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Back to Windows Redux

In the months since my last Back to Windows post I’ve had a few additions to my toolbox

Visual Studio Plugins:

Save All The Time - automatically save, all the time
Productivity Power Tools 2015 - lots of useful helps

Windows apps:

WinDirStat - Disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool

Back to Windows

I’ve been coming back to Visual Studio and Windows development after a 5 year stint with web developement on OSX. Definitely feeling some friction in Windows:

  • cmd window doesn’t resize or copy/paste, can’t clear with shortcut.
  • no package manager [not sold on chocolately]
  • Visual Studio is big and heavy
  • TFS is slow and merging across branches loses history.

So, here’s some things I’ve found that make the transition a bit better.

Visual Studio Plugins:

Fix File Encoding - automatically strip UTF-8 signature from html/js
Code Compare - a better code compare
File Nesting - handy for managing partials by nesting them under their ‘parent’ in a VS project/solution. Build Monitor - Show how long builds take
Web Analyzier - Incorporate ESLint, TSLint into Visual Studio

Windows apps:

Diffmerge - great for comparing files/folder
ConEmu - great command shell replacement (supports, cmd, bash, etc.)
AstroGrp - FOSS gui grep
AutoHotkey - swiss army knife for windows keyboard shortcuts. I currently have shortcuts for volume up/down and found a script that lets me Ctrl+L to clear cmd!
Launchy - Like Spotlight/Alfred
Robocopy - built in windows command for better, restartable copies. There’s a GUI to help navigate all the knobs.
LICECAP - cross platform animated gif screen capture.

Blog Refresh

I’ve been meaning to come back and put a little refresh on the blog, make it a little more responsive, etc. I found I had some extra time With Christmas break upon us and was inspired by Joshua Lande’s post.

First step was to update the github-pages (20 -> 40) which brought along lots of goodies including Jekyll (1.5.1 -> 2.4.0). One happy surprise was support for SASS, though I’m a fan LESS. Ot was an interesting exercise to make the coffee stain logo responsive using SASS.

Next was to get Google Analytics set up which was pretty easy once I understood the difference between Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics.

Next steps:

  • try to get my daughter off wordpress and blogging with markdown ;)
  • blog more (angular2, gulp, react)

New Mac essentials


  • Xcode via App Store
  • Dropbox
  • pwSafe


  • generate SSH key, save off passphrase in pwSafe, and configure in github
  • git config --global (,, core.excludefile)


  • brew
  • oh my zsh and update .zshrc for: download theme wedisagree_nadig symlink common files to profile ln -s ~/Dropbox/Development/profile/zshrc .zshrc and any others.
  • Google Chrome - sign in to bring over bookmarks, apps (ghostery, clear cache, batarang, js errors notifier).
  • Alfred zip and change shortcut to cmd + space after changing Spotlight’s to something else (F5) FAQ


Disable TextEdit’s smartquotes.


  • redis brew install redis
  • MySQL & MySQLWorkBench download dmgs from cp ~/Library/Application\ Support/MySQL/Workbench/connections.xml ~/Dropbox/Development/ to save connections for MySQLWB.
  • Jetbrains stable: RubyMine, WebStorm I like to periodically export my settings from each of these to my ~/Dropbox/Development folder.
  • RVM & bundler gem install bundler.



  • Node brew install node


Blog Migration

I’m still cleaning up my migration from WP to Jekyll. Today I had to remind me self how to write IIS Rewrite Rules so any existing blog links wouldn’t be broken; e.g.

The next hurdle I ran into is that Jekyll wants to force posts under any categories; e.g.

My Post wanted to only be accessible from due to the ‘Android’ category. The simple fix here was to change all categories to tags.


  1. add search
  2. add tags filter
  3. add SO / GH feeds