May 23, 2018

Mix Drinks in Aruba

Here is the drink menu for the Sea Worthy's Pool Bar at the Marriott's Aruba Surf Club. During the day is a very popular bar with people looking to get a nice refreshing drink. Happy hour starts at 1pm

The Beach Bar

Signature Cocktails

  • Mango Majito - Bacardi Rum, Fresh Mint Leaves, Lime Juice, Mango Puree, Topped with Soda Water
  • Marvelous Margarita - Tequila Jose Cuervo Gold, Triple Sec. Margarita Mix

Frozen Sensations

  • Wild Rita - Wild Berry Puree, Margarita Mix, Triple Sec, Jose Cuervo Tequila.
  • Light House Passion - Passion Fruit Puree, OJ, Stolichnaya Raspberry Vodca, Raspberry Mix Swirl
  • Banana-Banana - Banana Puree, Captain Morgan Rum, Bacardi Lemon, Pineapple Juice
  • Peachy-Peachy Bang-Bang - Peach Puree, Banana Puree, Bacardi Razz, Mango Swirl

On the Rocks

  • Berry-Berry Nice - Raspberry Vodka, Triple Sec, Wildberry Puree, Lemon Juice, Crushed Mint Leaves
  • Mikes Full Monty - Cruzan Island Rum, Stolivhnaya Vodka, Peach Liqueur, Peach Puree, Iced Tea
  • Blues by Zheng - Peach Schnapps, Blue Curacao, Stolivhnaya Vodka, Lemonade

Smoothies

  • Sweet Tart - Wildberry Puree, Banana Puree, Ice Cream Mix
  • Mango Frosty - Mango Puree, Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Peaches Dream - Peach Puree, Ice Cream Mix

Two Additional Drinks

The bar is an open bar and they could make just about any mixed drink that you wanted. We asked for these two popular Caribbean drinks:

Aruba Ariba

We liked this but found that bars off Marriott property did a better job making this drink. (They had more flavor and you got more drink) Make sure to try a different place at least once.

Aruba Knockout

Had this on the beach, it was good. As I recall it was a great drink to sit and relax in the sun. This was only available at beach-side, not exactly sure what was it in.

Cheers Aruba2018

Frozen Cocktails - 2007

Back in 2007, I wrote a blog post about the various drinks that we enjoyed at Pelican Bay in St. Maarten. It's another page to look at for some drink ideas when heading to the Caribbean or having a Caribbean theme party.

May 22, 2018

Random Keyword

Having a random word comes in handy when you need a word but want to be creative and something more than just 'abc’ or ‘xyz’.

Random Keyword in Keyboard Maestro

Here’s the random keyword macro that I have setup in Keyboard Maestro.

RandomWordPhrases.jpg
Click on image for the full view of the macro.

#!/usr/bin/php
<?php
$words_file = fopen("/usr/share/dict/words","r");
$words_length = filesize("/usr/share/dict/words");


function random_word() {
  global $words_file, $words_length;
  $rand_offset = rand(0,$words_length - $words_length % 1024);
  fseek($words_file, $rand_offset - $rand_offset % 1024, SEEK_SET);
  $words = explode("n", fread($words_file, 1024));
  $rand_word = utf8_decode($words[rand(1, count($words) - 1)]);
  $description = str_replace("'s", "", trim($rand_word));
  return trim(ucfirst($description));
}

echo random_word();
?>

There are many ways to generate a random keyword from the Apple System dictionary file. Using the above PHP method has worked for me. In the above example, I remove any 's in any keywords because they were breaking some testing that I was doing. In addition, the keyword isn't returning any breaking space and the first letter will always be upper case.

A couple of Problems with a Random Keyword

The only problem with this is that the keyword is always random. I have no idea the word is that I used. Well, what if I wanted to remember the last random keyword that I used? (Filename or something.)

That's why Keyboard Maestro comes in handy! In the above example, I have the random keyword set to a variable before it was displayed.

Getting the Last Random Keyword

Here’s a Keyboard Maestro's Macro that I have set up to get the last used random keyword:

Repeat Word Y Y

The Other "Problem"

Every now and again the random keyword generator will echo an inappropriate keyword. The best way around this is to use a different dictionary file.

