A-Z Challenge blog postings

A-Z Challenge Postings

Earliest: April 1, 2016Latest: April 21, 2018Total: 71

April 21, 2018

Snappa

YouTube is all the rage right now. If you own a YouTube Channel you know how important it is to have an updated graphic header. It's critical to have a cool looking header so that people will know that your serious about the videos that you have on your channel.

Fortunately you don't need to be an expert in graphic design, Snappa helps make YouTube headers in a snap!

Website Description

Create YouTube channel art on the fly with Snappa

  • Save time by starting with the ideal image dimensions for YouTube channels
  • Start with one of many professionally designed templates to throw together eye catching YouTube channel art in seconds
  • Customize templates, graphics, and text to create on-brand channel art
  • Access 500,000+ of high-res, totally not cheesy, 100% royalty-free stock photos from our library
  • Add the polish typically reserved for professional graphic designers with customizable graphics, shapes, and text
  • Download your channel art as a web optimized JPG, high-res PNG, Retina JPG, or Retina PNG
  • Repurpose YouTube channel art for your other social media profiles and vice versa in a couple of clicks

Snappa
https://snappa.com/create/youtube-channel-art

Snappa isn't just for YouTube, you can use it to create designs for all your favorite social media networks. The good thing about using Snappa is that you don't have to worry about the current design standards. They are up to date on the latest sizes - no more second guessing if it's the right size..

Snappa Editor

April 20, 2018

Resize-Image vs PhotoScape X

Resize-image is an application that most people might have seen in a Bundle Hunt bundle. On the service it looks to be a good practical application that will help batch process a bunch of images.

Description from the Website

Macsoft's Image Resizer for Mac is specially designed Mac image editor software for Mac users to combine, resize and revolve photos, add watermarks to them freely. And it allows you to change the image format from one to another without any difficulty.

General Overview

The application allows you to do multiple image actions at once, you can resize, add text and add text and image watermarks.

It's a good basic application for the functionality. However, there are a few drawbacks:

  • You can't drag drop images to get added to the collection
  • Your limited to only Scale, Rotate and adding Watermark
  • You can't add any special styles to Text Watermark, such as drop shadow

Should you invest in Resize-Image?

If there's a current Bundle Hunt bundle going on, you can pick it up for a good deal. At least if you ocassionaly need an image batch program.

It does what it says - I think you're limiting yourself to features and functionality. It certainly not worth the $19.99 price.

Otherwise it's $19.99 on their website - not sure if it's really worth the price.

Resize Photo Scape

PhotoScape is Better

The Batch functionality in Photoscape X goes well beyond the capabilities of Resize-image. You can add a lot more effects and have more flexibility with existing tools in Resize-image.

While Photoscape X cost a bit more, it's certainly worth the extra cost because you get more than an app that does batch processing. You get a nice image toolbox.

Which means that you'll be using the application more often and at the end of the day get more value for your money.

Photoscape X Batch Features

Five things that make Photoscape X a much better application:

  1. You can click on the images to see how the batch changes will impact that particular image. For Example, You'll be able to tell if the text is aligned correctly.
  2. Add Frame effect to the batch set of images.
  3. Change the Color Mode. Perhaps the images will look better in black or white or Sepia
  4. Resize the image based on a particular Long/Short Edge size.
  5. Add multiple Text Fields or Image objects with different formating.

April 19, 2018

Quaker Lane

Quaker Lane is one of the few streets in Boston that is U-shape. For a 100 years, it was center of the Quaker Cemetary

Quaker Lane

Eight Things I learned About Quaker Lane

  • Quaker Lane is called it because at one time it was the location of the Quaker Meeting House and Cemetery in downtown Boston.
  • The Quakers built a meeting house on Quaker Lane in 1708. The Church was severely damaged by the Great Boston fire in 1760. (The Great Boston fire of 1760 destroyed 349 building in downtown Boston)
  • The Quaker rebuilt the Meeting House and continued to worship there until 1808 when membership had declined and they decided to sell the property.
  • In 1826, the remaining members thought it was best to move the Quaker cemetery to Lynn where the Quaker society was thriving.
  • 109 bodies were moved to Lynn. Two bodies, who were sisters, were kept in Boston and reburied at the cemetery at King Chapel. (Mr. Joseph Hussey)
  • It wasn't until the 1930s that it became Quaker Lane - it has always been known as Congress Square. Paul Townsend put in a request to rename Congress Square to Quaker Lane. It officially became Quaker Lane on February 19, 1930.
  • Today Quaker Lane is closed due to construction. For many years it was an ugly service ally behind many historic buildings in the area. The new owners of the building are working to clean up Quaker Lane and make it an inviting venue with restaurants and festive lighting. The street will be closed to vehicle traffic.
  • Boston Landmarks Commission is currently consider it as a designation as a City landmark.

