Smiley Happy Coder

I'm a web developer with a love of technology and I'm a bit of an Apple geek

Installing Emmett (Zen Coding) on sublime text 3

There are many articles out there that tell you how to install Emmett but a lot of them miss a massive chunk.

The instructions for installing emmett always start with “Install package” but out of the box, that option just isn’t there.
We have to add it first.

Installing package control

In Sublime open the console by pressing
Read On >

Google Analytics, stop tracking visits to my site

By default Google Analytics will track every visitor that lands on your site. Or at least every page that has their snippet installed.

That means that each time you visit your site to check the look of that new page or new CSS rule you’ve been working on, the snippet is fired and Google Analytics see’s a new hit on that page.
The problem now is that your data is effectively skewed as it logs your visits.

Read On >

Find duplicate records in Excel

Remove Duplicates

I’m not sure when this first came about but Excel provides a function to find duplicate records. The feature is definitely in Excel 2007 but it could have been in previous versions too.

Call me a pessimist but to be honest I don’t really know exactly how that built in function works. Read On >

Comparing code in phpStorm

PHP Storm, comparing files.

Occasionally I need to compare two files inside my IDE. At the moment my IDE of choice is PHP Storm by Jet Brains so I set about trying to find out how its done.

To compare two files

  • Make sure your project tool window is open.
  • Hold down the command or control key
  • Read On >

Excel’s Right Function

Excel makes it easy to find the left part of a string with it’s in built Right function.
Read On >

Excel’s Left Function

Excel makes it easy to find the left part of a string with it’s in built Left function.
Read On >

How to display hidden files and folders in Windows 7

Since Windows 7 came along a ton of things have changed. One of those things is modifying the way that folders are configured.

I for one, need to see hidden files and folders. It something that, as a web developer, I just need.

  1. Click Start and launch the control panel.
  2. Now click Folder options under Appearance and Personalization, and then click Folder Options.
  3. Click the View tab.
  4. Under Advanced settings, click Show hidden files, folders, and drives, and then click OK.

A review of Dropbox

Please note that this review was written in September 2009 for the Boagworld site. Some of the details may no longer be correct.

If you’d like you can view the post directly on the Boagworld site

Lyle Barras has been kind enough to send us an audio review of Dropbox

Hi Paul and Marcus, my name is Lyle and I’m a hobbyist web developer. I’d like to give a quick review of an online tool called dropbox and a little about the way I use it.

Dropbox is an online storage device. You simply sign up for an account at; the free accounts give you 2GB of storage, and then download the little application. You can download as many copies of the application as you want so that you can sync up as many computers as you want and the really great news is that it’s Mac, Windows and Linux compatible. I have tried it on all three and it works seamlessly. There is also a pretty cool web interface if you happen to be on a machine that doesn’t have the app installed.

As soon as you place a file or folder into the dropbox then it sync’s to the other machines you have set up and the file is there almost immediately. If 2GB isn’t quite enough you can upgrade to one of the two paid accounts. Pro 50 gives you 50GB for $9.99/month and Pro 100 gives you 100GB for $19.99/month. I think the Pro 50 is pretty good value if your storage need is big enough. At any time you can refer the tool to your mates. If they then sign up, even for a free account and download the app then you get another 250MB of free storage and so do they. To date I have referred two of my mates and got 500MB free.

I have found one problem with dropbox. When I upgraded my iMac and MacBook I found dropbox to be a bit glitchy and crashy. I did a bit of Googling and found that dropbox had already released a new fixed version of the app.

To pinch a bit of the advertising guff from the site, Dropbox replaces:

  • Emailing file attachments to yourself and other people
  • Using USB drives to move files between computers
  • Renaming files to keep a history of previous versions
  • Complicated backup software
  • FTP servers, system-specific sharing methods, Network Attached Storage (NAS)

As I said at the beginning I’m a hobbyist web developer. I had been using a memory stick to carry round my work as I can’t really justify one of these posh versioning tools. I was sick of thinking “Right I’ll do a little bit” and find that I have left the drive at home or in the office. Dropbox replaces all that. I just use it as my memory stick and it’s always there I don’t even need to be connected to the net as long as I have sync’d the machine recently. I’m utterly sold and couldn’t imagine not having my dropbox now.

Aptana Studio 3

This last week I have been using Aptana’s Studio 3. I came across it when I watched a tutorial on the web. The guy giving the tutorial was using the older version.

I immediately thought the IDE looked easy to use but in the same respect quite powerful.

After the tutorial finished I popped over to the Aptana site and downloaded the new Beta version of the Studio 3 application. I have to say I was a little wary that the app was still in beta but so far I haven’t found any issues. I’m guessing, or maybe hoping, that the beta is just a version short of a few features rather than an incomplete test version.

The app comes in three varieties, Mac, Windows and Linux which is cool as I’m forced to use a windows machine at work. Another great thing is that it’s my favourite price, free.  I have to say that I’ve used a few of the free IDE’s out there and Aptana is definitely the most highly polished.


As I say I have installed the app on both windows and mac machines and I found the the download was quite small at 130.7 MB AND 102.1 MB respectively. The installation process was a pretty standard affair for both operating systems. The mac mounted a disk image and you drag the app to the applications folder. The PC launched the usual installation wizard which is the usual few steps and the app is ready.


The app is quite quick to load even on my old Windows XP machine which is currently dogged by random restarts. The interface comes as standard with a black background which is way easier on the eye than the white I’d been used to. It’s funny how you don’t even notice until you switch, and the grass really is greener.

One superb feature

In the past I’ve used local IDE’s that have no FTP connection etc and I have gotten used to clicking save, switching app then uploading the changes to the server. For a while I have been using a certain mac app that connects to the FTP so I can work directly online, my only concern about this is effectively only having one copy of my work.

Aptana has a cool feature whereby you work in a local folder but you can specify a connection for each project. There is the a checkbox in the project deployment settings that let’s you automatically upload your saves to the server. It’s such a timesaver and it means I have my local copy all backed up plus the server copy all in perfect sync.

My new Aptana based workflow

As I mention I like to have an offline backup of my work, it thinks it’s only sensible these days. I currently use Dropbox to store most of my work. It’s a fantastic application and has free options, but that’s not why were here. Just as a brief history if there is anyone left in the world who doesn’t use dropbox, it simply stores your files online so that you can access them from anywhere.

So my files are saved in dropbox, Aptana is configured to automatically sync to the FTP site so everything is always in sync no matter if I’m working from work or on my iMac or Macbook.


p>I wrote a review of Dropbox for Boagworld some time ago if you like to check it out here it is.

Aptana have not asked me to write this review, but I hope they would like it.