Introducing Passwds.io

Pronounceable Password Generator

I’d had this code sitting around for a while and decided to make a new site dedicated to it. It’s called passwds.io. It’s a simple service that produces pseudo-random passwords that have some elements that can actually be pronounced, hopefully making them easier to remember.

I do not recall where I got the original code to generate the pronounceable passwords, but am trying to find the source so I can credit where it’s deserved.

I threw thew site at passwds.io together in about an hour using the newest Bootstrap, PHP, and jQuery.

Brandon Lighter brought up the fact that I could be storing all generated passwords, but I’m not. This was developed as a tool for myself to use while I was a sys admin at a large local business, I’d use it to create new passwords for users in Active Directory. It’s still the same code.

Once I can bring the code to a level that isn’t so scattered, I will put it on GitHub so everyone can see the source and what’s going on. It’s really very, very simple.

Of course, I could omit the important “logging” piece when pushing to GitHub, but at some point people just have to trust others, and I’m flat out saying there’s no type of logging being done at passwds.io, other than the standard Google Analytics and Gaug.es for site analytics/

Brandon does bring up good points though, like no usage of special characters.

Secondly, they are only lower-case, upper-case, and numbers, which means you are pulling from a much smaller character set than you could be, making brute-force attacks easier.

I may add an option to do pronounceable passwords, or passwords with special characters enabled, which would probably break pronounceability. But options are always nice.

If you have other suggestions, I’d love to hear them. I’ve debated adding user accounts and the ability to save your generated passwords (that would be accessible only by you), but that sort of goes beyond the scope of passwds.io, which is simple, fast password password creation.

An example output from passwds.io can be seen in the screenshot below.
passwdsio-results

Also, check out Placezombie.com if you’re looking for some pretty gruesome zombie images to use as placeholder images in your designs. Sample 900×150 pixel greyscale image below, achieved with https://placezombie.com/g/900x150 :

Anyway, like I said, I’d love to hear your thoughts on passwds.io. Leave a comment here, it’s the best way to communicate with me about passwds.io. I haven’t bothered setting up passwds.io email yet.

Advertisements

Quickly Deploy LAMP Stacks with ServerPilot

Easily Deploy LAMP Stacks, and it’s free

I have yet to use ServerPilot, but will be setting up a new VPS at DigitalOcean in the coming weeks for a new venture. ServerPilot makes getting a LAMP stack setup very quickly.

ServerPilot will automatically install Nginx, Apache, PHP, and MySQL on a new, freshly installed/created, 64-bit Ubuntu 12.04 or Ubuntu 14.04. So if you’re using DigitalOcean, create your Droplet, and SSH to it. You should be able to harden SSH up a little, but make sure you don’t install any new packages yet.

Getting Started

Getting started with ServerPilot is crazy easy. All you need to be able to do is SSH into your server and run a command. I highly doubt anyone reading this doesn’t know how to do this. If you don’t, Google will tell you how.

1. Sign Up

Sign up for a free account with ServerPilot.

2. Connect A Server

“Connect” a new server. Just enter your servers hostname and click the “Continue With Setup” button. Screenshot below.
serverpilot-connect-server

3. Run The Install

Connect to your server via SSH. Remember, it must be a new server, preferably with no additional packages installed yet. To install Nginx, Apache, PHP, and MySQL, run the command below, from this gist:

The --server-id and --server-apikey values will be provided for you, they’re blacked out in the screenshot below.
serverpilot

Additional Information

On GitHub

ServerPilot also has a GitHub account with two repositories currently. One is ServerPilot/Vagrantfile and the other is ServerPilot/API.

ServerPilot/Vagrantfile

This repository provides a sample Vagrant configuration for testing ServerPilot. Basically a server that you can use to test ServerPilot before using it on a new, paid VPS. The README is very detailed, definitely read it if you need help using Vagrant. There’s even an example on using composer to create a Laravel app.

