My name is Stefan Ashwell and when I'm not coding personal projects or painting miniatures, I'm a Software Engineer at Holmes Media in Market Harborough.

This blog is a place for me to write about things that require that little bit extra to solve. We all have gaps in our knowledge and every now and then I need to reach out on search engines or blogs to find an answer. Often, these answers come from multiple sources. This blog serves as a personal resource, but if it's helpful for me I'm sure it'll help others too!

Getting Started with Laravel

Posted on 22 June 2017

Laravel is a modern PHP framework for building web apps. Laravel ships with lots of features that will make your life as a developer easier. First off though, we’ll be getting started with Laravel by installing our development environment. Once you’re up and running you can move on to some of the other Laravel tutorials […]

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CodeIgniter Base Model

Posted on 14 September 2016

Why Use a Base Model? I like to use a base model for common CRUD tasks that every model will need to perform. Rather than duplicating lots of code to retrieve database records this stuff can be written once and used by all of them. Of course, some models might need something slightly different, which […]

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The Best Laravel 5 Tutorials and Resources

Posted on 19 July 2016

Today I thought I’d share some of the best places I’ve found for learning Laravel 5. Laracasts Laracasts is an obvious one when learning Laravel, but it’s so good it’s worth mentioning again. Well presented, easy to follow video tutorials that cover everything from the basics of Laravel to more advanced lessons. Well worth the […]

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eCommerce packages – why are they all rubbish?

Posted on 13 July 2016

Something about eCommerce packages has always ground my gears. They are all rubbish. I’ve had to use a number of them, and each time I end up frustrated, angry and wanting more. It got to the point where I’d recommend a custom built solution over any eCommerce package 100% of the time. However that’s not […]

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User Authenication in CodeIgniter – Some advanced techniques

Posted on 12 July 2016

Today we look at user authentication in codeigniter and some best practices to use when building a secure login environment for members of an application. Our goal here is not just to allow users to login and access members only content. We can do this very easily by setting some session data after checking the […]

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CodeIgniter Development Series

Posted on 11 July 2016

What is This Series? Welcome to a new series on Code Bastard – CodeIgniter Development. I’ve been using CodeIgniter extensively now for over 5 years, and have learnt a lot over that time. With this series I’d like to add some meaningful tutorials discussing how you can use CodeIgniter in real world situations. What I […]

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MySql not restarting on Ubuntu

Posted on 10 March 2016

Today I came across an issue with MySql not restarting correctly. In addition, when rebooting the server, MySql would run for a few seconds and then crash, and would not restart after doing so. It seemed to be down to a rogue MySql process running which was stopping it from starting up again: Running this […]

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Quick and Easy Maintenance Mode

Posted on 28 June 2015

When moving a website between servers it’s usually a good idea to put the website into maintenance mode, which displays a message to any visitors telling them to check back soon, and also ensures we can transfer the most up to date database and files to the new server before making the switch. Some content […]

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Transfer files between two servers with scp

Posted on 26 June 2015

When moving a website to a new server, this script comes in handy allowing you to transfer the files directly from one server to the other. This means you don’t have to download to your desktop or re-upload etc. Additionally, the data centres you host with will most likely have a better internet connection than […]

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Quick tar command reference

Posted on 24 June 2015

Create an archive of a directory The above command will create an archive of a directory and save it in the location specified. The commands are: c – Creates a new .tar archive file. v – Verbosely show the .tar file progress. f – File name type of the archive file. z – Compress the […]

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