- Cool Websites and Tools [April 10th]
- Thank You To MakeUseOf Friends!
- Which Operating System is Better? Linux Vs Mac? [MakeUseOf Poll]
- Get Push Notifications On Your Mac Desktop with Boxcar
- Hot Tech Deals [Apr 10th]
- 10 Free MP3 Albums To Download [Sound Sunday]
- How To Backup Your Website Through SSH Command Line
Posted: 10 Apr 2011 08:31 PM PDT
These are just half of the websites that we discovered in the last couple of days. If you want us to send you daily round-ups of all cool websites we come across, leave your email here. Or follow us via RSS feed.
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Posted: 10 Apr 2011 07:31 PM PDT
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Posted: 10 Apr 2011 06:31 PM PDT
From the 297 votes collected, the breakdown was: 52% people make 1-2 backups; 34% people make 3-5 backups; 9% make no backups at all; 3% make 6-10 backups and fewer than 1% make either 10-19 or 20+ backups.
So, you can see 1-2 backups is the most popular amount for important data, followed by 3-5 backups.
This week’s poll question is: Which Operating System is Better? Linux Vs Mac?
We know full well that Mac is based on Unix and that there’s dozens of other amazing Unix flavours, Windows operating systems and numerous other operating systems out there to choose from. But if your choice were narrowed down to your favourite Linux or Mac OS, would you pick Linux or Mac?
Obviously, your answers could vary when considering the purpose of the computer – and some of you might really prefer neither. Have a rant in the comments and let us know what your choice is based on!
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More articles about: operating system, os x, Reader Polls
Posted: 10 Apr 2011 03:30 PM PDT
The convenience of having all notifications set up and centralized using one app definitely makes the app incredibly useful, particularly if you already use it on any of your iOS devices. The app's settings are simple and straightforward, and it comes with a mute feature, allowing you to quickly and conveniently stop notifications for as long as you need to without having to the exit the program.
If you've never used Boxcar before, the first thing you'll do upon launching the app is sign up for a new account through their website. All it takes is your email address and a password.
The next step will be to add the services, allowing you to receive notifications on your Mac. Through the Boxcar website, you can then add each service individually. The complete list of supported services is Facebook, Twitter, Gowalla, Foursquare, Google Buzz, Google Voice, Reddit, and Github, as well as any email account, RSS feed. You can also receive notifications of app recommendations from Boxcar, as well as updates from OMGFacts.
To add Twitter, make sure you are logged into your Twitter account on the web and authorize the app. You can then be notified of mentions, reweets, follows, DMs and even when you're added to lists or when your tweets are favourited.
When you receive a Twitter notification, you can reply or retweet from within Boxcar itself.
In addition to the standard Twitter notifications for your account, you can also receive notifications of Twitter's trending topics or a specific Twitter search of your choosing, or even tweets from a specific Twitter list.
Adding your Facebook account to Boxcar uses the same method as Twitter – by authorizing the app to access your account. In order to use Boxcar with Facebook you have to grant the app access to your basic information, to post to your wall, access messages in your inbox, posts in your news feed and manage your events.
To receive push notifications of new emails in any given email account, Boxcar generates a forwarding address for you to add to your email account.
After you add the Boxcar specific forwarding address to your account, you will receive the verification code as a notification within the app.
Since adding new accounts or adjusting their settings are all centralized through the Boxcar website, if you're already using Boxcar on your iOS device, you'll find that, upon downloading and logging into your account, all of your accounts already added to the app. All notifications can be accessed and deleted from the Boxcar window by clicking the icon in the status bar.
As far as the Mac app itself is concerned, Boxcar sits quietly in your status bar until you receive a new notification. Like with the iOS app, you can choose different notification sounds for different accounts, making it easy to differentiate between the notifications even if you can't see your screen.
By installing the Growl plugin each notification will be accompanied by a standard growl notification, allowing Boxcar to blend seamlessly into the Mac environment. Like with any other application you can configure your Boxcar Growl settings by going to System Preferences > Growl > Applications, highlight Boxcar and click Configure.
