Hanging tree pumpkin

This pumpkin is based on a design I found online – unfortunately it was a Google Image search, so I can’t credit the original designer. I loved the intricacy of the branches. They present a real challenge to cut out without snapping parts off.

If I was doing this again, I’d cut the hanging man separately and hang it from the branch with a piece of string. As a matter of fact, having seen some of the amazingly detailed designs online, I’d love to get some practise in carving some more complicated designs.

Goofy face Halloween pumpkin

Only a fortnight after Halloween, and I’m finally getting around to posting this year’s pumpkin photos. I carved this goofy faced one first – I love doing pumpkins with big, chunky teeth and crazy eyes.

Normally we fill the pumpkin with paper after Halloween and set light to it (outdoors, of course) – it’s fun to watch the flames billowing out the top, and when the paper blackens, it makes a brilliant backdrop for the eyes.

Nginx logo

If you’ve been following this tutorial series for Nginx on Media Temple’s (ve) server, you’ll know that we’ve completed three steps – installing Nginx, MySQL and PHP-FPM for a fully functioning web server.

In this fourth part, we’re going to look at setting up a virtual host in Nginx. We need this, because the intention is to serve a few different sites from this server and each one will require its own virtual host setup.

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Nginx logoThis is the third part in my series of articles looking at building an Nginx server on the Media Temple VE service. We currently have a working Nginx installation and a domain name pointed at the server, and in the last step, we installed MySQL and created a first database to store our CMS data.

In this phase of the installation, we’ll be installing PHP-FPM to handle the PHP from WordPress or Drupal. We’ll be working mostly from the guide on Media Temple’s knowledge base, coupled with some tuning parameters from EndOfWeb (broken link removed).

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Nginx logoI’ve become obsessed in the last few weeks with improving web performance. The more I’ve looked into optimization techniques, the more Nginx – pronounced “Engine X” – keeps coming up. It’s an open source web server that’s steadily gaining a name as a companion technology/replacement for Apache. Nginx can be used in two ways

  1. As a reverse proxy cache for Apache. In this mode, it’ll speed up your PHP applications by caching static versions of files and serving them out far more efficiently than Apache does.
  2. As a fully functioning server in its own right. With a Fastcgi or PHP-FQM server, it can process PHP by itself without any need for the hefty Apache service.

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