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  • My 3 Monitor Development Workstation

    Posted on August 22nd, 2012 Alan 1 comment

    I’ve been working at home with my new company DigitalHarmonyGames.  I picked up a 2nd 23in monitor adding to my work Macbook Pro 17in I now have a triple monitor setup.  I have Unity3d running on one external, MonoDevelop on the other external and I do mail, skype and web surfing on the Laptop screen.  The 2nd external monitor was made possible by the $50 Cirago USB Display Adapter.  The USB adapter works great.  As long as I don’t run full-screen video or run anything that is too demanding on the usb connected monitor the setup works perfectly.

  • Chrome browser

    Posted on August 11th, 2012 Alan No comments

    My browser of choice is Google Chrome.  I like the bookmark syncing so no matter where I use it my bookmarks are there.  I like the support for multiple users which allows me to login to different Google Accounts.


    Use the built in PDF reader.  You can make sure it is enabled by typing chrome://plugins in the addressbar

  • Which iPad is better? iPad 2 or the New iPad?

    Posted on May 14th, 2012 Alan No comments

    The iPad 2 may be a better choice than the new iPad according to Dave Winer

  • Interview Questions

    Posted on February 16th, 2012 Alan No comments

    I have never taken a job at a place that included tests during the interview process.  The last time I interviewed someone I did it through Skype and they shared their desktop,  brought up their development environment and explained some code they wrote.

    There are only 3 true job interview questions

    Why we don’t hire programmers based on puzzles, API quizzes, math riddles, or other parlor tricks

    Hateful Hiring

  • Getting answers to questions on the Internet

    Posted on February 14th, 2012 Alan No comments

    I participate in a few sites that exist to help people find answers to questions.  Some software developers that I follow started a site called StackOverflow for programmers which is perhaps the #1 source of useful information for programmers.  You earn points on the site for asking good questions and providing useful answers.  People vote for questions and answers and you are awarded badges like in Call of Duty! They made the technology used on the site available for others to start their own Q&A areas for various topics.  Only those topics that can prove themselves as legit are accepted at StackExchange.

    I participate in the following sites:

    StackOverflow – Programming questions
    AskDifferent – For Apple/Mac questions
    Web Applications – Gmail, Facebook, etc
    Pro Webmasters – Website managers

    The awarding of badges on these sites is a great idea and one that my new company Qliq uses for their Couponing/Social Networking smartphone app.

  • Windows Explorer Command Window

    Posted on January 8th, 2012 Alan No comments

    There are some PowerToys or registry settings you can make to add a context menu in Windows Explorer to open up a command window for the selected folder.  Two built in methods in Windows 7 are:

    1. <Shift>Right-click to bring up a more detailed context menu containing “open command window here”
    2. Edit the address path in a Windows Explorer window and enter “cmd”

  • WordPress plugins

    Posted on January 5th, 2012 Alan No comments

    I love WordPress.  I use it for all my web sites.  Most hosting services offer it for free.  I manage three  primary WordPress sites.  My own blog, laketravislacrosse, and laketravisparents.

    Below are plugins I recommend for WordPress

    Members highly recommended for collaboration.
    NextGen Gallary for simple photo management.  Can be used to rotate through images.  I use it to highlight VIP sponsors.
    iFrame. WordPress doesn’t allow iFrames for security reasons.  This plugin supports iFrames which are necessary for embedding things such as a Google Form or PayPal buttons.
    AWPCP for Classified Ads
    Exclude Pages From Navigation.  I found this plugin searching how to remove pages that showed up in the Classifieds Menu created by the AWPCP plugin.   Previously, I had made pages private to keep them from showing up in the menu which is related to the theme I am using.  Now with this plugin I have better control of whether a page should be on a menu or not.

  • Why use Android?

    Posted on December 20th, 2011 Alan No comments

    This is why Dave uses it.

    I use it to test our Android version of TabbedOut.  I was able to buy a no contract phone for about $150 and sign up for a 200mb data plan for $15/month.  That compares to $200 for an iPhone and about $90/month total plan.  I don’t use my phone as a computer so 200mb is actually plenty.

  • Working with Adobe Illustrator Files (.ai)

    Posted on December 6th, 2011 Alan No comments

    I received a logo created with Adobe Illustrator but didn’t have anything to view it.  Or so I thought.  Jon has a great post on how you can view .ai files by renaming them as PDF files.  He recommends InkScape as a free opensource vector based editor that can import .ai files.

  • Confluence for collaboration

    Posted on August 4th, 2011 Alan No comments

    My company is standardizing on Atlassian products such as Jira (for issue tracking), and Confluence for Wikis and collaboration.   I have yet to use a system that works better than a simple blog with categories, pages and RSS feeds.  I mean what is better than subscribing to a Page, Category (or tag) and contributing to the comment thread of a post you are interested in.

    So far, I’m finding Confluence’s support for blogs leaving much to be desired.  Starting with the fact you can’t subscribe to feeds with many readers since they require authentication and many (such as Google Reader) don’t support authenticated feeds.

    Here is one option that uses a proxy

    I tend to agree with Scott that a wiki without RSS feeds is a non starter.  Email notifications?  I find it funny that Confluence promotes itself as a solution for email chaos but then offer it as the primary mechanism for notifications.