This is something that drives me insane.  Every time I plug my iPhone into my Mac to charge, it automatically launches iTunes and Photos.  Thankfully, I managed to fix it.  Here’s how:

Disabling automatic launching of iTunes

  1. With iTunes open and your iPhone plugged in, access your iPhone within iTunes.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the Summary tab and locate the Automatically sync when connected checkbox.
  3. Uncheck this box and click Apply at the bottom right.

Disabling automatic launching of Photos

  1. Access the Photo Capture application with your iPhone plugged in.
  2. Next, select your iPhone from the menu to the left.
  3. On the bottom left corner, you will see a small arrow.  Click on this.
  4. Your should now see various options that determine what happens when your iPhone is plugged in.  Select No Action.

Your should be all set now.  No more annoying iTunes or Photos when plugging your iPhone into your Mac.

I want to be able to get out of bed.

I want to be able to get in a car without having constant panic attacks.

I want to be able to sit through a whole movie.

I want to be able to be around new people.

I want to stop fearing for my life every minute of it.

I want to feel accomplished and not terrified.

I want to make great things, and stop fearing rejection.

I want to enjoy concerts without immense paranoia.

I want to be able to sleep without tossing and turning for hours until the sun comes up.

I want to smile 100% of the time and not fake it 50% of the time.

I just want to be normal like everybody else.



After I published my article stating that SNAP (food stamps) don’t cost the American taxpayer as much as they think they do, a right-wing friend of mine shifted a bit to stating that welfare is the issue.  Well, this made me decide to run the data on how much TANF benefits cost the average American each year.

Based on my calculations on the previous mentioned post, Americans generate roughly $13,554,322,498,437 in income each year.  For those who are a little too lazy to look at the other post, this was calculated by taking the estimated number of Americans, subtracting the current unemployment rate, and multiplying that by the average American salary.

After a bit of searching, I was able to locate the financial data for TANF which is available publicly by the Administration for Health and Families (a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services).  According to their published document of financial spending regarding TANF, $31,649,201,568 was paid out in 2013.  Seems like a lot, right?  Not really.

Let’s now determine how much that actually costs the average American taxpayer.  Based on the previously stated figure of $13,554,322,498,437 in yearly generated income, $31,649,201,568 is %0.2 of that total.  If we now take the average American’s income of $44,888.16 per year, this leaves us with a yearly cost from each American of $89.77 (rounded up to the nearest cent).  I don’t know about you, but I spend far more than that in beer each year.

It’s also to note that the spending I have used here also includes administration and job placement/advancement assistance as well. If we solely calculate this based on the funds directly provided to those individuals, the impact to the American taxpayer is significantly lower.


We Accept Food Stamps


One of the biggest arguments that I see come out of Fox News and other far right-wing conservatives is that food stamps should be cut or dramatically reduced.  While some people certainly do abuse the system, they are by far the minority.  Even including the individuals that may abuse their SNAP benefits, the impact on your tax dollars as fairly insignificant according to my research.  Let’s take a look at the numbers:

According to the most recent data from the US Census Bureau, we have an estimated 318,857,056 people living in the US. Of course this can be argued that this may not actually be the number of available US citizens, so to make everyone happy, we’ll deduct the current unemployment rate of 5.3%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which brings us to an estimated number of 301,957,632 working Americans (rounding down to the nearest whole number).

Now that we have the estimated number of working Americans, we can now take a look at the average American’s income.  The most recent data for this can be found at the Social Security Administration’s Average Wage Index page.  According to the Social Security Administration, the average individual wage was $44,888.16 in 2013.

If you’re following me, you should have now come to the conclusion that 301,957,632 working Americans, making an average of $44,888.16, generate a total of $13,554,322,498,437.12.

Now that we know the total income that Americans generate each year, let’s take a look at how much SNAP benefits are paying out.  According to the USDA’s yearly reports, SNAP paid out $74,156,770,000 in 2014.

