Jamie's Blog

Lessons from a life of startups, coding, countryside, and kids

Picks of the Week, Bumper-edition: Fast 50’s, How to win friends, O’Mahony’s, TDDium, moment.js

I’ve just moved this blog over to a new host so I held off on creating new posts until the move was complete.

Here’s a selection of the things that have delighted me over the past 2 weeks and which I heartily recommend:

  • Fast 50’s — the fast 50mm lens is a favourite among most photographers but I’d forgotten just how nice it can be, particularly when paired with fairy lights in the background and some bounced flash. 50mm on my APS-C camera is a little long but the Sony 35mm isn’t as accurate at focusing
Mike & John

 

  • How To Win Friends And Influence People — despite the cheesy self-help title, this is a classic book (seriously, 1936!) which should be required reading for every single person. It’s so important that it should be taught in schools. It promotes an understanding of what people really want (hint: not to listen to you talk about yourself) as the basis for being a good person. Amy Hoy has long recommended this book and I finally took her advice (the audiobook is excellent)
  • O'Mahony’s Bookshop in Limerick — it’s still one of the best bookshops I’ve been to (up there with Foyles of Charing Cross Road) and we got Christmas presents for 8 people during our visit. If you’re stuck for ideas, their quirky section is brilliant.
  • TDDium — there are a few hosted ‘continuous integration’ services available but many require access to the Github account which is only possible if you own that repository (I encourage my clients to pay for their own accounts). TDDium doesn’t require this integration (although it can use it) and you can run it from the command-line. I was really impressed with the way it introspected my project and picked up the correct Ruby version, used Bundler to get my Gems, determined that I was using Postgres and was even able to execute my Poltergeist tests. All in all, a pretty seamless process.
  • moment.js — a must-have javascript library for manipulating and formatting dates. Not only is it useful, but it also works really well. And super-bonus points for having some great documentation.