Mel Reams


Windows tip of the day

Windows actually has a builtin file hash function: in powershell, use Get-FileHash [filename] for a sha256 hash, and add the optional -Algorithm switch (-Algorithm MD5, for example) for other algorithms. If you happen to be using Win8 in particular, stick with the powershell commandlet. Trying to find a windows file hash generator and then get Windows to actually run it will just make you unhappy. Screw you too, AppLocker.

What does SOLID really mean? Part 1

Not so long ago I read an article about SOLID design principles in Clojure and started thinking it would be interesting to talk about those principles more generally. I don’t know about you, but I have a terrible habit of skimming over stuff like that thinking “oh sure, SOLID, that sounds like a good idea” and then promptly forgetting all about it. According to Wikipedia, Robert C Martin (aka Uncle.. Read More

Merry almost Christmas, everyone!

If you celebrate Christmas, here, have one of the very few Christmas carols I can listen to without wanting to run howling into the wilderness. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, at least it’s almost over.      

Java best practices: synchronization

Java’s synchronization can be really helpful, but it can also get you into plenty of trouble. Synchonization is in no way a magic wand that you can wave around to get rid of multi-threading issues, you have to understand how to use it. In java (and many other languages, but java’s what I’m familiar with), synchronization prevents threads from accessing the same data at the same time. Concurrency (multiple threads sharing.. Read More

Degrees aren’t everything

A common worry I see in self-taught developers is that not having a degree means that you’re not a good programmer and no one will hire you. I’m not going to lie, having a degree does make it easier to get an interview, but it in no way guarantees that everyone with a degree is a better programmer than everyone without. Here’s a fun fact about hiring developers: having a.. Read More

Cmder rocks!

Cmder is an awesome tabbed command line interface for windows. Unlike the regular windows console, cmder is resizeable, includes handy linux commands like grep, and uses a font that isn’t hideous. Honestly, while the other features are great, being able to resize the freaking window was one of the biggest selling points for me. It’s incredibly irritating to try to read a log in a window that’s only 80 characters wide.. Read More

Different languages are good for different things

As you learn to code and learn new programming languages you’ll often hear that different languages are good for different things. Technically you can do just about anything in any language, so for a long time that never meant much to me. Once you get past basic conditionals and loops, there actually are pretty major differences in how easy it is to do different things in different languages. Here’s a handy example:.. Read More

What the hell is using port 80?

Every time I need to figure out what process stole port 80 from my local server I have to look up the command again, so I’m going to share it here for my fellow windows users in hopes I’ll finally remember it :) From a command shell running as admin: netstat -anob Thanks as usual to stackoverflow, where the collective memory of nerds lives. And here’s another fun fact for windows.. Read More

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