Locating Quaker Lane

Quaker Lane is located just a few steps from the Old State House.

The Quaker Lane Map
Map of the Area around Quaker Lane.

April 18, 2018

Palm Beach, Aruba

The Palm Beach area is famous for calm waters and white sandy beachfront. It is located right in front of the luxurious stretch of high-rise hotels. This is where the Aruba Marriot, Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino, and the Radisson Aruba Resort are located.

Palm Beach Title

Seven Things I Learned about Palm Beach

  • The beach is two miles in length. You can walk the entire length of the beach in roughly 20 minutes.
  • This area is commonly called the "High Rise" area because the properties get lower to the ground as you head south.
  • It?s a 20-minute cab ride to Oranjestad.
  • The Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino is the largest resort in Aruba and is located at the heart of Palm Beach.
  • The largest pool on Aruba is at the Marriott?s Aruba Surf Club.
  • The first hotel to be built on Palm Beach was in the 1950s. It was called the Hotel Base-Ruti. The hotel today is part of the Riu Resort.
  • The 2017 Condé Nast Traveler has Palm Beach / Eagle Beach rated #6 best beach in the world. In 2012, it was the #2 Best Beach Destination in the World - According to TripAdvisor?s Travel Choice (2012).
  • The sea levels are pretty good. As you walking about 50 yards it only gets to about 5 feet deep. There are no rip currents concerns anyplace along Palm Beach.

List of Hotels Around Palm Beach

Talk of the Town Hotel and Beach Club, Palm Beach Retreat, Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino, Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Marriott?s Aruba Surf Club, Holiday Inn Report Aruba - Beach & Casino, The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, The Mill Resort Hotel Aruba, Hotel Riu Palace Aruba, Barcelo Aruba, DiVi Aruba Phoenix, Brickell Bay Beach Club & Spec Boutique Hotel, Boardwalk Small Hotel Aruba, Tropicana Aruba Resort & Casino, Blue Residences Aruba, Caribbean Palm Village Resort, Playa Linda Beach Resort, Palm Aruba Condos, Royal Club Grand Aruba Resort, MVC Eagle Beach Resort Aruba, Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort Aruba.

April 17, 2018

OCR in Evernote

One of the nice things about Evernote is the ability to search through images and PDF documents. Anything you put in Evernote automatically can be searchable.

Evernote Description of the Process

When a note is sent to Evernote (via synchronization), any Resources included in the note that match the MIME types for PNG, JPG or GIF are sent to a different set of servers whose sole job is performing Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on the supplied image and report back with whatever it finds. These results are added to the note in the form of a hidden--that is, not visible when viewing the note--metadata attribute called recoIndex. The full recoIndex node is visible when a note is exported as an ENEX file.

Everyone gets OCR!

This is a service that available to everyone - you don't need to be a Premium customer to get your Images/Documents searchable. However, there is a waiting queue and premium subscribers do get a "fast pass" to get their documents processed first.

Everyone Gets OCR

Get all Your Documents in Evernote!

This is a good reason to get your important documents in Evernote. That way you can easily find the documents when you're looking for something.

Real Life Example

I like using the Scannable App and take pictures of restaurant receipts. This way I don't have to clutter my wallet with my personal copy. Unless you're expensing the meal, there's really no reason to have to save a restaurant receipt.

With Evernote and Scannable, those receipts are automatically OCR. Scannable makes the receipt white which makes the OCR process more reliable. This makes it easy to find when the last time I visited the restaurant and what I had to order. I can simply search for the restaurant name - or the location.

April 16, 2018

Negative Test Cases

In QA testing, Negative Tests are used to make sure the application behaves when actions are performed outside of expectations.

Negative-test-cases-are

An example would be to enter Unicode characters in a phone field. Sure you may test for alphanumeric values - but what if someone accidentally typed in a Unicode value?

Negative Tests are a good way to see how solid the code is written. Did the developer think of all the edge cases? An example did the Developer account for not allowing a single space in a required field (users do this so they don't have to put in information - such as phone numbers.)

Thoughts About Negative Test Cases

In your Test Case Repository, you should have a lot more Positive Test Cases than Negative test cases. You should be testing more than a positive outcome will happen than negative ones.

When testing a new product, you should have more Negative Test Cases than Positive ones. QA should be making sure that there are no bad surprises when the product is launched.

You won't account for all the scenarios but can learn a lot from past projects and the way that certain developers write the code.

Most companies have done a very poor job of identifying and documenting negative test scenarios.

A good source of Negative testing data is the Bug Magnet browser extension.

