CodeIgniter vs. Laravel

It's not always easy to give a definite winner with these sorts of comparisons, as depends what your requirements and preferences are. So, here are a few areas worth thinking about when weighing up CodeIgniter against Laravel.

Outlook for Mac 2011 not working on OS X El Capitan (10.11)

tl;dr - If you use Outlook for Mac and you're thinking of upgrading to OS X El Capitain, don't...yet!

Edit (Fix): There is an update available now that fixes this problem. You can install it by opening Word, clicking 'Help' in the menu bar then clicking 'Check for updates'. You should see the critical update available. Download, install it, and enjoy Outlook 2011 on your El Capitan Mac :) For more information, visit:

Getting Laravel Homestead to work with larger file uploads

Laravel I've been working on a Laravel project which uses relatively large file uploads (about 30MB - 120MB). My development environment is Laravel Homestead - a great, pre-packaged Vagrant box for Laravel development. If you haven't heard of this I highly recommend you check it out - it's a great way to get up and running with Laravel, but it doesn't seem to play well for larger file uploads through forms (over about 5MB). My forms were either hanging or returning an nginx 'too large' error. Here are some of the settings which I've had to tweak to get Homestead working nicely with larger uploads.

Hello 2015! Hopes, resolutions and things to look forward to for the new year


For those of you that know me, you'll know that I'd have a lot to say about 2014. It's been a strange year. I won't go into it in this blog post, but instead I'm going to look forward and welcome 2015 with wide eyes and big open arms. Come in and make yourself at home, 2015! So, here are a few things I'd like to look forward to in the new year.

Get out more

I always feel better when I get out, meet new people, learn new things. And I need to do more of it. Specifically, I'd like to:

DrupalCon 2013: Summary of Dries Buytaert's Keynote


DrupalCon 2013 is well underway now with Dries giving his keynote earlier today. There are lots of exciting things coming up with Drupal 8, and it’s a big change both technically and conceptually from the previous releases. I’ll attach the full keynote below, but here’s a quick summary for you speedy readers.

There are six key initiatives in Drupal 8 which Dries quickly covered:

  • Configuration management
  • Mobile
  • Blocks
  • Multilingual
  • Views in core
  • Web services

These are all designed to modernise Drupal, help people get up and running quickly and make Drupal better integrated with both third party services and the whole ‘graph’ of the web. Mobile is a big part of the new direction of Drupal so it has been rebuilt with HTML5 and will be responsive right from install. There are some “massive improvements” to the multilingual support for Drupal and Views will also be included in core. The web services initiative aims to make Drupal into more of a platform through which you can build native apps by bringing in contextual data and a REST server.

Book Review - Instant E-commerce with OpenCart: Build a Shop [Instant] by Murat Yilmaz (Packt Publishing)

Book coverI’ve just been going through my first ‘Instant’ book from Packt Publishing - Instant E-Commerce with OpenCart: Build a Shop [Instant] by Murat Yilmaz. They kindly sent me a copy to review, so here’s a quick summary of what to expect and what’s included:

This book is for web developers and designers looking at setting up an online store. You don’t need any previous experience of OpenCart to follow the walkthroughs in the book, but you will need to be reasonably confident (or at least willing to have a bash) at downloading and setting up a web application on a server or a local development environment (such as WAMP for MS Windows or MAMP for Mac).

Upcoming book review: Instant E-commerce with OpenCart: Build a Shop [Instant]

Packt Publishing were kind enough to ask me if I'd like to review one of their latest OpenCart books: 'Instant E-commerce with OpenCart: Build a Shop [Instant]' by Murat Yilmaz. It'll be the first time I've read a book in their 'Instant' series, as I've reviewed a couple of their regular books before, so I'll be interested to see how it compares. Check back soon for my full review.

MAMP: "#2006 - MySQL server has gone away" while importing database

I was importing a relatively large Drupal database today into MAMP (via phpmyadmin) and MySQL rudely walked off, with the following error:

#2006 - MySQL server has gone away

Ah, a nice vague error message! It seems that the import statement (from the cache_menu table) in the database dump contains packets which are too large to import using the default MAMP settings. To fix this, I created a my.cnf file in my /Applications/MAMP/conf/ folder with the following contents:

max_allowed_packet = 100M

Then I restarted MAMP and imported my database without any trouble. I hope this helps if you've stumbled across the same issue.

New vlog

I've just started a YouTube vlog covering news, tips, reviews etc. Check it out, and if you like it, subscribe :)

Getting to know Google+ better and more blogging


The experience of any social network is only as good as the activity of the people on it, right? Quite a few of my friends have joined Google+ and experimented with a couple of posts, but it doesn't really feel for me that it's taken off as a social graph tool. It works pretty well within the interest graph, though, and maybe that's because the API is currently read-only. There are a ton of tools that help you market on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook by managing accounts and automatically posting, but because these aren't currently available for Google+, the posts and shares seem a little more genuine because people have to actually post directly. It's a subtle issue, but it means that G+ captures a little more energy, as the posts feel more like they come from people rather than social media management applications. I guess it all depends on who you follow, though. Anyway, I'll be trying to spend a little more time on Google+ in the coming months and getting involved in the communities that I've joined.


On a 'getting more involved' note, I'm going to start blogging more, starting here! Blogging has been a sparse hobby of mine for the last six years, posting mostly tips and small tutorials, but I'm going to start documenting more along the way. It's a good way for an introvert to reflect on the world once in a while :)

Once again, thanks for dropping by and reading. If you're on Google+, add me up and get involved:


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