Self-importance. Entitlement. Snobbery.

Twice in the same week, on two different computers, I fell victim to the same egregious memory leak. Within seconds or minutes of launching Mail, it would eat up all the available system memory, and bring the system to a grinding halt; only a hard restart would work after that. The good news, though, is that there’s a relatively straightforward workaround.

I upgraded to El Capitan last week and noticed shortly thereafter that my path was messed up; when opening up new terminal windows, the active version of ruby was the system version instead of my RVM default. On investigating, I saw that for some reason the default paths in /etc/paths (/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:…) were first in my path instead of last, as they would have been if my .zshenv and .zshrc were being sourced properly. Here’s how I fixed it.

I recently upgraded the Middleman gem in my blog installation to the latest version, v3.4.0, and found to my dismay that it no longer worked with Pow. A refactor to Middleman::PreviewServer caused Pow to throw a TypeError – PreviewServer is not a module exception. The good news is that the change was a simple one, and you’ll only need to change a single word in your file to make it work again.

Tea speaks to me of rainy afternoons and crackling fires. Of snow falling on a silent garden. Of a few quiet moments out of time, the ease of familiar movements, of being in yourself completely, at peace. It speaks of hospitality and comfort, companionship and home. Tea is more to me than just a drink.

But that is only peripherally what I’ll talk about today. I decided a little while ago that I wanted to take some of my TV-watching time and devote it to learning, specifically to improving my design sense. So I bought a bunch of design books and decided to do a little project.

I’m constantly tinkering with my environment; I’m on an endless quest to simplify and automate it as much as possible. Between my shell, my editors and my window management solution, I’ve got things running pretty smoothly now…for the most part. Recently, my brew-installed MacVim had been giving me fits—seg faults right and left. Here’s how I solved the problem.

I’ve made quite a few updates to my css3-foundation project of late. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a Compass-based CSS3/HTML5 framework I built at my last place of work for bootstrapping web development projects.

WordPress and I are through. We’d been together a long time, but things had started to go sour: it was needy and high-maintenance, susceptible to the wiles of passing charlatans, and finally I’d had enough. I told it “so long” and went off to find greener pastures.

Ran into this one today, in somewhat unusual circumstances: I had a hover style where buttons inside a table row only appeared when the mouse was over the row, and if you clicked on one of the buttons but moved the mouse into another row before releasing...

Jul 6 2009

Speed up

In these times of effectively unlimited quotas, there’s no need to ever delete email. And I don’t—all my various accounts’ inboxes combined add up to somewhere around 20,000 emails. Having all your emails is great, but accessing them quickly is at...

The IE z-index bug had been around since IE4 or 5, and was finally fixed in IE8. It’s still an issue in IE7, however, and chances are that you, the web developer, still have to support it. You should read Aleksandar Vacić’s in-depth characterization of the problem to really understand what’s happening, but what it boils down to is this: the CSS 2.1 spec says that a positioned element with any integer z-index value (i.e. not auto) should create its own zero-based stacking context, and use the integer value specified to decide its place in its parent stacking context. In other words, if the positioned element has a z-index of auto, its stacking context is inherited from its parent. Internet Explorer, however, creates a new stacking context for elements with any z-index value, including auto, which wreaks all kinds of havoc and generally causes mayhem in your previously neat and orderly layouts.