A better method for preparing Illustrator files for pre-flight, wide-format printing

When preparing artwork for printing, it is best not to select all objects and then flatten transparency because there is a risk that the .ai file would be saved in this state. You can Save a Copy and choose PDF as the format, and in the subsequent dialogue specify Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3) compatibility. Then in the Advanced Section, specify 2400 ppi for the Line Art and Text resolution and 300 ppi for Gradient and Mesh resolution, with “Preserve Overprint” checked. BETTER YET, just Save a Copy as PDF, and then do all the flatten transparency steps within Acrobat Professional.

PHP Session Timeout

The items utility has had a nasty habit of timing out users after a relatively short amount of time. In the past I tried extending the cookie timeout, but that didn’t really seem to help. The problem has been troublesome because it seems to happen almost randomly.

A little web research has led me to another conclusion as to the source of the problem: session data garbage collection.

Continue reading PHP Session Timeout

WordPress Unified User Database

In order to simplify user management of WordPress blogs hosted on our site I wanted to find a way to share users between two separate set ups. This is much easier to do than I had expected. For each setup you need to make sure WordPress uses the same database but different table prefixes.

The first step is to set up the initial blog. Next, set up any additional blogs. For each additional blog you need only add two lines to the wp-config.php file:

define('CUSTOM_USER_TABLE', 'wp_users');
define('CUSTOM_USER_META_TABLE', 'wp_usermeta');

wp_users should point to the original blog user table. wp_usermeta should point to the original blog user metadata table. From here on out you can configure and manage your blogs as normal. The only difference will be that users who have not been assigned a role for a specific blog setup will be listed under the “No role for this blog” category on the Users tab.


Apache Server Status Info-URL

I’ve enabled the Apache server-status functionality on flora. The information provided by this URL may prove useful when trouble-shooting server slowdowns. We’ll be able to see which, if any, requests are taking a large amount of time to process.

Whether or not this will truly prove useful only time will tell, so let me know if you have any thoughts.

SSH Tunneling

One of the benefits of SSH is that you can tunnel communication through the SSH connection to the remote machine. These communications then act as if they are coming from the remote machine. This provides for a means of allowing access to local services without having to open additional ports on the perimeter or host firewalls.

I won’t go into details on how to accomplish this, there are plenty of tutorials out there. I just wanted to bring it to everyone’s attention as an option for server administration.