Anything related to computer programming / software development / software engineering, including implementation, design, marketing, testing, to name a few.

Posts in the Programming category
Wildcard Site for Laravel Homestead - 24 Feb 2015

Laravel is a fantastic PHP framework. Homestead makes it even easier to do Laravel development. It’s basically a prebuilt Vagrant VM so you can build Laravel projects without having to worry about setting up the server environment first. If you’re not familiar with Vagrant, it’s another extremely useful tool to create easily reproducible development environments. […]

PHP Truncating POST Data - 17 Feb 2015

A user reported an issue with Shortmarks that he was unable to change the default search engine. Given that the whole point of Shortmarks is to help you search a variety of search engines faster, this was peculiar. I search with Shortmarks dozens if not hundreds of times a day and had no problem changing […]

Do an Hour of Code This Week - 09 Dec 2013

Today, Google’s front page has a link to an Hour of Code video. The Hour of Code is a worldwide effort to introduce 10 million people to coding and it’s happening this week (December 9th – 15th). I’ll be presenting an hour of code in both of my sons’ classes at school, and if you’re […]

VBScript Invalid Character Error - 09 Jul 2012

If you get this error, change the encoding of the file to ANSI. Windows Script Host ————————— Script: C:\Users\dan\Desktop\test.vbs Line: 1 Char: 1 Error: Invalid character Code: 800A0408 Source: Microsoft VBScript compilation error Or with Cscript: (1, 1) Microsoft VBScript compilation error: Invalid character

Solve a Maze With Google Blockly - 11 Jun 2012

Blockly is a web-based, graphical programming language. To write a program you assemble puzzle pieces, each representing a different component. It’s fun too ;) One of the demos is a maze. Your job is to assemble the puzzle pieces in such a way as to get peg man to the end. Once your blocks are […]

Shortmarks Screencast - 24 May 2011

I’ve been working on a free service called Shortmarks (Shortcut Bookmarks) and have been using it for close to a year. It has become indispensable, giving me fast, keyword shortcuts from any browser. It’s great to be able to switch between Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Opera without missing a beat because all my searches […]

SnapMD5 update with Unicode support - 10 May 2011

A new version of Snap MD5 with support for Unicode characters in filenames is now available.

Free Windows Countdown Timer - 12 Aug 2010

I’ve been searching for a Windows countdown timer that satisfied all my requirements for a long time. If you recall, I searched back in 2008 and posted my findings here. I’ve continued to search without success, so I decided to write my own. It’s called SnapTimer. While writing it I reviewed all the Lifehacker timer […]

New version of Snap MD5 released - 21 Jul 2010

I’ve released version 1.0.2 of Snap MD5. It supports drag and drop (thanks to Giorgio, author of Peazip, for telling me how), SHA-1 hashes, a menu and an about page. Enjoy! (and please let me know if you have any comments or questions)

The 30 minute endless loop - 09 Mar 2007

Andrew Wulf worked at First Command Financial Planning and has some of the most mind-numbing quotes and experiences I’ve ever heard of. It’s hard to believe someone actually said them. 1. It’s not the database stupid 2. Here little virus 3. The 30 minute endless loop (via reddit)

the art of project management - 15 Jul 2005

Here’s a book review of The Art of Project Management by Scott Berkun that I wrote a week or two ago for another site. I’ve been working professionally as a software engineer for several years and I learned more in the first 100 pages of this book than from my years of experience in the […]

strange PHP errors after upgrading to 4.3.9 - 03 Jan 2005

When I upgraded to PHP 4.3.9 on this server I would occasionally get an error that didn’t make any sense. The two that I saw were: Parse error: parse error, unexpected T_VARIABLE in (filename) on line 10 Warning: Unexpected character in input: ‘ (filename) on line 20 The line numbers didn’t have anything that I […]

the graphing calculator story - 22 Dec 2004

I’ve never used the Graphing Calculator software, but the story of how it came to be is awe inspiring. The project was terminated, but that didn’t stop Ron Avitzur from working on it. He says, “I was frustrated by all the wasted effort, so I decided to uncancel my small part of the project. I […]

how to be a programmer - 06 Dec 2004

I found this web site many moons ago, but I never made a post about it because I wanted to write more about it. I’ve never had the time to write about it, and it’s quite long anyway, so I’m just posting it sans comment. I give you, How to be a Programmer. (via gene […]

mailing quickly with PHP - 21 Nov 2004

I had a mailing list with 115+ subscribers that took well over a minute to send using PHP’s mail function. That was far too long to wait so I began searching for a way to speed it up. I was surprised at how little information there was describing straightforward methods to speed up the process […]

handy perl script - 12 Aug 2004

If you want to search and replace text among lots of files, Perl can make your life a lot simpler. Here is a script to replace the string ‘old_text’ with ‘new_text’ in any file ending with .txt. The script would have to be run from the same directory as the files which have the text […]

running mozilla multiple times - 28 Jun 2004

I’ve found that with recent (1.6, 1.7) versions of Mozilla on Linux, you aren’t able to run multiple instances of the browser. If Mozilla is already running and you try to run Mozilla again, you get the Profile Manager which is a nuisance and of little use. My solution was to write a shell script […]

development environment - 25 Sep 2003

Joel on Software has moved into the Bionic Office, his idea of the ultimate workspace for software developers. I must admit it sounds like a rather pleasant place to work. (via /.)

writing better software - 05 Sep 2003

A guy who worked as a support tech and a developer made a list of 5 reasons why programmers should have tech support experience. A lot of what he says boils down to thinking about the end user. As a programmer I want to write software that is easy to use, but that’s subjective. Is […]

why do they keep yelling at me? - 02 Sep 2003

I found these suggestions on how to give good status reports useful. They are directed at techies, but many of the principles apply to any profession.

the missing future - 24 Jun 2003

Eric Kidd speculates on what developers will be doing in 2031.

programmers are people too - 15 Apr 2003

The Psychology of Programmers (via roberto via slashdot)

misleading comments - 18 Mar 2003

Don’t get suckered in by the comments — they can be terribly misleading. Debug only code. — Dave Storer Consider a developer named Chuck. To figure out how to use an algorithm, Chuck writes comments to describe each step. A few days later, he fixes a bug in his algorithm, but forgets to change the […]

how to be a programmer - 29 Jan 2003

Rob Read has written a paper explaining how to be a programmer (presumably a good one). I haven’t had a chance to read all of it, but from what I saw it had useful advice for all levels of programmers. (via /.)

great programming - 01 Sep 2002

You might not find this story funny if you’re not familiar with programming, but it made me laugh out loud.