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Michaël Duerinckx

 

Organize your life with Trello

We’re all leading very busy lives nowadays. There are people communicating with us from everywhere all the time, and there are always things you need to remember doing or need to get organized. Personally, with the little spare time a full time job and a household leaves me, I have a hard time keeping track of the side projects and creative things I want to be doing, which ultimately causes me to waste more of that spare time than I’d like.

I intended to do something about this whole problem, in the form of a side project: a todo-list managing web application where you could label todo items for priority, assign people, and so forth. I was pretty far into the website design and initial front-end coding when I first heard about Trello. It took me only a few days to realize that the people behind Trello had done a much better job of it than I ever would. I abandoned my own project shortly after.

So what is Trello?

Trello lets you organize “cards” in “lists”, on “boards”; that may sound a little bit abstract, so let’s expand a bit on that.

A board on Trello consists of one or more named lists. It is an environment where you keep track of a certain thing, collect information on a certain thing, or simply where you manage something. Where you keep something organized.

A “list” is no more than a named column where you keep a bunch of cards. Such a list can indicate the progress status of the items within, or it can be treated as a  category. The purpose of a list depends entirely on what you are organizing.

A “card” can be anything you want it to be: a feature for a piece of software you’re working on, a book you want to read, a holiday destination you’re considering, you can come up with plenty more, I’m sure.

This screenshot gives a bit of an overview (full size):

Trello screenshot

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Music to listen to loudly with eyes closed

While I listen to music more or less all day while work and whatnot, I infrequently like to pick out some of my favourite songs, turn up the volume and just sit back and close my eyes, focussing only on the music.

There are some tracks which have the amazing quality to completely take over your awareness as you really get into them. Here are some that do that for me. They range from old hits to obscure stuff, from chill-out to hard rock, and are in no particular order.

1. The Extreme – Daydream


This wonderful chill-out tune has a deep bass-line that instantly drew me in the first time I heard it on Digitally Imported’s Chill-out channel channel. The lush instrumentation accompanied by a perfectly fitting break beat later on takes you through a dreamland of relaxation. It is all over the place in a big mess of harmony.
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JavaScript forEach Object, Array and String

In many programming languages, you have a simple for each construct available to quickly go over the contents of just about anything iterable. In JavaScript it isn’t so straightforward. To rectify this, I’ve written up a function that provides a single interface to iterate over the elements of an array, the values in an object, and “even” the characters in a string.

It works with a callback function that takes index/key and value as parameters. This callback function is executed for every item in the collection passed.

The benefit of using this is that you have very readable code; most programmers will intuitively know how it works because of the familiar collection, index and value interface.

To the code!


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Selectbox / dropdown replacements

The <select> element is hard to style properly and is something that easily ruins sleek designs. Many people have already realised this, which is why there are a couple of JavaScript replacements out there.

Here’s a quick list of those that I’m aware of—in no particular order.

This post is mostly as a reference, so I don’t need to look up all the options (no pun intended) every time this situation arises. I hope it can help you quickly select (pun definitely intended this time) which one’s best for you.

Update 05 April 2014: Removed “jQuery SelectBox plugin” as both links had died.

New hosting!

Although you may not see any difference, this site is now hosted elsewhere. It’s taken over a week to get all the administration dealt with, but now it seems to work all okay.

Michhimself.com used to be hosted by one.com, the first web host I ever paid for, which I registered with in 2009. Back then, the simple PHP/MySQL hosting with FTP access was great, but I’ve since moved on.  Since it was so-called ‘shared hosting’, it meant that multiple websites would run on the same server; meaning that the performance of my site would depend on the load caused by others.

Now I’ve moved on to a VPS (Virtual Private Server) at linode.com, where I get full root access over the machine. You know what that means: a LOT more freedom to play with. I got to install the web server software myself, as well as PHP, MySQL and a bunch of other things. I’m even running an IRC bot on the thing. Needless to say, I no longer need to use FTP to access the files on this server; I just use SSH, which is more secure, and seemingly faster as well. Have I mentioned that Linode is fabulous?

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