New Google Chrome Theme!

If you use Google Chrome, here’s something special for you!  There’s a new Technically Heroic Chrome theme available on the Google Chrome Web Store for FREE!  Check it out here.

 

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Joomla! 2.5 Tutorial – Step 2: Installation

Now that we’ve set up MAMP (or its equivalent), and the Joomla! 2.5 installation files placed in the ‘htdocs’ folder of the MAMP application files, it’s time to create databases and install Joomla! on the local server simulation.

Again, I’m working on a Mac, so if you’re working on a Windows or Linux operating system you’ll have to adapt a little bit.  However, the most important thing to do on a non-Mac system is to locate the place where your programs/applications are installed (i.e., Program Files on Windows).  At this point I am going to stop reminding you  in my tutorials that MAMP has Windows and Linux counterparts, but you can always find links at the bottom of the post to help you find the right software for your operating system.  Now back to the tutorial.

MAMP and MAMP start page

MAMP and MAMP start page (click to enlarge)

Start up MAMP.  Now, when you installed MAMP you also installed a trial version of MAMP Pro.  Ignore MAMP Pro for now, you don’t need it for this tutorial.  Once MAMP is started, it should automatically start the Apache and SQL servers.  As soon as they’re ready, your default web browser should automatically open the MAMP start page (please inspect the image on the right).  Here’s what’s important on this startup page:

  • The URL bar (top of screen – notice that it is not http://anything – it’s localhost:8888/whatever)
  • Link to phpMyAdmin (top navigation bar, below URL)
  • MAMP, the application, open with two green dots indicating that Apache and SQL are working
  • MySQL connection parameters (host, port, username, password) – we’ll need these in a bit Continue reading

Joomla! 2.5 Tutorial – Step 1: Setup

Ok, let’s get started!

There are a few things you’ll need to do before installing Joomla!.  First, you must download the latest version of Joomla! (version 2.5).  Decompress the .zip file and put the resulting folder somewhere on your computer where you won’t forget it (note: this step is especially easy on a Mac).  Next comes a slightly trickier part: getting web space.

For Joomla! to work on the web, you need:

  • A domain name
  • Apache server support
  • FTP access to your domain space
  • phpMyAdmin SQL client (this is EXTREMELY important)

Where do you get a domain name?  Usually at the same place where you can get web hosting, such as Dreamhost.com or GoDaddy.com.  If you want your website on the internet, you should make sure you’re getting the features mentioned above with your hosting plan.  Otherwise… well, I can’t help you there.  Do your research.  Read reviews and comparisons to help you make your decision (right now, I like DreamHost).

But what if you want to develop your site BEFORE putting it online?   Continue reading

You Can Learn Joomla! – Tutorial Prelude

Alright, this is the first post in my Joomla! tutorial series, in which I will use my experience to walk you through the process of creating your own Joomla! website.  First though, let me tell you why I’m teaching you Joomla!.

joomla vs wordpress image

Some will ask, “Which is better, Joomla or WordPress?”  They’re both Content Management Systems (CMS), so the answer I would give would be, “it depends.”  In short, WordPress is easier to use, but Joomla’s complexity gives users more power once they figure it out.  For the purpose of this comparison, WordPress will refer to the software you download from WordPress.org, not the similar free blog stuff you get here on WordPress.com.

I should note that this tutorial series isn’t really meant to show you how to use Joomla! for blogging purposes, although some of the information I will share may be used to that end.  I’m going to show you how to use Joomla! to build a website, and if all you want is to simply make a blog… well, just create a WordPress.com account.  It’ll be easier on you than the advanced stuff I’m going to show you.

Joomla! requires you to learn how to set up a SQL database and deal with FTP clients, etc…  The purpose of this tutorial series is to show you how to easily learn to use SQL and FTP without fear and confusion.  You might then ask, “Why not write a tutorial about WordPress then, if they’re essentially the same?” To which I would answer: Installing WordPress (from WordPress.org) on your website follows a similar process, but I prefer Joomla! because of its more advanced organization structure.  In either case, using a CMS is a lot more efficient than hard-coding a website from scratch, usually with better-looking results.

I know I seem a little bit biased towards Joomla.  As you may have guessed, I’m actually using both.  This WordPress blog is my website’s blog, but my website actually runs on Joomla!, so I’ve had enough experience with both to be able to choose a favorite.  I’m going to walk you through learning Joomla! in the upcoming tutorial posts, so you too can have a cool website.  To warm up, I suggest visiting my website, www.sopoweredproductions.com to see what a Joomla! site looks like.  Up next: setting up for Joomla!

A Fully Operational So Powered Productions – Tutorials Coming

At last, thanks to Joomla! and a lovely template courtesy of Joomlage.com, my website is beginning to reach its potential.  Already there’s much more on here than there was before, and I’m pretty sure it’s only the beginning.  This place really is the place to go for the latest information on Technically Heroic now that I have my trusty CMS at my command.

If you like what I’ve got, I can put CMS at your command as well.  I’m gearing up to do a tutorial series here on Joomla!, so if you would like to learn how to make your website cool like mine, check out my website, http://sopoweredproductions.com to get a sense of how powerful Content Management Systems can be (also, visit http://legacy.sopoweredproductions.com to compare and contrast with the old site).  Then watch for my tutorials!  You could even subscribe to the blog so when a new tutorial comes out, you’ll get notified!  Stay tuned.

Discovering A Lost Passion

To me, nothing gets my creativity flowing like Technically Heroic does.

I’ve tried my hand at many things: HTML coding, Photoshop, drawing, LEGO robotics, video production, and more.  I’ve explored so many different ways to express my creativity, but I always come back to writing.

After spending a month working on a music video and learning to use Joomla! on my website, I finally got back to working on my trilogy today.  Because my currently published book has needed some revision that would ultimately lead to seemingly tedious work, I kind of put it on the back burner for a while.  But now, with my music video finished and my website in order, I decided to dive in and work.

technically heroic coverI started by opening iTunes, compiling a playlist of some of my favorite Star Wars music (nothing like ‘Duel of the Fates’ to get you in a writing mood), and opening my document.  Then I began to read.  At first, I thought that I would be bored to tears going through my first story for probably the fifth time, but as I read, making minor formatting changes along the way and listening to my Star Wars music, I began to remember why I love working on my story so very much.  The only part of the whole series that I consider boring started to draw me in closer and closer, awakening memories of the visuals my mind had conjured when I first wrote the words.  Truly a wonderful feeling.

Now, after reading the opening three chapters of Technically Heroic, I feel like going and working on the second in the series ASAP, while at the same time going into Photoshop and creating matte paintings of locations in the story.  I want to channel the creativity I’ve stored in this series into my other means of expression!  My own creation is sucking me back to itself, back to a place I haven’t been in a while – a place I’ve secretly missed.  Knowing that I couldn’t go and write fresh stuff right away, I came here.

I always try to find a moral of the story in my posts, so here’s the one for this post:  Don’t fear going back and reading what you’ve already written and read over many times already.  Boring as it may sound, most likely it will prove otherwise, drawing you in like a new reader (this is especially true if you’ve been away from it a while).  So put on the music that suits your book, open up your document, and start reading.  It just might prove rewarding.

Thanks for reading my little gush 🙂