Easy Way to get a Random Keyword

Whenever I need a random keyword, I type in xx. When I want to recall the last random word generated, I type in yy.These are quick and easy strings that I don't have to worry about accidentally typing.

May 21, 2018

EditThisCookie

Website Cookies are small files that are used to for websites to store information on your browser. Website owners will tag a cookie to a browser for tracking purposes. Cookies are one way that a website knows that you visited it before and can auto log you in to make the experience better.

Occasionally the Quality Assurance team has to verify cookies have been set or to manipulate an existing cookie. This can be a bit tricky to do in Chrome Console panel.

EditThisCookie

Edit This Cookie extension is a great way to handle all your cookie transactions. It's available for Chrome, Firefox and Opera. It's the easiest way to do anything browser cookie related.

Edit This Cookie2

Some Notes

I like how the cookie is separated by name, and if you want more information, simply click on the header to find more information. Making it easy to scroll through all the cookies.

EditThisCookie is open source. Check out the source code at GIT Hub

Blocked Cookies are ways to prevent a cookie from being created. You may do this to stop websites from tracking you online. (Hi Google!)

Protected Cookies is a feature to lock the value of a cookie. This will prevent a site from changing the value of a preset cookie. This is a good way for QA to test how cookies interact with the site.

May 20, 2018

Common Car Maintenance Solved DIY Style

Whether you are male or female, there are several complexities behind car issues. For the average motorist, issues that come about from your automobile might be a burden that can be overwhelming to handle. It's a common myth that automotive repair shops tend to tack on extra unnecessary expenses when taking a car into the shop. If you aren't knowledgeable about cars and how they work, this can be a troubling process. It can be difficult to decipher whether or not the issues that are being discussed are legitimate or not.

It might be a good idea to pick up the phone and call your closest friend who is handy with vehicle repairs. For others, reaching out to close relatives or siblings who have some car knowledge might be another option to ensure they aren't getting ripped off at the shop.

However, there are several ways you can avoid the process of not knowing the verbiage or lingo behind mechanics who are working on your vehicle. You can conduct a few vehicles preventative maintenance routines from the comfort of your own home.

Car Maintenance Header

Oil Change

Conducting your own oil change is one of the most overlooked car maintenance tasks. If you have ever taken your car to the shop for this type of job, you know that it usually does not take very long for a mechanic to change this out. If you have space in your garage or driveway, you can easily jack your car up (be careful doing this) with car jacks. Once the car is cooled off completely, use a wrench to remove the oil plug. Place a pan under your vehicle so the oil can dispense into this area. Once drained cap off the oil reservoir and add in fresh oil. Make sure you are adding oil from under the hood and using the dipstick to measure the proper amount that's dispensed. You can ensure the proper oil type is purchased for your vehicle by consulting employees at the automotive shop, or by finding this information in your cars manual.

Tire Rotation

Another easy car maintenance routine is rotating your tires. If you have jacks available from changing your oil, you can do this in a breeze. Ensure both axles are jacked up before removing tires. You can purchase a tree-style wrench at your local auto shop that has various size sockets if you aren't sure which size is right for your car. Start by removing the front driver's tire. Place it, along with the lugnuts to the side. Next, remove the rear passenger tire. Once it's been removed, install it back into the place where the drivers front tire was installed. Likewise, install the previous front driver's side tire where the rear passenger tire was previously installed. Similarly, repeat this same process for the front passenger tire placement with the rear driver tire placement. In 20-30 minutes you should have successfully rotated your tires, at no cost to your wallet!

Wiper Blade Change

This is one of the easiest car maintenance processes. Visit your local automotive shop or some big-box retailers. Most will have a book that informs customers which size wiper blade is correct for their vehicle. Purchase two for the front windshield. Depending upon your model type will determine if you need a rear-window blade or not. Once you are home, remove the previous wiper via snaps located on the wiper blade arm. If you are unsure, your new blades will have instructions on this. Within 10-15 minutes you will have new wiper blades without having to hire a mechanic.

Other Problematic Signs

Remember, if you have many signs or issues with your vehicle, it might be wise to conduct additional research. There are several models of vehicles that are classified as lemon's because of multiple repairs, or recalls that are placed on the vehicle. Check out your state laws to see if your vehicle is deemed a lemon before spending more money on expensive repairs.

