Now with Comments

December 19, 2008 | meta
By popular demand, I have reënabled comments, now using DISQUS as the back-end. I’ll tighten up the integration over the next week, but in the meantime, everything does work as-advertised.

Secret Santas at Fog Creek

December 19, 2008 | personal
You know you’re getting too casual with your coworkers when your Secret Santa leaves this on your desk: (Thanks to Tyler for the picture.)

A Better Mac OS X Archiver

December 17, 2008 | technology
Several weeks ago, I ran across a small OS X tool called The Unarchiver—a free replacement for the built-in utility that Mac OS X uses to extract zip archives. The Unarchiver goes beyond BOMArchiveHelper, handling more file formats (including 7-zip and StuffIt), including better internationalization support, and having a more Finder-like interface (multiple simultaneous extractions are in a single window). I’ve been very happy with it. If you run OS X and deal with archives...

Lies of the New York MTA

December 13, 2008 | personal
This morning, on the 6 train, I saw the following advertisement: Believe it or not. In 1986, the subway and bus fare was $1. That’s $1.89 in 2008 dollars. Today 30-day Unlimited Ride MetroCard brings the fare down to $1.17. Believe it. I have a better idea: I’ll accuse the MTA of engaging in false and deceptive advertising practices. The ad makes a completely bogus comparison. There were no Unlimited Ride MetroCards in 1986. Hell, there were no MetroCards in 1986. There were single-ride tokens....

Pownce is Dead

December 1, 2008 | technology
I’ve long preferred Pownce to Twitter. It allows longer messages, has better uptime, has a better API, allows you to send links, photos, and files in addition to text…basically, it was just better in every way. The Copilot team made heavy use of Pownce during our Hair on Fire sprint, and continued to use it until we adopted Laconica internally. So I was deeply saddened to learn that, in a mere two weeks, Pownce will be no more. I guess Twitter’s where I’ll be now, whether I like it or not....

Thanksgiving Computing

November 27, 2008 | technology
Just remember: nothing says traditional Thanksgiving like the Honeywell H316 Pedestal “Kitchen Computer”.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 27, 2008 | personal
As my American readers sit down to enjoy a happy Thanksgiving meal, I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season.

Dropbox on the iPhone

November 27, 2008 | technology
I’ve been a big fan of Dropbox, a completely seamless remote storage solution, since they first had their closed beta. They provide two gigabytes of storage for free, have native clients on Mac, Windows, and Linux (including 64-bit!) that Just Work™, and have a ridiculously clean website that makes seeing a history of changes, and even restoring deleted files, wonderfully simple. Recently, Dropbox has been getting some love for how awesome it is, and as I was poking through Hacker News comments...

Rebasing in Mercurial

November 25, 2008 | programming
So, you’ve adopted git. Or maybe Mercurial. And you’ve started to use it. The problem is, every other commit reads some variant of, “Merged with stable,” “merged with base,” or some such. These commits convey no useful information, yet completely clutter your commit history. How do you make your history more useful? The answer lies in rebasing. Rebasing is a technique made popular by git where you rewrite your not-yet-pushed patches so that they apply against the current remote tip, rather than...

Why QA is Important

November 24, 2008 | programming
QA’s one of the most important parts of any software development project, so I’m profoundly saddened by how often it’s overlooked. Thankfully, Copilot has a solid QA process, so when we release software, I can generally be confident that it will work as-advertised.