Mike's Blog

A collection of projects, thoughts, and ideas about computers.

See all my blog posts, sorted by year, in my blog archive.

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Fitbit Surge vs. Garmin Forerunner 35

Fitbit Surge vs. Garmin Forerunner 35

I was recently shopping around for a new GPS running watch, and I tried both the Fitbit Surge and the Garmin Forerunner 35. These devices are both good GPS watches with a similar feature set, so I thought it would be worthwhile to see how they stack up against each other.

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When's My Code Going Out?

When's My Code Going Out?

At SpotX, we manage our codebase with Git. Our commits flow from our develop branch to production, with a code-freeze branch in-between. Like this:

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How I Manage Passwords with KeePass

How I Manage Passwords with KeePass

Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about how horrible it is to have to deal with the various password restrictions websites use. Of course, that post was influenced by Jeff Atwood’s post, Password Rules are Bullshit. While writing the post, I did some research on what makes a good password. And after writing it, I spent several weeks thinking about my own password management strategies.

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Chasing Bugs: PHPUnit Hides Errors

Chasing Bugs: PHPUnit Hides Errors

I love stories about hunting down interesting bugs. I find things like left-pad breaking the internet, cloudbleed, and the sleep bug in Eve Online extraordinarily interesting.

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Dealing with Passwords

Dealing with Passwords

Jeff Atwood wrote a post on Coding Horror today calling out bullshit password rules. And he’s dead on. Password rules, as most sites implement them today, are not improving security. They might actually be hurting it. Even NIST agrees.

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So You Want to Learn Docker

So You Want to Learn Docker

With the rapid growth Docker is experiencing, it seems like everyone is trying to learn how to use the technology. In fact, I've invested many over the last year in teaching myself to use Docker. When I was just starting out, I spent a lot of time searching for the quickest, easiest way to learn.

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Testing is Hard

Testing is Hard

One of my friends and colleagues writes for the Project Management for Developers blog. He recently wrote an article about the importance of testing. I want to respond to his blog post and provide some additional insight into testing from a developer perspective.

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Automated Jekyll Deployments

Automated Jekyll Deployments

My last post was about using Jekyll as a podcasting platform. Now, I want to talk about how I set up automatic deployments with Jekyll. I’m deploying to a Dreamhost server, but the principles I applied should work for most servers that provide ssh access.

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Podcasting with Jekyll

Podcasting with Jekyll

I recently did some volunteer work to upgrade the website for a podcast. I chose to re-write the site from scratch, but needed to migrate all of the existing content. After some research, I determined that Jekyll fit our needs best because:

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Chromium OS on a 2007 MacBook

Chromium OS on a 2007 MacBook

Chromebooks are becoming more popular these days, and their simplicity is something that really appeals to me. I wanted a Chromebook, but not so much that I wanted to spend a lot of money to buy one. At the same time, I had an old 2007 MacBook lying around that was becoming nearly unusable because it was so slow. The version of macOS it was running was outdated, and I didn’t want to spend money on an upgrade for such a slow computer. So… I turned it into a Chromebook!

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