May 25 2011

Summary of PHP Frameworks and their Features

I found a great summary chart of PHP frameworks, that also includes some great information about their various features.

Take a look!

PHP Frameworks


May 25 2011

Great Classical Music Radio Station

We found a great classical music radio station that we like to listen to: 99.5.  Great for relaxing or to listen to while trying to get some work done.


May 14 2011

Archiving and extracting files using tar

I always have the hardest time remembering the command line options for tar.  Found a simple site that explains them concisely and figured I’d post the info here so I always know where to easily find it all.

To tar all files in a directory into a file named foo.tgz:

tar cvzf foo.tgz dir

To extract the contents of a tar:

tar xvzf foo.tgz

More information here.


May 10 2011

Visiting the Arnold Arboretum, Boston

We went to the Arnold Arboretum in Boston this past Sunday.

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is the oldest public arboretum in North America and one of the world’s leading centers for the study of plants.

One of the things on their website is the Birds of the Arboretum checklist.

This checklist includes 185 species of birds that have been recorded over the past 100 years within the 265 acres of the Arnold Arboretum.

We ended up walking around for a couple of hours and it is a really nice place to go for a stroll, relax on a bench, ride your bike, etc.  They have a very wide variety and nice assortment of trees and other plants.  What struck me the most were the really nice smells that everything was exuding; no mulch smell!  We are looking forward to going back, but this time with a picnic lunch and some books.

Arnold Arboretum


May 10 2011

Centering DIVs with jQuery centerXY Plugin

Centering DIVs horizontally can be a pain, but it seems there are a couple of generally accepted, cross-browser compatible, solutions available (such as setting a fixed width with margin-left: auto and margin-right: auto).  Centering DIVs vertically can be much more challenging.  Not wanting to worry about nesting DIVs and making sure the CSS was set properly for each of those, taking into account the idiosyncrasies of each browser, (here is an article I have yet to read, but has received great reviews) I looked for a jQuery solution…

…And I found the centerXY Plugin for jQuery.  The plugin is extremely easy to use and centers DIVs both horizontally and vertically within its parent, with the ability to specify offsets for each direction if you don’t want it dead-center.  If the parent is the body, then the DIV is centered with respect to the browser window.

I have verified that the centerXY plugin for jQuery works correctly in:

  • Internet Explorer 6 (IE6)
  • Internet Explorer 7 (IE7)
  • Internet Explorer 8 (IE8)
  • Internet Explorer 9 (IE9)
  • Firefox 3.x
  • Firefox 4.x
  • Safari
  • Chrome
  • iOS (iPhone and iPad)

May 8 2011

Making NTFS Play Nicely With Mac OS X

Mac OS X does not support writing to Microsoft Windows formatted NTFS volumes out-of-the box.  Having only one Mac and a whole bunch of Windows machines, I’ve been looking for a way to easily share files between them, particularly using an external harddrive.  After trying a bunch of solutions, I found the one that works best – Tuxera NTFS for Mac.  It is easy to install, easy to use, and seems to work reliably.


May 7 2011

Stanford Teaches How to Succeed: Cut Corners!

Interesting article at Gizmodo here.

Basically, don’t worry about perfecting anything, just release as-is and worry about rounding the corners and smoothing the rough edges after you have money flowing in.  Might make good sense from the point of the person making the money but can often be frustrating as the consumer.  How do you achieve the appropriate balance?


May 7 2011

Google’s Search Globe

I saw a neat article on Engadget talking about a visualization made by some Googlers that visualizes Google searches around the world.  More here.

Google's Search Globe


May 4 2011

This Journalist Could Kill You With His Pen… From 50 Yards Away

Found an interesting article about Vice Adm. William McRaven. Check it out here.

He was a journalism major in college, who became the SEAL in charge on the ground during the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

Besides his impressive history in the SEALs, here’s something that caught my attention: in 1996 he published Spec Ops, a book on the art of special operations based on eight case studies. He concluded the keys to successful missions are Simplicity, Security, Repetition, Surprise, Speed and Purpose.  I am definitely going to have to read that book!


May 4 2011

The MacGyver of Wall Street

Saw this article this morning:

Wall Street traders mine tweets to gain a trading edge

It is very interesting to think about: i) the analytical value that twitter and other social media actually has; and ii) how Wall Street can seemingly use anything to gain an edge.  It’s like they have MacGyver in the back room, but with a smartphone instead of a paperclip and rubberband.

Also made me think of Big Spaceship’s “Hope vs. Despair” that Joshua Hirsch spoke about at Geeky By Nature 2011 a few weeks back.  Take a look here. Uses phidgets and some clever design to measure the mood on Twitter, comparing 🙂 vs. 🙁 .  I hope @bigspaceship, @joshuahirsch is getting a kickback here!