Console, a Windows console replacement

I’m not using Windows currently, but when I do use it and I need a command prompt, I’m suddenly reminded of the weakest link in the whole Windows user experience: the atrocious console window thing.

Many times I have searched for a replacement. It looks like there finally is such a thing, and its ultra creative name is Console. I haven’t tried it out, but if you need it, there it is.

(via Ben Kittrell)

Ad Hoc Software Planning with Graphviz

I’ve been playing around with Graphviz this weekend. I first used it a few years ago with a Perl script that sorta kinda knew Cold Fusion and JavaScript syntax and could output the Graphviz .dot file format, as a means of visualizing all the dependencies between source code files in a project with no compilation phase and no automated tests. It helped me answer a few questions that I had about the code: What should I write tests for first? What should I leave alone, because breaking it breaks a bunch of pages? What pages do I need to test in order to make sure that changes to a deeply-buried chunk of included code didn’t break anything? Having a simple tool that draws graphs of nodes in a fairly clean form can be really useful.
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Ruby Deeper Impressions

For two weeks (ending on this past Wednesday afternoon), most of my days and nights were occupied with a self-administered crash course in the Ruby programming language, outside of the Rails framework. I had struggled somewhat with Objective-C in January, partly because of the massive combined burden of learning the language, the Cocoa framework, the Xcode IDE, and the odd but brilliant Interface Builder. So, I wanted to try and attack Ruby in isolation.
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Ruby First Impressions: Backup Scripting

I started programming in Ruby this week, and so far I like it a lot. From my initial use of Ruby as a backup automation scripting language, here are my thoughts.

You might be wondering, why am I working on backup scripting now? Don’t I have some big project I’m supposed to be working on 24/7? Yes, and actually this work is in the critical path of that project.

My super fast laptop is still away being repaired for a video problem, so I’ve taken a major hit in terms of the resources of my main computer: 90% less MHz, 36% less display area, 50% less memory. In the meantime, I’ve been avoiding tasks that need a lot of CPU or graphics performance and instead working on things that are easier on my old desktop computer.

This week, I decided that I would pause working on the design and implementation of my startup project, until I had really sorted out my server backup and monitoring situation.
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