IT Developer for Mobile and Web Applications

Best Text Editor for Coding?

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Posted on September 20, 2017 by

I’ve been using text editors for coding, since I have been coding.

When I got started with Unix, of course it was vi. I never was an emacs user, there was just too much going on with it.

For a long time, in the early days of  Windows NT, I used TextPad as a trial version. With Windows 2000, it has been Editpad. I needed an editing app that could open bigger files than Notepad, like app log files.

I gravitated back to TextPad in 2003 and started using the plugins for syntax highlighting, and learned to love the Regular expression search and replace.

When I went to the Build conference in 2014, it was Sublime Text everywhere. That was quite a nice transition, because Sublime is multi platform, Mac and Windows, pretty smoothly.

However, in 2015 Sublime was disappearing and Visual Studio Code was on the scene. It is the de-facto editor for all the Microsoft folks, and many others. It also is multi-platform, with the Mac version working nicely.

Today I switch between Sublime text and Visual Studio code. I use Sublime text as the text editor, and default viewer for .txt and .log files. I use Visual Studio Code as the default editor for all sorts of code files, when I do not want to open them up in their native UI. Sometimes it is more convenient to just open a .cs file in code, than to fire up the whole project in Visual Studio. Visual Studio 2017 is great, and probably the best IDE at this time, but it can be over kill if you just want to review a few lines of code.

I just got word about Geany, from someone who is learning C++ as a college freshmen. As a collegue pointed out, “they are still teaching C++ as a beginning language?” Of all the editors available, I cannot figure out why that one, other than it has some traction in the Linux community.

I don’t see myself switching to that real soon, as I don’t work on much C++. But I don’t think there is a Geany vs. Sublime vs. Visual Studio Code vs. TextPad. Each has a possible place in the toolbox.

What is a #2 Pencil?

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Posted on September 1, 2017 by

The answer varies widely by manufacturer. In this scale from Wikipedia, the pencil known as a Number 2 is also known as an HB, a middle grade of pencil. It has less graphite and more clay than a B and the 2B through 10B. It has more graphite and less clay than the H and therefore 2H through 10H.

Henry Petroski , in his Pencil book, claims that pencil grades vary “depending upon the manufacturer, when the pencils are made, and the source of graphite and clay. One analyst found that graphitic carbon content, for example, to vary from about 30 to about 65 in a variety of different pencils bearing the same designation.

The Number 2 pencil is the standard for test taking and writing, and is the most commonly available pencil. Pencils that are not marked with a grade, like promotional pencils or fun giveaway pencils are also likely within the acceptable range of graphite levels.

School pencils in the 21st century in the United States are most commonly the Dixon Ticonderoga, as teachers are now asking for them by name. And sometimes, teachers even require that each student supply 50 pre-sharpened Dixon Ticonderoga pencils! One assumes that not all students can or do comply, or that the teacher is doing a lot of writing during the summer.

These pictures show a wide variety of #2 school pencils –

Yellow #2 Pencils

Yellow #2 Pencils

– as well as other HB pencils, including brands from other countries, or ones that belong to drawing sets.

Variety of #2 HB Pencils

Variety of #2 HB Pencils

I separated out the yellow/orange ones, which take their color cue from the Koh-i-noor pencils, and have become the de-facto color for school pencils. In fact the yellow pencil is a symbol for schools and learning.

I have covered many other pencil sets in previous posts that have HB pencils not pictured here.

As you can see by these samples on Strathmore drawing paper, the pencils lay down graphite in a noticeably wide range.

#2 pencil comparisons

#2 pencil comparisons

More #2 HB Pencil Comparisons

 

 

Microsoft Build Conference 2017 – The Cloud Logo

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Posted on May 23, 2017 by

I had a good spot for the 2017 Microsoft Professional Developer’s conference Keynote. I was at the head of the class. I could not help but notice something while Scott Guthrie was speaking.   He has the Microsoft Cloud logo behind him.  Specifically it is in the shape of what I have seen as the Microsoft Hybrid Cloud.

Since I am at the front, it is easier for me to watch Scott talk on the monitor.

I can’t help but notice that the cloud is a bit jagged at the bottom.

It gets me to wondering. Apple has the “Golden Ratio” designed into their cloud logo for iCloud. I wonder what the design guidelines are for the Microsoft Cloud logos. There seems to be a few of them.

https://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/16/icloud-logo-infused-with-golden-ratio/

SPRING BLOOM 2017

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Posted on May 23, 2017 by

It’s a lot of work to catch it at the right time, but here it is, May 7, 2017!

the spring tree in full bloom

the spring tree in full bloom

Microcomputing, breaking all the rules

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Posted on November 30, 2016 by

Rule #1, work on a static free environment

Rule #2, keep the cats out of your box

wp_20160903_002

Sharpie Liquid Pencil – Do Not Want

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Posted on November 30, 2016 by

I tried the Sharpie Liquid Pencil. I found it wanting. It really was a struggle to write with it. I actually returned it to the store.

sharpie-liquid-pencil

Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 for nearly Free

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Posted on November 30, 2016 by

For a brief time, MicroCenter had offered the Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 for 99 cents. The current suggested retail price is still only $5.00 US.

raspberry-pi-zero-dollars-capture

  • 1Ghz, Single-core CPU
  • 512MB RAM
  • Mini HDMI and USB On-The-Go ports
  • Micro USB power
  • HAT-compatible 40-pin header
  • Composite video and reset headers

 

I have a lot of fun comparing modern computing power to my first computing experience. The Radio Shack TRS-80

Catalog: 26-1001 TRS-80 Model 1
Released: August 1977
Price: US $599.95 (with monitor)
Video: 64 x 16 text
CPU: Zilog Z-80A, 1.77 MHz
RAM: 4KB, 16KB max (or 48Kb with the expansion interface)

 

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