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Revisiting software development on Chromebooks - rapidly improving state of Chrome apps for developers

Chromebooks make surprisingly great laptops for software developers. If you don't know much about the Chromebook model, you might dismiss it as just a web-browser with delusions of grandeur. I'm a long-time software developer, writing code for a living since the mid-80's primarily on Unix/Linux/MacOSX systems, and I've pretty much abandoned my MacBookPro in favor of a Chromebook. The Chromebook is much faster than the MacBook (primarily due to the SSD drive), and lots lots lots cheaper to buy/own than any MacBook or MacBookPro.

Drupal Book node hierarchy went missing, necessitating database patching and a couple scripts to help

Twice now I've had the Book hierarchy on a Drupal 6 site go bonkers. The first time was on this very site, back in 2009, while this site was being converted from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6 (it's now on Drupal 7). The /book page simply became empty, and I managed to fix the book hierarchy with some database twiddling. That was over six years ago and I'd since converted this site to Drupal 7. I have another site still running Drupal 6, and the same problem (empty /book page) just happened on that site.

Let's Kill Davros! Or, a review of Doctor Who S09E01, the Magicians Apprentice

p032kxgr.jpgIf someone pointed out to you a little boy, as innocent as could be, and you knew that boy would grow up to create the most evil the universe ever saw, would you kill that little boy and prevent that evil? Yes or No. And what would either answer make you to be? If you're The Doctor, and you're suddenly in the middle of a horridly crazy war that looked like World War I trench warfare but had biplanes shooting laser canons, and you met a scared little boy who was about to die, what would you do?

How to stop your facebook page from posting tweets to twitter

Automated postings to social media accounts - Facebook, Twitter, etc - are a great way to build your presence, and let your audience know what you're doing. Over the years preferred services have come and gone which automate cross posting to social media accounts. Where a few years we would have instructed Facebook to autopost to twitter, we might want to do that in a different way now. For example, I'm finding the service to be much better and offer better control over the format of postings.

Avoid false spam decisions by Gmail's spam filters, stop losing critical emails in the spam folder

Gmail has done us all a great service by developing an excellent spam filter. I used to get hundreds of spam emails a day, and switching to Gmail reduced the spam rate to a few per week. No longer am I buried by spam. Of course the cost for this is to regularly visit the spam folder and see if Gmail accidentally marked any as spam (a.k.a. false positive for spam). Usually there's only a few and it's easy to click the "Not Spam" button to retrieve those emails back into the regular inbox.

The difference between Node.js require, and Wordpress plugins or Drupal modules

nodejs-dark.pngSomeone experienced with using Wordpress, or Drupal, to build websites are accustomed to "plugins" or "modules". Both are software modules which extend the functionality of Wordpress or Drupal websites, giving more features to the system than what's available out of the box.

Tame having dozens of open browser tabs in Chrome with the Great Suspender

I'm now primarily using a Chromebook for all my work - which includes software development on Linux, thanks to having installed Crouton. Since the Chromebook has only 4GB of main memory, things are a little constrained. I'm accustomed to running dozens of open tabs and on the Chromebook what happens is tabs are killed off when memory runs low, and if you revisit the tab it might cause a complete reload. That'd been bugging me until I found a new tool that completely tames open browser tabs.

The ultimate guide to a quickly customized mobile responsive Wordpress theme

wordpress-logo-stacked-rgb.pngI'm getting up to speed with Wordpress. One thing I wanted was to quickly get a halfway decent looking mobile responsive theme, and then get on with the business of writing my content. My belief is that it's folly spending too much time on creating the perfect theme & look & feel, and that it's the content which is more important.

How to customize the per-post authoring byline in Wordpress

wordpress-logo-stacked-rgb.pngAs a new Wordpress site owner, I'm going over every detail of the presentation to make sure everything looks right. This evening the task is improving the per-post publishing byline, and author information. As a side task, I want to have the site display my full name anywhere it would normally show the user login name. My theory is that because my mother named me "David Herron" and not "webmaster" that my website shouldn't show my name as "webmaster".

Drupal & Blogger user tries Wordpress after years of sneering, and likes it

wordpress-logo-stacked-rgb.pngThe other night talking with my girlfriend about developing a website for her, we decided that she needed a Wordpress blog. She's done quite a lot with Blogger blogs and is very familiar with them, but the goals she had were impossible given Blogger's limitations. While Drupal is a very powerful system and could have done what she wanted, it's not exactly user friendly.