1. Update your entire project to Ruby 1.9 hash syntax

    In version 1.9 Ruby introduced new syntax for hash literals whose keys are symbols. If you no longer need to support Ruby 1.8 it's worth updating your code, as the new syntax is more succinct. Doing it by hand would be painful, but with the Unix command line and a quick regular expression we can make the computer do the hard work.

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  2. Silky Markdown editing on Mac

    If you write in Markdown on a Mac you'll no doubt have dabbled with TextMate at some point. If you did, perhaps you discovered some of TextMate's marvellous Markdown mode commands, such as "Google for the highlighted text, and convert it to a link to the first search result" (if memory serves, it was Cmd-Alt-Ctrl-L)?

    Editor support like that makes writing in Markdown very productive, but these days I tend to pen my blog posts in simpler editors. Luckily, with Markdown Service Tools you can now setup similar keybindings that work in any app built on top of Cocoa (which is pretty much all of them).

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    Published on in Mac OS X

  3. Finding perpetual inspiration

    I've been reading Execute this week, a book about how we can act on inspiration to create great things, fast. It tells the story of how Drew Wilson conceived, built and shipped a competitor to PayPal in five days (as if to make the point, Josh Long and Drew Wilson wrote the book itself in a week). One of the ideas that has resonated most strongly with me is the "inspiration battery".

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  4. Finding bugs with git bisect

    When a bug has crept in to your code that you're having trouble fixing, it helps to know when it was introduced. If you can prove which code caused the bug you can normally work out why. The git bisect command is here to help you track it down...

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    Published on in Git

  5. Testing IE on development sites

    When was the last time you finished some web development work (on your shiny, modern operating system) only to find that it didn't work in IE8. Or in IE9. Or a reasonably recent version of Opera. If you're developing web sites profesionally, you need to test them in multiple browsers running on multiple operating systems. I used to maintain virtual machines running Windows that could connect to my local dev server. These days I use BrowserStack.

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  6. Fancy an iPad? Get the Mini

    Shortly before Apple announced the first iPad the rumour mill was hard at work; we all knew it was coming. I was sat in the pub with my Dad and his friend, who asked me what I thought – would it be a success? To me, there was no doubt it would be a winner. To my Dad's friend, it looked like the biggest flop since the Newton.

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Looking for something else? All my posts can be found in the archives