neat tricks

Minor new email

A mail productivity trick.

I check my email several times a day, and typically find two or three new messages each time. A mailing list on local issues is the source of a few too many of these, but I worried that if I routed these to their own folder that I’d forget to check it. (I can go days without checking my xml-dev folder.) Because the messages are not made publicly available, I had reservations about converting them to an Atom feed.

Large eBay items without the shipping cost

And, look them over before bidding on them. Some patience required.

Did you ever see something on eBay that would be a good deal if it wasn’t for the shipping costs? Last summer I created a saved eBay search for “nordic track virginia”, hoping to find a local one that I could pick up myself. I wanted it to exercise when it’s too hot or too cold out to go jogging, and I hoped to find someone local who had bought one, didn’t use it, and wanted to make some quick cash from it. The shipping on something that big wouldn’t be…

Easy, professional-looking websites with open source CSS

And, they work well with straightforward XHTML.

Monday night I went to my first meeting of the Neon Guild, an association of local Charlottesville technology professionals. (Web designers seemed to dominate, perhaps due to the theme of this month’s meeting.) I learned something very valuable about web design: that free, open source CSS stylesheets are available at Open Web Design.

Making hot sauce

Learning a new technology.

When learning any new technology, I like to start with the smallest, most stripped-down “hello world” app I can. I want to create the most minimal demonstration that qualifies as a working example and then build from there so that it’s absolutely clear to me what is truly necessary and what each extra adds. As it turns out, this makes plenty of sense when learning how to make hot sauce, and the “hello world” of hot sauce is remarkably simple.