Well, we’re down to the fun stuff now.  If SNAP is paying out 74.1 billion dollars, how much is that actually costing the American taxpayer? Roughly %0.55 of income.

That’s right.  To feed the roughly 46.5 million Americans on the SNAP program, it only costs each person about half a percent of their income.  If you make the average American’s salary of $44,888.16, it costs you an estimated $246 per year.  I don’t know about you, but that’s an insignificant amount of money.  To put that in perspective, if you are a single man using Scott toilet paper, it would cost you around $55 per year.  Yes, a family of 4 spends more in toilet paper (assuming of course that woman use double to TP) than the average American pays to provide SNAP benefits.

Every morning, my alarm goes off.  Evey morning, I spend hours trying to get out of bed.  I wander over to my desk, chain smoke cigarettes, and wonder how the day is going to go while working up the courage to leave the house.  That’s usually the first panic attack of the day.

Many of you know me, and a small fraction of you know my daily struggles.  It’s my hope in this post to not only to disclose my daily struggles, but to raise awareness that people you interact with on a daily basis also go through the same issues in which they hide it so well, that you would never know.

I’ve been having panic attacks and rather intense anxiety for as along as I remember.  In my teenage years, it was especially bad in which I turned to razor blades and matches for self harm as an outlet for the feelings that I didn’t understand.  Throughout the years, I have learned both constructive, and destructive ways of dealing with these issues thanks largely to the help of my wife, Jamie.

I’ve best described the feeling as this:  Have you ever been in a car accident?  If you have, you likely know the feeling of complete panic and terror between when you realize it’s going to happen, and when the impact occurs.  This usually last just a couple seconds.  For me, it’s several times a day, sometimes for hours.

I’m honestly not sure if writing this down will help, but hoping that getting it out will help me, as well as others who may be dealing with the same thing.

Many of you know me as the guy at the WordCamp who will drink with you all night at the after-party.  The co-creator of WP After Hours whom is likely sipping his beer, making loud conversation, calling people on their bullshit, and gets quieter as the night goes on.  The guy who has a passion for restoring arcade machines and classic video games.  What you didn’t know, is those are all forced coping mechanisms to keep me at a somewhat stable state.

Several years ago, I discovered that if I was drinking a beer, my anxiety would begin to diminish, which led to drinking binges and later to day drinking during the week.  This escalated to the point that my best drinking partner, and a person whom I consider one of my best friends, called me out on it.  At that point, my business was failing, and ultimately caused everything I had worked for to crumble and I knew I had to make a change.

I packed up, and moved to Virginia Beach.  After becoming involved with the WordPress community, I realized that people genuinely do care about others, even if they live hundreds of miles away.  In a sense, I feel like no matter where I am, I have close friends I can rely on.  WP After Hours is one of those things that made me realize that socializing isn’t so bad.

Due to the success I was making in the WordPress community, InMotion Hosting wanted to send me to WordCamps to meet all of those online connections in person which is a bit of a double-edged sword for me.  On the upside, I get to hang out with friends I have met, and on the downside, I have to be around people.  While I enjoy socialization, I hate physically interacting with people.  Thus, the WordCamp drinking problem started again.

WordCamp Lancaster is when I came to this realization.  I was nervous like always, and grabbed a beer like normal to relax.  My lack of self-control completely went off the rails and while to everyone else I was just having a good time, it was actually to avoid the realization that I was having “one of my days” as I call it.  The next morning hit and it was even worse.

Not only did I feel like complete shit, but my anxiety issues were so intense, that I was barely able to leave the hotel room.  I went to the WordCamp, chatted with a couple people, did my presentation, and went back to my hotel room to avoid human contact as much as possible for the next few hours.  This continued on to the after-party in which I mostly sat on the couch, and didn’t make much conversation.  Not because of the night before, but because at that moment, I simply couldn’t bear the thought of human contact.

