New Xgineer Solutions Website

by Greg on Mar.24, 2009, under blogging, business, opensource, seo, software, startup


After several months of planning, programming, and designing, we are happy to introduce the new Xgineer Solutions site. Adam, Leo, and I have been excited to give our old website a face lift and make it a bit more personal and modern. A couple tidbits and shout outs:

Though this is the new Xgineer site, we realize that this is for you, our customer, clients and peers. We want to make sure that you are coming back to the site for the things you need. We would be forever indebted to you for you thoughts and feedback on the new Xgineer site. Anything you can think of we would love to hear it.

Please click here for feedback.

Thanks in advance,

The Xgineers

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A PHP Web Shell

by Adam on Mar.20, 2009, under blogging, opensource, software, tools

Web Shell

Web Shell

Web development can be often be frustrating depending on the tools your given. This is especially true when dealing with a shared server environment as one does not normally have any access to a shell of any kind. All that is typically available is FTP and a web server. This can make installing/maintaining software on a shared server (ie. Symfony framework) quite difficult, since it is often easier to just run a simple command directly on the server. Hence, the need for a web shell.

A web shell is a utility that gives you the ability to run commands, like tar and mkdir, directly on a remote machine via a web server and HTTP messages. Of course, this tool would not replace something like SSH. When SSH is not an option though, having a web shell can make life a lot easier. For instance, it’s much faster to compress a large folder into an archive, upload that single file to the server via FTP, and then extract it on the server, rather than uploading the whole folder over FTP since FTP sends each file one by one.

Now, there are certainly a few other web shells out there, but none of them have the ability to allow the commands to read from Standard Input. Also, the commands have to wait until it finishes to completely get the output. The tool we made provides such abilities, plus it has command completion. It also has a directory browser in which you can download, upload, and edit files in folder on the server merely for convenience.

Our web shell is built on PHP and should work on any Linux server, plus we’re releasing it as open source. Due to the nature of a web shell, it still has a few limitations, like you can’t execute certain commands like ssh, but we find it more than useful regardless of such limitations.

The current state of the web shell is beta, so they may be bugs. We certainly welcome feedback on bugs or any improvements.

For see a complete list of features and limitations,

Download it from here:

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Create your own Idea Group

by Greg on Mar.09, 2009, under blog, blogging, business, startup

During these tough financial times I have found myself and others looking for new ways to make money. My friends and I have put together these bi-weekly think tanks of ideas that we would be able to do on the side and start making some of that extra money. Though, none of the money I receive now is extra.

Here are a few steps to get your idea group off the ground.

  • Do what you’re passionate about: what are you collectively passionate about? Are your motivations philanthropic or profit driven? There are a lot of people to help out there now and some amazing opportunities.
  • Have a central meeting place and set time that you adhere to every time. We meet every other week at a central location that provides a computer and a projector to do immediate research on idea’s that might come up.
  • Set ground rules This is something that should be taken very seriously. There could be financial penalties or maybe the person that isn’t able to show up brings beers to the next meeting. No such thing as a bad idea, so on and so forth. (continue reading…)

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Novice Blog Advice to an Blogger

by Greg on Feb.17, 2009, under blog, blogging, business, seo, software

I saw that an old friend from High School (haven’t seen him since then, wow) was promoting his new corporate blog. The blog looked great but I thought I would share my thoughts as someone that has maybe a 6 month head start. Below is the email I sent to him giving some of my basic thoughts and a couple great links I keep in mind. Figured it may help out some others.

Hi Jason,

Glad you responded. I am actually working on my company’s blog as well and making sure that it s fresh and applicable. A couple of my own few tips:

  • Know your audience or potential audience and cater to them specifically. Don’t be afraid to polarize
  • Make sure that the content you write about is conversational. It should not read like another corporate site. It is an opportunity for you to be candid with your customers. (this was the biggest thing that I took away from my first look at your blog, basically corp content in a new medium.)
  • Keep it clean – by clean I mean not too much stuff going on around the content. (I use wordpress as well and there is a lot of temptation to keep adding plug-ins because they’re so damn cool. I have gone overboard a couple times, I can’t help it. Then I try to scale back with the essentials)
  • Write about your thoughts and take towards the item or industry. Blog is short for web log, like a journal. Interested parties can get the facts on your corporate site.
  • The blog should spark dialogue. Write pieces that leave the readers wanting to answer another question and that’s when you get the really warm leads.
  • Be patient, it won’t happen overnight. I am still waiting to find the right people I should be talking to
  • Find 3 to 5 great blogs that you follow and emulate them. (I use google reader to consolidate my articles that I read, my favorites include dumblittleman, zen habits, seth godin, Guy Kawasaki) . there is a blog for everything out there these days
  • That’s all I got off the top of my head

The following resources are just good articles on writing and producing blogs.

also look into twitter:

Hope this stuff helps. All the best.


If anyone else can offer some help feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to pass you along to Jason.

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“BBC America” – “Business” Broadcasting Corporation…America

by Greg on Jan.15, 2009, under blogging, business, startup

bbcI am a huge fan of BBC America for 2 main reasons. Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and the Dragons’ Den. Though I really can’t stomach most reality television, these are my exceptions. Dragons’ Den pits 5 millionaire investors willing to invest their own money in hopeful entrepreneurs’ products and ideas. These idea’s are anything from automatic rocking baby strollers to spicy jerk chicken marinade recipe’s. Gordon Ramsey is basically all 5 of those dragons rolled into one loud, foul mouthed, restaurateur that does nothing but make your restaurant successful.

I have been watching these shows for all of about 6 months now and I have come to realize what Chef Ramsay and the Dragons’ are looking for. Wait for it…it’s the basics. Of course it is a lot more than that but when both show get really interesting is when the “victims” don’t do the basics. (continue reading…)

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