peter weissbrod

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Interesting hack: Office 2016 in night mode

If youre like me, you feel dark themes are important

Call me VT700 old school but the light on dark UI is superior to the default paper-white interfaces that come default with most programs. If youre staring at a screen for a full time job then striving for UI customizations is a sensible thing to do!

This is why I started visual studio theme gallery.

This is why I also make heavy use of stylish for sites like google and stackoverflow

And I was delighted to unlock a secret black theme built in to MS Office 2016

You wont get this UI by the options menu unfortunately. But you can get it through editing the registry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\UI Theme

The gui allows 1-3. Set this value to 4!

Look how much better outlook is!

even excel!

Of course this is all too good to be easy…

OneNote will routinely try to re-set the value back from 4.


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How to keep hungry tigers busy in the early morning

Preface: feeding your pets is an important bonding ritual. You should avoid employing machines as a full substitute for feeding. But my tigers and I have reached a stalemate RE: Breakfast time

Tigers sleep all day long

Of course they have no problem waking us up whenever they desire breakfast.

Automated feeders are expensive and lack flexibility.

I got sticker shock when looking in to options for buying automated feeders.

This is a post about how to build a hackable cat feeder for $20.

The basic goal is to spread small bits of cat food randomly across the kitchen floor during early time windows of the morning. This of course dominates tigers’ attention thus letting you sleep in.

The design


The most basic form is an upside-down bottle with a servo which controls the opening at the bottom. We control the speed and frequency of the openings with code.

I hang the bottle up high...

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Large git branch merges using beyondcompare

when I have two very active git branches that are out of date and i type:

git merge theotherbranch

I prepare myself for a bad day at the office because git merge strategies are pretty naive and if any file was touched in both branches it will automatically deemed a conflict requiring manual review. Playing it safe is fine except when youre deailing with hundreds of files 95% of which have no significant conflict.

BeyondCompare has a command line tool with an “automerge” option which, true to its name, will automatically merge non-conflicting files which is a HUGE time-saver in large merges. The catch is if you follow beyondcompare’s documentation you wont get the automerge functionality.

Which brings me to the .gitconfig settings below :)

        tool = bc3
        prompt = false
[difftool "bc3"]
        path = /c/Program Files (x86)/Beyond Compare 3/BComp.exe

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Visual studio color theme gallery

I spend a significant amount of my time working within IDE windows (especially intellij and visual studio) so why not make the windows prettier to look at? Microsoft released a wonderful color theme editor extension for visual studio but the number of themes available is limited and I couldnt find any galleries for sharing themes online. The good news is that themes can be imported and exported. I have set up a git repo containing a collection of vstheme files you can download and share. Check it out! Help me add more themes to the repo!

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Getting windows to play nicely with phonegap

Recommend before you start download an environment variable editor such as rapidEE.

  1. Install NodeJS
  2. Install Winant
  3. Install android SDK for windows Make sure the following is in your PATH env var:
  4. android bin. Eg: C:\Tools\adt-bundle-windows-x86_64-20130917\adt-bundle-windows-x86_64-20130917\sdk\tools
  5. android platform tools. Eg: C:\Tools\adt-bundle-windows-x86_64-20130917\adt-bundle-windows-x86_64-20130917\sdk\platform-tools
  6. ant bin. Eg: C:\Program Files (x86)\WinAnt\bin
  7. nodejs bin. Eg: C:\Program Files\nodejs
  8. nodejs NPM bin. Eg: C:\Users\pw\AppData\Roaming\npm
  9. jdk bin. Eg: C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_25\bin
  10. Make sure your JAVA_HOME env var is set:
  11. JAVA_HOME Eg: C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_25 install the phonegap node package node npm install -g phonegap
  12. Install android virtual device (AVD) using the android program
    1. you should be able to build locally by changing in to the root...

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