May 19, 2018

Talos Intelligence

If you ever wanted to find a source of an IP address, talosintelligence.com is the place to go. (Formally senderbase.org) Simply put in the IP address and instantly you'll get critical information about where the IP address is located and if it's been tagged as being a security risk.

The site is a great place to read up on the latest Vulnerability Reports. Find out where vulnerabilities are happing from man vendors and analysis.

Website Description

Cisco Talos Intelligence Group is one of the largest commercial threat intelligence teams in the world, comprised of world-class researchers, analysts, and engineers. These teams are supported by unrivaled telemetry and sophisticated systems to create accurate, rapid and actionable threat intelligence for Cisco customers, products and services. Talos defends Cisco customers against known and emerging threats, discovers new vulnerabilities in common software, and interdicts threats in the wild before they can further harm the internet at large. Talos maintains the official rule sets of Snort.org, ClamAV, and SpamCop, in addition to releasing many open-source research and analysis tools.

Cisco Talos Monitor
https://talosintelligence.com/

Some Notes

Great site to use when your looking at your logs and trying to figure out why someone is currently hitting your site.

The Reputation lookup is great to use, you can learn a lot from an IP address.

Great Comprehensive Threat Intelligence. Get the inside track on what's going on before your site gets hit.

May 18, 2018

PhotoMill X

PhotoMill, by Overmacs, is a handy photo utility to use anytime you need to make changes to multiple images. The application is easy to navigate and has a great way to manage multiple images.

Description from Website

PhotoMill helps you convert a bulk of images into the most popular image formats, give your files meaningful names, watermark with text and image, adjust photos (brightness/saturation/exposure/grayscale/etc.), fit geometry (scale/crop/trim/etc.), remove private metadata, add your own copyrights etc.

Also, PhotoMill is a great batch metadata editor, image file renamer and photo browser.

Photo Mill

Notes on my Evaluation

Seems to be a good solution if you manage a lot of photos. For example, if you have a lot of old pictures that you want to convert to JPG from BMP or TIFF scans.

PhotoMill might be a good tool when creating an online photo gallery. (Quickly create thumbnails)

You can do multiple actions, such as add a Watermark Rectangle and then add a text above the rectangle. It is a cool effect that I haven't seen used in other applications.

You can get a side-by-side preview of the change you're about to apply, so you know what impact your changes will have on the image.

The Info Panel is a good way to get detailed information about images without actually having to open it.

There is a preset for "Prepare for Facebook" with the long edge being 2048 and the method is resized to fix long edges. Originally I thought that 2048 was too big for Facebook, as I thought 1200 was the standard size. However, Facebook own documents recommend using the 2048 width to have the best quality.

The search and sorting features was pretty impressive. I can easily drop a folder full of images and work on ones that meet certain criteria. For example, I can drop a large folder of pictures but only work on the pictures that had the wrong orientation.

This application would be very handy when viewing old DVD data. You can pick and choose which images are worth keeping and convert to today's format.

Try Before You buy

PhotoMill has a free 7-day trial with no limits. After that, the cost to purchase the application is $12. (There is a discount if you purchase the application after your trial)

You can download the trial application from their website.

May 17, 2018

Royal Coat of Arms

In the Massachusetts Old State House are various exhibits where visitors can learn a lot about the City of Boston.

Royal Coat of Arms in the Council Chamber

In the Council Chamber Room, is where the Royal Governor of Massachusetts met with members of his Council. It was where key decisions were made before the American Revolution.

One artifact that people may miss is the Royal Coat of Arms above the door as you enter the room. This is a copy of the lion and unicorn heraldic crest - as it would appear in the chamber room. If you want to see an older version, walk down the stairs to the Keayne Hall. If you want to see the original one - head to New Brunswick Canada.

Coat of Arms Boston

Four Fun Facts about the Royal Coat of Arms

  • One of the original Coat of Arms was taken from Boston in 1775 and now appears over the doorway of the Trinity Episcopal Church, St. John New Brunswick. It was removed by the Revolutionaries to protect it from being damaged. It was brought to Halifax by Edward Winslow. Several requests have been made to return the Coat of Arms back to Boston but have been denied by the church.
  • On the USS Constitution are some guns with the British Royal Coat of Arms.
  • The Lion and Unicorn on the roof of the Old Massachusetts Statehouse are the same used in the Coat of Arms, a simple reminder of the past. The original Lion and Unicorn were burned in 1776. The ones currently on display were placed in 1882.
  • The Royal Coat of Arms was once placed on the building at 17 Market Place. (Next to Faneuil Hall)

Sign next to the Coat of Arms in the Keayne Hall

A symbol of royal authority, this royal arms hung over the doorway of the Province House, the Governor's residence.

