February 10th, 2010

Scilab & OS path slashes

Scilab is a wonderful piece of software to use. It’s powerful, stable, a free alternative to Matlab, and it’s cross platform – happily crunching away matrices on Windows, OS X, and Linux. However the old problem persists of MS Windows using backslashes ‘\’ when OS X, Linux, and Internet URLs use slashes ‘/’. Slashes are great as they are easier to type on a US keyboard. If you are doing any kind of file IO with Scilab you must be careful when using slashes in your code if you expect your code to go cross platform. The handy boolean MSDOS variable can be used early to prevent problems.


January 28th, 2010

Rewrite Module in OS X 10.6

Setting up a development environment locally can save a lot of time, but the setup can be quite painful. I needed to modify a few things to getting my website running in OS X Snow Leopard. Setting up apache is wonderfully easy with OS X but further customization took more time. I wanted to get the .htaccess files and apache rewrite module functioning functioning locally.


January 19th, 2010

Hidden Character Bug

Debugging can sometimes be maddening. You can check and recheck your code yet it will absolutely not work as you expect. I recently hit the hidden invalid character bug. One of the dangers from copying html and pasting it as code.

The W3C CSS Validation Service solved the problem.

Copying and pasting often gives unexpected headaches. Usually it’s due to assuming that only one or two words need replacing from the copied text when in fact there are more or an incremental variable needs to be changed.

While I’d like to think copying and pasting saves time, in regards to source code and programming I think that it often enough ends being a frustrating pain and should be avoided.

January 11th, 2010

Padded Links

When displaying links inline with text you want to balance readability and noticeability. An interesting way to do this is by giving it some padding and rounded corners.


January 11th, 2010

Secure Copy (SCP)

I sometimes need to copy files to servers that only allow ftp – an unsecure file transfer method. An easy, secure and fast alternative is SCP if you can remember how to use it.

SCP in Die Hard 4.0
Plus it’s used in Die Hard 4.0 so it must be good.