NanoDano's blog

PHP Composer Basics

Composer is a command-line tool for managing dependencies in PHP projects. In this guide we will look at how to install Composer and use it to add and install some project dependencies as well as how to create your own local package and use it within an application.

Working with Git Repositories in Python

The GitPython project allows you to work in Python with Git repositories. In this guide we'll look at some basic operations like:

  • Initializing a repo
  • Cloning a repo
  • Adding and committing
  • Pushing and pulling with remotes
  • Checking for changes
  • Getting a diff
  • Listing and switching branches

For full documentation, see The source code is available at

Python FTP Client Tutorial

FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a common way to transfer files. For FTP, Python has a built in package called ftplib.

There is also a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) that uses SSH to encrypt the communication. We will focus just on traditional FTP in this guide. For SFTP you can check out the Paramiko package.

In this guide, we will look at some basic operations like:

  • Connect and login to an FTP server
  • List directories and files
  • Upload and download files

Note these examples are all using Python 3.

Read and Send Email with Python

Python 3 has built-in libraries for IMAP, POP3, and SMTP. We will focus on learning how to send mail with SMTP and read/manage email with IMAP. We will also look at how to send an SMS text message using email.

If you need your own email hosting, check out hosting where you can host unlimited emails for unlimited domains as cheap as $4/month. You could also set up your own SMTP server on a VPS, but that is a hassle.

Python MySQL Tutorial

MySQL is an ubiquitous database server. Many hosts, like offer unlimited MySQL databases with a $4/month plan. With their hosting, you can also setup as many PHP, Python, Ruby, or Node.js apps.

There are a few libraries available, but the one I'm focusing on is PyMySQL, a pure Python implementation. This version is the easiest to install with the least amount of dependencies and most portable.

You could use an ORM like SQLAlchemy or Django. Those options are good if you need to easily switch between MySQL and another database like SQLite. Here, we will focus only on MySQL and assume this is the only database being used.

If you're interested in learning how to setup a Python web app on Interserver, it is really easy using cPanel. Check out my tutorial Setup Python WSGI apps on cPanel (Flask/Django).

How to format an SD card or USB flash drive

If you want to create a bootable SD card or USB flash drive using a disk image like a .iso or .img you have a few options.

  • Use the dd command-line tool
  • Use a GUI tool like BalenaEtcher

This is a common task when setting up an SD card for a Raspberry Pi or creating a USB flash drive with a Linux LiveCD distro. In this example we will review both the Etcher option and dd option.