Many of you reading this may have attended WP After Hours with me, and many have also wondered why we launch the Google Hangout so late.  Well, you finally have your answer:

It’s simply because I have to work myself up to it.  In a sense, while I do like all of you, it requires quite a bit of building up courage to actually go live.  Most nights, Jeff Chandler and I will be on there for around an hour chatting about the past week before I broadcast the link simply because I need to work up to the thought of other people.

My best advice to anyone coping with these same issues is to just find something you’re passionate about, and dive head first into it.  For me, it’s arcade machines.  I love them.  While I don’t have the physical space now for any more projects, I do as much as I can to work with what I have.  If you can waste your time with something productive, all of that joy will make you feel much better.

Of course, I can’t spend 100% of my time working on arcade machines due to a need to pay the bills, so I do have to leave the house.  Forcing myself to do the small things such as driving to the office or putting on WP After Hours on Friday nights do feel better once I do them.  It’s a feeling of accomplishment in conquering my fears.  Thankfully, once I get to the office, I have been fortunate enough to have people that make me feel comfortable and that’s the best treatment of them all.

For those of you reading this, wondering how you can help someone else with this same issue, my best advice is to accept who they are and make them feel normal.  My mother-in-law said to me a few days ago, “can’t you just calm down?” and the honest answer is “if I could, I would”.  My wife on the other hand, simply accepts who I am and lets me do what I need to do to get through those bad days.  The key to it all is accommodation.  Find out what they need, and provide it.  Sometimes all I need on those days is quiet and alone time, while other days I may need to play NBA Jam with a close friend.  Finding out what a person struggling with mental illness needs, while difficult, is the best way you can help.

I know, this post has been a bit of a rant.  I’m in one of those moods where I just keep writing and writing and it’s helping rather well, although that “publish” button to the right is absolutely fucking terrifying.  My hope is that once it is clicked, you all have a better understanding of how mental illness can affect people, even if you don’t recognize it right away.  If anything at all, at least writing this makes me feel better.

Thanks for listening,

For the last week or so, I had been passively looking for a way to play against friends of mine online in NBA Jam for the SNES.  Last night, I resolved that issue with absolutely no lag whatsoever and incredibly smooth gameplay.  Here’s how to do it:

SNES Netplay On Windows

  1. First you’ll need to grab a few files:
    RetroArch and the LibRetro cores
    Phoenix launcher for RetroArch (not necessarily needed, but makes things way easier)
  2. Once downloaded, unpack all of the files.  Typically, you’ll want to toss the contents all in the same folder for easier access.
  3. Launch the Phoenix loader.
  4. Once the Phoenix loader is loaded up, You’ll need to make a few adjustments.  First up is the RetroArch path option.  Set that retroarch.exe which was located inside the RetroArch zip file you extracted.
  5. For SNES games, set the libretro core path to snes9x_next_libretro.dll that was inside the cores zip file.  RetroArch supports a ton of different emulators, although not all support NetPlay.
  6. Player 1 will need to start the server.  To do so, check the Netplay checkbox and set the radio button to Server on player 1’s machine.  Player 2 will also enable the Netplay option, but select Client.
  7. The client now needs to set the Host IP field.  Here, enter the IP of payer 1’s server.
  8. For smooth play, set the Delay Frames option.  This will vary based on your bandwidth, but we have had the best luck with this set to 4.  Your mileage may vary.  For slower internet connections, you may want to set it a bit higher.
  9. Next up, be sure that port 55435 is open and forwarded on your router.  If you’re not sure how to forward ports, check out
  10. Next up, you need to select the SNES ROM that you want to play.  Both players should have the exact same ROM if possible for smoothest play.  Different copies of the same game will sometimes work, but I can’t guarantee anything with that.  In the Normal ROM Path field, browse to your ROM file on both the client and server machines.
  11. You’re all ready to go (with the exception of your controls which can be configured using Settings>Input.  On the server computer (Player 1), click the Start RetroArch button.  Once the server is launched, do the same on the client (Player 2).  You should now be playing together!

