Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Resolutions

Every year millions of Americans declare New Year's resolutions. Here is a great article about how this whole tradition started:

The Surprising Reason We Make New Year's Resolutions

Since most people I know always have losing weight, staying fit and healthy and enjoying life on their list, I'm going to dedicate all my posts in January to things that I do (or wish I did) to satisfy a fit and healthy lifestyle. Everything will be published under a new label Lifestyle.

I'm also hoping to get my sister who is a physical therapist to write a few posts because she has a lot of extremely valuable detailed information from her education that most of us would only dream of knowing. Or maybe we wouldn't want to know because once you know you have to do things better!

So stay tuned and check back often because this should be fun!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

iOS Paralax

To disable parallax in iOS 7 and 8, open Settings and navigate to General, Accessibility and turn the “Reduce Motion” option on.

I had this turned off prior to the latest iOS 8.* update.

Monday, December 29, 2014

How To Tie a Bow Tie With Bill Nye

Bow Ties are cool. Here's how to tie one.

Bash Script to Cleanup File

This bash script will do three things: 1. Remove Carriage Return (\r) 2. Replace tab character with four spaces (configure as you want) 3. Add a trailing line feed to the file


if [[ "$unamestr" == 'Darwin' ]]; then
elif [[ "$unamestr" == *CYGWIN* ]]; then
elif [[ "$unamestr" == "Linux" ]]; then


# Remove \r
tr -d '\r' < $file > $
rm $file
mv $ $file

# replace \t with space
tr '\t' '    ' < $file > $
rm $file
mv $ $file

if [[ $platform == 'MAC' ]]; then
  # On Mac, add trailing \n
  sed -i '' -e '$a\' $file
  sed -i -e '$a\' file

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Star Wars Monopoly

You know what's awesome? Star Wars. Monopoly is also awesome! Combine the two, get some Star Wars costumes and you have one heck of a Monopoly party!

Next you are going to ask if I took that picture. Yes, yes I did! However, I borrowed everything in it to play Star Wars Monopoly. I do silly things like that.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Objective-C Auto Reference Counting

There is a lot of code out in the wild that uses automatic reference counting (ARC). You'll see this error when trying to build such a project with Xcode: "NSAutoreleasePool is unavailable"

You can disable ARC on an existing project in build settings.
  • Click on the project, in the left hand window of Xcode.
  • Select the target.
  • Select the Build Settings tab at the top.
  • Search for "Objective-C Automatic Reference Counting"
  • Change to yes or no depending on what you want.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Programming Language and Development Environments

Many developers find one programming language and one development environment they like and stick with it. Some switch once in a while. Others, like me, use a lot of different ones daily. Everyone has different reasons for this, many just like to dabble. Discussing programming languages can be like discussing politics, but I'm going to do it anyway.

I learned Commodore BASIC as my first programming language in 4th grade. It was awesome once my school got a cassette tape so I could save my programs! Years later I learned C/C++ and assembly, and from there I can't recall the order but Pascal must've been next. Java, C#, Fortran, Prologue at some point, Perl, Python, PHP, Javascript, Lua, Bash, Swift, etc etc. Now on a daily basis I use Visual Studio, Xcode and NetBeans, (I prefer IntelliJ) and various other things that aren't really worth mentioning like Eclipse, Delphi, C++ Builder, JDeveloper and Xamarin Studio.

Delphi and C++Builder used to be my favorite, but their market is so small compared to anything else out there I'm sorry to say they are hardly worth mentioning. Visual Studio is by far the best IDE available. Xamarin is actually pretty good and getting better. So is Xcode. Although I wish the debugger were better because I really can't stand gdb.

I really like a strongly typed programming language. When I'm sitting holding an object and I don't know what it is, I guess it doesn't matter but sometimes it really does and I don't like it. I find this problematic with Swift. But swift has been growing on me. Programming languages are pretty much the same. I like Delphi, but C++ is my favorite go to language, C# and Java are both very good. They both have huge amounts of support code out there so you can do just about anything. Microsoft's recent announcement to bring .NET to every platform is really cool. Nobody should write real software with Perl, Python, PHP or Bash (even thought I've seen it done). Javascript is a necessary evil.