Settings for the app itself are limited to starting the app at login, playing the notification sounds, showing notifications using Growl, using a black and white icon in the status bar, and setting a keyboard shortcut to pull up the notifications window.
Are you using Boxcar to get push notifications on your Mac? How do you like it? Let us know in the comments.
More articles about: iOS, ipad apps, iPhone Apps, notifications, push, push email, social media, social networks
Posted: 10 Apr 2011 01:30 PM PDT
For more fresh hot deals, visit our Hot Tech Deals page, which is constantly updated.
Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set
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Posted: 10 Apr 2011 12:31 PM PDT
Enter Sound Sunday to preview the new Foo Fighters album and explore free music from a wide range of genres.
This week is heavy on the rock and electronic side of things, with a bit of metal and jazz to light things up.
Thank to to everyone who completed the survey last week. Everyone who missed it, you can still make your opinion heard here. As always, you’re most welcome to post your feedback in the comments or shoot me an Email [tina at makeuseof dot com].
Free album stream: Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
Genre: alternative, rock, post-grunge
Before you get excited, NO, the new Foo Fighters album is not a free download. However, you can preview Wasting Light for free, a service provided through SoundCloud.
Free album stream: Radiohead – King of Limbs
Genre: alternative, indie, rock, electronic
Sorry to disappoint you, but Radiohead’s latest album is not a free download, either. I hope you enjoy listening nevertheless! King of Limbs is a free preview at tbd records.
The Outbreaks – Places
Genre: alternative, indie, rock
Places is available from The Outbreaks’ Blogspot page.
Netlabelism – Compilation 03/11
Genre: electronic, broken beats, dub, compilation
Compilation 03/11 is a free download from Netlabelism.
Cut Music – Cut Volume 1
Genre: electronic, drum & bass, techno, dubstep, compilation
From the project’s about page: “Started in January 2011 by DFRNT, Cut is a netlabel providing free music with an emphasis on quality. Our aim is to show you that free music can be as valued and highly regarded as any other.”
Cut Volume 1 is a name your price download from Bandcamp.
Electrosound – Thirty X
Genre: electronic, ambient, idm, dubstep, techno, sampler
Electrosound is a non-profit project with all materials published under a Creative Commons license. It features mostly Russian artists who publish their music in the form of network releases, available for free download.
The Jupiter Sea – Ghosts
Genre: alternative, indie, rock
While The Jupiter Sea from Massachusetts finish recording their upcoming full length album, you get to enjoy their 2010 debut EP Ghosts for free. The record starts out quietly with the melancholic title track Ghosts, followed by the emotional rock song Minnesota.
Ghosts is a free download from Bandcamp.
KRAZ – The Funky President
Genre: jazz, soul, hip hop, mixtape
The Funky President is a free download from Bandcamp.
the Muted Pitch – the First 13
Genre: death metal
Download the First 13 from the Muted Pitch‘s homepage.
Emnity – Murderabilia
Genre: metal, progressive, rock
Murderabilia is a free download from Enmity‘s homepage.
The Future Kings – We Are
Genre: indie, pop
From their Facebook Bio: “The Future Kings sound runs the gamut between artful indie pop and odd meter rockers. Regardless melody and harmony are always at the forefront of this Midwest quartet. Along with sonique advisor and musical contributor Brandon Chavez they craft their indie wonderland with an expansive and relentless curiosity that’s as diverse as it is enchanting.”
We Are is a free download from NoiseTrade.
The Damnwells – NoiseTrade Sampler
Genre: alternative, rock, sampler
From their Facebook Bio: “Singer Alex Dezen and bassist Ted Hudson met in college, played in a few bands, drank, and moved to Brooklyn.” As a collective, they have been making music since the turn of the century. Sometimes, a little is all you need to know.
The NoiseTrade Sampler is a free download from – you guessed it – NoiseTrade.
New to Sound Sunday? Past editions of Sound Sunday are available here.
Feel free to get in touch with me [tina at makeuseof dot com] to share free material, suggestions, and feedback or simply add your comments below.
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More articles about: downloads, freebies, indie music, music, music albums, songs, soundsunday
Posted: 10 Apr 2011 10:30 AM PDT
What is SSH Command Line?
