Exclude Directories From Mod Rewrite

If you installed WordPress in your root directory, there is a good possibility you may have lost access to other files and directories. WordPress’ rewrite rules may have prevented you from accessing those files. Instead, it’s displaying 404 errors.

To fix this issue, you will need to insert a line of regular expression code in your .htaccess file that will exclude your files and directory from being rewritten.

A typical WordPress .htaccess may look like this.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

Here’s the new .htaccess that will exclude certain directories.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
<strong>RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/(foldername|foldername/.*)$</strong>
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

It’s a simple fix, but it can be frustrating if you don’t know what’s going on.

Microsoft Security Essentials Update This Week

If you haven’t noticed, Microsoft pushed out the latest Microsoft Security Essentials this week. You can force the upgrade by opening up MSE and clicking on the Update button to download the latest version. The new MSE EULA allows companies to use up to 10 PCs. Read more from ZDNet.

Today, I installed MSE for a client. The system had a virus. I tried installing Norton 360 which the client purchased, but it would not complete the installation. I was able to remove 3 Trojan viruses using Malwarebytes and Microsoft Security Essentials and Ad-Aware. A loss for Norton.

I ended up telling the client to return Norton 360. Microsoft Security Essentials have been decent based on my experience.

Adobe Flash in Linux is Slow

Adobe Flash in Ubuntu Linux is slow as molasses. I’ve noticed it while playing Bejeweled Blitz in Facebook. I’ve tried installing different plugins like Shockwave, Gnash, Adobe Flash and Adobe Flash 10, but none made Flash any faster. The Flash games lagged so bad that they were practically impossible to play.

While googling tonight, I came across a website suggesting that I install a Flash plugin called Flashblock-Addon. This add-on plugin disables all Flash programs in a page from loading automatically. The programs can be played manually by clicking on the play button.

The reason this plugin works is because the Adobe Flash plugin for Linux is not tuned properly. This is not a Linux issue, but an Adobe one. The problem is particularly telling if a page has multiple instances of Flash programs running.

The plugin merely disables all flash programs from running automatically. The user can pick and choose which one they want to run limiting the number of Flash instances running in the background.

It’s not really a fix, but more of a workaround.

To install the Flashblock-Addon, you can download it from here.

Google, AMD and Apple Beat The Market

When three Silicon Valley companies beat market expectations in the same quarter, there is good cause for optimism in Santa Clara County. Google, AMD and Apple all beat market expectations last quarter. Google had an excellent quarter. AMD had a better quarter than expected. And Apple’s stock smashed through the $300 dollar barrier.

Does the good news translate to business finally picking up in the Valley? Not sure if it does. With the unemployment rate at 12%, any positive news is a welcome change. It depends if firms begin to hire once again. When hiring begins, things can really start to look up once again. In the meantime, let’s just wait and see.

Creating WordPress Custom Menus is a Breeze

Creating Custom Menus in WordPress is a breeze. Custom Menus have been around for a couple of months since WordPress 3.0 first came out. I’m using Custom Menus to replace the Pages widget on my Sidebar because it lacks a Home link.

Pages and Categories can be added by simply selecting them and adding them to the menu. You can also create a custom link, in my case, I created a custom link for my Home link. See the screenshots below.

To really take advantage of custom menus, you will need to add a piece of code in your functions.php file. With this code, it allows you to place your custom menus, not only in the sidebar, but anywhere in your theme. Most people use custom menus in the header section of their blogs. Here’s a great article to get you started with custom menus.

Verizon to Sell the iPad

Verizon will sell the iPad starting October 28. The iPad will be bundled with Verizon Mifi 2200 Hotspot and using Verizon’s 3G service at $60/month.

What about the iPhone? No word yet, but I’m sure it’s coming.

The iPad will be available in 3 models. I break them down in price: $630, $730 and $830. Somehow, I still get sticker shock seeing these prices.

See details here.

iPhone 4 More Prone to Glass Breaks

First came antenna-gate. Now the glass break-gate. The iPhone 4 is more prone to breaking than its predecessor the iPhone 3GS by a whopping 82%, according to SquareTrade. Fifteen percent of owners reported having a broken glass within the first 12 months. One quarter of the breaks were from the rear of the device. That’s what people get for buying a device made of glass. If the iPhone 4 is that fragile, Apple should provide a titanium case for every iPhone 4 for free.

CSS Text Shadow

If you are a frequent visitor to the site, you may have noticed a couple of subtle changes to my blog the last couple of days. I’ve added text shadows on the titles and I also removed the text underline from the links. Today, this article will focus on how to add text shadows to your blog using CSS.

CSS Text Shadows give coders and web developers a tool to create text effects such as 3 dimensional effects, glowing effects and stencils. Text Shadows was originally proposed in CSS2, but really took off with CSS3.

Text Shadows is supported in most major browsers: Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera. The one major browser that’s missing in the list is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Text shadows is possible in Internet Explorer using JQuery. See link below.

Adding Text Shadows to your website, blog or page is quite easy. All it takes is adding a line of code to your existing CSS file. Consider the title above called “CSS Text Shadow” styled using <h2>. To make a text shadow, just add the following to your CSS file.

h2 { text-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #aaa; }

Text Shadows

The text shadow element contains 4 attributes. The first attribute is the x-coordinate. The second is y-coordinate. The third is the blur. The fourth is the color of the shadow. Negative values can be placed to simulate a light source that’s coming from the bottom.

h2 { text-shadow: 2px 3px 3px #aaa; }

Text Shadows

Here’s a couple of excellent articles about CSS text shadows:

CSS text shadows is a great tool for creating cool effects on your site. Just one advice. Don’t overdue it. Use it sparingly.

Microsoft Introduces New Phones

Microsoft just unvieled several smartphones based on Windows 7 mobile phone operating sysyem. Three new phones will be available at AT&T on November 8 for  about $200. Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile will follow in 2011.

Microsoft latest entry in the highly competitive smartphone market with the Android, Blackberry and the iPhone already entrenched. Microsoft will have to rely on features to entice users to buy a Windows 7 based smartphone.

Integration of social networks, messaging and the Microsoft Xbox are standard as well a smartphone version of the Powerpoint presentation. The smartphones will also include Office Hub, which offers a free integration with Microsoft’s One Note software which shares documents online. In addition, AT&T customers will have Uverse TV service added.

In my opinion, I just don’t see Microsoft making any significant gains or dent in this competitive market. The new Microsoft smartphones just doesn’t have enough of anything to make people switch.

Even with Apple’s marketing and loyal fans, the iPhone manages to come third behind the Android and the Blackberry.

XMarks May Attract More Customers

When news broke out that XMarks was closing its doors, users like myself, and countless others who haven’t tried, nor heard of XMarks have suddenly become curious. What is XMarks?

When better news followed stating that XMarks users were willing to pay if XMarks was offered as a paid service, that got everyone’s attention. It’s great news for XMarks and good publicity, I might add.

If you’re not aware of XMarks, XMarks is a free (soon to be paid service) bookmarking service that allows users to synch bookmarks across multiple browsers. XMarks works in Firefox, Chrome, Explorer and Safari.

If you are cross-browser user (that sounded funny), XMarks is a great utility that you can add to your browser to access your bookmarks stored at XMarks servers.