A free lunch

I'm off to hit 46 local merchants for free birthday goods and services.

Bart knows how to birthday.

I don’t get as many birthday freebies as Bart Simpson does, but I think that I’ve signed up for more than most people. It takes a special kind of shamelessness to show up to a restaurant and only order what you’re getting for free.

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Posted by Curtis Gibby on May 18th, 2016

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What’s so awesome about Sublime Text?



Sublime Text lives up to its name — working in this editor truly is sublime. Far better for me than Notepad++. Jeffrey Way of Nettuts+ has put together a great series of video tutorials that show you how to use all the power of this amazing application. But here’s the highlights from my perspective.


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Posted by Curtis Gibby on February 18th, 2013

Filed under Programming, Work | 1 Comment »

Like using a shotgun to kill a fly

For years, I’ve been using programs to replace small snippets of text in my programming. I type


and the program outputs

cd /var/replicate/Replicate/trunk/app

and hits enter for me. This is much faster than typing out the whole path (even with Bash tab completion), or password, or chunk of code (whatever I happen to have in that shortcut).

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Posted by Curtis Gibby on November 15th, 2012

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The Force flows through all things

Since my kids recently watched the Star Wars movies for the first time (in preparation for our family Halloween costumes this year), I’ve become acutely aware of its influence on our popular culture.  I’ll see some reference to the Force or to Darth Vader, and think, “Audrey would get that now, but she wouldn’t have understood it a month ago.”

Just how popular and pervasive is George Lucas’ epic sci-fi series?  I watched five TV shows just today that referred to it.

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Posted by Curtis Gibby on November 11th, 2012

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HTML5 form inputs in CakePHP 1.2

At work, we’re building out a mobile version of our replicated sites.  As anyone who’s used an iPhone or Android browser to fill out a web form knows… using an iPhone or Android browser to fill out a web form is really annoying, and it’s best to make things as user-friendly as possible.  That’s why I wanted to leverage the power of HTML5 form elements to minimize that annoyance.

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Posted by Curtis Gibby on July 28th, 2011

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The breakdown: WIRED magazine, June 2011

This year, I got a subscription to WIRED magazine for Christmas.  It’s been a couple of years since I had a magazine to read every month, and I noticed something this time around that seemed indicative of a wider change in the journalism industry: more ads.  It appeared that every other page in this magazine was advertising content rather than editorial content.  No longer was I the consumer and the magazine the product.  Instead, I was the product and advertisers were the consumers.

By the time the May issue came in the mail, I was annoyed enough that I started ripping the all-ad pages out of the magazine and complaining about it on Facebook: “Curtis Gibby just ripped out 10 of the first 16 pages in my new WIRED magazine because they were useless ads on both sides. Who says print journalism is dying?”  A couple of people took notice of my post, and I thought it would be interesting to expand on the subject when the June issue rolled around.

And now it’s time for a breakdown

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Posted by Curtis Gibby on June 3rd, 2011

Filed under The Breakdown | 4 Comments »

Tweaking Firefox tab colors, part 2 (The Firefox 4 edition)

Colored tabs in Firefox 4 - not very colored anymore
Just when I got used to my new tab colors described in my previous post, Firefox 4 was released and broke what I’d done.  I could still see a teeny difference between my green, yellow, and red tabs — a 2-pixel strip at the top of each of them.  But most of the tab was the default chrome — nice-looking, but not what I wanted.
So I started looking for a solution that would let me change the whole tab’s color in FF4, not just the top of the tab.  I downloaded Tab Mix Plus, which did work in Firefox 4, and reverse-engineered the CSS that it added to the page.  I found that it was adding a background-image to the tab’s CSS, like this:

background-image: -moz-linear-gradient(bottom,rgba(10%,10%,10%,.4) 1px,transparent 1px), -moz-linear-gradient(#a6dfa6,#8dd68d) !important;

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Posted by Curtis Gibby on March 31st, 2011

Filed under Programming | 2 Comments »

Creating on-the-fly MP3 playlists on the NMT

I bought the excellent Popcorn Hour media server a couple of years ago, and I’ve always loved the job it does on my video files, especially with the equally fantastic YAMJ that rebuilds the video jukebox every time I get a new TV show or movie.

But I’ve never really gotten the NMT to play well with my audio files — it doesn’t handle standard playlist formats like .pls or .m3u, so you’re stuck playing one song at a time unless you can figure out its own insane .jsp playlist format. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Curtis Gibby on March 1st, 2011

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CSS woes at eBay

I don’t generally pay a ton of attention to web typography, but I must have it on my mind after building a new backend for our replicated sites.  I spotted this on an eBay order confirmation screen this morning:

Yes, that’s three different fonts for three different headers… on the same page.

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Posted by Curtis Gibby on January 14th, 2011

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Different tab colors for different contexts

I love Firefox.  Love love love it, especially because I can tweak many things about it to make things work just the way I want.  (Like creating Greasemonkey scripts to make other peoples’ websites do my bidding.  Or syncing not only my bookmarks and passwords between computers, but also my Stylish userstyles.)  Google Chrome may be zippier, but until I can run AdBlock Plus, All-in-One Gestures, Colorzilla, Firebug, FireShot, Firefox Sync, Greasemonkey, Open With, Stylish, and Update Notifier in it, I’m sticking with Firefox.

Anyway, the point here is that I wanted to have my Firefox tabs for different environments show up as different colors in my browser.  As a web developer, I spend a lot of time in a localhost development server, on a staging dev server, and on a live web site.  I may have ten tabs open, each of which could be from any of my environments, and each of which may look identical until you click into it to see the actual URL.  So I spent a lot of time clicking back and forth between them trying to find the other page I’d been working on.  I wanted a quick visual representation to show which of those environments I was in.

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Posted by Curtis Gibby on December 16th, 2010

Filed under Cool Web Stuff, Programming | 3 Comments »