Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

Blog Archives

Mad Scientist Pumpkin Build

I recently volunteered to make a craft pumpkin (not an actual gourd with guts) for our daughter’s 3rd grade class. Each class is making a pumpkin, and all the pumpkins will be raffled off at the school’s Fall Festival this weekend. The best pumpkin will win a prize for the class. Claire’s class picked the theme “Mad Scientist”. I had originally thought I’d be able to spend a little time over the course of several days planning … Continue reading

Make Your WordPress Site Talk Like a Pirate

It’s been 9 years since I first released my Text Filter Suite plugin. The TFS is actually a collection of a “TFS Core” plugin, plus several sub-plugins, including the infamous “TFS Pirate”, which will turn your posts and comments into pirate-speak for International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Over the years, I have been meaning to refactor the code. It really should be one single plugin, with an options screen to enable individual components, choose … Continue reading

Vagrant Quickref Cards

I recently started using Vagrant for managing virtual machines. A coworker and I are planning to introduce this to the development workflow for our IT team (along with a bunch of other improvements to our development life-cycle). Since I’m still new to Vagrant, I wanted a quick-reference card for the commands, instead of having to go back to the main documentation web site in my browser, and navigate to the details for an individual command. … Continue reading

WordPress 10th Anniversary Blogging Project

The official 10th anniversary of the release of WordPress is May 27, 2013. It has been an amazing 10 years, during which WordPress evolved from a simple blogware to a very full-featured CMS (Content Management System), used to power some of the biggest and most popular web sites on the internet. All over the world, people are planning celebrations. As much as I like a good party, I thought this would also be a good … Continue reading

Improve Apache thread memory usage

Thing I learned today at CoderFaire Atlanta: If you are using Apache with the worker MPM model (or the experimental event worker) under Linux, you can probably improve your memory usage. By default, there is an 8MB stack size per thread, which turns out to be overkill. If you change the size to 1MB, you can save a ton of memory: <IfModule mpm_worker_module> StartServers 8 MaxClients 512 MinSpareThreads 64 MaxSpareThreads 128 ThreadsPerChild 32 ThreadLimit 512 … Continue reading

CodePoet Interview

I was recently honored to do an interview for We discuss how I got involved with web development and WordPress, community, and the difference between web development as a job versus as a hobby. Continue reading

Digispark Arduino-compatible development board

Say hello to my little friend! This is the Digispark: “The micro-sized, affordable, Arduino enabled, usb development board.” This board has 6 I/O lines, which doesn’t sound like much, until you consider that it supports I2C, which is a 2-wire serial bus capable of addressing many peripherals at once. This is my first venture into Arduino-land, and I’m still climbing the learning curve. But I have many ideas for projects, and I’m sure that more will … Continue reading


An interaction between various social networking services I use recently caused a cross-posting loop, and I ended up spamming Twitter and Facebook with a ton of self-referencing links. Learn what happened, what I did to fix it, and who I blame for the problem. Continue reading


As the end of my current contract job comes near, I’ve begun putting out feelers for a new job. Looking over some of the descriptions and skill requirements for job openings, I see a pretty common thread: big companies are (still) asking for Java and .NET programmers, while smaller firms tend to look for developers using PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails, etc. This got me thinking about “Enterprise” platforms, and so I posed a question … Continue reading