August 20, 2018

Browser Calories

Page load time is an important part of QA testing. Browser Calories extension was created to help identify your site against the top sites on the internet. This is a great way to get a snapshot on what areas of your site you should focus on.

Description from the website

The web is getting fatter. If you take a look at the top 1 million sites, you will see that the median page weight is now bigger than SimCity 2000. Can you believe that?

Page weight is a super important metric and affects conversion, retention, and SEO. Actually, it not only costs user engagement " it costs money.

That's why Browser Calories exists. We will help you set a performance budget and measure if a page is exceeding these numbers or not.

Sample Output

Performance Facts2
Looks like even Google.com needs some tune up!

Cool Tool for your QA Toolbox

What's nice about Browser Calories is that you get a graphics that highlight the problem. This is useful to include in a Jira ticket so others can clearly see if the site needs to be tuned up.

This is also good as a benchmark to see if adding new library files will impact the overall performance of the site.

Getting Browser Calories

Browser Calories is available as an extension for Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

August 19, 2018

TD Garden Event Parking Rate

If you're attending an event at the TD Garden, you should know about your parking options.

First off it's very expensive to park at the North Station Garage, from the TD Garden website:

With the most convenient parking for every game and show, the North Station Garage, located directly underneath the TD Garden, offers a flat event rate of $50 when you enter 2 and 1/2 hours prior to the scheduled event time. Elevators located in the parking garage will bring you directly to the main concourse in North Station.

T D Garden Parking

Know your Options

If you're new to Boston, you should know that you do have many options which are just a few blocks away from the station:

Cheapest Option - Public Transportation. The Northside of the commuter rail and North Station T stop is just a few steps away from the TD Garden. The TD Garden Website has all the details on getting there using public transportation.

Government Center Garage - Event Rate is only $35, garage is a 10 minute walk to the TD Garden.

Pro Park Garden Garage - Event Rate is $40 ($10 Cheaper than the "offical parking" lot). The garage is located directly across the street from the Garden.

Longfellow Garage - About a 5 minute walk. Event Rates vary from $20 to $50.

Center Plaza Garage - No event rates published, Saturday or Sunday rates are $11.

August 18, 2018

Google A Day

Google a Day is a fun way to learn all the capabilities of using google to do searches. The Website asks a question and you have to find the answer.

You can get a single hint and the opportunity to see the first few letters.

Google A Day
http://www.agoogleaday.com/

August 17, 2018

BBEdit Anchor tag Changes

I have been using BBEdit for many years. The earliest copy that I could find was BBEdit 4.3. Recently, I was looking through my applications on my Macintosh Powerbook G3 and found an old copy of BBEdit 6.0. I thought it would be interesting to see how the Anchor tag has changed over the years.

BBEdit601
BBEdit 6.01 for OS X

BBEdit125
BBEdit 12.1.5 (Latest Release)

Things to Note

  • The dialog box is much cleaner in BBEdit 12.1.5
  • In BBEdit 6.01 the scheme include http,https,ftp,mailto,news,telnet,finger,gopher,wais and whois
  • in BBEdit 10+, doesn't save recent URLs
  • In BBEdit 6.01, The strange symbol next to href field is to enter the document selection in the text field
  • in BBEdit 10+, you can change the anchor items to whatever you want.

August 16, 2018

Fall Pictures Opportunities

The Boston Public Gardens and Commons are a great location for fall foliage. You don't need to head to the Berkshires to see some great colors. You can find great color right in the city.

Boston Fall Opportunity

Four Tips on Taking Pictures in the Boston Public Gardens

  • The best time to take pictures of the fall foliage in Boston is the first week of October. You'll get some great bright colors and some trees will still be very green.
  • The spot over by the Parkman Bandstand is a great spot for pictures. The trees along Charles Street turn bright orange early.
  • In the Public Gardens, the trees near the Ether Monument have great early colors. Also, the trees near the flagpole are great.
  • The swan boats are taken out on the third Sunday in September. There is a slight chance that some trees may change before then. (Makes for a great backdrop photo.)

August 15, 2018

Great Wolf Lodge

This past week we visit the Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, otherwise known as Great Wolf New England. We spent 2 days at the Waterpark and having fun with the MagiQuest.

We had Dinner and breakfast at the Lodge Wood Fired Grill. Eating out can be a challenge with a seven-year-old that needs to eat Gluten Free.

