Archive for category Productivity

Being Awesome

Three months ago, there was a post on reddit entitled “what is something I can do today that will make me a better person by the time I go to bed tonight?

I think this is an incredibly valuable question to ask of ourselves. So many people are struggling to find meaning in their lives, and it’s surprising how even small actions can improve our self esteem and feeling of self worth.

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30 Day Challenge List

Try something new for 30 days.

It’s a simple enough concept, but it is just enough to give your life a breath of fresh air, to get you out of a rut, to re-invigorate. I was inspired by Matt Cutt’s TED talk on this topic – it’s worth taking three and a half minutes and watching the video.

With that philosophy in mind, I’m trying to put together a nice list of 30 day challenges to inspire you.

To my mind, there are two ways to approach the 30 day challenge – habits, and achievements:

  1. Habits: Try something new and do it every day for 30 days
  2. Achievements: Aim to have completed something by the end of the 30 days
As a quick example, Read the rest of this entry »

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Fast PHP – effective optimisation and bottleneck detection

PHP is not the fastest language on earth. That honour probably goes to machine code. But like many high-level languages, PHP provides some handy abstractions, like named variables, hashmaps (associative arrays), a C-like syntax, object oriented capabilities, loose typing and so on – we trade processing speed for development ease.

So it’s quite a common problem that people find their large PHP web applications running quite slowly.

Here are some frequently encountered bottlenecks found in web applications generally, and PHP specifically:

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Super Useful Web Dev Tools

OMG, it’s been a whole month since my last update.

I have draft posts about all kinds of Good Stuffâ„¢, but none are quite publishable yet. So today I’m just going to point you at a few great resources I use all the time while doing my web development magic:

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Textpad PHP manual lookup tool

A little tip for those of us using textpad to develop in PHP. How often do you find yourself having to go back to to check up on a function – is it ($needle, $haystack) or ($haystack, $needle)? I can never remember! With this tool I just need to highlight the function in textpad, press Ctrl-1 and up pops in a new tab, opened on that function’s manual entry. Neat huh?

Here’s how:

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Facebook Chat History

A little video I made with some instructions on how to get facebook chat history, even if your friends are offline.

It’s always really annoying when you remember that a friend sent you a cool link but they’re not online any more. With this facebook tweak you can bring up the chat history.

Important: To get your facebook chat history back, you need to be logged in and online on the chat box. If you’re offline it won’t work.

Facebook only stores chat history for a few days though, so there might be no history to retrieve.

This is an extension of my facebook hacks page.

PS: Sorry the text is so small on the vid, put it fullscreen and you can read it better :0)

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Backup your files in the cloud with Dropbox

How does 2 gig of free online storage sound? Well you can with this really sweet application! I’ve been using it for 6 months and it’s just great to be able to “set it and forget”; once a file is in my dropbox I know I can blow up my PC and still have full backups. That’s a good feelin’ :0)

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Prevent RSI with WorkRave

harness the healing power of sheep with Workrave

harness the healing power of sheep with Workrave

For the last few months, I’ve been using workrave on my windows machine to remind me to take regular breaks.

I know we’ve all seen similar software floating about the net for years, and like me you probably thought “oh cool, I’ll use that some day”. Well make today that day!

Honestly, it’s just a really nifty little app. Admittedly, most of the time I just hit “skip break” instead of actually taking the 30 second micro-break it suggests, but it’s there as a reminder that I should be taking breaks.

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Hacking Facebook

Wersja Polska

Hacking Facebook with Javascript

now updated for the latest (March 2010) version of facebook!

Because facebook relies so heavily on javascript, and because we can type javascript into the address bar, that means we can “poke” into the workings of facebook to do things that we wouldn’t normally be able to do. It’s not “hacking” exactly, but it employs the same sort of skills hackers use when looking into applications. The best part is that because it’s all using the same control codes (or “API”) that facebook uses, there’s no way for facebook to find out you’re doing it, so it’s totally safe! (I think…) Besides, we’re not going to be doing anything too dodgy, just a few little tweaks ;)

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