How to use PhpStorm with Drupal

Clock IconMarch 27th, 2012

I’ve created a video to show some of the highlights of PhpStorm and how to use it in your Drupal project. I highly recommend setting up a local development environment with Xdebug. You should watch the HD version of the PhpStorm with Drupal Tutorial Video. Also I have collected some additional resources on how to configure PhpStorm for Drupal and how to set up MAMP Pro with Xdebug. Read the rest of this entry »

Confirmed – new iPad (iPad 3) has 1GB RAM – first benchmark

Clock IconMarch 13th, 2012

The new iPad has 1GB RAM, this is now confirmed by a first benchmark. It looks like the ARM processor is pretty much the same. See the results for yourself.

Source: Geekbench Browser

First benchmark of the new iPad

Data source: Geekbench browser [1, 2]

Luxology modo 501 Shortcuts – cheat sheet

Clock IconMarch 13th, 2011

With the help of Jason Bartley I created my own version of a Luxology modo 501 cheat sheet with all the default hotkeys. I also created a wallpaper version for black and white backgrounds. I prefer the black background because of the reduced overall brightness. I have it on my second monitor and with Exposé on OS X I can easily reveal the hotkeys whenever I need them.

Source files are provided so that you can translate or modify this cheat sheet, only thing that I would ask you is to share your version with the modo community and post a note about your version on the 501 Shortcuts thread in the Luxology forum.



OpenX 2.8.x – 500 internal server error after some time

Clock IconAugust 10th, 2010

This has been bugging me for some time now. After a few weeks OpenX throws a 500 internal server error everytime I try to login. I have tried all available fixes on the web. But for me it was a different issue. I had debug logging enabled and after some time the file reached a PHP memory limit (10MB in my case) so that OpenX is unable to add anymore logging data. Simple solution is to disable debug logging altogether (openx/www/admin/account-settings-debug.php) and to delete the “openx/var/debug.log” file.

Drobo FS – benchmark and review

Clock IconMay 31st, 2010

I have been searching Google up and down just to find some benchmark values for the Drobo and they have been sparse to non existent. Those numbers that exist are either the unverified numbers from Data Robotics 30-40MB/s or those non scientific stopwatch tests without mentioning further setup specs. Altogether this is pretty disappointing.

I already own a Drobo 2nd gen connected via Firewire 800 and today (05/31/2010) I have ordered a Drobo FS which I thoroughly will put through its paces. I will post all specs for my setup as well as the benchmark I am using so that everyone can compare his/her results.

While the BeyondRAID technology always was one of the main points to get a Drobo, the performance was far from stellar. The Drobo FS promises to have improvements for this issue. I get around 11-14 MB/s from my Drobo 2nd gen via FW 800 and I seriously hope that the numbers from Data Robotics for the Drobo FS hold true.

Update: If you can enable jumbo frames you get a better performance. Unfortunately Apple failed with the latest iMac Core i7 and Core i5 (late 2009) in not having jumbo frame support!

Update 2 (01/27/2011): As I stated in the beginning of the article I didn’t want to do non scientific stopwatch tests, because these wouldn’t be comparable. But here are some actual stopwatch results. My Drobo FS is now at 68% capacity (1.77 TB, 3x 1 TB disks), I’m running Drobo FS firmware  1.1.1 [7.12.3468] and my OS X version is 10.6.6. I’ve copied a 4.07 GB disk image to my Drobo FS, it takes 150 seconds to complete that’s an average transfer rate of 27.78 MB/s in write speed. If I copy this file from my Drobo FS to my iMac it completes in 103 seconds giving me an average read speed of 40.46 MB/sec.

For those of you who just want the results, here is a chart with the results.

Drobo FS, Drobo 2nd gen Benchmark results

Read on for more details:

Read the rest of this entry »

Thoughts on multi-core processors, dual-core, quad-core and benchmarking

Clock IconDecember 10th, 2009

The release of the latest iMac line has also spawned a lot of discussions about the necessity of multi-core processors namely quad-core systems. Synthetic benchmarks show the improvements in processor technology but more often than not this does not translate into real world advantages. At least that is what most comments sum it up to. But multi-core especially quad-core systems make sense not just for video and 3D-applications. There is good reason to opt for quad-core instead of dual-core systems.

Many applications are not designed to thread their tasks enough to really saturate the resources that modern multi-core systems offer. So software developers are encouraged to make use of technologies like Grand Central which takes a lot of work out of the multi-core software design process.

There are two arguments that justify buying multi-core especially quad-core systems today. Why you ask? Because benchmarking never shows reality, even real world application benchmarks only measure the performance of a single application on a multi-core system. But this is not how most peoples systems get used. We are not only running a word processor and do nothing else. We use a lot of applications at the same time, be it iTunes running with some encoding or playback in the background, be it your favorite browser with a dozen of tabs each with quite some Flash content and Javascript applications each taking CPU cycles in the background. Then there is Skype, a development LAMP-stack running in the background, Time Machine doing a backup and so on. So there are quite a few applications which hopefully do not take up all of your system resources but all of these running concurrently will make use of a multi-core system.