Great Wolf Dinner

Dining Experience

The Lodge Wood Fired Grill had a dinner buffet, but when we went up to see what was being served, we didn't really see anything that was safe and decided to stick to the menu.

When the server came to our table, we told him about my daughter allergy and he told us that it was the restaurant policy to have a chef come and talk to us about our options.

A couple of minutes later, the chief came over and talked to my daughter about what she wanted to have for dinner. It was nice that they started that way to allow my daughter to pick what she wanted. She wanted Mac & Cheese, Chicken Nuggets, and french fries. Basically, the same thing that her friend was having.

The chief told us that he would be able to make all of that gluten-free, the Mac & Cheese would take a bit because they need to boil a fresh pot of water. He would get the chicken nuggets and fries out as soon as possible.

The chicken nuggets and fries did come out pretty quickly - just before the adult's meals. About 10 minutes later the Mac & Cheese came out.

My daughter was very happy to have her Mac & Cheese and other things that she wanted. She didn't feel left out from not having the same thing that her friend was having.

My daughter got a lot of food, she enjoyed it and was very happy.

Breakfast Experience

Great Wolf Breakfast

We went up to the buffet and picked things that we knew were safe for her to eat. We did meet a chief at the buffet and they came to see us at our table to explain other options - including making a special plate of Potatoes because the ones at the buffet were deeply fried not in a dedicated fryer.

Breakfast was good. She got a lot of potatoes, she probably only need 2-3. She was happy to have lots of options and enjoyed the sausage and bacon too. (We noticed that the bacon wasn't all that salty.)

Five things We Learned

  • To me, I felt the service was slow, it took a long time for the server to take our orders. At breakfast, I felt that our table was forgotten.
  • The chief at the Breakfast buffet asked what tolerant level my daughter had with gluten. That surprised us. When you are a Celiac, you have to avoid gluten. The FDA rule for packaged foods is 20 parts for million is the maximum ratio of gluten levels in food deemed safe for people with celiac disease.
  • The next time we'll let the table host know about the allergy so they can leave a chief to know after they sit us down at the table.
  • The breakfast potatoes were crunchier than the regular potatoes.
  • They served a lot of food, which is good, but it seemed too much. We couldn't take it home since we were staying at the resort.

Interesting Message on the Dinning Page:

ALLERGY AWARENESS: At Great Wolf Lodge, all our culinary teams are well versed in common food allergies and dietary restrictions. We are more than happy to accommodate your needs, and we encourage you to speak to your chef, so your meal can be prepared safely from the very beginning. Great Wolf Lodge dining facilities do not serve peanut or tree nut products, but some of our products may be manufactured in facilities that also process nuts.

August 14, 2018

MultiMarkdown Utility

I have been working with Markdown a lot lately. Trying to convert markdown to HTML has been a bit tricky. One solution that I found was MultiMarkdown. It's a command-line package that allows you to quickly convert markdown to HTML.

After playing with the tool for a while, I figured it's worth making a Keyboard Maestro Macro out of it.

Download the Latest MultiMarkdown Utility

To download the latest version of MMD and core tools, visit the GitHub project releases page, there is a MacOS https://github.com/fletcher/MultiMarkdown-6/releases

You can find additional information on using MultiMarkdown on http://fletcherpenney.net page.

Sample Macro in Keyboard Maestro

Here's a sample of the Macro that I have created to integrate with MultiMarkdown. The goal of this Macro is to take the Markdown content of the clipboard and convert it to HTML format.

KM Mark Down

Note: I am still working on ways to make this Macro better, I thought, for now, I should share what I have to help others.

August 13, 2018

CodeCopy

CodeCopy is an extension that makes it super easy to get code snippets from popular sites to your computer clipboard. As their slogan says, "Copy to clipboard buttons should exist on every code snippet.

CodeCopy puts an icon next to a code snippet, and when you click on the icon, it puts the code in your clipboard. No more fussing around making sure that you have all the code.

CodeCopy works with Stack Overflow, GitHub, Gist, MSD, Medium, npm and others. It's just saves time from highlighting code to your clipboard.

Code Copy Sample

This helps QA and Engineering get the copy of the code. Useful for QA when you're looking for help when writing automation code.

Installing CodeCopy

CodeCopy is available as an extension for Chrome and Firefox.

August 12, 2018

AAA Trip Tik Booklets

One of the services that AAA offers is a TripTik, a booklet that helps you plan your long drive to your vacation destination. AAA has been providing travel assistance for more than a century - so they know the best route to get to your destination.

