10. Use it to download Safari, Firefox, and or Chrome.

Ok so the title was slightly misleading. Once you’ve covered those 10 steps using internet explorer, get rid of it.

Sorry I have to be so harsh about it, but Internet Explorer is an old dog, and it won’t be learning any new tricks.

Not only is it currently the most outdated browser among the 5 popular browsers*, but it’s staying that way by not supporting about 95% of the new features associated with up and coming HTML5 and Css3.

Browser Compatibility

For the rest of this chart, if you’d like to see what web features Internet Explorer, and other browsers do support, or if you’re just looking to laugh, check out FindMeByIP.com

*The 5 current most popular browsers include, in no particular order :

  1. Mozilla Firefox
  2. Internet Explorer
  3. Safari
  4. Google Chrome
  5. Opera

If you’ve got any other information I may have missed, or just have something to say, feel free to comment below.

After countless complaints of the iPhone4′s dropped calls and antenna problems, here’s what Apple has to say about it.

On a more serious note, Apple has announced that they are doing something about it. They just released an iPhone software update (4.0.1), also they will be giving free iPhone cases to anyone who bought an iPhone4. The details so far are :

  • You can get a free iPhone case from a few available options
  • If you’ve bought an Apple bumper, you can get a refund (Apple isn’t giving free bumpers because they claim they can’t manufacture enough)
  • The offer will last until September 30th, at which time Apple will do another evaluation of the iPhone4, so hurry and get your free case or refund while you can.

Variables in PHP, just like any programming language, are used for storing values, such as text strings, numbers, or an array of values. Once you have declared, a variable, it can be used over and over again throughout your script.

Variables in PHP must be declared with a ‘$’ symbol. So a variable named test would be declared as $test. The ‘$’ symbol is also needed every time the variable is used after it is declared.

A simple variable declaration should be done as followed :

$test_variable = value;

Now let’s make one variable with a string, and another with a number value :

$text = “Hello World!”;
$num = 10;
  • Note – A string, like the echo statement, can use either single or double quotes, but it must end with whichever it starts with.

There is a lot of freedom when using variables in PHP. First of all you do not have to declare the variable before it is used. The first time you use the variable it will be declared. You also do not have to declare the data type (string, integer, float) of the variable. Once you use the variable, PHP automatically changes the data type to whatever value is stored in the variable.

You can also change the data type of the variable multiple times in your script. Example :

$var = “Hello World!”;
$var = 25;
$var = “Hello World Again!”;
  • Note – This can be done as many times during your script as you’d like.

With all the freedom that comes with PHP variables, there are some rules when it comes to naming them :

  • PHP variable names must start with a letter or an underscore.
  • PHP variable names can consist of only alpha-numeric characters and underscores: a-z, A-Z, 0-9, and _
  • A PHP variable name cannot contain spaces. If a variable is more than one word use an underscore in between them such as ‘$my_variable’ or use capitalizations like ‘$myVariable’.

Now let’s make a simple PHP script that can show us the effects of using variables :

$hello = “Hello World!”;
$fav_num = 23;
echo $hello;
echo ‘ My favorite number is ‘ . $fav_num;

So what’s going on here? First we set a variable to equal the string ‘Hello World!’, then another variable to equal the number ’23′. After that we used the echo command to print on screen what was stored in the ‘$hello’ variable. The second echo statement prints a string followed by the ‘$fav_num’ variable.

  • Note – In the second echo statement, to connect the string to include the ‘$fav_num’ variable, we use a period in between the two. This is known as concatenation, or to concatenate.

When you open your newly made script in a browser it should look something like this :

php script output.

That pretty much covers the basics of PHP variables. Try to write some scripts with what you’ve learned to get used to using variables. A good thing to try also, is naming the variables something that isn’t recommended, just to see what the error looks like that PHP would likely spit out.

As usual if you’ve got any questions, just comment below.

Before we doing any coding, let’s talk about what PHP is. PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely used scripting language that is designed for web development and can be embedded directly into HTML.

What makes PHP so different from client-side languages like Javascript and HTML is that PHP code is executed on the server, and then sent to the client as HTML. The amount of things that PHP can do versus HTML and with HTML, make the possibilities of what a web page can do grow exponentially.

One of the strongest features of PHP is its ability to connect to a wide range of databases. Those features will be touched on in later, more advanced tutorials.

This tutorial and any further PHP tutorials will assume that you will be using a server that supports PHP, and that you know HTML. If you don’t know HTML then I strongly recommend not reading this tutorial until you’ve learned it.

Now let’s begin writing your first PHP script.

