About Chris Brewer

My most recent work and biography is at http://chrisbrewer.me (my home page, by the way). Chris Brewer has worked in both industry and academia for years at the intersection of information systems and communications. His background is in areas ranging from technical consulting with Fortune 500 companies, developing award-winning web sites, publishing the Denver Scene, and operating small business concerns. Chris has a unique mix of in-depth technical skills ranging from web and database development to server administration, and strong creative skills in traditional and rich media. Chris actively illustrates his love for the impact and promise of web-based media by fusing creative and technical inputs into seamless integrated output. Chris is also a dynamic lecturer and an innovative technical instructor, and holds an undergraduate business degree from the University of Colorado.

Install memcached and APC on Mavericks Server 3 (Mac OS X 10.9)

Dramatically speed speed up sites hosted using Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks Server (like SocialEngine, Drupal, WordPress, or other PHP/MySQL web site) by adding APC and Memcache.

Here’s how to install APC and memcache on Mac OS X Mavericks server, which runs PHP 5.4:

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Rebuilding PHP extensions to work with Mac OS X Mavericks server and PHP 5.4

Because Mavericks server uses PHP 5.4, any extensions you may have compiled for previous versions of Mac OS X (such as memcache, apc, mcrypt) need to be recompiled and reinstalled.

This post assumes you used MacPorts to compile and install the PHP extensions in question. Here’s how to accomplish the task:

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Experiments with boosting social media likes

I’m curious whether for-pay Facebook like sites like boostlikes really work. They have a free offer whereby one can gain 250 Facebook likes from “real” people. The catch? I have to post their URL to my site. Well, here we go. They claim I’ll notice results in 4-7 days. I’ll report back the results here. For the record, my page (which will be undisclosed) currently has 96 likes.

boostlikes even claims to be able to deliver likes from US-based Facebook users. Of course, that’s a premium price, but those are probably a) more valuable to US-based businesses; b) resonate better with US-based consumers; and c) cost more for boostlikes to acquire.

— Follow up: November 13, 2013 —

Last night I received notice from boostlikes that they kicked off my free campaign at 9:05 p.m. Within minutes I had 446 page likes, a gain of 350 likes. Most are from users with names of a Hispanic origin.

Separating a list of values with commas using CSS

On the web, we’re often presented with a list of values that we need to display in a comma-separated manner.

For example, perhaps I would rather display a list of city names like Amsterdam London Paris Berlin as:

Amsterdam, London, Paris, and Berlin.

While we could tackle this with a variety of approaches including PHP or Javascript, we can also easily handle it with CSS.
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Adding AC3 Dolby Digital 5.1 multichannel audio to an MP4 without re-encoding

I recently “obtained” some video files which had 5.1 surround sound encoded as AAC, but AppleTV does not play multichannel audio in AAC format.

While AppleTV can play back stereo or Dolby Pro Logic II in AAC format, it requires multichannel audio be encoded as AC3. None of these “acquired” MP4s have AC3 5.1 6-channel audio!

I could encode the file again, but that takes to much time. Is there a way I can just add or import AC3 multichannel audio to my existing video files?

The short answer is yes.

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