Trip Tik Booklets

2002 - Old Travel TripTik

In 2002, I traveled from San Jose, California to Boston, Massachusetts. (Read my trip notes.) I used AAA TripTik to help navigate the southern route so that I could stop in the right cities and not miss any roadside attractions.

I remember sitting with an agent and walked through the trip. A few days later, I got a nice spiral bound copy of my trip with additional maps of my location, should I want to know more about the city.

2018 - Visit to Pennsylvania

This year we are traveling to Pennsylvania for a fun trip to Hershey Park. I thought it would be worth getting a new TripTik and seeing what has changed in 16 years - after all in the world of Waze and Google Maps, do you still need TripTik?

Short answer - it appears that Waze and Google Maps don't have to worry about AAA as a competitor. AAA TripTik falls short of expectations

Six Things I have learned

  • The 2018 version of TripTik is a bunch of pages of Google Maps with additional information on road constructions and Driving regulations.
  • When I made my TripTik this year, I wasn't asked any specific details about my trip. For example, we planned to bypass the George Washington Bridge and the Tappen Zee Bridge - basically, we didn't want to go anyplace near New York City.
  • I wasn't asked about when I wanted to take breaks. In 2002, AAA told me that they recommend stopping every 400 miles. In 2018, I wasn't advised on any places to take breaks.
  • In 2002, I was talking with a travel agent. In 2018, I was talking with a person at the front desk taking my order. Both the 2002 and the 2018 books are comb bound.
  • The 2002 book had interesting facts for example: "Boston (pop 574,300). Many scenes from the beginning of the Revolution were played in Boston. While preserving its historic landmarks, the city has maintained its position as governmental cultural educational and commercial capital of the state."
  • When I got my book in 2002, they walked through the book with me. They highlighted the trip and showed how to use it. In 2018, I picked up the book and was asked if I had any questions - I simply said that I'll look through the book and come back with any questions.

Should You Get a TripTik?

Since the books are part of the AAA membership, it doesn't hurt to get one made for a long trip. In the rare case that the car GPS goes out, at least you'll have a map available.

I think most people will just rely on services like Waze to give them the most up to date best route to their destination. Waze is adding additional information such as locations to popular restaurants nearby and local attractions.

August 11, 2018

Newspaper Generator

The newspaper article generator at jaguarpaw.co.uk is a quick way to generate a simple fake newspaper story. This is fun when you want to highlight someone's achievement in a newspaper.

The site is very simple to use, loads quickly, and within seconds you get a generated PDF of your limited edition newspaper.

Site Description

Use this free online newspaper generator to create your own spoof newspaper articles. Just upload a photo and add your own text.

Newspaper Generator
https://newspaper.jaguarpaw.co.uk/

Premium Services

If you need more features, check out the Premium Services, where you can change the date, add a larger graphic and add related articles. Perfect when you want to frame the special moment.

Sample Content

Here's a sample Newspaper story from the Newspaper generator.

Apple Newsprint Sample

August 10, 2018

If this, than That

A classic shareware game on Macintosh OS 9, was "If this, than That" by Mike Anderson. The game was created on July 11, 1993, and distributed via shareware.

If Then That

Object of the game

If this, than that, is a logic game where you try to break the code the computer randomly generates. You have six tries to break the code. After your sixth try, the computer will display the code on the top part of the game.

Playing the Game, again

It was fun playing the game on my Macintosh PowerBook G3 and figuring out the puzzle. The game is pretty hard to use at first since you need to figure out the correct pattern. You were never told which pattern was correct and where it's correct. To be successful at this game takes a lot of logic skills.

This would make a great iOS game. I checked and couldn't find one that worked the same way. If you know of one, let me know in the comments below.

August 9, 2018

Boston Fan Pier Park

Boston's Fan Pier is the perfect spot to get a landscape picture of Boston. Located in the Seaport District, it's a great view of the building in the Financial District - including the Custom House clock tower.

Fan Pier Picture

Five Things I Learned about the Fan Pier

  • In the fall there is a fire pit to keep people warm while visiting the Pier.
  • Best Picture spots are along the grass near Courthouse Way. Make sure to include the Pier Chains in the pictures for the best effect.
  • There is a tot lot for the kids to play while the adults take pictures - fun for the whole family!
  • This is the best spot to take sunset pictures. If the sky is clear, head down to the Fan Pier after dinner with a tripod to take amazing pictures. Tip: Keep the horizon on the lower third for the best effect.
  • Check out my Blog post from last June about the Fan Pier Park.