Boston, 18th century
Carved and painted wood

May 16, 2018

The Lazy Turtle Aruba

On our recent trip to Aruba we found it very challenging to find places that offered Gluten Free meals for my seven-year-old daughter. There were several restaurants in the Palm Beach area that did have gluten free options and the one we liked the best was The Lazy Turtle Aruba.

The Lazy Turtle

The Lazy Turtle Aruba

When we arrived at the Passeo Herencia Mall we wanted to go to the Iguana Cantina, but they weren't open. We arrived at 5 - when they are scheduled to be open but they told us that they were ready yet. So we ventured out to another restaurant.

We found The Lazy Turtle nearby and asked about their Gluten Free options. The host had to check with the kitchen, and came back and said that they did have Gluten Free options for us.

When we sat down we were told of several options but was impressed when they informed us that they would be able to make her Gluten Free Pasta.

The pasta arrived very quick, and the server mentioned the dish was gluten free - which is a good sign that the kitchen was aware of the allergy.

My daughter tried a few bites and liked it and she ended up eating the entire dish. Which is a rare occurrence since she typically wants to save some for a later meal.

We were fortunate as they only charged us $5 for the pasta - as part of the kid's meal. (Aruba can be an expensive place to eat out)

Wanted to go Back...but

We did have plans to go back since all our meals were really good, but we didn't as we wanted to try different restaurants on the island.

We certainly recommend going to the Lazy Turtle for anyone looking for a Gluten Free meal in Aruba.

Finding The Lazy Turtle

The Lazy Turtle Aruba is located in the Passeo Herencia Mall in Noord, Aruba. There telephone is +297 5871992.

Like most restaurants at the Passeo Herencia Mall, they don't open until 5 pm.

May 15, 2018

Simple Date Calculation

At my company we do weekly software releases. It's important for everyone to know the date of the next release and Code Freeze.

Here's my simple Keyboard Maestro macro on when the next release will be - we do releases on Thursdays.

Next Release

This is the Unix command that I used: date -v +Thur "+%B %d, %Y"

Two Weeks From Now

I have another macro that shows the release in two week: date -v+2w -vThur "+%B %d, %Y"

Code Freeze Info

Code Freeze is important to know in any release planning. Even though our code freeze hasn't changed much in four years - I still get asked when is code freeze.

That's why I have this macro set up. With it, I can instantly tell anyone how many hours until the next code freeze - without interrupting my current train of thought.

This macro is perfect for slack or as a response to an email inquiry.

I type in... release.info
Keyboard Maestro Response is : The next Code Freeze is at xxx that's xxx hours from now.

Here's the action part of the Macro:

Release Info

I used PHP in this example because it's a lot easier to do the calculation than to have multiple actions. One improvement that I could do would be to use the data from the "Next Release" macro to populate the release date.

Engineering and Product are impressed by how quickly I answer their question. It's as if I am sitting at my computer waiting to give them the answer.

You can see how nice it is to use Keyboard Maestro for repetitive tasks - it's even better when calculations are involved.

May 14, 2018

Chrome Profiles vs Icognito Mode

As part of testing, Quality Assurance engineers usually switch to Incognito mode to verify functionality. For example, to see how a website behaves without the cookie setting.

If you don't want Google Chrome to remember your activity, you can browse the web privately in Chrome's Incognito mode.

Instead of switching to Incognito mode, have you considered setting up a separate profile for testing? For example, you can set up a profile for Dev, Staging, and Production:

Chrome Persons

Instead of launching Incognito mode to test production, you might be better off creating a Chrome Profile.

Chrome Profile/People

Each Chrome Profile is an isolated environment. Think of each Person as a separate Chrome application - each with its own Extensions, Bookmarks and Cookies.

This means you can enable extensions and other settings for that particular environment.