SSH gives you the ability to talk directly to your web-server. It doesn’t give a pretty interface, or a nice GUI, just a straight-up powerful command line. This can be daunting to some people, but the sheer power, speed, and level of automation it provides can be an absolute life-saver and makes the process of migrating sites incredibly easy.
Most shared hosts unfortunately don’t allow SSH access to your account, at least not by default. If you’re hosting with GoDaddy, you can enable it though, so be sure to check first.
To log in via SSH, open up the Terminal in OS X (or get some free SSH software for Windows) and type in the following:
You’ll be prompted for your password. If you’ve never used SSH before, you might be surprised when typing in your password doesn’t anything on screen. Don’t worry, that’s for security.
Once logged in, you’ll be presented with a command prompt, similar to the following:
This means everything is fine, so go ahead and continue with these commands.
Start by taking a look around and trying to navigate to your web directory. Type:
To ‘list’ the current files and folders.
to change to a directory. In this case, I’m going to navigate to the httpdocs directory, which is the root of my web site (where all my wordpress files are stored). You can then ‘ls’ again, just to be sure.
At this point, we’re ready to begin the SSH backup process.
Backing up the Database:
Since the majority readers will be doing this with a WordPress install, you will most certainly have a database to backup in addition to any files stored on the site. First off, you’ll need 3 bits of information to backup your database, but all can be found within wp-config.php (if you’re running wordpress, that is):
Then, issue this simple command, being sure to replace the username, table name, and backup filename where neccessary:
mysqldump --add-drop-table -u username -p tablename > backupfilename.sql
Hit enter, and enter your password. Once it’s run, you can then issue another ‘ls’ command to check that the file has been output. Congratulations, this is all the information in your database as a single SQL file, ready to backup or import somewhere else.
Note: I’ve assumed that your database server is running on the same server on which you are hosting. On a GoDaddy host however, the MySQL database is actually stored remotely on a separate server to which you don’t have SSH access. In cases like these, you will need to access PHPMyAdmin via the hosting control panel, but that is out of the scope of this tutorial.
Backing Up Files:
Now that we have the database stored to single file on the server, we can go ahead and backup both that and your website files down to a single compressed backup file. To do this, we are going to issue one simple command. You need only replace yourbackupfilename with whatever you want it to be called.
tar -vcf yourbackupfilename.tar .
Let me break that down. Tar is a common linux compression format, similar to zip but more efficient. -vcf are simple some options that say “make a new archive, and tell me what you’re doing”. Next is the name of the file we want to create, and finally a single period mark tells it to include everything. We could have written * instead, but this would miss any hidden files such .htaccess which is essential for WordPress.
That’s it. Once that’s run, you will have a single .tar file consisting of every file on your site. You could log in via FTP at this point and download it, but let me show one final step that allows you to restore all these files.
Let’s say the worst has happened, and something has gone horribly wrong with your site. You’ve got a tar file of everything that you backed up last week, so now you’d like to restore it to that. First off, log in via FTP and upload the backup file onto your server. Perhaps you’ve been storing them in a special directory. Either way, move the latest complete backup file into the root of your site, and we’ll begin.
Start by unpacking all the files, the reverse of what we did to back them up:
tar -vxf yourbackupfilename.tar
The crucial difference here is in the -vxf switch, which tells it to extract the files instead of creating a new backup. Also, there is no period on the end of the command this time.
The last step is to suck your database back in to where it was before. Make sure you have a blank database setup with the same password and tablename as before, or you’ll need to change your site configuration settings too. To suck the data back in, issue this command:
mysql -u username -p tablename < databasebackupfilename.sql
Next week: Automating Your Backups
That’s enough to get you started with doing SSH backups for now, then next I’ll show how to automate the task with a simple shell script and a CRON command. If you have some Amazon s3 storage space, I’ll even show you how you can automatically upload your backup files to a storage bucket once they’re done.
One last tip – when I first began to use the command line, this one really impressed me – try pressing the tab key when your typing in a long filename, and if the name is unique enough it will attempt to autocomplete the rest of the filename!
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More articles about: backup, blogging tips, blogging tools, command line, commands, restore, wordpress
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