Ryan’s Tech Blog

Hi, I’m Ryan. I’ve been working in technology for over 10 years, especially within websites, Microsoft 365, and CRM systems. On this site I try to document some of the kinds of work I’ve done, whether within a full-time job, freelance work, or as a personal side project.

Drupal GitPod Container 1: .Dockerfile

GitPod is a great tool for cloud-based containers when developing. If you’re developing and want a safe and efficient cloud container to try things out, it’s a pretty good way to go. You even get 50 hours per month for free, which is pretty great if you only need occasional side project and not full-time work. It also works with Visual Studio Code – although that has not been working for me lately – so you can use it in the browser or in your desktop editor. When you browse to a or repository with the extension installed, there’s a simple button that will launch the container with that repository’s code, making it quick and easy to see how it works as well as make changes.

In this mini-series I describe how I created a generic Drupal-friendly container working with GitPod. It is available in my GitHub. Note that since is some code I may continue using over time, the code there may change beyond what is covered in this article.

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Drupal 7: Hide Label on Node Display

I ran into a problem on an old Drupal 7 site where labels for a custom field were displaying, even when there was no content associated with that field, creating a page that was simply a series of headers in a row. That’s not very user-friendly.

If I wanted to always hide the label for a field, that’s easy enough in the default Drupal display settings for the content type. But what about this scenario where we want to show the label when there is content and hide the label when there isn’t content?

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Microsoft Teams: Search Filters

I recently was asked whether it is possible to search in Microsoft Teams for a file but only within a specific site. The short answer is yes, but that’s not the default search behaviour. When you use the search bar in Teams, it will default to all types of results across all Teams you are a member of. But then you can filter from there. This is significantly improved by some recent changes.

So, if I know I am looking for a particular file in a particular Team, I can do that this way:

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Mail Tester

A common scenario with many web services like a CRM is sending mail and realizing that it is often going to the junk of recipients.

There are several reasons why a message may go to spam. Some of those reasons come from the content of the message. Some are because of filters set up by the recipient or their email provider. And some factors come down to technical configuration on the part of the sender.

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Windows 10: Hosts File

Configuring a hosts file on your computer allows your browsing traffic to go to a different server than is listed by public DNS. This can be essential for a few scenarios, such as:

  1. migrating a site to a new server and needing to test it before changing the public DNS
  2. development on dev/staging servers which do not have public DNS listings
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Android: Email Apps

I recently got a Pixel 6. It’s great. For the previous 3 and a bit years I had been using a BlackBerry Key2. There was lots I liked about the Key2, but 3 years later I had never received an Android version update. I was still getting updates, but I decided with the Pixel 6 launch it was time for an update.

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