Making Valid XHTML Easier
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I’m working on a Rails site in my Copious Free Time and I wanted to share a little way that Ruby made my life easier. I’m making my pages valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional because it makes life easier to find bugs and it just feels good to know I’m meeting the spec.

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Dual-Head on the 13″ Macbook
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Since Ubuntu Edgy came out last week I decided to spend some more time tinkering with getting dual-head display working, and this time it took.

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Tidy Stylesheets in Rails
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It’s very easy for a site’s CSS to grow a single giant, brittle stylesheet. It becomes impossible to change anything because of bizarre interactions between elements, unexpected interactions, and simply because it’s just too big for anyone to understand. Much of programming is managing complexity, and I’ll share a nice technique in that vein.

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Freshwater Live and TechCoffee
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Last night I went to the invite-only Freshwater Live, a meeting for entrepreneurs of all experience levels put on by Freshwater Venture. FV is a neat blog that profiles Chicago tech companies and is run by consummate nice-guy Keith Schacht and Eric Antonow (who is probably also a nice guy but I don’t know him).

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344 Books Must Go
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Over the last couple years I’ve been reducing the amount of stuff I own*, and now it’s time for most of the books to go. I’m giving away 344 books, three-quarters of my book collection, free to any family, friend, or acquaintance for the asking. Really. If we’ve met or traded mail before now and we got along decently, I’ll give you free books for the asking, just click that link to see the books I’ve tagged “giveaway”.

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Clean Up Your Mess
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Too many sysadmins is a bad thing, especially if one of them doesn’t care about keeping the servers up.

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ChiPy at Google
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I had a great time last night at the ChiPy meeting last night that was held at Google’s Chicago office. I suspect a lot of people turned up just to see the venue: usually ChiPy gets 15-20 people but we got 51 last night.

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Triple-boot Filesystem Layout
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I’ve got a MacBook on the way that I plan to triple-boot and I’m trying to figure out how to lay out the filesystems. I plan on using Linux primarily as I’m a developer. XP has a lousy command line environment* and OS X has a lousy GUI, but I’d like to keep them around for browser testing.

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Bar Camp Chicago
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I just got home from Bar Camp Chicago and it was awesome. Two days of geeky topics.

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Sock Strategies
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Fox in Socks It’s easy for socks to go missing, and it’s annoying to have to match up socks. My girlfriend and I have developed two entirely different strategies for dealing with these eventualities.

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