Yeah, What They Said 3/23

Yeah, What They Said is a new feature on tunequest. Some people call it “link sharing.” These links won’t necessarily be music or iTunes related, but I’ll try not to stray too far from the topics on this site. Mostly though, it’ll be stuff that’s cool, but that I don’t have time to write about.

Behind the Mario Maestro’s Music:
Koji Kondo was in his mid-20s when he wrote the iconic music for The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. for the NES, but he doesn’t compose much these days. Wired takes a look a him.

10 Albums in 10 Minutes: Classic albums cut up and squeezed into 60 seconds of playing time.

Millions Dream of Megamillions: Compete blog charts the rise in Internet activity as the recent Megamillions Jackpot increased.

If You Can Read This, You’re Hired: How would you find a really good typographer? Would you use dingbats? If you can decipher these ads by 3/25, you could get a 1-year subscription to Indesign Magazine.


Bonus video: here’s Koji Kondo playing Super Mario Bros on the piano:

How to (easily) Sandbox WordPress and Kick back with Plugins, Themes And Hacks

Materials Needed

  • Webhost that allows you to create subdomains and an extra mysql database
  • WordPress (of course)
  • Technosailor’s WordPress-to-Wordpress package

When I set out to redesign this site a few weeks back, I, naturally, didn’t want to work on the files controlling my live site. Of course, I didn’t want you, loyal viewer, to drop by and see a sidebar floating in the middle of the page or find all my text covered by an image or (worst of all) run into an incompetence-induced php error.

At the same time, I didn’t exactly relish the idea of perfecting a design of static HTML+CSS pages then have to translate that design to WordPress template files. So, I kept putting off the work, hoping for a magic fairy to give me a way to emulate the functionality of the site without the risking a total kludge-up.

Then, like lightning or a side-swipe, I was struck by an idea: what if I set up a subdomain with which to stage my new design, complete with an autonomous, duplicate copy of my entire WordPress database? To my surprise, it turned out to be much more simple than I had assumed it would be. A couple plug-ins was all I needed to replicate my site in a snap. I was quickly able to populate the staging site with all my existing content: posts, comments, images… everything needed to make sure that the new design would work.

This method was very efficient. It allowed me to design and deploy the updated WordPress theme in my spare time over the course of a week.

Even though that project is complete, the staging environment is still active, so I’m free to experiment with future layout/design changes, try out new plugins, or play with hacks to core WordPress files without endangering the usefulness of the main site. In fact, since this article is a little more elaborate than usual, I posted there before posting it here so I could make sure all the formatting was proper.

Here’s how to do it:

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