Chris Chandler

I help people make decisions, and improve.

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Upgrading php5 on ubuntu 14.04 to php 5.6

Backstory, I want to get on a better version of php, but I can’t leave my ubuntu 14.04 machine just yet.

There are many many tutorials on how this works.

The only one I found really helpful, after some research is this one.

The other tutorials recommend using a PPA that has been discontinued due to security problems with the versions it builds.

I hope you find this helpful

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Silent Curl in CRON jobs

I have lots of CRON jobs. Some of them are just to probe our services to make sure they are alive, some download third party data via curl. Either way curl gets used in a fair number of them.

When a job produces output it will email the primary cron email contact. This becomes noisy and hard to really tell, what is wrong and what is not, and when failures occur.

To get curl to suppress it’s messages pass the -s option, then either set the output file parameter, or pipe the STDOUT output to /dev/null to get it to quiet down, but still produce STDERR output to the cron email contact.

if these flags don’t help you, check out the man page for your version of curl, I’d search for silent, and output to see what is new and changed.

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When Programmers Fly - Journal Series

This post will be the master post to catalog the other posts in the little journal I’m keeping of learning to fly.

There is a short Introduction, but the synopsis of that is. I’m learning to fly, to be able to work on the software in and around the model aviation hobby.

I’m working through Fixed Wing now. I suspect, this will branch into action cameras (i.e. GoPro, Mobius, Runcam, Yiicam), and many other things related to the hobby. And then work through a Multi Rotor ramp up.

  • Introduction

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Teaching the programmer how to fly

I’m learning to fly planes. This has been refreshing to have beginners mind again. Also realizing the improving over time, through practice.

I’m going to blog my results as they happen. Things I’m learning resources for how I’m learning, and maybe some footage and build pictures.

A little bit of background information about how this came about.

In 2015 I started working on a website for a company that sells FPV systems for remote control systems. It can be used on cars, boats, and airplanes and helicopters. Helicopter drones are a big hit right now in the public eye. More people than ever are flying, and also doing all kinds of new and interesting things.

Most FPV systems really need to be paired with some extra electronics and infrastructure. To provide stabilization and more information about the thing you are controlling, that you can’t see. So an RC car for example might be down...

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EDC update - new wallet

I’ve been into refining my Every Day Carry for a long time. I’ve finally decided to start cataloging what is in it. But first, a little bit of a review of a the newest item in my pockets daily.

Machine Era Wallet


It’s a pocket, made of metal, with a groove and rubber band to keep everything in it flat and tidy. It holds “6 cards.” Which in my experience is 6 cards, 2 insurance cards and ~7$ in 1$ bills before it becomes awkward.

Hands down the best front pocket wallet I’ve tried.
Sturdy, keeps the cards from bending and being thinner than an iphone 5s, can be stuffed into any of my pockets.

Given it’s metal nature, I can even wear it in the back pocket and feel fine about sitting on it.

This summer, I will test it’s water resistance by carrying it with me to the waterpark with the kids. We need our park id’s for admission to rides and areas, and we also need ID for adult...

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Taking A Break Is Healthy

I’ve been asked by a few people about why I haven’t been at user group meetings, and as available for drinks and happy hours. I wrote up this piece about taking a break, and I hope it helps others as much as it has helped me. I read it weekly, to myself. I wrote it, during the fall of 2014.

If you feel overwhelmed, or are having trouble balancing things in your life. It’s rarely a good idea to double down and get entrenched in getting through it all. Consider taking a break. Maybe you’ve considered it. But I had not.

I was at a bar, after a users group meeting. I was not having a great time balancing and managing my life. I was very close to rage quiting my life, or continuing to not do a good job and have my family ragequit me. Then across the bar I saw someone I hadn’t seen in a good little while. So I walk over and start catching up with him, and low and behold he was 2 steps...

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Marathoning music for productivity

I was listening to the Tim Ferris podcast the other day, and he had Matt Mullenwig on. Matt is a very prolific programmer, writer, and business person. He created WordPress and a lot of it’s associated services.

They talk about habits for getting into flow and being productive a lot. Like which tools he uses and where he works. One thing that stuck out in my mind was his use of repeating tracks or albums a lot. This stuck out because he is also a musician, and an appreciator of music. Most people who are prolific and love music listen to a wide variety, but not Matt. I rolled this thought around for a few days.

When I thought about it, I had done this before and it was a productive time. So I gave it a shot again. For the second half of this week I’ve been listening to podcasts while doing clerical tasks or commuting. But when I sit down to really write some code or read documentation...

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Guest spot on Geek News podcast

On and off throughout the fall and the holidays I’ve been on a podcast that has just come out of stealth mode.

Give them a listen and let me know what you think.

Geek News
Geek News Podcast

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iOS 8 Tips and tricks

This is an article by Dan Frakes.

It’s full of things I didn’t know about iOS 8. There are 2 that stand out.

Find my iPhone has a setting to send your location upon battery being low. This will really help me feel confident that I know where my devices are.

The second is the swipe left on email notifications to do things about them.

For most people though, medical ID is really a required thing and I hope it catches on.

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Cool Guide for the Beginner to Start Podcasting

I am getting into podcasting. I’ve always listened, time to really produce as well. Friends of mine are starting podcasts at an ever increasing rate. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about software and equipment.

For most of those questions this will be a good answer:

The Podcasting Handbook - From Dan Benjamin over at

He also has a great video over on youtube about mic technique.

Mic Technique

I’m definitely gonna put these tips and tricks to work when recording and helping people I know setup their stuff.

If you too are interested in this stuff, I’d love to hear from you, email or tweet me from the links on the site.

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