A $20 tablet/laptop organizer

IMG_1438 Do you have several laptops? Multiple iPads? Do you find yourself with an annoying stack of laptops sitting on your desk that you need to play Jenga with every time you need to switch machines? If this is the case you might be living in the most egregious world of #FirstWoldProblems -or- you work in technology. I fall into the latter group and wanted a cost-effective and nice way of keeping my laptops & tablets organized, charged, and undamaged. What you see to the right cost me about $20 and an hour of time to make.

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Please don’t give your laptop to a stranger

Who's laptop is this? Who cares! It could be yours in just a few seconds.

Who’s laptop is this? Who cares! It could be yours in just a few seconds.

You’re saying to yourself “This is silly, I would never willingly give my laptop to a complete stranger (in a public setting)”. However people do “give away” their laptops, or attempt to do so on a daily basis. Just today I was attending a bootcamp (which I’ll write about another day) in the AWS Loft SF and saw the horror that was abandoned laptops. Just like you see pictured to the right, laptops left without owners. This wasn’t just during a quick bathroom break that the machines were left, we’re talking about over lunch when most of the class had left to forage.

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Why Slack when you can Rocket.chat?

rocket chat logo Everyone knows that Slack is the current darling of the chat world. This is especially true in the high-tech scene as it seems like everyone is using Slack. It quickly eclipsed 6 year old HipChat with a huge suite of fancy new features and a shiny interface. The 14 teams I’m a member of can attest to Slack having also taken the place of IRC for many. So why isn’t this post an advertisement for Slack? Well everything isn’t all roses and sunshine in the land of Slack and there’s a new upstart worth checking out… Rocket.chat.

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Blackblaze burns the competition with B2

backblazeYesterday, Backblaze announced a new game changing product, if you’re into storage. The new Backblaze B2 offers cloud-based object storage, similar to AWS S3 or Google Cloud Storage, except that it’s significantly cheaper than the competition. This is shocking since a lot of people have never heard of Backblaze, and they don’t play in the “cloud” market.

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iOS 9 – Who isn’t an early adopter anymore?

ios-9-logo1 In the tech-centric world we live in today, the faster that software updates get pushed, typically the better off everyone is. Software updates provide not only more features, but are a vital conduit for security updates. Our world is a connected world and when security issues are found, they need to be patched immediately. Anything that speeds up that process is “Good”, except we still need “early adopters” which is a group we’re very quickly losing. Why? Well just look at iOS 9.

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Urban Garden: The end of a season

IMG_0945Dateline: 2015-09-13

It’s been a few months since we’ve visited the garden. The time flew by and since then our lovely little urban greenery was growing along just fine. Sure we’ve lost a plant or two over the season and had some bug infestations, but nothing earth shattering. Unfortunately the tomatoes have started to look a bit… sad. Partially we had a bit of a watering issue, but mostly it was the end of their season. We could have goosed them a long for a bit longer with this crazy San Francisco weather we’ve been having (record highs, cold and rainy, record highs… over just 2 weeks), but it was time to call it.

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AWS Bootcamp: Architecting Highly Available Applications on AWS

IMG_0972 On Monday I visited the AWS Popup loft in San Francisco (again) and attended the Bootcamp on “Architecting Highly Available Applications on AWS”. Rather than try and re-summarize it, I’ll let the course description do the talking:

“This beginner-level bootcamp teaches you how to apply the principles of elasticity, mitigating single points of failure and designing loosely coupled applications to architect resilient applications on AWS. We will cover how to apply AWS services and features as well as common design patterns to improve fault tolerance in the networking, web, storage and database layers of your application.”

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Apache Cordova “Hello World” meets the real world

cordova_256 Everyone who’s ever learned to code (and probably a few more) knows about the “Hello World” program. Your first program in any language simply says “Hello World” and from that all other great code is derived. In 1972 that simple bit of a program taught you something and that remains true today… if you’re learning a new language. However it has become common place for this same concept to be applied to programming frameworks, though in many of those cases you might not learn anything. If you google “ExpressJS hello world” you end up with a sample that actually teaches you a little bit. However, when you start with Apache Cordova’s “Hello World” you don’t learn anything beyond how to run one command. So I rectified that.

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Simple and automatic Github deployment using PHP

jondavis-nameIf you’re like me, every project you work on worth anything gets put in GitHub. It’s safe and you get all the benefits of using Git. Of course those benefits include deployment hooks, if you’ve got the system setup for it. On small projects it may seem like it’s more hassle to setup deployment hooks, after all SFTP is simple enough, however it’s actually quite easy to do and only take a few minutes to setup. My use case is JonDavis.name (which is kept in a private GitHub repo) and this has made life much easier for me, even for a single-page website.

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