SNES NetPlay on Mac

Mac requires a bit more as there is not a launcher like Phoenix for Mac, but can be done easily through the command line.  Here’s how to do it:

  1. Download RetroArch and the LibRetro cores for Mac.
  2. Be sure that port 55435 is open and forwarded on both players’ routers.  If you’re not sure how to do so, check out for instructions.
  3. Unpack the RetroArch zip and place into your Applications folder.  Unpack the Cores zip wherever you can easily access it.
  4. Next, launch the terminal.
  5. You will need to launch everything from a command line.  The server will use a command like the following.  For the client, go to step 5.
    RetroArch -L /path/to/libretro/snes9x_next/core -H -F 4 /path/to/your/rom/fileSimply put, this command is launching RetroArch with the snes9x_next core, launching the server with the -H flag, setting the frame delay to 4 using the -F flag, then setting the SNES ROM that should be loaded.
  6. On the client computer (player 2) use a command like the following:
    RetroArch -L /path/to/libretro/snes9x_next/core -C -F 4 /path/to/your/rom/file
    As you can see here, it is very similar to launching the server, but instead you are replacing -H with -C and inserting the IP address of the server you are connecting to.
  7. You should now be all set and ready to play together!

Have a blast!  Things are much easier with a controller as well so if you need one, check out Amazon for a USB SNES controller.


As many of you may already know, my time at InMotion Hosting is ending today to pursue a career at RocketGenius.

The decision to do so certainly wasn’t easy.  Any of you who know me, know that I am an extremely loyal person and do not waver in my convictions.  In a discussion with Jeff Chandler about the transition to RocketGenius, he reminded me that I had previously stated that it would take a lot to get me to leave InMotion.  My response was simply that my goals are far surpassed with RocketGenius and I just need to take a leap of faith.

In my time at InMotion, I have learned a lot.  My experiences here have far surpassed my expectations and have skyrocketed my career.  Without InMotion, I likely wouldn’t be as active in the WordPress community, or even at all.  When I started at InMotion, my skillset was quite basic.  A little Linux, a dash hosting, some development, and a hint of marketing.  I had no idea that I would be travelling, developing plugins, and expressing my passion for WordPress.  InMotion has certainly provided me with those opportunities and I am grateful for each and every one of them.

The decision to join the team at RocketGenius was simply for personal growth.  By joining the incredibly talented minds behind GravityForms, I am able to witness product development at its finest.  While there are excellent developers at InMotion, WordPress-focused development is quite lacking.  In that sense, I was the top of the ladder; the cream of the crop.  If you’ve taken a look at my code in the past, I’m far from a senior developer.  I can get things done, but I lack the polish that comes from experience.  Simply put, I am a sponge that needs to soak up knowledge, and RocketGenius is the fire hose that will give it to me.

I look forward to joining the RocketGenius team next week.  Never before have I been so excited for a Monday.  A big thanks goes out to InMotion Hosting, the other folks who have helped me get here (I’m looking at you, Jeffro), and the RocketGenius team for giving me a chance.  Together, we can change the world.

Working for a major web host, I’ve seen a lot.  So much, in fact, that my entire perception on hosting has changed in the last 2 years that I have been at InMotion Hosting.  Many people simply see hosting a basic container for their content when behind the scenes, there’s a whole lot more going on.  With that, I feel that need that an honest, insider look on hosting as a whole is needed to clear up the fog.

Hosting isn’t just a few files on a server

In the time that I have been working at InMotion Hosting, I have spoken to tens of thousands of customers.  Of those customers, many seem to just simply think that a server is tossed up, and and operations begin.  In reality, there is a significant amount of work put in before any accounts hit the server, while they are there, and even some even after they are gone.