Directions to Fan Pier Park

The Silver Line T / Courthouse Station is the closest stop to the Fan Pier Park. You can catch the Silver Line at South Station.

August 8, 2018

Playhouse at the Breakers Mansion

The Playhouse at the Breaker's Mansion is an often overlooked attraction when visiting the popular mansion. It is located near the exit as you walk around the property.

Playhouse Breakers

Six Fun Facts about the Playhouse

  • Some documents refer the playhouse as simply "The Cottage"
  • The Playhouse building was build in 1895, the house was constructed in 1893.
  • Designed by Peabody and Stearns, who designed the original Breaker's Mansion.
  • The Fireplace is a real working fireplace.
  • The playhouse was where the five Vanderbilt children could play in the summertime: William Henry Vanderbilt II, Cornelius Vanderbilt III, Gertrude Vanderbilt, Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt, Gladys Moore Vanderbilt
  • In the back room, where there is a pretend kitchen are two buttons on the wall. One of the buttons says '2nd Floor.' We asked someone about it and they said it was a mystery. However, when you look at the playhouse from the backside, you can clearly see windows as if there is a second floor in the playhouse. The windows are very similar to the ones in the Breaker's Mansion.

Playhouse is the Same Today as it Was Then

Old New
Pictures taken shortly after it was built vs today.

August 7, 2018

Trigger Macro by Name

Trigger Macro by Name is an easy way to access your Macros. This is useful when you don't want to assign a keyboard shortcut because the action isn't used all the time. It's also a good way to execute a macro when you can't remember the trigger command.

Creating the Trigger Action

Trigger Macro by Name isn't enabled by default, you have to create a Macro to get this working.

  1. Create a new Macro, put it in the default Global Macro Group
  2. Create a useful trigger action, Keyboard Maestro recommends: Control Option Command T
  3. Insert the Trigger Macro by Name Action
  4. Save

Now when you use the Control Option Command T you'll be able to access any active Macro in Keyboard Maestro.

Trigger Action By Name

Cool Tip

Make the initial search as use:10m that way you'll have instant access to any macro when you trigger the command.

August 6, 2018

Browser Badge Bookmarketlet

When taking browser screenshots, it's helpful to identify the browser that you're using. One way to highlight the browser is to put a browser banner in the browser before taking a screenshot.

I created a bunch of sport banner-like images of all the popular browsers. Using some JavaScript and Bookmarklets it's easy to do.

2018 Browser Banner

Visit the QA Page to get all the banner image.

Chrome

Drag and drop the "Chrome Banner" link to your bookmark bar to add a Chrome Banner overlay to any page your looking at.

javascript:(function(){document.body.innerHTML += '<img src="[http://www.cryan.com/qa/banners/ChromeBanner.png](http://www.cryan.com/qa/banners/ChromeBanner.png)" style="position: fixed; left: 10px; bottom: 10px; z-index: 1000">';})();

FireFox

Drag and drop the "Firefox Banner" link to your bookmark bar to add a FireFox Banner overlay to any page your looking at.

javascript:(function(){document.body.innerHTML += '<img src="[http://www.cryan.com/qa/banners/FirefoxBanner.png](http://www.cryan.com/qa/banners/FirefoxBanner.png)" style="position: fixed; left: 10px; bottom: 10px; z-index: 1000">';})();

August 5, 2018

Netscape DevCon

I was cleaning up the attic this weekend and found the Netscape DEVCON guidebook.

DEVCON 97 was the annual technology conference for Netscape Developers. The conference was held in San Jose California on June 11th to the 13th. The Conference Guide had the quadrant numbers as 37° 22.10' N and 121° 53.44' W which is the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

The conference highlighted many new technologies to be coming soon to the Netscape platform. You can purchase conference keynotes from VWTapes for $30 each.

Dev Con Netscape

Digital Equipment Partner

One of the major partners to Devcon 1997 was Digital Equipment Corporation. This would be significant because it would be the last technical conference before Digital was sold to Compaq.

