Tools of the Trade: Keyboards

The pen is mightier than the sword they say, but for programmers, the keyboard is our tool of choice.

Using the keyboard is the main method we put our thoughts/ideas/code into being. One can even say that the keyboard is an extension of a programmer. With the vast array of keyboard choices, programmers can find the best fit keyboard for their workflow.

Keyboard Sizes

60% keyboard - iKBC New Poker ii
Keyboards come in various sizes that can accommodate your desk space, typing preference or aesthetic. Many are familiar with the standard or full-size ANSI OR ISO keyboards but there are other “compact” formats available. Some examples of compact keyboards:

  1. Tenkeyless – keyboard without numpad
  2. 60% keyboard – generally a keyboard without numpad and F row
  3. 40% keyboard – minimalist keyboard with letters and some modifiers

These compact keyboards may have programmable layers where the numeric row or F row functionality can be accessed. On some, you can create macros that can easily run scripts or simplify hotkey combos with less key presses. EFFICIENCY! Continue reading “Tools of the Trade: Keyboards”

More VM Tips: vhdk to vhdx

I had a previous post about Bitnami’s virtual machine offerings. What I failed to mention is that those  VM images are available in  VirtualBox or VMWare formats. I am partial to Hyper-V; so what’s an Mi4 developer on a Saturday night supposed to do?

Well after some searching a found a process using Powershell to convert VMWare hard drive images (vhdk files) to Hyper-v virtual hard disks (vhdx files). Continue reading “More VM Tips: vhdk to vhdx”

Bitnami – a developer’s good friend

Coffee is still a developer’s best friend, but Bitnami is definitely in my circle of friends.

Over at Bitnami they have preconfigured virtual machines for software development. If you want to get up and running on a different software stack quickly it’s a good place to go. It’s not a bad place to spend a Saturday night  either (if you’re the kind of person who lists websites in your circle of friends).

Their offerings are comprehensive, convenient, and free: WordPress, Joomla!, Elk, Rails, Tomcat, etc. And if you don’t want to spin up an entire VM, Bitnami can install the stack into an existing environment.

Virtual (Machine) Reality

Virtual Machines are great. Free stuff is great. Free Virtual Machines are awesome.

Many people are unaware that Microsoft offers Windows virtual machines (VMs) for free. In fact they offer Windows VMs with the latest updated versions of Visual Studio installed on them. This is super useful for software development and testing.

https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/downloads/virtual-machines

Microsoft also provides virtual machines from Windows 7 to present with various preinstalled browser configurations. These VMs are intended for web developers to use for compatibility testing, but they can be freely used by anyone for other purposes as well.

https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/vms/ Continue reading “Virtual (Machine) Reality”

We moved!

Whew! MI4 has moved! No one likes the chaos and stress of moving offices, but we are meeting new neighbors and enjoying new views. Check out a view from our office. What a great way to get a fresh perspective on Houston and on developing custom solutions for our clients.
We settled into our new offices just in time to release the latest update to Productioneer. Keep your eyes peeled for the next Productioneer update.