Prior to deployment

Before deployment of the server, it needs to be fully evaluated for performance and stability.  Without a full evaluation, a host could never know how reliable the server actually is.  Can the server support 10 users?  100?  1,000?  In this, every step of the puzzle is completely evaluated.  This includes both hardware and software and has an enormous amount of environmental variables to ensure that each and every customer has a positive experience.

On the live server

Imagine having a boss that tells you there’s someone you need to talk to in the office, but you have no clue who they are or what you need to talk to them about.  Then, you take 2 steps and someone else tells you there is yet another person you have to talk to.  By the time you get to the initial person, there are 5 others waiting.  Allow this to continue 24/7/365.  That’s what handling the uptime and stability of a web host is like, and that’s just one aspect of the situation.

Then comes security.  A host’s responsibility is also ensuring the safety of its users’ data.  Without it, any attacker could just waltz into the server and start destroying things.  If you’re not familiar with the aspects of security, there is an incredible amount of exploits that are found on a daily basis, many that directly affect any web host.  The host then has to keep an eagle eye on all possible security issues and ensure that they are not vulnerable.  This not only includes their hardware and software, but customer’s currently running software as well which cannot be as easily controlled.  Believe it or not, many customers leave their content wide open to security concerns and many are only saved because their host made changes on the server level to ensure that they are no longer vulnerable.

Lastly, you have the customer themselves.  This can range from an extremely polite, educated developer that just needs a simple change made or has a question about a server configuration, to the raging customer who doesn’t understand how to copy/paste and doesn’t understand why their email doesn’t work.  (Yes, that is actually a real-life example).  Regardless of the customer, support representatives are required to be the go-to for any questions a customer may have, or at least know where to direct you to for the answer.  They can take a severe beating by a customer and need to get up off the floor from that call, and pick up the next one as if they were having the best day of their life.

End of life

When a server is being upgraded, there are also several additional variables that exist to ensure everything is running smoothly.  This mostly consists of ensuring the happiness of all customers currently on that server that are being moved.  In this, every customer needs to be checked over thoroughly to ensure that they will not have any issues on the new server and includes things such as checking over every bit of software for compatibility with their site.

Your host cares about your website; maybe even more than you do

Many people think that their host couldn’t care less if their site is up or down.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

When someone’s website goes down, they call up their host and the host can sometimes either resolve it right away, or may take a couple of minutes to fix the issue.  The customer then curses the host and waits for their site to come back up.  Here’s what happens on the host’s side of things:

The most common issue would be shared servers with load spike issues.  Someone on the server did something to cause a large amount of resource usage, and the sysadmins are now tracking the issue to determine the appropriate action to take.  On a shared server, that means tracing activity through 100s or maybe even 1,000s of websites, locating the issue, and being able to determine the best course of action almost immediately.

While your sysadmins are calming down the server, support representatives have to be notified and readied to the amount of traffic they are about to receive.  Almost instantly, support calls, chats, and tickets will significantly jump and all need to be handled.  The absolute best case scenario is that you are able to tell the customer the issue, they are understanding, and they are quickly on to the customer with the next issue.  Sometimes, the result can be the customer calling in while yelling, threatening legal action, and not allowing you to get off the phone for a significant amount of time to try to help the next customer, and possibly canceling their account.

With all of the work involved with any amount of downtime, the host puts in a significant amount of man hours with just a single server and a couple of minutes of downtime.  Your host certainly does care about your website and sometimes, more than you do.

You use your tools by choice, we use your tools because you do

As you may know, there’s no shortage of tools to build a website.  You may spend time investigating some that interest you, and learn to master them, but hosts have to know what tools you use, before you do.

Software is released and changed every day and web hosts have to be able to know how it operates.  Nearly every piece of software in existence needs to be investigated to ensure stability and compatibility.  For example, if WordPress were to suddenly decide to switch over to Node.js, the hosting provider would need to know about that change far ahead of when any customers find out.  The host would then need to make sure that every server is properly equipped to handle the new changes.