  • Note – There are several programs you can use for writing PHP, but if you don’t have a specific program such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Panic Coda, you can simply use your computer’s most basic text editor.

First off, create a new file and save it as helloworld.php. Yes the infamous ‘Hello World’. If you don’t know what I’m talking about and plan on learning other programming languages later, then get used to seeing ‘Hello World’ as your first tutorial.

I’ll start by showing you the code, then explaining it piece by piece after you’ve looked through it. I’ve found that’s the best way to work with stuff like this.

Yup, that’s it.

We start by creating a blank html document with all of the standard tags. Only one thing, there’s something new in the body tag.

Whenever you write PHP code, you have to start with “<?php” and end it with “?>”. This lets the server know where the PHP code is within the HTML file.

  • Note – “<?php” tags can be placed anywhere in the HTML document.

The only line within the PHP tag is “echo ‘Hello World’;”. The ‘echo’ command tells PHP to write on the screen whatever text you put within the following quotes.

  • Note – You can use either single quotes or double quotes for ‘echo’, but whichever one you open with, you must close with as well.
  • Note – You can also put HTML code within the quotes following ‘echo’. This will become very helpful later.

The last thing in the line is the semi-colon, which has to be placed at the end of every PHP line, to let PHP know that the command is done, and to move on to the next line. Without the semi-colon, the page would result in an error.

Here’s what your page should look like after opening it in your browser :

First PHP page.

That’s really all there is too it. Thanks for taking the time to read this tutorial and I hope you enjoyed writing your very first PHP script. If you have any questions, please comment below.

Now I’m sure everyone has been having fun making their own DVD covers, with the help of  a tutorial we added a while back, but now Blu-rays have taken over, and DVD’s are slowly becoming something your grandparents just found out about.

So what am I doing about it? Creating this NEW tutorial that will show you how to make your own Blu-ray covers too. This way you don’t have to look at the one’s you get from the store all the time. Or you can just make covers for your own movies.

To get started you’ll need to download this Blu-ray cover template :

Now unzip the file you just downloaded and open bluRayCover.psd in Photoshop. Once it’s open your document should look something like this :

Template Preview

The first thing you’ll notice is the red and blue guide lines. These are just here to help you for now, and will not be visible when you are finished.

  • The red lines give you the recommended boundary for your content. The background of your cover should fill the entire document, while your other contents stay within the red lines.
  • The blue lines tell you where the spine of the Blu-ray is.

You’ll notice that this document has six layers. If you can’t see the layers, you should click on ‘Window’ at the top of Photoshop. This will bring down a drop-down list. From the list click on ‘Layers’. Once that’s selected, your layers window should be visible in the lower right corner :

All The Layers

  • The first layer you’ll see is a folder. This contains all the guide lines you see on the document. You’ll want to hide this layer once you’re done.
  • The next three layers are also folders. Each containing common images you’d find on a Blu-ray cover, like the Blu-ray logo, or country codes. These can make your cover look more convincing.
  • Next is a layer titled, ‘Keep This Layer’, which you’ll want to keep to put your own images and content on.
  • The last layer is the background. On this layer you’ll want to put whatever image or color you’ll be using for the background of your cover.

Now lets begin making our cover. The first thing you’ll want to do is select the ‘Keep This Layer’ layer by clicking on it.  I’m going to add some text on this layer, which you can do by selecting the text tool – from Photoshop’s tools, usually located on the far left. After selecting the text tool, click anywhere on the document where you’d like to add text and start typing.

If you want to edit basic attributes of your text such as size, color, and font, you can do so in this window :

Editing Text Attributes

From here on you can add as much content as you’d like to your cover, though I stopped at just using text. Here is my finished product :

Blu-ray cover finished

To show or hide any specific layer such as the Blu-ray logos, or the country codes, just click the small eye next to the layer you want to hide. If there is no eye then the layer is hidden, and clicking the blank spot will cause an eye to appear, making the layer visible.

One layer you’ll want to hide when your done is the layer titled, ‘Hide This Folder’. So just click the eye next to it when you’re finished with your cover. This will hide those ugly red and blue guides.

So once you’re done we can save it.

  1. File -> Save For Web & Devices
  2. Preset on the top right, select JPEG High
  3. Click Save and choose a filename and location.
  4. Click Save

Save For Web & Devices

After the Save has completed you can close Photoshop. It will ask you to Save the file, be sure to NOT save the template so that you can use it again for future covers. Now all you need to do is open the JPEG file you did save and print it. You’ve just made your first Blu-ray cover.

If you have any questions, or if I’ve left out an entire section of the tutorial because I’m so tired right now, feel free to comment and let me know.