So there you have it. My quick thoughts on programming languages and development environments.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dividing Into Even Parts

One problem that comes up when doing wood work is dividing some odd number evenly into parts. This video shows an easy method at index 1:42 how to do this with very simple math by measuring across at an angle using a number that can be divided very easily. Just watch the video, it makes a lot more sense than my describing.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Synchronizing VMWare guest Operating System Time

I run Ubuntu as a VM on my Mac using VMWare Fusion and it has problems synchronizing the time with the host operating system. The VMWare commands are to do this are:

vmware-toolbox-cmd timesync status
vmware-toolbox-cmd timesync enable
vmware-toolbox-cmd timesync disable

And they simply don't work. So I had to find another way to get the time synced. Running the command:

sudo ntpdate -s

Syncs the time splendidly, so the question is how to do this at boot time automatically. After all automatic is what computers are all about. To do this, edit the file /etc/rc.local and add following anywhere in the file before the "exit 0":

ntpdate -s

And that should keep your clock synced. If you sleep your VM, the time could get out of sync and I haven't come up with a automatic solution for that but I don't usually sleep because shared directories are sometimes gone when it wakes and the VM has a big problem with that.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Make Bootable OSX Yosemite USB Install Drive

1. Format drive with the defaults using Disk Utility and name it "Untitled".
2. Download OSX Installer App from Mac App Store (Note: If you use this installer it will not be usable again, so make a copy to ~/Documents).
3. Open Terminal and run:

sudo ~/Documents\Install OS\ X\
 --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath
 ~/Documents\Install OS\ X\ --nointeraction

4. Go do the computer you want to install Yosemite on.
5. Plug in the USB drive.
6. Turn the machine on and hold down the Option (ALT) key until you get a list of drives.
7. Choose the installer, and follow the directions.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Google Maps Feature

I would like to be able to scrub back in time the history of the traffic. This would be very handy to see traffic patterns when for instance planning a trip or driving somewhere you don't ordinarily drive. Google already has all the information needed, it just needs to come up with a way to display that information that is easy to use. It could be as easy as a "traffic history" button when in traffic mode, that puts a slider bar at the bottom of the maps page. The slider starts on the right which is Now, and sliding it to the left changes the red/orange/green traffic lines back to that time. This could be further enhanced when getting directions. At the moment directions reports how long it will currently take, but there could be two other smaller numbers to either side, the shortest and longest times. If you click on either one it could suggest alternate times of the day to leave or days of the week.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Tokenize a C++ std::string

There are a lot of ways to tokenize a string, and this isn't necessarily the best but it works easily for what it does.

std::list Split(std::string Value, std::string Delimiter)
    std::list result;
    std::vector buffer(Value.c_str(), Value.c_str() + Value.size() + 1);
    char *p = strtok(&buffer[0],;
    while (p != NULL)
        std::string token = p;
        p = strtok(NULL,;
    return result;

Call this like this:

    std::list items = Split("foo/goo/boo/foo", "/");

    for (std::list::const_iterator iterator = items.begin();
         iterator != items.end();
        std::string line = *iterator;
        printf("%s\n", line.c_str());

And it will print out this:


Note: Yes, I do like to mix C and C++ :)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ergonomics of Using a Cell Phone

This Is What Looking Down at Your Cell Phone Does to Your Spine is a very interesting article. Ergonomics of everything we do every single day are so important. Ergonomics comes up so much I might start talking about it a lot more than I already do. Would anyone like that?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


This always gets me and I've seen a number of questions on the internet so I thought I'd write a simple post how to use javah.

If you have the file

package com;

public class Foo {
    static {

   public static native boolean test();

And the directory structure is:


from the command prompt, change directories to "TestProject/build/classes", then run:

javah -jni com.Foo

Out will come:

/* DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE - it is machine generated */
/* Header for class com_Foo */

#ifndef _Included_com_Foo
#define _Included_com_Foo
#ifdef __cplusplus
extern "C" {
 * Class:     com_Foo
 * Method:    isdebugged
 * Signature: ()Z
JNIEXPORT jboolean JNICALL Java_com_Foo_isdebugged
  (JNIEnv *, jclass);

 * Class:     com_Foo
 * Method:    getpid
 * Signature: ()I
JNIEXPORT jint JNICALL Java_com_Foo_getpid
  (JNIEnv *, jclass);

#ifdef __cplusplus

Monday, December 1, 2014

How Do I Print a List of Symbols Exported From a Library

The tool you want on Mac or Linux is called "nm". Best place for directions is to get it from the man pages:

man nm

I run it like this on Mac:

nm mylibrary.dylib > out.txt

On Windows use "dumpbin" (tdump if you use Borland tools, although dumpbin will work too). Here is a link to the help on dumpbin.