My Son…and a Legacy

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This post will be a little different than most of my posts. I’d like to talk a bit about my son (Patrick, named after my mother, Patricia, who died of cancer in 2003) and a Legacy[1] that my son will hear about but hopefully will not abide[2] by.

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Increasing The Odds

Quite often you’ll find a company that makes an announcement similar to this:

Today, we are excited to launch the public beta of FOO, a new WIDGET that’s deeply programmable but also easy to use.

This is generally pretty awesome if you have interest in this particular type of WIDGET until they ask you to “Request a beta invite” using your email address.

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Hearthstone - Beta

Blizzard’s latest game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft entered open beta on January 21st, 2014, opening it all for all Mac and PC users in North America. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is currently a free-to-play collectible card game that revolves around turn-based online 1v1 matches between two opponents.

Hearthstone is set within the Warcraft universe, with the majority of its characters and cards drawing from existing lore.

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Managerial Mistakes

Let’s be honest here. We’ve all suffered at some point in our careers from bad managers and/or ineffective leadership. Why is this the case?

Many (if not most) bad managers lack basic training in managing people. But, even more importantly, these same managers generally lack the core values, professionalism, initiative, sensitivity, character, and situational awareness needed to interact effectively all day long with people.

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Top 10 Shell Commands used

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From time to time, I like to analyze which unix or linux shell commands I’m using most frequently. To do this, all I need is a little awk, like the following:

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history | awk '{print $2}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn | head

So what does this do?

Basically, it parses your history looking at the 2nd column, which is the command you typed and increments it each time it is found. Then it displays a sorted report showing the count of the command and the command, like this example on my MacBook Pro:

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1353 git
749 cd
391 ssh
379 ls
194 rake
168 vagrant
152 sublime
143 rvm
135 rm
119 bundle

Based on this output of the top 10 most frequently used shell commands, it shows that I’m using git, and ls quite a bit so it would be helpful to create aliases for these commands. Here are a few examples:

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alias g="git"
alias l="ls -al"

Now that I know git is one of my most used commands I can parse my history to determine what git command I use most frequently:

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history | awk '{print $2 " " $3}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn | grep "git" | head     

The output of that command provides me with this information:

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 200 git push
 191 git commit
 172 git status
 105 git branch
 103 git clone
  99 git checkout
  79 git remote
  49 git fetch

This now allows me to tailor my aliases for git accordingly.

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alias gp="git push"
alias gc="git commit -m"
alias gs="git status"

By tailoring your aliases appropriately you can speed up your workflow significantly, as well as reduce the wear and tear on your fingers.


An Inconvenient Truth about Assault Rifles

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Let’s start by clearing up a few misconceptions about so-called “assault rifles”. Technically speaking an assault rifle is a selective fire (selectable among either fully automatic, burst-capable, or, sometimes, semi-automatic modes of operation) rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine.

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