April 14, 2018

MockPhone

There are lots of choices when it comes to using mockups to showcase your design. The nice this about MockUPhone is there's a lot of device options including TV screens.

Website Description

MockUPhone is a free tool that helps developers, designers, project managers and consultants wrap app screenshots on different mobile devices. Developers and designer can use the provided PNG files to make mobile screenshots and mockups for mobile application websites or advertisements. While project managers and consultants can embed the screenshots in keynote for their client projects. MockUPhone right now supports iPhone mockup, iPad mockup, Android mockup and TV mockup.

If you want to create screenshots for App Store submission, you can also check out one of our developer suite - ShotBot (http://shotbot.io/). ShotBot is screenshots makers for iOS platform. It helps you wrap screenshots and implements screenshot device art effortlessly.

Mockup Phone
https://mockuphone.com/#ios

Five Things I learned Using MockUPhone

  • You have to use an image, there's no pointing to an existing URL for the image to rendered by the device.
  • In order to get the final image you have to put in a valid email and then download the file from the email link
  • The mockup images are in PNG format with transparent backgrounds.
  • MockUPhone have a lot of designs and will tell you the best format to use.
  • You get a preview of one of the layouts, to see if you want a final version.

Phone Site Mockup2

April 13, 2018

LaunchBar Actions

LaunchBar is a very powerful tool that puts instant access to all sorts of actions at your fingertips. You can open applications faster, get to documents, set reminders and so much more.

There are a lot of very useful LaunchBar built-in actions - 152 of them to be exact. They expand the capabilities of LaunchBar to be way more useful than the standard Spotlight search.

Here are three example actions that are very useful. Granted it takes some time to get used to the new process, but you will see how it can improve your computer productivity time.

Searching using Google

The typical method to search using Google requires opening up a browser, typing a search term and hitting return. That's great if you're already working with the browser open, but if you're doing a paper it's a lot of extra steps.

Using LaunchBar, you can quickly get things moving by passing the search parameters to the browser. After doing this a few times, you'll see how using LaunchBar method is so much easier than a typical method.

Search Google

  • Type: Command Space
  • Type: Google
  • Click Space
  • Enter Your Search Term and then click Enter

Join Lines with a Comma Separator

Whenever I have a list that I need to join, I usually end up opening up BBEdit and then pasting the text and then do a simple search and replace. After the search, I have to remove the last comma in the list. No so fun, and very time-consuming.

Using this trick in LaunchBar, I am able to work much quicker. Now I can quickly sort the list. There are other list tools in LaunchBar, but this is one that I use the most.

Join Lines With Comma

  • Select some text and drag and drop it onto LaunchBar
  • Click Tab
  • Search for 'Join' and click Enter
  • To paste it in the front most window with Shift Enter or using Command C

Copy as Tiny URL

Tiny URL is a great service to make URLs really shore, especially when the URL has a lot of parameters. This is useful when you want to post something in Slack or in a Jira. There's no need to have a huge paper trail link

The nice thing about Tiny URL is that it never expires, so you can keep using it for a long time.

Copy Tiny U R L

  • Command Space
  • Type: Tiny
  • Scroll to where you see 'Copy as Tiny URL'
  • Type in or Paste in a URL
  • Click Enter
  • Now Your Clipboard has the TinyURL version of your URL. Paste it in where ever you need it.

Go Faster

You can make the process go even quicker by using custom abbreviations. The actions will appear quicker with abbreviations that you are more familiar with.

Abbreviation Change

To make Searching Google faster, change the Google Abbreviation to search:

  • Type: Command Space
  • Type: Google
  • Click Command Option A
  • Enter your custom abbreviations, such as 'search' and click

April 12, 2018

King Chapel Memorial

Next to the King Chapel is the King Chapel graveyard where some of Boston's most famous are buried.

Between King's Chapel and the graveyard is a special monument that many tourists may not notice - The Chevalier De Saint Sauveur monument.

This is a special monument in honor of Chevalier St. Sauveur, a French officer that was killed in Boston during a riot during the early days of the American Revolution.

