Weekly Review, September 20

By Saturday, September 20, 2014 0 Permalink 0

This week I attended the Google Cloud Platform @DLD event. The event was somewhat disappointing, with mediocre lectures that didn’t go deep enough. But the one-on-one sessions that followed were worth the time, at least for me. Were you there? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Not long ago, I got the Experimenting with Babies book, by Shaun Gallagher. A couple of days ago I got an approval to document and publish a couple of experiments from the book, so stay tuned for that!

I just got my first littleBits set – the cloud starter bundle. Hope I find the time soon to dive into it, and see what I can make it do :-) . Got one of their kits yourself? I’d love to hear what you came up with!

The Weekly Review is (hopefully) a recurring summary, reviewing highlights from the last week.

Manage Windows In OS X Like a Boss With Spectacle

I hate using the mouse or trackpad on my MacBook to manage open windows. When using multiple monitors, I move windows between the monitors and resize them all the time. That’s why my mind was blown when I found out about Spectacle.

Spectacle is light, simple, and open source. It does one thing – control window size and position using keyboard shortcuts. It does it well. I installed it a couple of days ago, and I just can’t remember how I was able to work without it.

This post is part of my Mac Power User Training series. Follow it to see how I try to go from Mac novice to a pro.

A Basic SCons Project Example

By Thursday, September 18, 2014 0 , Permalink 0

SCons is an open source software construction tool – a next generation build tool.

I have previously written an introduction to SCons.

This post is a short example of a basic C++ project, that uses SCons.

The purpose of this basic example is to set a baseline. It demonstrates how to build a non-trivial C++ project with out-of-the-box SCons. Future posts in my SCons series will describe various extensions to SCons, so it is important to be able to compare to a simple baseline.

SCons Intro: A Sane Software Construction Tool

By Thursday, September 11, 2014 0 , , Permalink 3

If you ever built C/C++ programs, you probably know about Make. But Make has long been broken. Everybody knows that.

SCons is an open source software construction tool – a next generation build tool.

You can think of SCons as an improved, cross-platform substitute for Make. One that also bakes in features from autoconf/automake and ccache.

SCons is my chosen C/C++ software build framework.

This is the first post in a series of SCons posts. In the series I will describe SCons, and analyze its strengths and weaknesses. I also explain how I use it (in DayJob) to build non-trivial software, and explore potential enhancements to optimize my workflow.

I open the series with an introduction to SCons.

The Ostrich Website Project: Intro and Goals

If you are reading these lines, you probably know what The Ostrich website is. It’s my personal and professional website and blog, and I hope you enjoy it! :-)

For me, it is also one of my ongoing side projects. Like other side projects, it comes with a workflow, and accompanying blog posts. I realize this case may suffer a bit from self-reference, but I like being meta.

This post is an introduction to The Ostrich Website project. In this post I define high-level outcomes and goals for this project.

Getting Perfect Baby Formula Temperature, Instantly

By Monday, September 8, 2014 0 Permalink 1

Fixing up a bottle of formula (or two) for your baby isn’t complicated. Boil some water, add in formula, shake, cool it down. Why not save yourself some time and effort, by getting the perfect water temperature? In an instant? Always?

I’m sure I’m not the first to use this trick, but thought it might be useful to share. It definitely helped me to shorten the time from a hungry baby to a bottled baby :-)

The gist of the tip is to pre-fill bottles with 70-80% room temperature water. Then, adding the final 20-30% of boiling hot water + formula + shake results an instantly ready-to-feed bottle!

The amount of pre-filled water depends on your room temperature, and your target temperature. As an example, a standard bottle for my twins is 180ml water with 3 spoons formula. During the Israeli summer, when room temperature is gazillion degrees, I keep bottles at around 145ml.

There are many other ways, of course. You could use 100% boiling water and cool it down in ice water. You could use 100% room temperature water and heat it up in a bottle warmer. I like my method, because it’s quick, and can be easily applied anywhere. When we go outside, we take pre-filled bottles and a thermos, and we’re set.

Got tips & tricks of your own? Let me know through the comments!

My Side-Projects Workflow

One of the main types of content I publish on this blog is series of posts accompanying my various side-projects. These projects usually arise from one of my hobbies or interests.

As a pretty methodical individual, I came up with a workflow for planning and executing my side-projects. In this post I’d like to delve into it a bit, sharing my thoughts, so you know what to expect with my project-related posts.

The workflow I describe here applies to the common type of side-projects. This includes building software, web application, maker and DIY projects.

Without further ado, here’s the general workflow:

  1. Project high-level outcomes and goals definition.
  2. If new concepts or technologies are involved – hack a quick & dirty prototype to facilitate learning.
  3. Requirements analysis.
  4. Project roadmap planning.
  5. Implementation.

(where steps 3..5 may be iterative for not-small projects)

Each step is usually accompanied by one or more blog posts, where I share my thoughts, plans, and insights. By sharing, I hope to get feedback from the community that will help me do the best that I can.

It’s My Birthday, And I’ll Launch If I Want To

By Thursday, September 4, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 1

I’ve been running my personal and professional blog (itamaro.com) for a couple of years now. Today, I am thrilled to announce that I am relaunching the blog under new design and domain! It also happens to be my 30th birthday, so, whoop-dee-do.

I’d like to take a moment in this post to explain the move, and shortly describe my agenda for the new site.