Category Archives: tools

Markdown syntax highlighting and conversion in vim

Recently I’ve been playing around with vim as an editor. Since I do most of my writing in a text editor, one of the first functions I found myself looking for was a way to do basic markdown syntax highlighting and formatting. Here’s how I set up my vim environment to do both of that. [...]

Return of the lazy sheep: auto-tagging delicious posts with greasmonkey

I use delicious to bookmark sites of interest. I also use it to send links to friends, since it makes for a much less intrusive way to send links than email. When I save a link, I want to describe it as best as possible so that I can find it again when I return. [...]

Fixing Numara Footprint’s addressbook search with a Greasemonkey Userscript

UVM uses Numara Footprints to track client support tickets. When creating tickets from client submitted email, the application automatically fills out the contact information for the client, using their email to search against LDAP. This search fails if the address from the incoming ticket is in the format uid@uvm.edu (as opposed to first.last@uvm.edu). This results [...]

The right tool for the job

Sometimes it’s not that easy to see what a new tool can really do without some level of adoption. Adoption translates into self investment, since you’re going to end up spending time and energy evaluating a new tool. The tricky part is determining the right level of self investment necessary to evaluate the tool, and [...]

Putting Twitter to good use

The other day I was sniffing around for a Portland (Maine) equivalent to the WCAX weather announcer that announces Vermont weather via Twitter. I didn’t find one. I did however find a post that seemed to echo some of the thoughts and confusion I’ve heard elsewhere regarding the utility of Twitter. This got me thinking [...]

Burlington PHP Users Group

Last week saw quite a turnout at the Burlington PHP Users Group meeting. The event featured a talk by Matthew Weier O’Phinney, from the Zend Framework team at Zend Technologies. The discussion was lively and informative – there was a really good mix of people there, which made for great conversation. We even had some [...]

Evolving to Dvorak

I have never learned to touch type. As much as Ma Henry tried, she just couldn’t get me to spend enough time with Mavis Beacon. Over the years, as my hunt-and-peck style morphed into a jumble of half-memorized keystroke combinations, I began to regret this. Several weeks ago I began to mull over the idea [...]

Disability Etiquette

The United Spinal Association has a great pamphlet on Disability Etiquette. It’s light, conversational (plenty of comics with situational examples), and friendly in tone. This goes a long way in increasing awareness about a host of disabilities. It also is a very useful tool in combating the fear that stems from not knowing how to [...]

WordPress Greatest Hits widget

One of my favorite best practices in blogging is the use of a greatest hits list on the home page. I find myself looking for this list every time I come across a new blog. With that in mind, I’ve been wanting to display a list of my favorite entries from this space for quite [...]

Standing meetings

Think about your last staff or team meeting. How long was it? Was everything captured that needed to be? Did it stay on task? Chances are it could have gone smoother, faster, and been more productive. One way to make recurring meetings more efficient and productive is by reviewing the structure which guides the meeting.