Tag Archives: featured

Pre-gaming the Make Music Pasadena Festival

Cults at Make Music Pasadena 2012. Photo credit: la-underground via Flickr
Cults at Make Music Pasadena 2012. Photo credit: la-underground via Flickr

Make Music Pasadena marks 6 years this year, holding to the same recipe that put it on the radar in 2008: Free music on a handful of stages with Old Town Pasadena as a backdrop. Of course, it’s gotten bigger, boasting upwards of 100 acts on around 30 stages largely sprinkled between Fair Oaks and Lake, the main stages outdoors and a large swath of more intimate showcases tucked into the area’s bars and other buildings, including the public library. But, as with any entertainment buffet, one needs a battle plan, or you just end up like so many overwhelmed SXSW attendees, unable to name the tiny handful of bands they accidentally saw snippets of while feverishly texting all their friends to find out what stage they’re at.

 Pre-fest tip #1: Listen to some music in advance and sketch out a grazing list.

Nothing sucks more than realizing after a festival that that one song stuck in your head from your local NPR music show is by a band that played 100 yards away from you while you chilled out at the snow-cone stand, bored and checking Facebook. Search up a few band names in SoundCloud or YouTube. You’ll begin working up a list of yays and nays pretty quickly.

Pre-fest tip #2: Avoid parking drama.

When 30,000 people converge on a small area, parking becomes a major hassle. In this case, there’s a built-in buffer: The Gold Line, the above-ground train that runs from the eastside (the real eastside, you Echo Park hipsters) up through downtown L.A. and into the eastern end of Pasadena . Check out the Metro site to scope the train stations, many of which provide easy, free parking. Pay the small fare, ride into the Memorial Park stop on Holly and you’ll exit that station to the sound of music coming from  a few directions if you arrive after noon.

Pre-fest tip #3: You’re gonna walk and it’s gonna be hot.

Dress accordingly. Get some sun-screen in that backpack. Granted, the forecast of 84 degrees isn’t breaking any records, but hustling around the city on foot (or on their handy ARTS shuttles when they’re not packed with people) will get your core temp up. Hydrate, too.

Pre-fest tip #4: Always have a plan B, and maybe a plan C.

Logistics, fatigue and temperamental companions (c’mon, we all turn into those Snickers commercials when we get hungry enough) will scuttle the best of plans. Map out your day with two, maybe three possible bands for each hour, in case the first one that sounded so good on SoundCloud just happens to suck on stage. Or maybe you just don’t want to make the five-block hike to catch the last 20 minutes of that other band. Worse yet, that place you suggested everyone meet at for dinner has an hour-long wait because fo the crowds. Have an alternate plan in your back pocket–literally, in digital or paper form, in case you go into any Snickers commercial mode and can’t think straight. That should just about cover the basics. Toss in a hat, camera or earplugs as needed and enjoy. And if you’re so inclined to make sure this fine fest circles around next year, toss a little donation their way.

Balancing the height of divs without major CSS acrobatics

My day job is currently as a front-end developer, and a design requirement recently perplexed me for quite sometime before finding an almost embarrassingly simple solution that worked across all the browsers we’re targeting.

Here’s the scenario: There’s a narrow div on the left with menu-like listings and a main div in the center. The left div has a drop-shadow on its right edge, which we’re using a tiled, 1px high png to accomplish.

The challenge is that on some iterations of the page, the left div is taller than the right and on some it’s the other way around. As coded by default, if the right div ended up taller than the left, the drop-shadow would end where the left div naturally ended, leaving a gap at the bottom.

Now, there is a pure-CSS solution to this, but after messing with it for a couple of hours and not quite getting the delicate dance of percentages and lefts, rights and hard pixel widths to play nice, I happened upon a jQuery solution that took about 40 characters of code to implement.

$(“#side”).height( $(“#main”).height() );

Replace the ID names of side and main  to match your own div IDs or classes. Instant success. I swear, I’m developing a very big crush on jQuery as I ferret out more things it can do to make my life easier that weren’t obvious to me up to now.

Fixing RSA Host Key Changes on a Mac

If you use an FTP or SSH client to access files on your host servers and somewhere along the way, you migrate a domain from one server to another one, you’ll become familiar with a warning message like this:

Host Key Changed for ftp.yourdomain.com

If this is the first time you’ve seen this, it can certainly put a crimp in your productivity, because it generally means you’re not getting past this point unless you remove the host key recorded on your computer for the remote host connection you’re trying to reach.

The reason this is happening is that when you initiate a remote connection for the first time, a host key record is saved as a point of reference and a security check for future connections to that same remote host.

But if you take that website you’ve worked on and move it to another server, whether you are changing hosting companies or simply moving to a different server with the same host, the fingerprint coming back from that new server won’t match the one saved from the previous server. And as a result, your FTP or SSH client won’t let you complete the connection.

But the solution is fairly simple: You just need to remove the saved host key record that’s been stored on your computer and you’ll be able to connect again.

To get to the saved host file on your Mac, you need to use the Terminal program. Once opened, you should start out and the root of your own user account on the Mac, but should you venture away from their into other parts of your file system, you can always get back to your account root with this:

cd ~

From there, we’ll want to go to the hidden directory /.ssh, or all as one command,

cd ~/.ssh

From there, you can look at the files tucked away with the SSH command ls, and should see a file called known_hosts. Use the nano edit command to open the file.

nano known_hosts

You’ll see a list of all the host records saved. If you work on a lot of sites, it could be a long list. Scroll down the list to the line representing the domain you’re having an issue with. Get your cursor to the beginning of the line below it and then backspace to clear the full line. Hit control and x and then y when prompted to confirm your changes and voila, you should be able to connect again.

Alternately, if you’ve moved many sites and zapping all those lines would prove a long and tedious task, you could choose to remove the known_hosts file completely, in which case your computer would simply regenerate it from scratch as you make new FTP connections. To do that, you’d use the ssh command rm, like this:

rm known_hosts

Either way, that should do it. Once the old host record is gone, you should be able to connect to the host on the new server without any problem.