Posts tagged with “geek”
My connectivity method
Oliver has been in the hospital since Friday and should be getting out today (Tuesday). I spent the whole weekend at the hospital, with Tanya. What is really cool is who connected we now are. Even though I was at the hospital, I was still able to tap into my inner geek.
I have always been fascinated by computers, ever since my dad introduced me to one when I was 5. Since then, computers have become more and more integrated into my life.
This means that for 25 years of my 30 year life, I have been using computers. Which is to say, computers are more apart of my day then coffee, so being confined to a hospital for the weekend, I brought along my setup.
The always connected setup
With the right tools, I am able to do pretty much anything I can do at home. The best part is that I don’t have to carry around a huge laptop to be connected. Here is what I have on me:
- a wifi iPad
- a cell phone
- an iPad keyboard
- a suite of applications to enable me to work
- a dropbox account
- a gmail account
With these tools and services I am able to communicate with family and friend, update this website, work on a completely different website and stay entertained.
The picture above is me hacking away on my iPad working on a website after a long day at the hospital.
While in grade school, I had no idea how important note taking was. While in university, I took notes through every class, in fact, that is the only reason I did as well as I did. And now, I am certain that taking notes is one of the most important things that I do (meticulous notes lead to tasks, and doing tasks is very important).
Today we are lucky, with the cloud our notes are nearly everywhere, but my biggest problem has been finding a suitable tool to record the notes. I have tried a number of tools on a number of platforms and I have found a balance that works for me and works for my company.
Onenote rocks, it is probably one of the best tools Microsoft has created and it works like a charm. I use this tool when I am at work and at a laptop. If you disconnect from the network, there is a cached version on on your machine, when you hook back up to the network, all the change are synced back to the network. Having many people on the same notebook works great, and with the ability to have multiple notebook, tabs and pages, you can organize your notebook to fit perfectly to your style. This tool works best with a network and multiple people editing multiple pages inside the onenote notebook.
Evernote is pretty cool, first, they have a cool icon (an elephant), second, the free version gives you everything that you could want, third, it works on everything. With the use of tags and the fact that everything is in the cloud, you will always be able to find what you are looking for, no matter where you are. With tagging and searching, this tool really shines, and is why I use it all the time.
The editor of choice for me right now is Byword, and for one simple reason, markdown. By using markdown, I can great rich text on my iPad no matter where I am, and it is fun. Dropbox support, email rich text and a preview also make this app fun and indespensible.
I use all three tools, it all depends on when and how I plan to retrieve (or share) the information. If Byword had tagging and a good search function I would get rid of Evernote.
Cowardly refusing to create an empty archive
— Command line tar
I was trying to create a
tar file and I forgot to tell it what files to include, this is the error I got from it. Oh, the things geeks find amusing.
Everything that I have read about SEO and Drupal tells you to install redirect. But I never really understood why would you. The other day I had to make a few redirects and I installed the module, and this modules is great.
Url redirection are kind of like detours, in the end you get to the place that you want, it just isn’t the most direct and fastest ways to do it. On the web, these redirect take milliseconds and the user doesn’t usually notice anything happen. In Drupal land, you can use redirect to manage your detours.
When I installed this module, I had a basic itch, I was migrating from a Wordpress site to a Drupal site and the urls were different. I took all the important pages and redirected them. In the process, I found this module to be an absolute pleasure to use and here’s why.
Easy to use
The learning curve for redirect is nill if you are familiar with Drupal, and if you’re not familiar with Drupal, it will probably take you about 2 minutes to get the hand of it. So you can hand this task off to someone else because there is no need to go into code.
If you put in a redirect to an alias, it finds out what the alias actual points to, and puts a link to that. So instead of pointing to
/about it will point to
node/22. Using the
NID will ensure that it will always point to that in the future, even if you change the alias again.
The module has a report to show you all the 404 errors that you have one your site, and it makes it really easy to add a redirect to it.
If you decide to change the alias of a page, the module will automatically put in a redirect for you, there is no need to manually enter the redirects or worry about what links to the old page.
Every redirect is put in as a 301 error, which will tell Google that you have moved the page, and Google will update their results. So now Google will start pointing to the right page.
What are you waiting for
This module is great, so well built, so easy to use and so feature rich. It is now part of my standard Drupal Install.
Storm Trooper Family
I don’t really get people who insist upon placing cartoon images of their family on their car. But when I was riding my bike today I saw this on a back window of a minivan (minus the the “I [Galatic Empire] my family” bit. I laughed, turned my bike around, took a photo and made a vector image.
Do you like this?
If you want to use this, download the vector for Storm Trooper Family. Play around with it, put it on your minivan, make a t-shirt, just leave a comment if you do. It is in SVG format, if you want to put it on your minivan, give it to the guy that makes stickers for you minvan, he will know what to do with it.
How does one become an open source user? All my life I have been surrounded by proprietary software solutions, solutions that required money, or were freeware. I never really knew about open source software. It wasn’t until I bought a netbook while traveling in India that I would get the opportunity to use a real free operating system.
A good idea at the time
After purchasing the EeePC I started to read up on it. I read a number of posts that claimed that “netbook were perfect or Linux.” That got me thinking, “I should install Linux on this machine”.
Freedom through obscurity
Lots of people will tell you that by running Linux in itself you are being obscure, but I wanted to take it one step further, I downloaded some little known distro which promised an experience all itself. To be honest, I don’t remember what it was, all I remember thinking is that I would dual boot, so no matter how bad or odd it was, I could always use Windows.
This distro didn’t have a nice smooth installer like the one you find with Ubuntu, and I didn’t know what I was doing, never mind the difference between ext3, ext4 and ntfs. After installing this obscure distro of Linux, I rebooted and waited…but something didn’t work right. It wouldn’t boot, and there I was, with a brick, wondering what to do next.
Windows?? gone Linux?? won’t boot oh shit
Pass the aubergine coloured kool-aid please
I didn’t have a choice, I had access to another computer (which was 5 years old…running Ubuntu). I tried to get Windows installed, but when you don’t have a CDrom drive, there isn’t much you can do. So I drank the kool-aide.
Installing Ubuntu is a snap, and it kind of fun. As the installer chugged away, I was given tips of what I could do with my machine. I was told of the software the was included and shown screen shots of my new future life working with Ubuntu.
Never look back…well sort of
After being forced to use Ubuntu for 5 months, you soon realize that you can everything you want to do on your computer with free open source software. In fact, in a lot of ways it is better then Windows. Setting up a server is easy, getting software is easy, getting geeky is easy, all the tools are part of the standard installation.
After arriving back in Canada, I turned my main computer into a Ubuntu machine and started to use it everyday. I started designing websites, built on Drupal, and having a Linux OS makes things easier (Drush). I started to learn terminal commands, and to this day my favourite tool is vim. In fact, I would using nothing but Linux (at work, at home) if it wasn’t for one program, Illustrator (and a lesser extent, Photoshop).
Last night I installed the newest version of Ubuntu, and it is pretty good. Sure there are some problems, but overall, it is pretty good. The new HUD is great, it is fast, it even works with my nVidia video card. So if your wondering whether you should try Linux, I would say, do it, you will likely be surprised how much Windows actually sucks.
Quads of blowzy fjord ignite map vex’d chicks.
Pangrams are awesome
Pangrams are those phrases that contain all the letters in the alphabet. Most of them don’t make much sense, but they are fun and they are great for comparing fonts. Some other great ones include
- “My faxed joke won a pager in the cable TV quiz show.”
- “When zombies arrive, quickly fax judge Pat.”
- “Quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
See a ton more pangrams on Wikipedia.