In addition, you get a unique Bookmark bar specific to that Profile. Now you can have special bookmarks that you would use for Staging and Production.

When you go Incognito mode you only get the bookmarks for the current profile. In most cases, all the extensions are disabled. Profiles are a bit more powerful.

Unfortunately there is no keyboard shortcut to switch between profiles. You will have to use the profile switcher. However, There is a way to create a new Dock Launcher to fire up a different profile.

Creating a Profile

It's very easy to create a new profile. Simply select the People menu, and then 'Add Person' or select your name on the top right of the current browser window and select "Manage People" then click on "Add Person"

There is no limit on the number of people you can have, and you can always remove the profile.

Tip: Set up a temporary profile for that big project that your working on.

Imagine having bookmarks to the Current Product Specs, Jira Parent Ticket and the QA Wiki Reference page in the Bookmark Bar. Once the project is done, delete the profile.

A Google profile is a good way to manage a large project.

MacOS: Create a Profile Specific Dock Launcher

To launch Chrome with a specific profile, you pass through the profile-directory parameter. The profile number is based on the order it was created on the computer.

  • open -a "Google Chrome" --args --profile-directory="Profile 4"
  • open -a "Google Chrome" --args --profile-directory="Profile 1"

If you want to create an Application Shortcut, use the Automator Tool. Simple copy/paste the command into the "Run Shell" command window:

Automator Action

Action Steps

  • Launch the Automator application
  • Create a new Document
  • Select Application as the Type of Document
  • In the Search command, to the right of Variables, type in Shell
  • Select the 'Run Shell Script'
  • Paste in open -a "Google Chrome" --args --profile-directory="Profile 2" (Change the profile to the one you want.)
  • Test the command by typing Command R
  • Save the Application to someplace, and then drag/drop it in the Dock.

Learn More about Google Profile

Read all about Google Person functionality on the "Share Chrome with Others" page.

May 13, 2018

Advanced Mac Cleaner (Fake)

If your browsing the Internet and encounter a notification that your computer has a virus. Stop and think, and don't click 'Scan Now.'

Apple Virus

Couple of Notes

  • Currently there's no way a browser can detect that your computer has a virus - it would be a browser/OS security violation.
  • The Website appears that your on Apple's website - which your not.
  • The url is disguised to make it appear that your on Apple's website.
  • Report any suspected website to the Google Safe Browsing website so others will not make the mistake.

The best advice I can give is to make sure that your browser is updated and you have the latest OS update. That should fix 90% of all possible virus and spyware.

Uninstall the Fake Advanced Mac Cleaner

Should you have accidentally installed the software, here's the simple solution to successfully uninstalling the virus off your computer:

The Real Advance Mac Cleaner

You can download the real Advanced Mac Cleaner from advancedmaccleaner.com

May 12, 2018

Photopea

There are a lot of online photo editors available, what makes Photopea stand out is the ability to open up different graphic formats - especially Sketch format.

I discovered Photopea when I found some Sketch templates from Facebook developer site. Since I already invested in Affinity Designer and Omnigraffle, I didn't want to have purchase another Graphic application.

Description from the Website

Photopea is an advanced image editor, which can work with both raster and vector graphics. You can use it for simple tasks, such as resizing images, as well as complex tasks, such as designing webpages, creating illustrations, processing photographs and more.

The Free online design editor supports PSD, XCF, and Sketch formats. (Adobe Photoshop, Gimp and Sketch App)

Create a new images or open existing files from your computer. Save your work as PSD or as JPG/PNG/SVG. Our Goal is to create the most advanced and affordable photo editor.

photopea_website
https://www.photopea.com/

Note about Sketch to PSD Conversion

You are limited on when you can convert Sketch files to PSD. Certain times during the day you may encounter this message:

To get money for our development, Sketch to PSD conversion can be used only during the first 30 minutes of each hour.

The conversion is pretty good, in my test I found that it creates a near copy of the original Sketch document. I was able to open the PSD file in Affinity Designer with no problems.

Another option is to just use Photopea as the editor instead of exporting the Sketch document.

May 11, 2018

AutoDesk Sketchbook

On April 30th, Autodesk announced that SketchBook is now free for everybody, previously it was $25/yr. This includes both the Macintosh and Android editions.

