RSI and the Magic Trackpad

Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) and I are long-time enemies. For me, it manifests as pain from the wrist of my right hand moving up to near the elbow. This started my senior year of college. Near the end of graduation I picked up my first ergonomic keyboard (an Adesso model) that followed me to my first post-college job as an audio engineer. Since those early days I’ve tried a half-dozen or so split keyboards and wide variety of ergonomic Logitech mice, all the while searching for that magical combination that would reduce or eliminate the aches and pains that is RSI.

Retina Display and CSS Background Images

m.nd.edu

Anyone who owns an iPhone 4 has experienced the beautiful new Retina Display. Text is amazing, colors are vibrant, but apps and sites that are not updated to handle this display usually look less than stellar. This is because the Retina Display, which has a display that is twice the resolution of most devices, scales images up so they appear to be the “correct size”. The solution to this is to target these devices using a media query and replace the graphics with a higher-quality version.

Print Styles – Your First Step to Basic Mobile

In my last article, I made mention that you should at least include a basic mobile stylesheet for your site. The easiest way to accomplish this is to piggy-back your print style. What? You say you don’t have a print stylesheet? Bad developer. In this article, we’re going to run through the very basics of a print style, and move on to basic mobile in the next.

When “m.” is Not an Option

Over the past year at Notre Dame, we’ve really started to embrace and experiment with offering a mobile experience for a number of the projects that have made their way through our offices. There are a couple of obstacles that make this process difficult.

  1. A separate “m.” address is not an option
  2. Creating and testing mobile styles is rarely part of the project budget

This has led to some commonly used shortcuts that have allowed us to, at the very least, provide a serviceable mobile experience with very little effort.

RVM Ruby 1.9 and the MySQL Gem — Friends at last on x86_64

One of our production Rails apps is running on Ruby 1.9. The problem this introduces is that our dev environments must be able to run multiple versions of Ruby side-by-side. There’s nothing unique about this, it comes with the Ruby/Rails territory. After upgrading to Snow Leopard, I decided to give Ruby Version Manager a try. The install of RVM and the subsequent Ruby installs were a breeze. However, when it came time to install the MySQL gem, I ran into a brick wall. No matter what I tried, I kept getting install errors.

A Tale of Woe: starring Rails 2.2, Mac OS X and a MySQL Upgrade

If you’ve used Rails 2.1 at all, you will no doubt be aware due to the incessant notifications, that Rails 2.2 will be dropping its MySQL driver. Therefore, in order to use Rails 2.2, you will need to install an updated version of MySQL. I found one good resource that got me most of the way there, however, after the upgrade, most of my tests, in all of my apps were failing.

What’s your css style?

Let’s talk for a moment about style. More specifically, CSS style. Every web developer I’ve met has had a personal way they write their style declarations. And typically if you have five developers in the room, you’ll have five distinct styles. It’s probably safe to say these styles are developed early on in a developers career and tend to change ever so slightly as time goes on to suit individual preference. I know that I had basically the same style for the first seven years of my CSS using web career (I’m talking post table/font= days).