Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

Engineering beautiful software jon aquino labs | personal blog

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Project Gutenberg Top 100

This is awesome--the Project Gutenberg Top 100, listing the top 100 public domain online books and audiobooks by download in the past day, past week, and past month. I was lamenting my present lack of good bedtime fiction (and the fact that the bookstores are now closed for the evening), but this provides ample reading of the highest quality.

I'm currently listening to an audiobook for The Valley Of Fear, according to Amazon one of the best Sherlock Holmes novels. And it is exuberantly read by someone with the perfect aristocratic British voice. There is just too much good stuff here!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

CSS Tool: Convert Margins To Padding

Ever wonder what the source of those mysterious gaps on your webpage is, but Web Developer Extension won't tell you because it can only inspect padding but not margins? You click on the space, but in vain--Firebug won't tell you the source element because that gap is caused not by an element's padding but by some errant margin.

Enter "Convert Margins To Padding". Just paste this javascript snippet into the Firebug command line, and it will replace all elements' padding values with their margin values. Then you can click on the mysterious gap and discover its element.

var elements = document.getElementsByTagName('*'); for (var i = 0; i < elements.length; i++) { elements[i].style.paddingTop = document.defaultView.getComputedStyle(elements[i], '').getPropertyValue('margin-top'); elements[i].style.paddingRight = document.defaultView.getComputedStyle(elements[i], '').getPropertyValue('margin-right'); elements[i].style.paddingBottom = document.defaultView.getComputedStyle(elements[i], '').getPropertyValue('margin-bottom'); elements[i].style.paddingLeft = document.defaultView.getComputedStyle(elements[i], '').getPropertyValue('margin-left'); elements[i].style.marginTop = '0'; elements[i].style.marginRight = '0'; elements[i].style.marginBottom = '0'; elements[i].style.marginLeft = '0'; }

Friday, August 25, 2006

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Books

I've created a web app called Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Books. You basically add books and give it a Thumbs Up rating if you found it particularly good or life-changing, or a Thumbs Down rating if you were expecting a lot from the book and were terribly disappointed.

Enter some books and let me know: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Book: Sowell's Basic Economics

Joel on Software recommends that software engineers understand economics. So I picked up a copy of Thomas Sowell's "Basic Economics" which gets a lot of good reviews on Amazon for being interesting and not dry. It's been helpful for me. I now have a better understanding of how the world works.

No useful search results? Post a blog entry for future searchers to find and help you with in the future.

Hilarious--there was a fellow co-op student I hadn't heard from in 6 years, and I couldn't find his contact info, so I decided to spring a "googletrap" for him. That is, I posted a blog entry for him to find when he searched for his name.

And 18 months later, he happily did, and got in touch with me.

There must be an existing term for this sort of "googletrapping" or "futuresearching"--basically, having found no search results to one's satisfaction, creating a blog entry for future searchers to find and contact you about with the desired information. Works great for error messages that turn up no search results--you post the error message in a blog entry and some months later get an email from someone who "was getting the same error message and here's what I did", or at least was getting the same error message, like you has no idea how to solve it, but offers sympathy and condolences.

Friday, August 04, 2006

New toy: Kensington trackball

I bit the bullet and got a Kensington Expert Mouse (big trackball). It's kind of fun, and so far it seems to be less strainful than a mouse.