Weekly roundup – April 28th

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Topics:  Free MS ebooks, Xamarin podcast, cloud server in 55 sec., squash your PNGs, Heartbleed fallout, RDP from Android.

Tools, etc.

Projects, etc.

  • Less than 30 days left in the FoodStats app fundraiser. We’re at $250 now. Pledge as little as a $1 or as much as you feel like – every little bit helps. Or just help spread the word: Use the share buttons on the campaign site or give this easier-to-remember URL to friends, family and those who might be interested: http://tiny.cc/foodstats
  • Released an initial alpha version of Commit Message Editor - a simple, cross-platform GUI editor for commit messages in Git. The goal is to provide a light-weight editor with key features useful for writing commit messages. (This was a request from my friend and former co-worker Jonathan.)

Weekly roundup – April 14, 2014

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Topics: Telecommuting tips, Heartbleed tools, the end of crapware?, Git tutorials, free education, ideas into products, humanize numbers, better Datetimes, a Git GUI.

Tools, etc.

  • Wow. Humanizer is a .NET library that provides a mind-boggling array of ways to convert “strings, enums, dates, times, timespans, numbers and quantities” into more human-friendly text. (via Scott Hanselman)
  • Scott also recommends Noda Time as a better library than what’s provided with the .NET Framework.
  • Looking for a GUI for Git and/or Mercurial? Source Tree is a free download from Atlassian.

Projects, etc.

  • Working on something, which I hope to announce the next day or two. Stay tuned….

Weekly roundup, March 17, 2014

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Topics: MS tech webinar, image multi-tool, call for developers, code review tools, PhpStorm.

  • I’m not planning to go to //build, but am thinking about seeing if I can convince work to let me watch the day-long Building Blocks: Initialize() Jump Start to get up to speed on the current state of Microsoft techniques.
  • The QUnit website not only has a good Introduction to Unit Testing tutorial, but it’s a great discussion of how and why to organize your Javascript code in a more object-oriented way.
  • Job seekers, heard about Freelancer this week from our intern. What I found particularly interesting is that in addition to listing Projects they also have a category called Contests.
  • If you’re looking for an open source project to help with:

Tools

  • Not only might PicPick become my new go-to screenshot tool, but it also has a color picker, magnifier, ruler, whiteboard and more. A veritable Swiss Army tool of quick image management.
  • Review Assistant, by Devart, is a Visual Studio extension I plan to evaluate for our team; code reviews are something we want to do, but have struggled with finding the right process.
  • For PHP development I continue to be more and more impressed with the PhpStorm IDE. This week I discovered that it includes support for integrating with a number of issue tracking services.

Weekly roundup, March 10, 2014

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Topics: Incentivizing software issues, free images for your blog, testing Javascript, automating browser tests.

  • I think Donay has a really compelling idea, but I ran into a lot of problems with their site just trying to get an account set up. Maybe if more people express an interest in being able to ask for and provide incentives for project features/issues… I hope they can get some momentum going and turn it into something workable. Spread the word!
  • Bountysource is another service that lets people set bounties on existing Github issues they’d like completed. Visit my profile.
  • GettyImages strikes a good balance between copyright, intellectual property and fair use: Embed images for free in a non-commercial context.
  • I’m always looking for ways to increase productivity by automating processes. This week’s NuGet Package of the Week from Scott Hanselman shows how to use FluentAutomation (I love “fluent” syntax!) with Selenium and scriptcs to automate browser testing.

Tools

  • There’ve been a lot of windowing enhancement add-ons over the years; the new Preme for Windows looks pretty feature rich, with some useful hotkeys.

Coding, projects, etc.


If you’d like to support this blog and the work I do in general, I now have an Amazon Wishlist with hardware, software, etc. that I need. More options and information are coming soon.

Weekly roundup, March 3rd 2014

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NOTE: I’m moving the posting day/time for the weekly roundup to Monday morning. Hopefully that will make it a little more visible as well as giving me the weekend to wrap up the content.

Tools

  • Friend of a friend, Robert shared MTR – a better traceroute for *nix. I also found WinMTR; unfortunately there’s not a Chocolatey package available.
  • I’m not quite as late to this party as Eli is, but certainly late enough to have missed Scott Hanselman’s post about SlowCheetah. Previews for my Visual Studio configuration transforms? Yes please! (Scott’s most recent blog post is also very much worth reading and sharing.)
  • I’ve recently needed to start watching my blood glucose levels. Today I discovered Nutritionix, which provides free nutrition information (including calculators for many restaurants) and an available API. Access to the API includes a free tier and they state that freeware mobile apps can get a bump in that access for no charge.

Projects, coding, etc.

Video: ReSharper Secrets

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Just finished watching the ReSharper Secrets video on the JetBrainsTV channel on YouTube. Several good tips there. Definitely worth watching. The presenter spends the bulk of the time talking about Annotations – which are how ReSharper works a lot of its magic and are now available to us for decorating our own code. He closes by sharing a few of his own favorite features he thinks are not very well known. I didn’t know most of them.

Weekly roundup, 2-21-2014

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Tools I’ve recently started using

  • Chocolatey is an attempt at a package manager, kind of like apt-get (and I stress kind of), for Windows software. It’s still a bit rough around the edges, but I’ve been using it to help ensure my tools are up to date.
  • A few of us at work have been using meetings.io when working from home and I like it enough that I’ve recently decided to go ahead and sign up for an account – which gives me a profile page, vanity URL and personal meeting room.  You can still use the service without signing up, however.

Projects, coding, etc.

Weekly roundup 2-14-2014

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I’m going to try something new, in an effort to both share things I find out about and write more. Each week I’ll compile a list of cool and/or useful tools, information, tips, etc. and post them here each Friday:

Tools

Tool: DNS Benchmark

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Steve Gibson, the host of Security Now, has published a new freeware tool; DNS Benchmark.  Like all of Steve’s freeware, it’s a stand-alone executable (great for USB drives) and is very compact – at less than 200k.

I haven’t tried out this final release, but did experiment with an early version.  It’s a great tool for power users and/or anyone maintaining a network.  The primary purpose of DNS Benchmark is to provide speed tests and other information about publicly available Domain Name Servers, since the ones you’re using now may not provide the fastest or most secure service.