Chad Stovern


Christian. Husband. Dad. Geek.

Quick Tip: How to Rename Email Flags in Mail.app

Keeping email well organized is a challenge all of us face. Tags, Flags, and Inbox Zero. This short article isn't going to solve all your email woes, but will give you a quick tip to help you on your way to email nirvana.

Mail.app on the Mac has a nice built in feature called Flags. Using flags helps to categorize and even note the priority of a message. Rather than keep a taxonomy floating in your head, I've written a quick tutorial over at Tuts+ to show you how to give email flags meaningful names.

Check out the tutorial here: Quick Tip: How to Rename Email Flags in Mail.app


How to Run a Django Site with Apache, mod_wsgi, and MySQL on FreeBSD 10.1

The beauty of developing with popular web frameworks like Django is that a lot of repetitious work has been done for you, so you can focus on building your site. It's also great to know that the core of what you're running has undergone the scrutiny of a large open-source community and should be less susceptible to large security holes.

Whether you're a developer or not, one thing that is not inherently simple is knowing how to get these web frameworks up and running outside of your own development or testing environment.

I’ve written a full tutorial over at DigitalOcean covering exactly how you set this up on a FreeBSD droplet using a standard Apache, mod_wsgi, and MySQL stack running on top of FreeBSD 10.1.

Check out the full tutorial here: How to Run a Django Site with Apache, mod_wsgi, and MySQL on FreeBSD 10.1


How To Send Email through an External SMTP Service with Sendmail on FreeBSD 10.1

One of the most common needs when setting up a new web server is sending email. The safest and easiest way to do this is to connect your server to a mailing service such as SendGrid or Amazon SES. Using an external service will help you avoid pitfalls like your server IP getting blacklisted by anti-spam services.

I’ve written a full tutorial over at DigitalOcean covering exactly how you set this up on your FreeBSD droplet.

If you're new to FreeBSD, some of what we do may look a little scary, but you'll soon be comfortable rolling up your sleeves to do a little recompiling of system tools like the FreeBSD pros.

Check out the full tutorial here: How To Send Email through an External SMTP Service with Sendmail on FreeBSD 10.1


Build a $20 Standing Desk in 20 Minutes

After nearly a decade of working jobs doing geek stuff sitting in front of a computer all day, I started developing lower back pain. Even being active off hours wasn't enough, so I caved and talked my boss into a GeekDesk v3.

However, now that I've moved on and am part of a small startup team working from my home office, that's just not a purchase I was ready to justify again. Nine months into my new adventure with iDoneThis and my enthusiasm is high, yet my back is killing me…

Colin, the founder of Customer.io, has an awesome and famous post about his $22 standing desk. This is truly a creative gem, that I really wanted to set up for myself.

My problem was that my desk has a raised monitor area. I would either have to remove part of the desk or hack off half of the back legs of the table in Colin's solution. :-(

Desk Sitting

I thought about finding or building a couple simple boxes as the dimensions I would need for the monitor section of my desk and the work surface were roughly the same.

After searching around for those dimensions I found this stackable shelf unit (11.63" H x 24.13" W x 11.63" D and holds up to 20 pounds) at Target. The total cost with tax and shipping was only $19.84 ( due to a 10% off coupon code + free in store pickup).

Once I brought the shelves home, it took me all of 20 minutes to clear my desk, assemble them, and set my gear back up. I've been standing for a week now and once again my back pain has subsided.

Desk Standing