The only thing that you will need to do is to signup for an Autodesk account - and that is also free.

Sketchbook

What is Sketchbook?

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro drawing and painting software provide designers, architects, and concept artists the tools to sketch ideas quickly and create beautiful illustrations. Available for most platforms and devices.

Sketchbook 7 Features

  • Natural drawing experience
  • Unlimited brushes
  • Import/Export Photoshop Formats
  • Predictive Stroke
  • Four Symmetry Dimensions
  • Rulers and Guides
  • Custom Perspective Guides

Affinity Photo vs Sketchbook (Unique Features)

Here's a few things that make Sketchbook a great companion to Affinity Designer:

  • Lots of brushes with a lot of different effects - more than 90 customizable brushes that can incorporate both textures and shapes. Make your design in Sketchbook then transfer it to Affinity Designer.
  • Scan Sketch imports your line art with a transparent background, ready for inking and coloring. You can then import that sketch design into Affinity Designer.
  • Works on your Smartphone. Now you can do some Sketching when your waiting in line for your morning coffee ( or wherever inspiration happens) and then touch it up when you get to the office.
  • Copic Library - Lots of great color ideas.
  • Flipbook Automation - Create simple animation videos for Social Media.

Getting AutoDesk Sketchbook

You can download Sketchbook free from the Apple Store.

Even if you don't need a drawing program, it's good to have to use and play around. It does take some time to understand the interface and how to navigate between brushes and colors. However, once you play around with it for a while you'll see that it's a pretty cool application.

If you have a Lynda.com account, you can take Veejay Gahir's Sketchbook Pro 7 Essential Training and learn how to use the software.

Getting additional brushes

After you download Sketchbook, make sure to get the bonus Painting brushes.

  • Open up Autodesk Sketchbook
  • Go to Window -> Sketchbook Extras (Third item from the bottom)
  • Click install on each of the items.
  • After the installation is done, it will be quick, check out the cool brushes.

May 10, 2018

The Colby Trophy Room

The Colby Trophy Room at the Boston Museum of Science is a unique room where you can view many prize animal mounts. The room is a replica of Colonel Franc is Colby Trophy Room in Hamilton, Massachusetts.

The room gives visitors a chance to see what the hunting life was like in the late 19th century

Colby Africa Rino

Ten Interesting Things about the Colby Trophy Room

  • Colonel Francis T. Colby was a soldier, diplomat, and a big-game hunter.
  • He died on July 30, 1953, and gave the museum $700,000 to build a replica of his trophy room. (At the time it was known as the Boston Society of Natural History.)
  • If the Boston Museum of Science had not accepted the donation it would have gone to the Boone and Crockett Club of New York.
  • The original room was smaller than the one at the museum - it was 20 by 40 feet. Clearly, the room in the museum is much bigger - in fact, it's about twice the size of the original room.
  • He lived in Hamilton, Massachusetts and a house in Nairobi where he frequently visited.
  • He shared various stories of the animals displayed in the room when people came to visit him. He never wrote them down - they might have made a great book. Many big-name visitors, with similar taste, would visit his house to see his well-decorated trophy room. Ernest Hemingway, Holt Collier, and other big-name game hunters visited the original trophy room.
  • In the middle of the room, is a six-feet-long plaster cast model of an Indian rhino by notable Katherine W. Lane.
  • In the original Museum designs, the room was to be placed on the third floor.
  • Some of the Spears along with the side of the room still has poison on the tip.
  • The museum recognized the large contribution that Colonel Francis Colby and name an annual award after him. The Francis Colby Award has bestowed annually on members of the Museum of Science family who have made extraordinary contributions of time, treasure, and talent to the Museum

May 9, 2018

Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts

Your not completely isolated from America when your enjoying life in the Caribbean. Among all the local establishments in Palm Beach, Aruba is Dominos Pizza, Wendy's and MacDonalds.

You can even find Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts just a few feet from each other near the Palm Beach Mall. Yes New England, you can get your favorite Dunkin Ice Coffee in Aruba.

Starbucks

There's a Starbucks in the Palm Beach Mall and at the Marriot Hotel. Both places offer the usual drinks and food. They didn't have any egg white breakfast treats. Nether places accept the Starbucks card or allow payments via the Starbucks app.

