Firefox DOM inspector

Here’s one that was a ‘doh’ moment for me – wish I’d found it sooner.


If you’re messing around with web apps / php / apache / mysql / ajax (frameworks like Symfony / CodeIgniter / Kohana – you get the picture), this is sweet.  The DOM tree seems to be a bit easier to use / cleaner than Firebug’s Dom tab (counter-opinions on a postcard to BBC, Pebble Mill, W1 please).

And I like it.

How to Create Symlinks In Windows

Nice and easy step to help with those of us on Windows / Wamp / similar setups.
Works nicely for me with Wampserver 2.0, Win 7 x64.
See the post here

Ditto Free Clipboard Manager

If you’re after a lightweight, highly configurable clipboard manager for Windows 7 (x64 in my case) then Ditto could be for you.

xNeat seems to not be compatible with Windows 7 x64 at the time of writing, and after trying to run xNeat in compatibility mode for Vista SP2 / as administrator, we gave Ditto a run.

Works nicely with text in Notepad, copying db / mysql info in and out of IDE’s such as Netbeans.

Easy keyboard shortcut to pop open your clipboard menu – Ctrl ‘

Symfony Tests: Enabling Color (colour) Output for Windows

I’ve seen many confusing posts on how to enable colour output for Symfony testing on Windows.

This was pretty straightforward in the end for my Windows 7 x64 machine.

First, download and install Cygwin.  Windows command prompt just won’t do it.

Then go to http://adoxa.110mb.com/index.html and download ANSICON (I used ANSICON 1.32).

Save and extract to C:\ drive, then open command prompt, go to \x64, and type the following:

C:\x64>ansicon.exe -i

Now when you open Cygwin and run tests with or without the –color option, you get your colour output.


Auto Adjusting Screen Lighting by time of day

If you’re like a lot of people who work on the web and end up developing, programming, or fiddling with graphics until after dark, then the likelihood is you’re giving your eyes a hard time, and/or the odd headache.

Handy little (free again) tool called flux that adjusts the colour balance of your screen for day and night work automatically – sets up your location for you by typing in your country.  Very few options, but very few needed.

And if you need to perform colour-sensitive work you can turn it off for an hour, or disable it.

Yep, the Golden Ratio Strikes Back With Free Tools!

The Golden Ratio, the Fibonacci sequence, oft mentioned in the same breath, are well known to those beyond the spheres of mathematics.  Always striving for the ideal layout, many designers use this simple 1.6 / 0.6 (approx!) ratio to fill our screens with well-balanced delights.

Our widescreen TV’s, credit cards, and field of vision are some of the manifestations of this ratio that we all know too well.  Come to think of it, I’d bet the last half bottle of Asahi I’m drinking now, that the smile of a beautiful woman on a glorious summer’s day, also conforms to this ratio.  My wife’s smile, of course.

We don’t need to work it out for ourselves, we get the math done for us with this cool golden ratio tool.

Copy More than 1 piece of text in Windows at a time

Ever needed to copy/paste 2 or more strings of text in Windows, and find yourself Alt-Tabbing, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V’ing all over the place?

Well, this free little clipboard manager from xNeat allows you to copy multiple items, then paste from the list.

Dead handy if you need to copy database names/usernames/passwords and probably a zillion other day to day uses too.

**Note – if you’re using Windows 7 x64, I’ve had problems with xNeat – you could try Ditto Clipboard Manager instead – that’s working for me on my 7 x64 box.

ScribeFire – Also Bookmarks Delicious

Another nifty thing I’ve discovered about Scribefire (posts to your blog direct from Firefox), is that it will pop your post to your Delicious account also.

Simply select the option ‘bookmark post at del.icio.us using same tags, enter your login details, bingo.

StExBar – Easy Command Prompt for Windows

Among other things – this makes it easy to right click any folder from Windows Explorer, and kick off your command prompt window from that directory, without too much keywork.

See it at Tortoise Tools.

Version Control – Tortoise SVN book available

New Tortoise SVN book available for us Windows users.  If you’re a Windows user, and need a handy (context / right-click ) interface for version control, this gives a good run-through.

Alternatively, go to Tortoise documentation for free manuals.

Ajax Animated Gif Creator

Need an animated icon to feedback to your users that something’s actually going on before they start cursing your latest project?

See the Ajax loading gif generator – loads of options, and as quick as a flash to get what you need.

3 steps and your done – Select the type of image you’d like – bars, snakes, whatever you like, set the colours for foreground and background.  Done.

ScribeFire – Blog Post Direct From Firefox ;-)

Best addon I’ve found if you want the ability to post directly to your blog from Firefox – plenty of option to customise and alter content.

See here for ScribeFire

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Web Design Resources at Specky Boy

A weekly roundup of web design articles and resources – definitely worth a little time to soak up.

Oblivion Revival Colour Scheme for Netbeans IDE

Love the Oblivion Revival colour scheme for Netbeans IDE.

Go check it out – very smooth.

Nice Netbeans Colour Scheme Free Download

Nice Netbeans colour scheme – if you want to customise your workspace from the defaults offered in Netbeans, try this:

123 Web Design Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-12-12

  • I'll pay for an answer to: PHPUnit running slowly. If you think you can help, or know someone who can help with PHP / Symfony pls retweet! #

Set Up Skype and Wamp

If you’re having an issue or problem starting or restarting Wamp Server, and you’re also using Skype, then Skype could be the problem.

  1. Close Wamp
  2. Open Skype
  3. Go to Tools > Options > Advanced > Connection
  4. Uncheck ‘Use port 80 and 443 as alternatives for incoming connections’
  5. Save and restart Skype
  6. Start Wamp
  7. Hey presto

That should fix any conflict between Wamp Server and Skype.

How To Set Up Zend Framework With Wamp For Local Testing And Web Development

If you’re trying to install Zend Framework with Wamp for local development, then hopefully this will help.  I’m assuming you’ve already got Wamp up and running, then tried the Zend Framework Quickstart and it had a head-fit on you…

We’ll keep it simple. Either extract/install as I do below letter for letter, or amend the filepaths accordingly to match your own.  This is just how I did it on my local machine – no settings or instructions are intended for live sites, and any changes you make to your system are at your own risk.

First off, I have installed: (more…)

Any Alternatives to Posterous Or Postie For Posting To WordPress Blogs?

I’m using Posterous at the moment, but a little concerned that my blog won’t be the original poster as posterous may get spidered first.

I love the functionality of posterous though – images in the right order etc.

My problem with the Postie WordPress plugin seems to be that images go in at either the beginning or the end of the post. Not much use if you’re writing a ‘how-to’ with screen shots.

Default WordPress functionality seems useless for me as it’s limited to text only.

Anyone else know of a way to post to WordPress via email with image-order intact without the post showing up on some other site first?

Setting Up Zend Framework With Wamp For Local Testing At Midnight…

Okay.  It’s 20 to midnight, I know it’s stupid, but I got really bored.
Tonight, I’ll be mostly eating…Zend Framework and Wamp for some lovely web development.
I know they’re supposed to get on like chalk and mouldy cheese, but let’s see what happens.
I’ll post back with an update on how much hair I lost, and how many Budweisers (empty of course) got thrown at my screen…