Duet Display, an Affordable External Monitor for your Mac

I’d been looking for a good external monitor for my MacBook Air for awhile. My options were, Mac product, beautiful but X thousand dollars. All other monitors, hideous but cheap(er). Still nothing I was wanting to spend for an occasional use monitor. I mostly use my Air as a shudder laptop.

But, I have an old Gen 2 iPad that’s not that often used and there is an app called Duet Display which I had only recently discovered.

Past Experiences with Similar Apps

I had tried some of these iPad-as-external-monitor apps before but they were all crap-slow over wifi or Bluetooth. I agreed with most reviews, the tracking was usually poor and connections were flakey, especially after either device goes to sleep.

It’ll be different this time, I swear

The difference for Duet is that it uses a wired USB connection to your mobile device (60-pin or Lightning), being wired is no biggie since an external monitor would be wired anyway. The performance for my set up worked great and felt like an external monitor should: it just worked.

Downside, it does use up a USB port, but if I’m at a desk I have a USB hub anyway.

This is also going to be great while traveling as I’m horribly addicted to the extra screen real-estate that an external display affords me with a 13″ MacBook Air.


Duet Display MacBook Air to iPad Kicking Butt

What is involved?

The display server which lives on your Mac is free, the iOS app is $14.99 which seemed expensive to me at first, but then it’s way cheaper than even a cable for an external monitor. I was hesitant given past experiences, but I plunked down the digital cash to review it ( so you don’t have to!:) ). I’m glad I did, but it was well worth the money and I’ll finally get some use out of my dusty Gen 2 iPad. (You have to have iOS 7-capable iOS device to work, but even that old relic can run it.)

How to Fix: Can not load Chrome it is not registered Error in AngularJS

After creating a new AngularJS project with Yeoman, I found this issue appearing:

grunt test
Running "karma:unit" (karma) task
WARN [karma]: Port 8080 in use
INFO [karma]: Karma v0.12.1 server started at http://localhost:8081/
WARN [launcher]: Can not load "Chrome", it is not registered!

The solution was to add karma-chrome-launcher to the package.json file which you can do with:

npm install karma-chrome-launcher --save-dev

How to Show a Firebug Console on JSFiddle

I recently was going through the book Javascript Enlightenment which had all code blocks linked directly to JSFiddle which I thought was a nice touch. The thing I noticed is that the output field contained a debugging console and I wanted to get this too. But where is it found? There be no options for that.

A little digging turned up some miscellaneous tips and surprisingly little from Stackoverflow.

Here is a step-by-step of what I pieced together.

Copy this link:


From your fiddle page, expand the External Resources menu on the left.
Paste your url into the input field and hit the button.


Rerun your fiddle and if you have logged to the console it should display in your Result pane.



Thesis Bootstrap Alert Dialog

Easy Alert Dialogs in Thesis Theme 2.1

A quick way to add static Bootstrap-style alerts to your Thesis themed WordPress site posts or pages. If you want to add a simple, color-coded alert box to your Thesis theme, this is a super-simple CSS-only way to do it. It’s an easy way to draw attention to a section of the code and requires almost no effort or coding.


Well done! You successfully read this important alert message.

In just a few lines of CSS you can style up some eye-catching content boxes in your posts and pages.

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Gettigng Started with Ruby on Rails 4

Getting Started with Rails 4.0

There are some cool new changes in Ruby On Rails 4 , but adding so many new features makes it challenging to learn it all and keep up. Fortunately, there are a bunch of awesome new books and resources that are popping up all over the place.

I’ve read three of the most current titles I could find on the subject: the classic Ruby on Rails Tutorial, Agile Web Development with Rails and Rails 4 In Action. All are great books, but depending on your interest you may want to choose one over the other.

I’ve personally used and endorse all of the following titles for learning Rails 3 or 4. Give them a try and see which works for you.

Before You Start

Even though these books start out pretty basic, it’s good to have knowledge of things like, well, some Ruby, the MVC design pattern and general programming knowledge. Also, you should understand HTML and CSS work as well as some basic knowledge of JavaScript and jQuery.

Each book will walk you through the basics of these concepts (each in a slightly different way), but you’ll learn more (and retain more) with the basic concepts already in your brain.

Ruby On Rails 4 Tutorial


Rails Tutorial

The Ruby On Rails Tutorial is probably the best way to start. This book starts out as basic as you can get, but you end up with a pretty cool Twitter clone when you’re finished. Each chapter demonstrates a single concept with some practical “playtime” activities at the end of each.

The author doesn’t specifically cover Rails 4, but his online version of the book (which is free by the way) contains an additional chapter which will “upgrade” the example project.

