The Best Laid Plans

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

If I can, I would like to take you into my imagination. Let us pretend we work at Widgets Inc. Now, Widgets Inc has been around for awhile and is going through a phase in it’s life where the technical decisions made by previous generations no longer seem viable. Our company struggles keeping it’s current infrastructure going, while at the same time wants to make some serious changes to it. One of the biggest challenges, we believe, is our lack of leadership in the company. If we had leadership with a grand vision to unify and replace all of our old architecture things would be so much better!

Building a New Floor

Yesterday had a great time replacing the floor of a shed that was rotting out. It’s a great reminder of just how great it is our family can get together and knock out these tasks together.

As Fast as Possible

"Too Much Speed Dude" One of the struggles that you hear time and time again is the one of management that wants software produced at an overly fast pace. I can of course sympathize with this; however, when the quality of a developer’s work is sacrificed in the name of speed things start to get tense. The outlook on any software project under negative tensions normally isn’t favorable.

Stop Auto-Connecting to Xfinity WiFi

I get so frustrated when Ubuntu automatically connects to xfinitywifi. It is not much to connect back to my work or home wifi; however, it wastes time and sometimes can really disrupt my train of thought. Finally today I had enough and I looked into how to stop this from happening. It turns out it’s not that difficult and I wish I would have done this months ago!

Json_pp With Vim

In another post I showed you some tricks you can do from command mode. If you aren’t familiar with it, most standard Linux distros ship with json_pp, which is a pretty-printer for JSON. Today I discovered this tool makes for a fantastic quick tool in Vim when you want to sharpen up some JSON. It can take output like this:

{"rofl":{"copters":["red","blue","gree"]}, "lol": 24.6}

And turns it into this:

"rofl" : {
"copters" : [
"lol" : 24.6

Using the following command


In this case the 1,1 part of the command is the range of lines that you want to send to json_pp. This also works with visual mode as well. After selecting the text you want, if you press : it will pre-populate the correct range for you!

Remote Control Webcam Car

"Zoom Zoom" I’ve been spending a lot of downtime thinking about how I can stay in better contact now that I’m working remotely. I have a whole basement to work out of so I’ve decided to start looking into making my own wifi enabled, remote control vehicle. My goal is to have a working prototype by mid December, and I want to use my blog to document how it’s going. What I would like to accomplish is a car that you can view through and control remotely via a web-site. Some of my “stretch goals” would be to have a rechargeable docking station, the ability to move the webcam independently of the car, and a small two-way display screen that can be activated.

Test the Order of Calls With RSpec

When coding sometimes it’s difficult to think through edge cases of what will happen when. Instead of thinking too hard about it let RSpec do the heavy lifting for you! Pretend you have the following Fetcher class responsible for performing http requests and retrying when the host sever has problems:

Consolidating Vim Test Hotkeys

I’m sure most power developers have their tests bound to hot-keys in their favorite IDE, and having them in Vim is no different. I fell in love with the vim-rspec that Thoughtbot put out. It has served me well over the years and has saved me countless hours in running tests by allowing me to run them from a few short key strokes. Times have moved on however; and I needed a way to run tests in other languages.

Boost Productivity With Mutate

After watching some of my fellow comrades on OSX use Alfred I simply had to get this into my toolkit. I have added a fantastic Linux clone named Mutate to my standard install and have begun writing in custom macros to help boost my productivity. If you want to take a peek at the scripts I’ve been writing to get ideas I’ve been adding them in under my dotfiles.

Then I Long for My Indiana Home

Today was my last day in Tennessee as a resident! I’ve made the exodus back to Indiana to be closer to the family and take a break from the rest of the world. It’s amazing how refreshing it is to be writing this post on the farm with no worry about driving back in a couple days. This change of pace is exactly what I’ve been looking for and I intend to make it count.