ServerPilot/API

From the README, The ServerPilot API is RESTful and allows you to manage ServerPilot resources using HTTP requests. All responses return JSON objects, including errors. As seems typical from ServerPilot, the documentation in the README is excellent.

The API will let you do things like list servers, connect new servers, or list all system users, among many others. An example that would list all servers can be seen in the gist below.

That request would return JSON similar to this:

Do you use Vagrant?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Paid Accounts

You get a pretty cool monitoring dashboard for $10/month. I found the screenshot below in a post from Jake Peterson, it appears to be the ServerPilot monitoring dashboard.
serverpilot-dashboard
There’s the free plan, obviously, and then two paid plans. One is $10/month and the other is $49/month. You can see what you get for your money on their pricing page.

End

If you’re a PHP developer and use a VPS provider like DigitalOcean or Linode, ServerPilot is probably worth checking out. Even if you don’t end up using, it’s pretty neat that something like this even exists.

I only have one feature I’d really like to see, the ability to select certain packages to be installed. If that were included in the $10/month plan, I’d definitely do it. As it stands currently, though, it’s definitely a time saver and very well executed.

Scotch Box: A Vagrant LAMP Stack That Just Works

Just a dead-simple local Vagrant LAMP stack for developers

I discovered Scotch Box recently, brought to us by the folks at scotch.io. It actually looks like Nicholas Cerminara has done most of the work, or as least done all of the committing to GitHub. Here’s the Scotch Box announcement at the Scotch.io blog.

After using Scotch Box for a day, I’ve decided this is how I will do all future development work. It’s so easy, and you really don’t need to know much about Vagrant or VirtualBox to get up and running with Scotch Box.

Scotch Box has a repository setup at GitHub that explains how to make use of Scotch Box. Basically, just clone the repository, and then run vagrant up inside that repo.

Scotch Box is currently running Ubuntu 12.04.5. Here’s a bit from the Scotch Box readme:

Scotch Box is a preconfigured Vagrant Box with a full array of LAMP Stack features to get you up and running with Vagrant in no time.

A lot of PHP websites and applications don’t require much server configuration or overhead at first. This box should have all your needs for doing basic development so you don’t have to worry about configuring Vagrant and you can simply focus on your code.

No provisioning tools or setup is really even required with Scotch Box. Since everything is packaged into the box, running “vagrant” is super fast, you’ll never have to worry about your environment breaking with updates, and you won’t need Internet to code.

Do you use Vagrant?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Bringing Scotch Box Up

Once you’ve run vagrant up, you’ll be able to access your site at http://192.168.33.10/, you should see something similar to the image below.
scotch

Useful Stuff in Scotch Box

  • PHP 5.5
  • No Internet connection required
  • PHP errors turned on
  • Laravel and WordPress ready (and others)
  • Operating System agnostic
  • Goodbye XAMPP / WAMP
  • New Vagrant version? Update worry free. ScotchBox is very reliable with a lesser chance of breaking with various updates
  • Bootstrap and jQuery are saved in the server’s home folder in case you don’t have Internet (usually plains, trains or cars)
  • Chef and Puppet ready in case you want to add extra features on Vagrant Up
  • Super easy database access and control
    MIT License

Server Components Included

  • Apache
  • Vim
  • MySQL
  • PHP 5.5
  • Git
  • Screen
  • Composer
  • cURL
  • GD and Imagick
  • Mcrypt
  • Memcache and Memcached

Front End Stuff Included

  • NPM
  • Grunt
  • Bower
  • Yeoman
  • Gulp

You can SSH to your server as well, by running vagrant ssh. Upon logging in via SSH you’ll see something similar to the image below.
vagrant-ssh

Scotch Box is in its infancy still. It’s initial commit to GitHub was on October 6, 2014 and has about 10 commits in total.

Updating Scotch Box is easy too. To check for an updated version with Vagrant, do vagrant box outdated. That will tell you if there’s a newer version available. If there is a newer version available, you can update to it by running vagrant box update.

