iOS Push Notifications Registration Using AWS

I spent some spare time over 2-3 days trying to figure out how to get AWS (Amazon Web Services) working with APNS using SNS (Simple Notification Service). Since the majority of my AWS experience is using Fog, my hands-on experience was a little lacking. The docs are full of hard-to-understand and hard-to-keep-track-of (for me, at least) names for services and permissions and all kinds of fun stuff. I wanted to post what I did to get it to work in hopes that it’ll help someone in the future. I’ll use a few external links/references for common things like generating a development certificate with Apple. I’m more focused on the AWS stuff here.

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iPhone App for Smoky Mountain Winterfest in Knoxvillle, TN

Every year for the past 8 years or so (with the exception of 1 year) I’ve gone and participated in a huge youth conference in Knoxville, TN, called Winterfest. This conference is a 3-day event held at the Thompson-Boling Arena (University of Tennessee) and attendance typically exceeds 20,000. I was so pumped to get to help out this year and build the first ever official Winterfest iOS app. This year is iPhone-only, but we’re expecting to gain some great feedback and improve it for next year (also including an iPad version). You can find it in the app store by following this link –

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I Totaled My Expedition

Last Thursday night (technically around 1am Friday – Feb. 4, 2011) I was travelling to my parents’ house for a couple of days. It had been raining pretty bad the entire trip (I had been on the road for over 5 hours). I got about 11 miles or so from my parents and hydroplaned into the ditch and flipped my Expedition. Needless to say, it was a rough ride. I shocked all of the emergency responders when I walked away unharmed. I actually climbed out of the window before I ever called 911. I’m thanking God so much for keeping his hand over me during the wreck – it could have been a much different weekend for my family. Here are a few pictures (the next day sitting in the yard of the wrecker service):

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Custom Archive Index Page (with pagination)

Ok, so here’s something I had a little trouble with a couple of days ago. I just could not get it to work, although the answer was pretty obvious. I was working on creating a custom archive index page on a site and could not get the template the paginate. Here’s what i found to the quickest way to do it with query_posts():

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I’m moving

After much prayer and consideration I will be moving to Tennessee within the next 2-3 weeks. I have absolutely loved living in Savannah. Living here has given me an awesome start in full time web development. I will continue doing what I’m doing in TN. I’ll be working from home a lot more again, so I’m really hoping to try and get on top of this blog once and for all. It’s bittersweet, but time to move on.

A Few Security Measures with WordPress

Again, trying to get a handle on posting regular on here (yeah this is the 4th post in a few months, I’m really trying!). Here are a few security mearsures I always take when setting up a new WordPress install. Some of these have come from other people as I have come across them. If you see anything here that you’ve seen somewhere else please don’t think I’m trying to steal anyone’s content, I just have no idea where I read some of this stuff, so I have no idea who to credit. That being said, here we go:

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Simple way to setup excerpts on your WordPress index page

This is something I’ve had to do several times. I’m pretty sure there are a few plugins to handle this, but changing one line of code is much better than having to load a whole plugin file and execute it. This is an easy way to setup an auto-excerpt for each post on you WordPress index (front page of you blog). This way will take a certain length off the front of your posts and display it.

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Since I’m so on top of this

This is my first post on Yeah, I know I only made one post on before moving it, big deal. Now I have more incentive to keep up with this. I’m already working on some posts for programming that I hope people will enjoy (even though nobody really knows about this site at the time I’m writing this particular post). I’m interested in seeing what kind of stuff people can learn from this site, and also what I can learn from different people through this site.

New Blog

Ok, so I broke down and finally set up a blog. I’ll host it for a little while on before moving it to a self-hosted site. Hopefully I can stay on top of it enough to be able to do that in a few weeks.

This blog is brand new, as am I to the whole blogging thing. Not that I don’t understand or now how to use it, I’ve even built a few. I just never sat down and actually started one for myself. I didn’t start it so I could say “Hey! Look at me! I’m a blogger! And I’m cool because I’m doing it!” It’s not going to be like that. I’ll be talking about all kinds of stuff. From web/programming to music to ministry/religion. This will be my personal outlet, but then again I guess most blogs are just that. Anyway, I appreciate anyone who will take the time to read what I’m writing. Hey, maybe I can even stir up some discussions along the way 🙂

Until then, later.