This even goes as far back as Microsoft FrontPage.  Microsoft stopped supporting it many years ago, but hosts still have customers running it.  At that point, change after change has to be custom written to ensure that all customers running FrontPage are still able to publish their content and use FrontPage Extensions for as long as possible.


Hosts care a lot about what they do.  If they make one misstep, they are called out on it like they murdered your first-born.  Hosts are not just in the business of making money, but taking the responsibility of hosting the internet world on their shoulders.  Are there bad hosts out there?  Definitely.  Do the majority of web hosts care way more about your website and that you are happy than their bottom line?  Without a doubt.

Coming soon!

Soon, I will be taking an insider and unbiased look at some major hosting providers, and pitting them against each other.  We’ll see how they stack up.


Picture yourself as the unfortunate user who woke up in the morning to check their traffic to their website, and saw absolutely nothing.  How did your traffic go from hundreds of visitors a day to absolutely nothing?  Surely everybody didn’t just forget about you.

In your morning daze, before your first cup of coffee, you take a look at your website to make sure that there is nothing wrong.  Little did you know that while you were in your late night slumber, an attacker was quite diligently  hacking your website due to an unpublished vulnerability in your website software.

Quite distraught, you look at the damage.  Not only do all pages show a message that your website was hacked, but all of your critical files and database are now completely missing.  What do you do now?  Is your entire livelihood now gone in one fell swoop?

If you were making regular backups, it’s merely a bump in the road.  You may only have data from last night or even last week, but you at least have something to get back into the fight.

Never Trust That Someone Else Is Doing It For You

Just as you wouldn’t take a salesman’s word when buying a car without verifying the facts, never fully trust your backups to another individual.

This isn’t to say that subscribing to a third party backup service is a bad idea, or that you shouldn’t choose a host that runs backups for you, but always run your own backups as well.  This way, you know exactly what the backups contain and they are safe in your own hands.

Backup In Increments

Incremental backups are essential.  What if something goes wrong on your site and you don’t notice it until several weeks later when you have already overwritten your backups?

Keeping multiple backups of your site throughout different time frames will help you avoid any issues that go unnoticed over time.  I highly recommend keeping daily, weekly, and monthly backups on hand, depending on how often you make changes.

Never Keep Your Backups In A Single Location

Just as something can go wrong with your website, your backups could disappear as well.  We all know that technology can fail and that hard drive that your backups are stored in can do exactly that at any moment.

With the constantly falling price of removable media, flash drives are your best option.  Flash drives rarely fail and can be easily locked up in a secure location.  Think of this as a backup of your backup.  Every time you download a backup of your website to your computer, copy it over to the flash drive as well.

So How Do I Backup My Website?

cPanel Users

Backup Your Website Files in cPanel

Backup Your Database in cPanel

WordPress Users



Joomla Users

Akeeba Backup

Drupal Users

Backup and Migrate



It seems that there’s not much out there on automatically mounting a network shared drive on Linux Mint.  While these instructions specific Mint, it should work on various other Linux distributions such as Ubuntu as well.

Create your mount point

First, you need to create your mount point.  Personally, I usually use something in my home directory, but feel free to use whatever you want.  I’m going to assume that you know how to create directories in Linux already.

Edit fstab

Next, you just need to edit your fstab.  To so do, enter this in the terminal:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

Now that your fstab is up, add the following line:

// /home/user/networkdrive cifs guest,uid=1000,iocharset=utf8  0  0

In this line, I am connecting to a drive attached to a share named Media my Linksys router.  I allow all users that are within my network to connect to it, so I have mounted it with guest access.

Mount all drives

Now that everything is all set in your fstab, you just need to mount all drives.  To so do, enter this in your terminal:

sudo mount -a

As your network drive is now set to automatically mount, this command will mount this drive, as well as anything else that is configured to automatically mount.

You’re all set!  Enjoy mounting your network drives.