The most frustrating part of web development is getting stuck. Research also shows that when we get stuck we get angry because we are basically cavemen.
This is a great way to get unstuck if you are working in PHP.
When a PHP file is broken your server will send you to a completely blank page. This might be very frustrating if you don’t know what to do with it. If you see the blank page, your PHP code is giving you an error. If you solve the error you website will work again.
So here is what you should do.
1. Remember that every time your PHP file is not working there is an error log and that you should search it. If you can’t fix it straight away, just go check out the error logs.
2 . Check out your apache error logs by typing this into your ubuntu server. This will print the errors to your screen.
3. Your latest errors will be displayed last.
4. Googling your error message will help you find a solution.
Remember. Every time you see a blank PHP page. Search for the error logs using cat /var/log/apache2/error.log
(for ubuntu server). This will give you a nice error message to google.
The first world problem to rule them all, slow wifi
In terms of i-landsproblem (Swedish for first world problems) having slow internet might be a strong contender for the first world problemest of them all.
But having slow internet when you actually have to get work done is tiring. Yesterday I waited 6 hours while uploading a backup using SFTP. Sure in the meantime I created this blog but still.
Coming from a place with awesome internet I sometimes feels that all the beautiful sunsets in the world can’t make up for sucky internet.
Sometimes you should just accept defeat and watch the sunset but if you plan on staying longer in the same place you should do your best to get the most out of your wireless network.
The thai simcard paradox
I already have an unlocked phone with a thai simcard and a data plan. The problem is that ridiculously gorgeous places have rubbish wifi and 3g.
So what is a boy to do?
The easiest thing to do would be to compromise and stay in a slightly boring town with great wifi (Chiang Mai). But if I wanted compromise I should just have stayed in Stockholm with stellar internet and terrible weather.
Instead of compromising on my standards for internet speed we could try to compromise some wireless networks.
A brief history of networks
In the good old days we all used cables to connect our computer to our local area network. Now we are way more civilised and use Wireless Local Area Networks.
The first password is free
The trouble is that with wifi every person with a passcode gets one step closer to gaining access to your router settings and since we are all staying in cafés and hotels we always have the initial passcode to get us access to the network.
Accessing your router as admin
The step from gaining access to a network (logging in with a password) to having complete control of it is actually tiny.
All you have to do is type in 192.168.1.1 in your computers browser. Most of the time this will land you directly in the control panel for your browser. But to get to another page you need to figure out the username and password for the router.
The tale of the default passwords
Being a designer of router has to be a terrible job. 99.99% of your customer only care about your router once when they set it up and never want to be bothered with your product ever again.
They also might want to be able to adjust some settings without completely resetting the router. And for that they need a password.
But since almost nobody cares about their routers most people just keep their default passwords which is *drumroll*
Typing in this username and password will get you access to lots and lots of routers.
With our new found access we can do a lot of things.
We could potentially give my computer the highest priority on the network and increase its share of network traffic (faster internet hurray!)
We could also kick devices of the network. I could try this out by kicking my girlfriends iPhone from the network.
But we aren’t gonna do any of those things since accessing other peoples routers might be illegal. Instead I’m just gonna relax and watch another sunset.
After spending more then 50 days travelling I’m starting to get comfortable with the digital nomad lifestyle.
I realised that this is something that I’ve been doing for years and that I’ve actually spent most of my trips this way.
I always spent time coding whether I hung out with friends in the US or spent time surfing in Indonesia or when visiting my dad in New Zealand.
The perks of doing this as a digital nomad is that supposedly you get people to pay you for your work.
Right now I’m enjoying spending my time learning new things. I’ve coded a bunch of iOS applications and I’m working on finding the perfect setup for my own Ubuntu servers. I would also like to spend some time giving back to the community and teach others how to get started with coding and being a digital nomad.
But if you know someone who would need help with web development or iOS applications I would be glad to help them out.