Head to the official Scotch Box website for more information on setting up databases, setting a hostname, and for more details on updating the box. Some basic Vagrant commands are also included to help you with basic Vagrant usage (ie: pausing, resuming, or destroying a server).

If you’re a LAMP developer like I am, and are tired of developing on your client’s dev servers, Scotch Box could be a good solution for you to develop locally. It’s sometimes much easier to develop locally then having to rely on a slow dev server provided by your client. :)

All the images in this post are included in the gallery below.

Anchor: Free Client Management & Invoicing App For Freelancers

Get Paid Fast With Stripe Or PayPal

Anchor is a new invoicing webapp that you run on your own server. It’s written in PHP and is free to use for any freelancer, individual, or sole proprietor.

It provides more features than Slimvoice, the drawback being that you have to host it yourself. That’s not really an issue for most of my readers, however. :) The only thing I wish Anchor had was quotes and job creation.

Because of the lack of job and quote creation, I don’t use Anchor myself. I use Ultimate Client Manager for invoicing, quote creation, and job creation. It, unfortunately, is not free. However, the guys behind Anchor, 23rd & Walnut, also have a product named Duet. Duet includes many of the features that Ultimate Client Manager has and costs $49. Upgrading from Anchor to Duet is seamless.

Anchor includes a visual invoice builder, has the ability to send PDF invoices to your clients, and allows your clients to log in to Anchor to pay their invoices using Stripe or PayPal. The reporting interface is very nice, which you can see in the screenshot below.
reporting

There’s no limit on the number of clients or invoices. It provides a very nice looking dashboard, have a look at the demo to get a feel for the entire Anchor app. Anchor is an excellent option if you’re just starting out and need something to help keep track of clients and invoices.

If you’re interested in using Anchor, have a look through the documentation and just spend some time on the Anchor homepage to get familiar with the features offered.

Anchor and Duet seriously have me considering dropping Ultimate Client Manager. :)

Meet Unyson, A Drag & Drop WordPress Framework

Features a visual drag & drop page builder that will let your users create countless pages at a drop of a dime

Got an email from Olga at ThemeFuse yesterday announcing the release of their new drag & drop WordPress framework named Unyson.

Unyson comes with many built-in extensions, and the documentation seems to be very helpful and complete. Some highlights from the Unyson home page:

  • All the built in extensions & options work in perfect harmony. You’ll find developing on Unyson a breeze.
  • Your users will love the drag and drop page builder and the customization options built into
  • All you need to do is download the Unyson WordPress framework and start developing your theme.
  • We have a lot of tools ready to help you along the way: developer manual, Trello, GitHub Support and more.

unyson-docs
Unyson also includes an extensive list of customizations and options:

  • Page Builder
  • Option Types
  • Styling
  • Sidebars
  • Megamenu
  • Backup
  • Sliders
  • SEO
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Portfolio
  • Custom Widgets

I enjoy this theme so much because it has many features that premium or paid themes have, but Unyson is free! You can download the source on GitHub.

Getting started with Unyson is extremely easy, but slightly different than how you’d typically upload a theme. Installation of Unyson is like so:

  1. Download the framework archive from the framework’s GitHub repository
  2. Extract it to your parent theme directory. After this you must have framework/ directory in parent theme. It’s mandatory to have this exact same folder structure otherwise it will not work.
  3. Include the Unyson framework by adding this line in your theme’s functions.php:

require_once TEMPLATEPATH .'/framework/bootstrap.php';

After that, you’ll need to add some more code to the beginning of all the PHP files associated with your theme. I suggest you go over the Getting Started guide and really pay attention so you get a good understanding of what Unyson can do. The documentation is really awesome, most issues or questions you could have are more than likely covered in the docs.

I haven’t had much of a chance to play with Unyson, but will get the opportunity to on an upcoming client project, so I’m really looking forward to that.

Unyson is quite new, so hopefully we will see more features as it matures. It’s definitely worth checking out.