Another cool thing the author, Michael Hartl, has done, is to create a video tutorial course. It follows along with the book examples and is not cheap at $100. But, considering how in-depth the book is, and depending on your learning style, it may be just the thing for getting started even faster. If I started over I probably would have gotten the bundled book + video.

As a bonus perk, he also covers Rails 4 in this video course. You can check it out here.

Agile Web Development with Rails


Agile Web Development with Rails

Agile Web Development with Rails (4th Edition) is your next step for a good introduction. This is written by the excellent gang at the Pragmatic Book store. They have written some of the best programming books you can buy and this one is another great title. It also is co-authored by [David Heinemeier Hansson], the creator of Rails. So this may be a subtle endorsement that this is THE book to get started. I’ll let you be that judge.

It goes into some alternative details and builds out a full shopping-cart application, which is probably a more pragmatic ahem choice than the previous one, but it also allows you to explore some new frontiers.

While this book covers Test Driven Development, it doesn’t focus as much in this area as in the previous book, so if that is your interest, you may want to keep that in mind.

A final nice perk is that the application tutorial covers about 2/3 of the book and the rest is a focused look at each area of Rails such as: Active Record, Caching, plugins, etc. It becomes a handy reference.

Rails 4 In Action


Rails 4 In Action

My last suggestion is a brand new book1 which you can get now only in eBook format. It’s titled Rails 4 In Action and is probably tied with the previous book for being up-to-date with the latest snazzy additions.

The reason I suggest this last is that it is definitely a more dense, challenging read than the previous two. I would even go so far as to say it’s an intermediate-level read: it explains less about some programming concepts and assumes more knowledge of coding practices. It’s less hand-holdy and might not make the best beginner book.

I was delighted to find this title to provide some other examples to learn from. It’s expanding the knowledge foundation laid by the two previous ones.

If you want to get started quickly with Rails , check them out.

Post Image Credit: Stigster via Flickr: CC License

  1. It’s officially published on September 26, 2011.

The World’s Largest DDoS Attack

One of the largest DDoS attacks is occurring right now.

DDoS protection outfit CloudFlare was hit with the attacks.

A Network Time Protocol (NTP) Reflection attack exploits a timing mechanism that underpins a way the internet works to greatly amplify the power of what would otherwise be a small and ineffective assault.[source: ITNews.com.au]

No one is yet sure the full impact of the attack, although at least one French networking host reported a 350Gbps DDoS attack during the assault.

CloudFlare chief executive Matthew Prince said the attack tipped 400Gbps, 100Gbps larger than the previous record DDoS attack which used DNS reflective amplification.

What I find to be most disturbing about these kinds of attacks is that it will be a weapon by corporations looking to privatize the web, pointing to this as an example of the “dangers” of an uncontrolled internet, it will surely be exploited for some private gain. The paranoid in my points to that the source of this attack may be on the gainful side of this attack. If not, they are merely blackening the future of the public internet.

Removing Comments on this entry are closed from Thesis 2.1

Removing comments are closed text for Thesis 1.8 and 1.7 are of the most popular articles on this blog. It must be a common problem!

So, guess what? Thesis 2 and 2.1 came out and with the new UI design, things are back and it’s still a valid question.

The problem:

You’ve got a page or a post where you’ve disabled comments, maybe you’ve disabled commenting on your whole site, maybe just on a single page. In either case, your theme displays “Comments on this entry are closed.”

In some cases, you might want this, but if it’s on your About page or Contact page it looks dumb.

The solution is simple: Let’s get rid of it.

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How to Style Contact Form 7 Submit Button with Bootstrap

Had a little gotcha getting my contact form submit button styles going. I use the Thesis 2.1 WordPress theme and I’ve included Bootstrap into my theme includes Bootstrap (formerly Twitter Bootstrap) so if you have a different theme you may need to include it in your header.php or somewhere else. The format of the submit button is like so and will not work if you don’t get the title at the end. This wasn’t clear from the documentation I found, but it’s the way it be.

[submit id:main-submit class:btn class:btn-primary class:btn-lg "Send it!" ]

Classes are added individually, title goes at the end. Simple but hopefully this might save someone some head scratching.

Solo Practice Manager

SoloPracticeManager.com is live

The first version of http://solopracticemanager.com has been out for 3 months now and is finally at a place where it is useful enough for general consumption. If you know any life coaches in need of help managing their practice have them check it out.

SoloPracticeManager is really a site for any single-owner business that needs to manage clients, so it’s not just life coaches, but personal trainers, massage therapists and any non medical practice. I’ve attempted to stay away from medical due to any possible privacy or HIPAA laws. Too much regulation and probably licensing.

Register for SoloPracticeManager.com at http://solopracticemanager.com/registration/register/ and get started for free!