Yearly Archives: 2012

4 Useful cURL Tricks

cURL is pretty much the universal go-to tool for testing HTTP responses from the command line. If you’re not already familiar with it, here are a few handy things you can use it for.

Checking Headers

You can use cURL to see the headers sent in a request. I use this all the time to see if the headers I’m trying to send in a script are working right.

$ curl -I
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2012 02:45:58 GMT
Expires: -1
Cache-Control: private, max-age=0
Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1

Sending POST Requests

I was working on a project recently that involved receiving POST requests from a client script running on another server. Since there was no convenient HTML form to use to repeatedly test changes made to the API, I ended up using cURL. Sending POST data is a simple matter of passing an argument that looks something like a query string.

curl -d "name=Gandalf&type=wizard";

Continue reading →


Scratchpad: Write HTML and Watch it Render Instantly

Scratchpad does exactly what it says on the proverbial box. It acts as a convenient place to experiment with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. You get a two-pane screen with the page source on the left and a live-updated render on the right. As you…


A Strange and Sudden Design Trend

It’s weird. Practically overnight, several major blogs rolled out similar redesigns that follow this emerging trend that Usability Post has documented. Suddenly, Mashable, The Next Web and ReadWriteWeb all have new designs that feature prominent top bars (which are primarily statically positioned), responsive designs…

Jakob Nielsen Slams Windows 8 Usability

I’m not normally one to agree with Jakob Nielsen, but he really hit the nail on the head with his fresh rant panning Windows 8. He has seven main complaints, from the “double desktop” inconsistency and low information density to the overly flat UI…

BlogBuzz December 1, 2012

FinderPath Extension for Alfred

I use Alfred for all of my application launching, number calculating and folder-finding needs. It usually does a good job at finding what I’m looking for, though sometimes you already have an exact file path in mind and want to jump right to it.… Jetpack

Automattic Releases Jetpack 2.0, Featuring the New Photon CDN

Automattic’s Jetpack plugin has certainly grown since I first looked at it. I originally dismissed it, not wanting to unnecessarily tie my own self-hosted blogs to for a few niceties like in-Dashboard traffic stats and very thorough spelling and grammar checking via After…

BlogBuzz November 17, 2012

Fixing Slow Hosts File Lookups in OS X Mountain Lion

Mac users with custom entries in their /etc/hosts files may have noticed that, under Mountain Lion at least, lookup times for local resources are incredibly slow. I routinely set up names that point to virtual hosts on my laptop so I can give projects…

Getting More From Twitter Bootstrap’s Typeahead Library

Twitter Bootstrap comes packaged with a simple auto-complete library that’s stylistically integrated into the CSS framework. It’s convenient, but not the most-documented part of Bootstrap. I was working on a hobby project recently, and I wanted to have an auto-completing search field, but it…