Both places have the Aruba mugs - both for the same price.

At the Marriott hotel Starbucks, you can charge your order to your room. This is very convenient when getting a nice cold drink after a hot day in the sun.

Brewed Coffee cost $2.75 for tall, $3.00 for Grande, and $3.25 for Venti
Carmel Frappuccino cost $5.25 for Tall, $6.00 for Grande and $6.75 for Venti

Starbucks Location

The Marriott Starbucks is located in the xxx hotel, conveniently located next to the Casino.

The Palm Beach Starbucks is located in the Palm Beach Mall, along J.E. Trausquin Boulevard. This location offered free wifi.

Aruba Dunkin

Dunkin Donuts

The Dunkin has a donut sign on the outside so that you can show the world that you were at the Dunkin Donuts in Aruba. Apparently, people do stop by and take a picture.

We arrive at the store late in the day and they still had plenty of donuts in the there were only a couple of unique donuts that were available - Guava and a Chocolate. I had them the next morning and they were delicious.

The store also sells Dunkin mugs and hats. Great souvenir for anyone that you know that likes Dunkin Donuts. (You can also find the mugs on eBay.)

We purchased the large Ice Coffee mug. The one thing we noticed is that the non-slip grip on the bottom would fall out. We speculate that the mug was probably sitting there for a long time.

Dunkin Donuts Location

The only Dunkin Donuts in Palm Beach area is located on J.E. Trausquin Boulevard - next door to the Texas de Brazil Aruba. If your not up to coffee, you can get some Baskin Robbins ice cream.

May 8, 2018

Slack Based Greeting

Frequently I talk to offshore team members in Slack. The problem that I encounter is that I don't know the time of day its at their location - is it Morning, Afternoon or Night time? So should I say good morning or good evening?

I have a Keyboard Maestro and PHP it makes it real easy to say the proper introduction regardless of where they are in the world.

Real World Example

There is a macro in my library for 'ggi' and this will automatically display the correct greetings when I am talking to my India team in chat. So if it's night time, it would say 'Good Evening' and if it's before 6 pm their time, 'Good Afternoon.' I have similar macros for ggsfo, ggj and ggk .

Now I will always say the correct greetings, I just need to remember where they are located.

This is the PHP code that I use to get that done:
#!/usr/bin/php 
<?php
date_default_timezone_set('Indian/Mauritius');
function greeting(){
    $timeOfDay = date('H');
    if($timeOfDay > '17'){
        return 'Good evening. ';
    } else if ($timeOfDay > '12'){
        return 'Good afternoon. ';
    } else {
        return 'Good morning. ';
    }
}
echo greeting();
?>

You can see the thing that makes the difference is the PHP's date_default_timezone_set function.

This is what the Macro looks like in Keyboard Maestro, your best to use whatever string command works best for you:

India Time Zone

May 7, 2018

Vivaldi Browser

The Vivaldi is a great secondary browser for QA. It's built on the same platform ( Blink ) as Google Chrome, with some extras that QA will appreciate.

Vivaldi Display
http://www.vivaldi.com

Why Use Another Browser?

Having another browser is a good way to isolate testing. You can use the secondary browser to test certain third-party extensions for compatibility issues.

In addition, Chrome doesn't always make things easy. It's good to expand the horizons and see how other browsers make testing Web Applications easier.

Three cool Features

Here are some built-in features in Vivaldi that are not regularly available in Chrome.

Web Panels

Quickly access Twitter, Facebook or any Dashboard to find out what's going on. If the site is using responsive programming, the web panels will display the site as if your viewing it from a mobile device.

Web Panels are customizable tabs which allow you to keep your favorite sites easily accessible on the side Panel of Vivaldi. Opening a Web Panel will allow you to simultaneously view its content alongside the tab(s) in your main window.

For QA, this makes it easy to access social networks or system dashboards to quickly check to see if services are down.

Built-in Screen Capture

Need a get a browser screenshot? Vivaldi makes it super easy to get a simple browser screenshot or a full-page shot.

There are three ways to get this done:

  • Page Action
  • Quick Command
  • Keyboard Shortcut - create your own shortcut in the settings.

While there are plenty of awesome extensions that are available in Chrome, none have the multiple access that's built in Vivaldi. The quick command and customize keyboard shortcut come in handy.

