not impart flavor like flour or cornstarch.

Once the sauce is at the desired consistency, and while it is still ‘cooking’, you can add the shrimp.  If you used raw shrimp, be sure to cook the shrimp in the sauce until they are completely pink.  If you used pre-cooked shrimp, you goal here is not to cook them, but to heat them up.

Choped cilantro in the deep side frying pan

Chopped cilantro in the deep side frying pan

Butter, cream and cilantro

Butter, cream and cilantro

Garlic powder, pepper and salt

Garlic powder, pepper and salt

Raw shrimp cooking in the 'sauce'

Raw shrimp cooking in the 'sauce'

Mmmm, tasty shrimp, ready to eat!

Mmmm, tasty shrimp, ready to eat!

Serve ’em up…

You can serve the shrimp as an appetizer or a main course.  The sauce can be used as either a dipping sauce for the shrimp, or as a fantastic complement to thin, angel hair style noodles.

Syndicate Press WordPress plugin being prepped for release

The Syndicate Press RSS/Atom/RDF syndication plugin for WordPress got one step closer to it’s initial release today with the cleanup of code, testing of features and optimization of the formatted output cache.  See http://henryranch.net/software/syndicate-press/ for more information.

If you would like to be a beta tester, please request the beta release access information by leaving a comment on the Syndicate Press page.

Secure that coffee shop wi-fi!

We have all browsed the internet over an unsecured wi-fi network at some point in time. Obviously, this presents numerous security and privacy implications. Fortunately, there is a relatively simple solution that will allow you to securely “tunnel” back to your home broadband network and browse as though you were at your house. The key peice of equipment is the Lynksys NSLU2 device. Read on for more details…

The crippling of PHP’s file_get_contents()

If you have been around the PHP scene for a while now, you are probably aware of the file_get_contents() function. This function has been used in many web applications for years, but has been under increasing attack from nefarious evil doers. Due to the security issues when using this function to download URL content, many web hosts have disabled the URL functionality. Take a look at the PHP HTTP socket Client article for the TinyHttpClient, a simple yet very functional alternative which supports HTTP 1.0 GET, POST and Basic Authentication…

Chicken in a bag

Ever wondered how to transport a chicken in your car when you don’t have a cage or a box?

While traveling in East Africa several years ago, my wife and I faced just such a quandary. We had traveled about 4 hours by very rough roads to a small town where we were the lunch guests at the home of the local public school headmaster.

After lunch was over, the headmaster presented my wife with two chickens to take home with us. This was an honor that the headmaster was showing us and we could not refuse them without causing offense due to local customs. Not knowing what to do, my father in law came up with a great idea for safely transporting the chickens home. He went around to the back of the truck and rummaged through the “junk” that all work trucks have.

chickenInABag_1chickenInABag_2Out came two blue, plastic “shopping bags”, like the ones you get at the grocery store. He then proceeded to poke a hole in the bottom corner of each bag and placed the bag over the chicken and poked the chickens head out the little hole. We gently put the legs and tail of the bird into the bag and then tied it up using the bag handles.

The bird was content and rode all the way back home over very rough roads at my feet. It never squirmed or even appeared agitated. We drove along the dirt roads for about 4 more hours and when we arrived at our destination, the chicken was relaxed and unharmed.  Best of all, there was no mess.

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Welcome to henryranch.net, where we bring you a holistic mix of articles, tutorials and reviews covering topics such as software and technology, sustainablity and rural living.

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Please take a moment and check out the new articles, tutorials and reviews here at henryranch.net.  To get started, use the menu links at the top of the site, or the direct page links in the sidebar.

It’s just two acres

Two acres.  Before moving out of the city, we thought that two acres was a lot of land.  From the perspective of a suburban dweller, two acres is a lot of space.  After living here for the last five years, our perspective has changed.  Two acres is just about enough for a large garden, a pond and a couple of cows.  It is enough land to eat up your time and but not enough to qualify for agricultural property tax status.

The move from a suburban neighborhood to a rural piece of land was a good one.  While we are not ranchers, nor farmers, we do live a more rural lifestyle.  We feel more connected to the land and our food.  Our commute has increased by about 5 miles each way, but we now get to watch the corn, wheat and alfalfa fields mature throughout the season.  Occasionally, we see a calf born on the way to the office.

It’s a good life and two acres is about right for now.  There is a richness and a depth in rural life that soothes the soul and calms the mind.  Watching the cows is often more enjoyable than prime time  television…

The weird part is that you just don’t get it until you take the plunge and move out of the subdivision.