Technology for Learning Vocal Music

My typical method for learning new music is something like this: Get the music and look over it for general patterns in the music like repeats, etc. Find a recording if possible and familiarize myself with the music Learn the music by singing/playing through it with a keyboard Make clips of the music and listen/run it a lot to work memorization Repeat 3&4 as much as I can If I’m singing in another language, I usually try to get the IPA and translations when I get the music to plug that info in as early as possible into the process. … Continue reading Technology for Learning Vocal Music

Setting up a Development Environment for Shopify Themes

I recently started looking into designing a custom theme for a Tekbell, an shop with kettlebells for sale online, running on Shopify. Turns out getting started is a bit more complicated than it should be. Getting started, I figured my options (in order of best to worst) were thus: Find some way of setting up a local test environment to develop my theme then upload to the shop. Find some way of easily pushing updates to an online theme so I can test as I go. Use the online editor in the Shopify store admin. Code it all locally then push and … Continue reading Setting up a Development Environment for Shopify Themes

Online Tools for Learning Spanish

This is more a list for my own reference, but it might be useful to others, feel free to make suggestions as well and I’ll update it. Flashcard Program: I use Anki. It’s available on Linux/Mac/FreeBSD/Windows/Android/iPhone/maemo, so there’s no excuses here. Also if you set up an account you can sync between different machines or phones. You can also download pre-made decks from within Anki. I recommend “T’s Spanish Deck”. It seems the most intelligently constructed to me. Translations: Verb Conjugation Charts: Verb Conjugation Practice: Argentine Spanish (Castellano) Slang Dictionary: Someone should make an Anki deck … Continue reading Online Tools for Learning Spanish

Creating a Celery Periodic Task on Gondor

I’ve recently been using Gondor as a hosting platform for a business I’m starting. I needed to set up a task to update my search indexes every 30 minutes, so I thought of Celery. Asking in #gondor on freenode, I discovered that the Gondor guys had recently gotten whatever backend was needed to make Celery periodic tasks available on Gondor. They haven’t yet gotten around to documenting it fully, but it turned out to be relatively simple. Setting up Gondor for Celery: The Gondor docs have a great page on this. Follow the directions and you should be good. I … Continue reading Creating a Celery Periodic Task on Gondor

Converting Django Tests to Use Factory Boy

I heard about Factory Boy this last summer at a Django meetup in LA and figured I’d give it a shot. I ended up using it on a small project and intending to write a post back then, but I got distracted and never finished the project. I’ve been working on another Django site the past month or two and decided today would be a good day to convert all of my partner’s code into using Factory Boy. First off, Factory Boy is a tool for generating data in tests. Pretty much any project you have is going to need … Continue reading Converting Django Tests to Use Factory Boy

Fixing Postgres on Mac 10.7 Tiger for Django

I’m currently in the process of downsizing my number of computers to a single laptop (or maybe two… I mean who doesn’t need at least 2 laptops these days?), so I got a used macbook pro from a friend and have been trying to make the conversion to developing on it. So far I’ve spent far more time sysadmining on the mac than I have on ubuntu in the last 2 years. Not worth it for the pretty icons, but I really just go the macbook for the touchpad and battery life which are pretty gangbusters. Anyways, setting up postgresql. … Continue reading Fixing Postgres on Mac 10.7 Tiger for Django

What’s an API? An explanation for the layman

So working as a web developer, I work with a lot of APIs. I’m also frequently asked things by non-coders about our API and the APIs of other sites. The concept of API seems to be that of some magical coding device that solves problems. However, while this is an amusing concept, it’s not entirely correct. In trying to explain the details of this to a coworker the other day, it occurred to me that I needed a good parable. So here you go: Imagine if you would, a grouping of small islands in the middle of an ocean. Many … Continue reading What’s an API? An explanation for the layman

Mahalo 4.0 Launched

Last Tuesday morning, after 6 months of working on it, the Mahalo team launched our newest version of the site: Mahalo 4.0. I have a lot of thoughts on what went well and what could have been better during the whole process, but I’m going to save those for later. We had a nearly flawless cutover (technology-wise) It total our downtime was only about 3 hours, and for most of that it would have been unnoticeable to most visitors.  Not bad for a complete rewrite of our backend storage layer and our front-end js/css/html. We’re still working on some bugs, but that … Continue reading Mahalo 4.0 Launched