The second argument, we are at a point in time where multi-core systems have become a standard. So it makes much more sense for developers to take their time to re-engineer their software to make use of this extra power. The advantage is not always that things go faster but also that applications become more responsive while working on tasks in the background. This change will accelerate rapidly now that multi-core support in development tools and operating systems is broadly available.

New Quicksilver 1.0b57 is out – 20 to 40% increase in runtime speed

Clock IconDecember 2nd, 2009

quicksilver-screenThat took a long time. Quicksilver 1.0b57 is out. Though the version number change is minor it brings some interesting updates.

According to the release notes there is a 20% – 40% speed increase, this is all while managing a library of 13k items. The software feels snappier too, which is also an improvement over previous versions which sometimes felt like Quicksilver was processing something in the background without reacting. The speed improvements are due to Clang. Clang is an Apple sponsored compiler front end project for C, C++, and Objective-C.

At the moment you only can get the latest version via Macupdate – Quicksilver 1.0b57 Download.

Is it possible to use DDR3-1333 RAM with the 27″ iMac Core i5 and Core i7?

Clock IconNovember 30th, 2009

According to the Core i5-750 and Core i7-860 specifications it should be possible to run Apple’s latest 27″ iMac with DDR3-1333 RAM instead of the stock DDR3-1066 RAM it gets delivered with.

It is not the first time Apple has used customized CPUs, so there’s always a chance that the default specs do not match Apple’s implementation. Brave folks went out on a limb and tried if the iMac is able to use more than the standard spec ram.

The answer is, yes, it is possible though you have to be careful. The DDR3-1066 RAM Apple is delivering has a CAS Latency (CL) of 7. CAS Latency is the time it takes from the moment the memory controller accesses the memory to the time the requested data in the memory gets delivered at the output pins. But if you want to use DDR3-1333 RAM you have to keep an eye on the CAS Latency of the RAM. The higher the memory can be clocked the bigger CAS Latency gets. Usually DDR3-1333 RAM has a CL of 9. DDR3-1333 with CL9 does NOT work with the iMac Core i5-750 and Core i7-860!

Testing shows that you can use DDR3-1333 RAM with CL7 (SODIMM, 204pin). This is highspeed RAM which will cost a bit more than the average DDR-1333 CL9 RAM. Kingston for example offers CL7 RAM with their HyperX DDR3 RAM.

Now let us put this into perspective. First you have to swap out all of the stock ram for the DDR3-1333 to get any perfomance gains, second DDR3-1333 CL7 RAM costs quite a bit more than the DDR3-1066 CL7 RAM. How much performance gain will you get for all this?


As you can see there is is little to gain from this investment, especially when you keep in mind that the iMac stock configuration is able to keep up with the current Mac Pro Quad-Core. So while it is possible your money is probably spent better on more RAM instead of faster RAM. Also keep in mind that DDR3-1333 RAM is out of the specs that Apple has outlined for their system.

Results are taken from Macrumors forums user i7QuadCoreMania. Benchmark values are averaged over 5 benchmark runs.

Apple 27″ iMac (late 2009) Core i5 and Core i7 benchmarks are out

Clock IconNovember 13th, 2009

Just a quick update for the Apple 27″ iMacs (late 2009). The first benchmark results have arrived for the 27″ iMac Core i5 and 27″ iMac Core i7. Geekbench 2 shows even faster results in 64-Bit mode.

I’ve updated the chart to correct a small error because the Core i5 result wasn’t taken with the same Geekbench version as the others. Now all results are taken with Geekbench 2 version 2.1.4 and with OS X 10.6.2. I’ve also added the latest Mac Pro models (early 2009) so that you can better compare the results.

Update: Bare Feats now also has benchmark results for the Core i7, Core i5 compared to the early 2009 Mac Pro’s.

Here are the results:


results taken from Geekbench website: iMac Core i5 2.66Ghz, iMac Core i7 2.8Ghz, iMac Core 2 Duo 3.33Ghz, iMac Core 2 Duo 3.06Ghz, Mac Pro 2.93Ghz (1 CPU), Mac Pro 2.93Ghz (2 CPUs)

GIMPshop 2.2.8 for Windows

Clock IconJune 13th, 2007

Gimpshop for WindowsThis week I had to conduct a two day Photoshop training. While Photoshop is definitely the de facto standard for professional image editing it is nowhere near affordable for home users.

One of the attendees asked if there were any alternatives if they wanted to use a tool like Photoshop at home. Which is more than understandable since Photoshop is much too powerful and pricey to buy it for yourself at home. There are cheaper alternatives like Paintshop Pro or Pixel Image Editor but these solutions still cost money. Also since I was teaching Photoshop, the question really is, is there something that mimicks Photoshop. Read the rest of this entry »