Minimal theme for Sublime Text

Minimal theme, compatible with both Sublime Text 2 and 3.

Minimal theme, compatible with both Sublime Text 2 and 3.

My favourite workspace theme for Sublime Text is currently Minimal Dark. With its dark sidebar I find it significantly less distracting than the default theme.

Here’s how to get it:

  1. Use via Package Control to install Theme – Minimal.
  2. Go to Preferences > Settings – User.
  3. Add the following line to your Preferences.sublime-settings file: “theme”: “Minimal Dark.sublime-theme”,

My current colour scheme is Tomorrow Night, which is also available via Package Control.

Creating a new habit begins with a tiny step

I had the good fortune of meeting BJ Fogg a few times about 10 years ago; he used to live a couple of doors down from my cousin in California. I had recently redesigned my website and when showed it to him he leaned in and got really interested in it. It’s a conversation that has stuck with me ever since and was one of the many pebbles in the jar that led me to decide to do this web thing for a living.

BJ works primarily in the area of creating systems to change human behaviour, very often with computers. He wrote a really interesting book called Persuasive technology: using computers to change what we think and do. And edited another called Mobile persuasion: 20 perspectives on the future of behaviour change.

A couple of years ago I took part in a short experiment that he ran worldwide, via email, about starting new habits. This TEDx talk more or less outlines what we did. What worked for me was:

  1. Start small, e.g. floss one tooth a day.
  2. Tag your new behaviour onto an existing habit.
  3. Be accountable to someone.

I decided to start flossing my teeth (having been nagged by the dentist). I used a floss pick, which allowed me to floss all my teeth in about 30 seconds (that was tiny enough for me). I tagged it onto the end of my daily morning shower. So when I stepped out of the shower I would floss. And within the first few weeks I would email BJ to give him an update.

It worked! Even on the days when I consciously decided that I was running so late I would skip my teeth floss that morning I always found myself standing flossing my teeth after my shower thinking “Eh?! But…!”

If you want to take something up, I can thoroughly recommend BJ’s approach.

Richard Holloway on the difficulties of being a priest

I love Richard Holloway. He was Bishop of Edinburgh when I was put forward for ordination selection and training. I very much appreciated his concern for me and his deep pastoral heart. I admired his genuine humanity and his honest wrestling with and searching for meaning in what we do on this tiny rock in the universe.

How to address your mail

I love geeky stuff like this! The Royal Mail (formerly Consignia, formerly Royal Mail) has a page on their website all about about how to clearly address your mail.

Graphic showing an envelope and what information to write on it

Image credit: Royal Mail

An envelope requires only five lines if addressing somewhere in the UK:

  • Line 1—The addressee’s name.
  • Line 2—Building number and street name.
  • Line 3—Locality name (if required).
  • Line 4—POST TOWN (print in capitals).
  • Line 5—POSTCODE (print in capitals, in full, on a separate line).

Important points to note:

  1. You do not need a county name (e.g. Fife) if you use the post town and full postcode.
  2. No commas or full stops.
  3. Left-align your address, do not centre or stagger your lines.

So now you know. Although you probably use email and Twitter, don’t you!

 

Twins in school—together or apart?

Reuben and Joshua on their first day of primary school

Reuben and Joshua on their first day of primary school

As we approach the final few weeks of the school year, last week I received an email from Tamba, the twins and multiple births association, of which we are members, about a resource to help parents decide whether to keep their twins or multiples together in the same class or not.

We decided to separate our twin boys, and it turns out to have been the right decision. Each has bloomed where he has been planted, each has found his own confidence. While it’s not always been the easiest of paths for either of them, or us (and we’ve often found ourselves wondering if we made the right decision) I am so proud of both of them in how they have grown and matured during this academic year.

The Tamba resource is a short document, produced with Tamba’s support by the Hackney Learning Trust, that outlines the issues to consider. If you have twins or multiples who are heading to school soon then it’s certainly worth a read.

Download the Together or apart guidelines and checklist from Tamba.

Windows 8.1… at last!

Start screen under Windows 8.1 (now with more tile sizes)

Start screen under Windows 8.1 (now with more tile sizes)

This afternoon—after having made sure that last night’s backup happened successfully—I upgraded my PC to Windows 8.1 Pro (64-bit). It had been running Windows 8 Pro (64-bit), so just a 0.1 upgrade! Unlike last year’s botched attempt, this time it was successful and took less than an hour.

Issues

Only three applications complained:

  • 8GadgetPack didn’t run until I’d installed the latest version.
  • Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center 6.1 reported that it was incompatible. No problem: I’m not using a Windows Mobile phone now. I’ve uninstalled it.
  • SteelSeries Engine reported that it couldn’t initialize. I had suspected my SteelSeries Sensei mouse to be the main culprit in last year’s failed upgrade, so I wasn’t surprised. Downloading the latest version seems to have sorted this.

Tweaks

I’m still using two applications to tweak the Windows 8.1 experience:

  • Start8—Adds the classic start menu back to Windows 8/8.1.
  • Decor8—Personalizes the Windows 8/8.1 start and login screens.

Relief

What a relief to finally get it installed, and without any problems whatsoever. Dear Microsoft, I wish it had been this straight-forward seven months ago. But thank you.

I tweeted my progress through the upgrade:

Uploading media to old posts in WordPress backdates the file location

From the ashes of b2/cafelog

I first started using WordPress in 2003 not long after it had been forked from b2/cafelog. It was version 0.7, before they started using jazz-inspired code names for the releases.

  • There were no pages, only posts. Pages arrived in 2005, version 1.5 Strayhorn.
  • There was no plugin architecture: if you wanted to make changes to the functionality of the application then you had to edit the core files (and re-edit them every time you updated WordPress… which was all done manually, of course). Plugins arrived in 2004, version 1.2 Mingus.
  • There were no themes. Support for that also arrived in 2005, version 1.5 Strayhorn, and was greatly improved in 2010, version 3.0 Thelonious.

The media library was also very basic in those days. You actually had to add the absolute path of the media folder in your b2config.php file, like this: $fileupload_realpath = '/home/example/public_html/images';

Organize media into folders

The media library improved over the years but one thing I never got around to switching on was this one, now found in Settings > Media: “Organize my uploads into month- and year-based folders”. I kind of wish I had now, because I have nearly 3,680 images sitting loose in /wp-content.

As part of my site migration from blog.garethjmsaunders.co.uk to www.garethjmsaunders.co.uk/blog I am trying to plan the best way to move all these images into month- and year-based folders. If you have any thoughts please do leave them in the comments.

What I did discover, however, is that if I were to retrospectively upload an image today to the media library, say for a blog post dated 9 August 2007, WordPress will upload it to a directory for the month associated with the post (/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/) and not the month I actually uploaded it (May 2014).

However, the media library filter still lists the file as having been uploaded during May 2014.

According to this support ticket “#10752 Uploading new media to existing posts/pages backdates file location” this is a feature, not a bug. It would be rather nice if you could choose which convention it uses: I’d prefer to be able to filter images according to when the image was used on a post, rather than when I ‘fixed’ the image.