This is the description that Digital Equipment put in the program:

DIGITAL's leadership in delivering Internet Business Solutions on both Intel and Alpha platforms, with industry-leading scalability, enables our customers to develop, deploy and grow their Internet applications with the headroom to accommodate future needs. Digital Equipment Corporation will demonstrate innovative Internet technologies that showcase its leadership in delivering high-performance Internet Business Solutions. DIGITAL has a long history of Internet innovation and unparalleled expertise in enterprise systems, networking, and service. Past DIGITAL DevCon demonstrations include our breakthrough Millicent "pay-per-click" electronic micro-commerce system, the award-winning AltaVista Search with Live Topics, IPV6 and JAVA support, and top-performing StrongARM reference platform for the Internet network computers.

August 4, 2018

Pablo

On Social media, graphic images tend to get more attention than just a text. Pablo, by Buffer, is a great way to make a quick image with any text. You can interact with Pablo through their website or using the Chrome Extension.

The Chrome extension is great because you can transform any image right into Pablo to use as a background image - obviously make sure to have permissions to use the image.

Description from the Website

Pablo is the simplest way to create beautiful images that fit every social network perfectly.

Create images with the perfect size and format for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest. Typography, font sizes, and formatting options make everyone a designer! Pablo designers have created more than 500,000 images!

pablo
https://pablo.buffer.com/

Pablo has templates for Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin. No Need to worry about the right size to use. You can post directly from Pablo or download the image for latest posting.

Sample Images

A couple of images that were scaled down for the purposes of including it in this blog.

pablo Risk Taker

pablo Scan Shop

August 3, 2018

Apple at the Smithsonian

There are more than 200 Apple Computer items in the American History section of the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Not all items are displayed at once. Along with all the other computer exhibited there are two iconic items are always displayed - the original Apple and the Macintosh.


Homebrew Club Display

Right behind the original Apple Computer is a blackboard that showcases several computers that were sold at the HomeBrew Club. This club is where people would go to learn about the latest computers and buy build-your-own computers.

One of the interesting things is the price of the Apple Computer - $666. At first, I thought this was a joke someone at the Smithsonian was playing. Turns out that it was the original price of the Apple Computer at the Homebrew club. The actual price was $666.66

Wozniak reportedly chose the price for two reasons: it was a markup of a third on the parts' cost and because he "liked repeating digits"

In 2018, that $666.66 computer would be worth $2,994.49. Today, a top of the line iMac computer - Retina 5K Display 3.8GHz Processor 2TB Storage cost $2,299.0

Today anyone having one of the original wood Apple Computers has a $195,433 computer - there were 200 models sold between July 1976 and September 1977.

Finding the Apple Computer at the Smithsonian

The National Museum of American History is located on the National Mall, Constitution Avenue, N.W., between 12th and 14th Streets, Washington, D.C.

The Apple Computers are in the Transportation and Technology section on the 1st Floor, which is one floor down if you enter via the National Mall. The computers are in the "Lightning a Revolution" room.

August 2, 2018

Acorn Street

Acorn Street is widely cited as the "most-photographed street in Boston" is the perfect street to start this month-long Boston Photographic series. All month long we'll look at where to take the best pictures of the city of Boston.

This street is famous because it is the last remaining street in Boston, to be fully lined up with cobblestones. It's also unique because it's a single lane street and has a downward slope.


Make sure you make good use of depth of field here!

Tips on Taking the Best Pictures

This is a popular location and you'll most likely encounter other people visiting this location to take pictures. Be patient and wait for the right moment to take your prize shot.

I have found that the top of the street has fewer people than the bottom of the street. The top of the street is the best place to take the picture. You get the best depth of field.

The best time to come here is in the late afternoon as the sun starts setting.

If you have a DSLR, this is a great place to try different lenses to see how a lens can really change the view.

The Gas Lamp and American Flag is a great "colonial-type" close-up picture to take. Rarely will you see a flag near the gas lamps.

The street is not plowed during the winter, so the street doesn't have the same old time look.


While it looks pretty in the winter, without the cobblestones it's just another street.

Finding Acorn Street

Acorn Street is far away from any T stop, the closest stop would be Boylston Street. It's a 10-minute walk from the train station.

From Boylston Street, walk down Charles Street - the street between the Commons and Gardens. Cross the street at the Intersection of Charles and Beacon Street. Walk two blocks to Chestnut Street and take a right. Walk two blocks to W. Cedar St and take a left. Acorn Street will be the next street.

You'll be at the bottom of the street, walk up the cobblestones to the top of the street for your picture perfect opportunity.