Quick Commands is a tool for users that like to keep their hands on the keyboard. To access the Capture tool via Quick Commands:

  • Open Quick Commands by pressing x2318 E.
  • Enter "Capture" to filter the list of available commands.
  • Use the arrow keys to navigate the list of Capture commands.
  • Press Enter to issue selected command, or
  • Close Quick Commands by pressing Escape key.

Status Bar Page Actions

On the bottom of the browser window is an action bar. One of the cool features is page actions. Here you have the ability to make quick changes to the existing site.

Functionalities available include: Content Blocker, CSS Debugger, Filter Black and White, Filter Grayscale, Filter Intensity, Filter Invert, Filter Obscure, Filter Sepia, Fonts Monospace, Highlight Focus, Highlight Hover, Reader View, Skewed Images, Transformed 3D, Transitions Forced and Transitions Removed.

You probably think that they aren't useful, but it can help with debugging issues. In addition, combined with the screenshot functionality and you can use these actions to highlight features that may not be obviously broken.

Check out Vivaldi

It doesn't cost anything to check out Vivaldi. There's lots of exciting features on their Features page.

More more thing... Vivaldi has built-in Apple Script support. So you can run all sorts of actions against the browser.

May 6, 2018

A-Z Challenge - 2018 - Reflection

This is my third year as part of the A to Z challenge. It was a lot of fun coming up with practical content with a unique letter every day. Obviously, I didn't want to repost old content.

a2z-reflection
http://www.cryan.com/az/

Things I learned new this year

  • Advanced content planning helped a lot. There were a few last minute content changes that had to be made due to the lack of information (or the chosen topic wasn’t interesting.) I started planning in early March.
  • The alphabetic letters for Thursday were the same as last year. It was a bit challenging since Thursday is Boston day and this is the third year that I have been doing this.
  • I learned a lot about Quaker Ave, and would not have learned anything about it had it not been for the A-Z challenge.
  • It was hard to come up with topics for the letters ‘G' and ‘V’ and I had to get a bit creative to blog something interesting. I didn't want to throw up a page just because.
  • I certainly wouldn’t do Evernote as a blog topic again. It's not a good topic with a lot of different alphabetic words.
  • There were 697 participants this year. Which is a good turnout.

What to do differently in 2019

  • Come up with better graphics
  • Work with other people to come up with useful topics
  • Post early as possible. It was a lot easier to chunk multiple topics than to spend time writing one topic.
  • Plan the topics a head of time. Make sure to pick something that has lots of choices.
  • Challenge yourself to do something that you wouldn't normally do. For example: Talk to an expert about a topic/idea.

Interesting Facts

Here's the break down of the number of words by first letter in the Unix dictionary (/etc/dict) by number of words:

a 14,537 m 10,709
b 9,675 n 6,098
c 17,406 o 7,219
d 9,946 p 2,2171
e 7,818 q 1,075
f 6,382 r 8,955
g 5,843 s 22,759
h 7,889 t 11,389
i 8,303 u 16,179
j 1,158 v 3,079
k 1,735 w 3,607
l 5,211 x 293
m 10,709 y 532
n 6,098 z 719

Its interesting to see which words have the fewest letters.

What do you think? Did the content in April meet expectations? Any ideas about what topics to write about for next year?

May 5, 2018

Word Cloud

Sometimes when blogging it isn't easy to come up with a good graphic to go with an article. That's when using Word Cloud can help - highlight some of the most common words in a story in a nice attractive graphic. It catches everyone attention and makes the article stand out a bit more.

daviscloud
https://www.jasondavies.com/wordcloud/

There are several different services but I found that ... jasondavies.com/wordcloud/ to have a nice simple way to create a good looking Word Cloud. to have a nice simple way to create a good looking Word Cloud. There are all sorts of design options and a chance to customize the layout and colors to your needs.

Honorable Mentions

  • TagCrowd.com
  • https://www.wordclouds.com/

What's nice about jasondavies.com version of Word Cloud is that you can have different cloud shapes, so the graphic stands out even more. The other thing that's nice is that each word is a different color.

Couple of Examples

George Washington Word Cloud
George Washington farewell Address

5 K Word Cloud
Standard Disclaimer of a 5K Race

Other Posting