Posted (Updated ) in Javascript, PHP

Dropzone is a really nice lightweight javascript upload library with drag drop support and a high level of customisability. The documentation for direct uploads to Amazon S3 with a PHP backend are entirely lacking though so I’ve whipped up a complete tutorial on how to make it happen. For this tutorial I’ll be using Laravel but the script is very simple and any PHP backend will work.


What You’ll Need

  • AWS Access Key
  • AWS Secret Key
  • AWS Region
  • AWS Bucket Name

As part of Laravel I’m using dotenv to store these values and retrieving them with getenv() but they can be stored as config variables or any other method you like.

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Posted in Linux, PHP

Isn’t it annoying when you want to connect to your home network while out and about but don’t know what your IP is? Sick of dynamic DNS sites with arbitrary restrictions on their free tiers? Well look no further! This tutorial demonstrates how to point your home IP to a subdomain of your website using a simple PHP script.


The Concept

  • Set up a Route 53 subdomain for pointing to your home
  • A device in your home uses a scheduled task to ping a URL on your website
  • That URL grabs the IP hitting it and points your subdomain to the IP.

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Posted (Updated ) in Linux

I want to schedule backups of my Ubuntu EC2’s EBS on a daily rolling schedule – ie a backup will occur once each day, and after 7 days the oldest snapshot is deleted – so there will always be 1 weeks worth of backups.

Read on for the implementation.

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Posted (Updated ) in PHP

If you want your WordPress site to handle large traffic spikes, loading as many assets as possible from a third party server is a no-brainer. One of the ways to do this is by pointing all asset URLs to a subdomain and having that subdomain load through a service like CloudFront using origin pull. This is done in 3 steps:

  1. Create the CloudFront distribution
  2. Add the subdomain to your DNS
  3. The use of a poorly documented WordPress constant.

In this tutorial I’ll be moving all my sites assets from to

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Posted (Updated ) in Javascript, PHP

Update Jul 02 2011: crossdomains.xml should be crossdomain.xml
Update Jun 29 2011: Updated S3 upload URL – no more security error

If you’ve ever wanted to allow people on your website to upload files to Amazon S3, you’ll know the only real way to do this is with flash – as it allows the client to upload directly instead of funneling all traffic through your server. You could write your own script for this, however there’s already a nifty little prebuilt tool I’m sure you’ve already heard of called Uploadify which can not only do the job for you, it can do so with great flexability.

For the lazy: Download the entire script here

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