Chevalierde Saint Sauveu

Some of the Things I learned about the Chevalier De Saint Sauveur Monument

  • After a treaty of alliance was signed between France and the United States on February 6, 1778, France sent a fleet of twelve ships and 5 frigates under the command of Count d'Estaing to aid the Americans in their fight against the British.
  • Chaevalier De Saint was a lieutenant on the boat named "Tonnant." His brother-in-law was Count de Breugnon one of Count d'Estaing "Chefs d'escadre." Chevalier was the first chamberlain of Count d'Artois, the brother of Louis XVI.
  • The fleet arrived in various cities, including New York and Philadelphia. On the way to Rhode Island, several vessels were damaged in a huge storm. They went to Boston to get the boats fixed.
  • On September 9, 1778, there was an attack by rioters at the fleet bakery, which was near the boats, Chevalier De Saint Sauveur was wounded by a blow to the eye in the face while trying to maintain order.
  • He died a week later on September 15. The next day, the Massachusetts Bay general council voted to put a memorial - They feared that the French would send back all their troops home because they were not welcome.
  • The French government refused any formal burial and accepted the offer to build a monument. They accepted that the death was not a threat to the remaining troops there.
  • D'Estaing drafted the inscription for the monument -- dated September 28th in the log book of the "Languedoc" -- and caused copies of it to be distributed in the fleet that every one of the words to be put on the monument.
  • He was buried in the basement of Kings Chapel in a private ceremony attended by his fellow officers.
  • Col. Thomas Dawes, a cousin of William Dawes, was in charge with the duty of erecting a monument.
  • The monument was completely forgotten until a researcher in 1912 discovered the Massachusetts Bay offer in a journal.
  • A monument was finally approved in June 1, 1916 for $1,000 monument in Chevalier De Saint Sauveur at the Kings Chapel.
  • The Text on the monument was written by Charles Henri Hector d'Estaing, French General, and Admiral. The next on the memorial is the same text the was written on September 28, 1778, by D'Estaing. (The top part was translated into English so the locals can read it.
  • Mr. A. W. Longfellow was the Memorial architect and was inspired other monuments that were popular when Chevalier De Saint Sauveur was alive.
  • The monument is made of concrete granite, fourteen feet high, and was made by Emerson & Norris of Boston
  • There are four cannon balls and green slates on all sides, only 2 sides have text. (Originally there was to be a full transcript of D'Estaing inscription, but that didn't happen.)
  • The monument is placed directly above where Chevalier De Saint Sauveur is buried in the basement of the King Chapel Church.

Memorial Text Translation

This officer, aide-major of the French squadron and Lieutenant [on the Tonnant] after having Had the happiness of risking his life for the service of United States, fulfilled its duty when it was the Victim of a tumult caused by malicious people: Death [15 September 1778] with the same attachment For America, the bonds of duty and inclination who are attaching his compatriots to the city of Boston in Have been more tight. May be so fruitless For all efforts what would dare to try to separate Frances and America. This is the prayer that will In the centuries to come to Almighty God, all French and all Americans who will cast their eyes on The mausoleum of a kidnapped young man has friends who do not Can console themselves for having lost. What about Like funerary flowers spread over his tomb.

This inscription has been prepared by the COUNT OF E STAING The admiral commander of the first French squadron Envoy speaks Roy from France to the United States of America

Celebration Toast of Friendship

A few days after the burial the men in command of the new country invited the men of the French Fleet to a celebration of friendship at Faneuil Hall. On September 22nd, 1778 the following toast was made:

The Memorial to the America.
The King of France.
Congress.
The French Fleet.
Gen. Washington and the American Army.
The Independence of America.
The alliance between France and America ; may it never be broken.
The French Minister to Congress.
Franklin, the American Minister at the Court of France.
Liberty and the Friendship of France.
Commerce, Art, and Agriculture.
M. d'Orvilliers and all his Army.
The Count d'Estaing and all the Officers of the French Fleet in Boston Harbor.

d'Estaing Toasted

The President of the Council and all Americans here present.
Monseigneur, the Duke de Chartres.
The Queen of France.
M. Du Chaff ault.
The Marquis de La Fayette.
American Ships and Sailors.
All the Women and Young Girls who have lost their Husbands and Sweethearts in the Good Cause.
The Duke de Choiseul.
M. de Sartine.
M. de Maurepas.

April 11, 2018

Jeep Tours in Aruba

Aruba is most a desert country, and most of the side roads are dirt roads. If your going to tour the island might as well do it by Jeep.

Jeep Aruba Tours

There are a couple of companies that offer Jeep tours of Aruba:

Aruba 4x4 Half-Day Jeep Safari Tour - Starting at $85.

  • Five Hour Tour
  • Each Jeep seats 4 people, Guest drive their own jeeps with a lead tour guide
  • Children under 12 travel for $64.
  • Visit California Lighthouse, Alto Vista Chapel, Baby Natural Bridge, Bushiribana Gold Mine Ruins and Ayo Monolithic Rock Formation.
  • Free pick-ups at your hotel or at the cruise dock.

ABC Tours - Island Ultimate - Starting at $108 + tax

"Aruba?s #1 Jeep Tour Company"

  • Full Day Tour (9.5 Hours)
  • Children travel for $70 + tax.
  • Lighthouse, Bushiribana Gold Mills Ruines, Natural Bridge, Natural Pool at 'Conchi' Aruba's Arikok National Park, Baby Beach