Posted by & filed under How To, Technical.

Device Mode is an awesome tool for mobile web dev.

Google Chrome browser’s Dev Tools are fantastic. The “Device Mode” in particular is very helpful for testing mobile UX. It’s better than just modifying your UA (e.g. via “User Agent Switcher” or other plugins), because it has presets for lots of popular devices, and lets you set the resolution and even the device pixel ratio of the visible frame. Invaluable for testing mobile web UX, and testing RWD media queries.


Screenshot of Device Mode in action


This isn’t brand-new, but these things are easy to miss. Hope this helps someone out there! 🙂

P.S. And of course (though it bears repeating), a simulator isn’t a substitute for real device testing… and a desktop browser-based sim may not be as accurate as official vendor-provided simulators. But it’s convenient. YMMV! Good luck! 🙂

Posted by & filed under Culture, Personal.


Hi friends,
I’m running in the Falmouth Road Race this year to raise money for my favorite charity, Rawkstars.

Please consider contributing via my fundraising page!

Some of you may wonder why I’d choose to focus on this particular cause (rather than other worthy causes, such as fighting cancer, especially given how that disease has impacted my family in recent years). I think part of my feelings here stem from a desire to focus on the positive. Most charities — including virtually all of the ones I’ve supported with my dollars and energy in recent years — relate to reducing bad things in the world, fighting the good fight. It’s akin to playing defense in a soccer match, or to fighting a fire. I don’t mind at all being in the bucket brigade, it’s important and necessary. But for me, personally, music is more like scoring a goal, or tending a garden. It’s making something good happen, vs helping to prevent something bad happening.

Music (in the form of guitar, for me) has been my constant companion, my most reliable pick-me-up, and has gotten me through the darkest moments in my life. I can’t think of anything as unambiguously good as making music, on a personal, social or societal level. So when my good friend JJ’s charity started putting instruments (and music lessons) directly in the hands of underprivileged kids, I took notice. I’ve donated instruments from my own small collection, raised money, donated my own cash, and attended events, because I’ve never come across a more direct path to increasing music in the world than this. The charity is a legit 501(c)(3) nonprofit, it’s got effectively zero overhead, and it’s local. Dollars in, instruments and lessons out (with donations magnified, given JJ’s ability to negotiate great deals w teachers and merchants). It’s so simple, and it’s so good.


If music has played a similar role in your life, or if the idea of giving a deserving child piano or voice or guitar lessons and an instrument to practice and learn on appeals to you, then please, if you’re able, pitch in what you can. If everyone reading this gave even $5 or $10, it’d make a huge difference to a lot of kids. $25 buys a music lesson. $100 pays for a guitar. If you have any questions about Rawkstars, of course I’d be happy to answer them.


I’ve asked folks at work, and they’ve responded generously. But given the nature of my company (, there are just tons of people doing charity fundraising. I am sure many of you are similarly inundated with requests. I certainly won’t hold it against anyone who isn’t willing or able to contribute(!) But for those of you who can, please do. Thank you in advance, so much, for joining me in creating more music and more musicians, among an underserved population of children who might otherwise be denied the opportunity to learn to sing and play. Thank you, very very much.



Posted by & filed under How To, Technical.

Here is some OSX software I’ve found helpful for managing hard drives, in no particular order (yet).

At some point I may write up the whole saga of how I turned my early-2008 Mac Pro tower from a huge doorstop into a terrific media server and home workstation… but in the short term I wanted to note these tools that were particularly helpful. Of course the built-in Disk Utility played a big role too.

iTerm 2 – terminal app
Big improvement over the default iTerm that ships with OSX. I really like pairing iTerm 2 with ZSH (in turn an improvement over the “bash” shell most people use).

Carbon Copy Cloner – create bootable clones of drives or partitions
CCC was indispensable in safely migrating from Lion to Mavericks.

Beyond Compare – folder-based comparison tool
BC was a huge help in identifying missing tunes in bringing my old Mac Pro Tower out of retirement (which involved repartitioning its newer drives, and merging my laptop’s music with the old tower during the migration to a dedicated media partition).

Disk Inventory X – analyze your HDDs to see where the big files are
This was very helpful in helping my HDD restructuring.

Posted by & filed under Personal.



Today is the day I’ve dreaded since we first took you home, 11 years ago this month. What an incredible companion and family member you have been. Always there for us, undemanding, affectionate, obedient, patient, gentle and always in the present moment. We’ve been through a lot these 11 years together, my sweet, big-hearted dog. Thank you for being my constant companion, for teaching us to be in the present, for being such an amazing friend and terrific part of this family. You couldn’t have done it any better, and I will always be grateful to you. I need to do this one last thing to take care of you, hard as it is to bear, and that is to end your pain and let you, at long last, go into that deep, long sleep. May you dream of swimming endlessly among the stars, never growing tired, surrounded by beauty and loving kindness. That is how I will picture you. Sweet dreams, my dearest Layla. Good dog.