My Notes and Thoughts

I blog about WordPress, web technologies and website performance.

photo by Jeff Sheldon

Customise WordPress editor’s font options
tip, Uncategorised, WordPress

Customise WordPress editor’s font options

tools on a table
OSX, Tools

Quickly batch install Mac Apps with Bash

GetMacApps is a great little website that lets you build a custom bash script that lets you automate installing your favourite apps as easily as pasting a single line of code into the terminal window.

You can preview my chosen apps by following this link: My install manifest

or create your own at

If you want to view see the bash script the site generate you can view it here:

And in finally to use just paste the following line of text into your terminal:
N.B. the link below installs the apps I want and regularly used, you’re probably going to want to create your own..

curl -s | sh

Source :

Zenith Z-19 Terminal
Linux, OSX, Tools

Useful Bash Aliases for GIT

Switching from SVN to GIT can be awkward especially if your used to SVN shortcuts like
svn co for svn checkout and
svn up for svn update

the solution is these nifty terminal aliases.

git status, git add, git commit, and git checkout are such common commands that it is useful to have abbreviations for them.

alias gs='git status '
alias ga='git add '
alias gb='git branch '
alias gc='git commit'
alias gca='git commit -a'
alias gd='git diff'
alias go='git checkout '
alias gk='gitk --all&'
alias gx='gitx --all'
alias gp='git pull'
alias push='git push'
alias gr='git rebase '
alias gm='git merge '

alias got='git '
alias get='git '


Downloading WordPress minus the content directory.
tip, WordPress

Downloading WordPress minus the content directory.

The default version of WordPress comes with an entire content directory full stuff you probably don’t want or need like the default themes and the hellodolly.php plugin unless your setting you your site for the very first time, even then probably not.

There is however a well hidden version of WordPress that comes minus a content directory, it’s purpose is to optimise WordPress’ auto update function, if you click the update WordPress button in the dashboard and watch carefully you’ll see a url similar to this flash up on your screen:

simply substitute '3.8.1' with the version you require.

This is really handy if you’re managing your site with SVN or GIT or Composer and want to reduce the amount of clutter and extra files you download.

WordPress AutoUpdate fix for Version Controlled Sites

WordPress AutoUpdate fix for Version Controlled Sites

So.. since version 3.7 WordPress has had a neat auto-update function, unfortunately, WordPress is also quite cautious so it checks to see if the website is using any kind of Version Control and if so disables the auto update function.  BUT what if your using version control but not to actually manage what version of WordPress is installed.

Luckily this line of code will override the “under version control” test of the auto update and re-enable automatic updates.

add_filter( 'automatic_updates_is_vcs_checkout', '__return_false');

re-enabling the auto-update functionality.


Zenith Z-19 Terminal
Linux, OSX, tip, Tools

How to use TAR and GZIP

I’ve been doing a lot of server maintenance recently and have found myself having to archive and transfer file to and from different server, as a result I’m continually looking at the man page for TAR trying to figure out which exact flags to use in each situation.

See the guide below for a quick 101:

How to TAR a Directory

  • -z: Compress archive using gzip program
  • -c: Create archive
  • -v: Verbose i.e display progress while creating archive
  • -f: Archive File name

For example, you have directory called /home/jerry/prog and you would like to compress this directory then you can type tar command as follows:

$ tar -zcvf prog-1-jan-2005.tar.gz /home/jerry/prog

Above command will create an archive file called prog-1-jan-2005.tar.gz in current directory.

NB. the -v flag “Verbose” is optional  and prints a list of each item added or extracted to the console.

How to Extract a TAR

If you wish to restore your archive then you need to use following command (it will extract all files in current directory):

$ tar -zxvf prog-1-jan-2005.tar.gz


  • -x: Extract files

If you wish to extract files in particular directory, for example in /tmp then you need to use following command:

$ tar -zxvf prog-1-jan-2005.tar.gz -C /tmp
$ cd /tmp
$ ls -


I can’t remember the exact source of this example but its been used and reused all over the web.. here’s a few places it maybe from: