The Karate Coder

New Horizions

Today is my last day with First Scribe.  I have accepted a job with On Time Talent Solutions as a web developer.  I will greatly miss my co-workers and hope to continue the relationship that I have built over my years at First scribe.

Update Coming Soon

It has been a while since I posted in my blog, but that is about to change.  I will be redesigning this site to have a more simplistic design, faster loading times, and finally update my portfolio to show the Magento sites I have done recently.  I will also be adding blog post regularly with more tips that I have picked up from the time I started my career as a web developer.

I love Truffles!

My latest freelancing project is all about the chocolate, especially in truffle form.  For the Love of Truffles was started by and neighbor and friend of mine Katie who wanted an alternative to cake for her wedding.  People at her wedding loved her home made truffles so much that she received request for her truffles for events.  Katie found making truffles to be fun and saw the financial opportunity to start her own business.

Katie realized there was a demand for her homemade truffles but needed help to get her truffles out to the broader public.  Katie needed a website to get her business established and out there to future clients.   Katie and I came up with a simple logo design to get her business to start building a brand.  Once a logo and basic brand identity was created I began coming up with a modern photo block design for the site.  Using a two columns style I came up with alternating images and content blocks as a reoccurring theme throughout the site.

We have many future phases for this site in place depending on the growth of the business.  So keep your eye on For the Love of Truffles because their are big things to come from this energetic entrepreneur.

Do You Like Chocolate?

Working with a new client and they have some sweet ideas!  Not only will we be working on a digital presence we will are building a brand.  Can’t wait to show more in the future.

Additions to Meyers on Moose

In preparation for the 15th year anniversary of Meyers on Moose the Meyers have decided to take pre-orders on T-shirts for this occasion.  I assisted them setting up an account on Stripe and integrating their service with Gravity Forms.  I am excited to see how easy it is for friends and family to order their t-shirts.

UPDATE:  Pre-orders page for Meyers on Moose are now live and every test went smooth with no errors.  That almost never happens!

Happy Easter

I want to wish everyone a happy Easter.  Enjoy time with your family and friends, or just play video games and watch Netflix.  Both are good options.

Two new projects on the horizon

With Meyers on Moose complete I feel compelled to work on more personal projects.  Luckily I have a very active mind and it has come up with two new Web projects.   More details to come soon.

New Features added to Meyers on Moose

I have just several new features to Meyers on Moose.   I wanted to add functionality to the user profiles since the users/contributors are the core of Meyers on Moose.  After testing out several user role plug-ins I started to get a better sense of what this site needed and what it didn’t need. Then I found the right User Profile plug-in Ultimate Members.

The last feature I added was custom login, registration, and password recovery pages using forms.   This was one part security and one part style.  The website to me need to not look like a WordPress site and more of a personalized php site. This addition was more for me than anything I think.

Meyers on Moose update

Meyers on Moose 0.76 is now live.  The majority of the style is done and the gallery has been built.  The last touches are to add content and add some posts.
I made a major overhaul of the WordPress theme and checked it.   Instead of using the custom Bootstrap theme I opted for something easy for the family to use.  And I have been sitting on this theme for a while.  It is the Divi 2.0 theme from Elegant Themes.  This theme has a lot of versatility and it is quick to customize.

I have added the bbPress plug in for a discussion forum and a backed site builder for those who don’t know Web coding.

With all that done it is safe to say that the site will be ready in time for 2015 Meyers on Moose.

Steam Box using Lenovo Ideapad y510p

Earlier this week I started to work on transforming my old Lenovo Ideapad y510p into a portable Steam Box.  For those of you who don’t know much about this laptop here are the specs straight from Lenovo:

4th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-4700MQ (2.4GHz 1600MHz 6MB)
Operating System
Windows 8.1 64
  • 15.6″ FHD LED Glossy Wedge (1920×1080)
  • 16:9 widescreen
Dual graphics support1; NVIDIA® SLI – up to NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 750M 2GB dual graphics
8GB PC3-12800 DDR3L SDRAM 1600 MHz
Hard Disk Drive
1TB (5400 RPM) + 8GB Hybrid Drive
JBL® designed speakers supporting Dolby Home Theatre v4 audio certification for immersive sound
Integrated Communications
  • Intel 7260 b/g/n Wireless (2×2 BGN)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 1 GB LAN
  • 1x USB 2.0 (one always on)
  • 2x USB 3.0 SuperSpeed
  • 6-in-1 card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MS, MS-Pro)
  • Headphone
  • Microphone
  • HDMI-out
  • VGA port (15-pin)
HD 720P camera
Up to 5 hrs
5.95 lbs
15.23 x 10.19 x 0.61-1.41″


lenovo-ideapadAlright so there are a few ways to make a Steam Box out of a computer and for repurposing of this computer I decided to try and install the Steam OS (stand alone version).  With a fresh image of the Steam OS on a 4GB USB drive I restarted the computer and entered the bios.  In the bios I made sure that EFI setting were active instead of Legacy.  Once all bios settings were saved and the computer booted to the USB drive the installation gives you a few options to install. For my first attempt I chose the easy way by selecting the “Automated install”.  

When I selected this option my screen split into three mirrored displays.  This made it very hard to see what was going on but the installation did complete.  When the install was complete the computer restarted and…nothing.  The machine started up to a black screen with no sound or mouse pointer.  Thinking that there may have been an error during the install I booted the computer from the USB again and instead of the automated install I chose the “Advance Install”.  I don’t know what was so advance about this type of install?  The installer only asked two questions.  On a side note after clicking the advance install the display didn’t mirror three display.  This time I could see all the shell and all the descriptions during the install.  Again the computer rebooted and the same black screen showed up. Suffice it to say that following Steam’s instructions on installing the OS wasn’t working.  My thought is that it has something to do with the dual graphics cards that are in the Lenovo Ideapad y510p.  In the end I reinstalled Windows 8 and the Steam client and followed neuroboy’s instructions on booting Windows to Steam Big Screen mode:

  ======================== Part 1: Set Steam startup options ======================== This is the easy bit. 1. Open up Steam in normal windowed mode and select Settings from the top menu 2. Click the Interface tab 3. Select both checkboxes for ‘Run Steam when my computer starts’ and ‘Start Steam in Big Picture Mode’ – maybe one day Valve will get these to work properly together so you don’t have to follow the rest of this nonsense! 4. Click OK and exit Steam ============================================== Part 2. Making Registry Edits so that Steam runs as your shell ============================================== This is the trickier bit and involves some commitment to Steam on your part, though is easily reversible – it will make Steam run instead of your normal Windows Desktop after Windows has booted and you’ve logged in. 1. Bring up the Windows ‘Run’ dialogue box, either from the Start Menu or by pressing your Windows key and R at the same time. 2. Type ‘regedit’ and click OK. 3. Navigate to [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsNTCurrentVersionWinlogon] 4. Right click in the folder pane to the right and select ‘New > String Value’ 5. Name it ‘Shell.’ 5. Right click on ‘Shell’ and select ‘Modify.’ 6. Type in the path to Steam.exe and click OK. By default on a 64 bit system the full path will be “C:Program Files (x86)SteamSteam.exe” – personally I just have Steam installed at root – “C:Steam” 🙂 ========================================================== Part 3 (optional): Setup your PC to automatically login to your Windows account ========================================================== If you are not a complete security nut and only have one account on your PC, you can set it up to automatically login, so you don’t have to select a user and/or type a password. Instructions for this varies according to your Windows version. See here for full information: NOW REBOOT YOUR PC AND CROSS YOUR FINGERS YOU DID IT ALL OKAY! Whilst waiting for your PC to boot up, grab your Xbox 360 Controller and turn it on ready to navigate that lovely Steam Big Picture Mode. ============== Troubleshooting etc ============== If you get only a black screen with a cursor instead, or your gamepad doesn’t work, or whatever, press control+alt+delete and select ‘Task Manager.’ Go to File>New Task (Run) and type “explorer.exe” – this should bring back your regular desktop until you log in again. You can also use this method to access Windows if you want to do anything else. Go back and check that you made all the registry edits exactly right. To remove the Steam bootingness, just delete the ‘Shell’ entry you added.

  There you have it.  I wish i would been able to get the Steam OS to run on its own so I could play around with it, but this functions exactly the same.

Desk Update

Desk is working great!  I have had the computer on for 4 days without turning it off and there has been no overheating while playing Assassins Creed 4.  The GPU, CPU and mother-board are getting great air flow considering everything is incased by wood.  There are/were a few snags after completion.  I had to get a fan extension cable and 4 pin extension cable for the aux power to the CPU.  I used some planting foam that people use to keep fake plants to stand up in pots to securely fit the multi-media card reader into it’s cut-out.  Lastly I still have to use a router the space on the right panel lid over the graphics card so the lid can close and not smush the graphics card.  Otherwise the desk works perfectly.

Desk is Done

I have finish the desk.  After making a change to the stain I think the desk came out pretty good.  There are some not-so-pretty section near the multi-card reader but that makes it eccentric.  After all I built this desk and plan on using it for a very long time.  I need to find some shorter legs and cable extenders and that will be that.  Have a look at the finished desk.