Easy round corners in CSS

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There have been many attempts to create boxes with round corners over the years, some using tables, some using Javascript, others with images. This is the first, and possibly only, that uses only CSS and HTML to do so, and it seems to work rather well. While not as awe-inspiringly flexible as some options, its simplicity and code-length (or lack there of) make it stand out.

Dramatically improve test-driven development

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Test-driven development is one of the best benefits that Ruby on Rails brings to modern web development, but it can be a bit tricky, and laborious, constantly tweaking test code, running the tests, then making required changes. Enter autotest, part of a suite called ZenTest, which makes life dramatically easier for you. Instead of having to manually run your tests, autotest runs all of the tests in the background so you immediately see the results of your changes and whether you need to fix something. Good stuff!

TaxCut vs TurboTax

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For the first few years we had to do a tax return in the USA I used TurboTax to do so. Back in 1999 it was pretty simple for us to do our taxes as we had almost nothing to list in it. Over the years it got a bit more complicated but continued to be manageable. Around the 2002-2003 time-frame Intuit, who makes TurboTax, decided to do some naughty things with their software - the installed some extra limitations on how or when you could install their software, which would pose problems if we ever needed to verify the data in future years. At that point we switched to using TaxCut and it has served us fairly well since. Last years results were proving to be a little tricky with TaxCut so I tried TurboTax and was quite surprised - while TaxCut seemed to stick with the same interface every single year, TurboTax finally got an interface and usability revamp which has made it much easier to use than the competition, and I think we'll be switching back for another few years. Confusion, confusion. In a day or two I'll know how the end results of each compare and that will probably be the deciding factor.

Keep track of Ruby on Rails changes

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Here's an easy way to keep track of the on-going changes to Ruby on Rails. The Rails team use the system Trac to manage their development and it includes a page to list all of the recent changes. While nice in theory, the fact that by default it shows changes to the development website too makes it a little confusing at first glance, so instead you can use/bookmark this link to see what is going on in the code itself:

Macs go Intel, then go Windows? (UPDATED)

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After the announcement in 2005 that Apple were going to change their Macintosh computers from the IBM/Motorola PowerPC range of processors to Intel's x86 line everyone thought they were nuts. Well it seems the insanity continues as Apple have just announced a program called Boot Camp that allows anyone with an Intel-based Mac to run Windows! Yowzers!

UPDATE: A 3rd party company has developed a $50 program called Parallels which lets your Intel Mac run a huge array of operating systems while you are still running OSX, i.e. no reboot required, thus giving you much more flexibility. While audio doesn't work and you can't access the CD/DVD drive, for standard applications I think this is a better way to go. Nifty.

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