Mel Reams

Nerrrrd

Chrome extension of the day

You know what sucks? Desperately trying to figure out how you broke your html layout, only to discover hours later that you had an invisible element or padding or a margin that was quietly ruining everything. Pesticide to the rescue! Pesticide is a very simple Chrome extension that does just one thing – it outlines all of your elements. That’s it.

I have a thing for simple tools that do one thing and do it well, and Pesticide is just that. No screwing around with settings, no trying to remember how to activate it, you just click the little bug icon beside your omnibox to turn it on and click it again to turn it off. Simple is just what you need when you’re fighting with your layout. Try it, you just might like it!

Chrome extension of the day

I have a bit of a tab problem. Just now I have 31 tabs open in Chrome. I could tell you I’m going to get that under control, but that would be a lie. I like the way Chrome handles tabs but they do eat up a lot of memory if you have a ridiculous number of them open. Fortunately, my problem is so common that there’s a Chrome extension to fix it: The Great Suspender. The Great Suspender does what you would expect from the name, it suspends your inactive tabs by doing some sort of magic that unloads your page but saves the url so you can reload it almost instantly when you’re ready. You can manually suspend tabs that you know you won’t use for a while or you can let it automatically suspend them when they’ve been inactive for long enough. It’s been great for memory usage and I really like not having to wait for all my tabs to load every time I restart Chrome.

greatsuspender

If you’ve given up on controlling your tab habit, give The Great Suspender a try. And donate a couple bucks to the creator if it helps you.

Postman rocks!

Postman is one of my favourite Chrome extensions, it’s so helpful. If you work with REST APIs, you need postman or something like it. Yes, you could just use curl, but you could also not hate your life :)

Postman lets you easily test your REST endpoints by letting you name and save your calls and add them to collections. You can save your authentication data too and you can parameterize your calls so you can test the same call on local and then staging by just switching environments in the dropdown. Another really cool thing Postman added lately is the ability to sync your account across different computers. If you work from home sometimes and curse yourself for not exporting your calls and sending them to yourself (not that I ever do that), you’ll love that feature.

If Postman isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other apps for REST testing. Insomnia, for example, was built by a local!

Awesome Chrome extension of the day

I recently started using StayFocusd and it rocks! StayFocusd is a productivity tool that stops you from visiting websites where you waste time. Whatever your timesinks are (for me feedly and reddit are some of the worst), you just add them to StayFocusd’s blocklist and after 10 minutes (or whatever time you set), it blocks them. By default it also blocks links that you clicked while on a site in your block list. For example, if you follow a link from reddit, that still counts toward your 10 minutes of browsing for that day.

I’m not sure how I feel about having to outsource my self-control to a Chrome extension, but on the upside I get a lot more done when I don’t have to make the decision between doing work and checking feedly again for shiny new blog posts. Try it, you’ll probably hate it but you’ll probably get more done :)

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