Various Cabin Fever Projects

Due to cabin fever (or whatever you call it), I’ve been working on a lot of oddball programming projects. I mean, I’m working way too much at the day job, because I can’t really leave the house, so I’m always on. But I’ve also been doing various things (and then not finishing them) mostly because […]

PDF Printing with Headless Chrome

I’ve got docs for a bunch of products in Jekyll, written mostly in Markdown, but also some HTML output from DITA and Flare. It works great, but doc reviews are a nightmare. We typically use Acrobat shared reviews for doc review, which mostly works, but the question became how to make PDFs of this stuff, […]

A few quick updates

Five years, five updates. Sounds about right. A few quick updates, in the interest in posting more than once a year: I’ve been managing other writers for almost four years now, so I should probably change my byline to reflect that. I’m still writing and working on tool/architecture stuff. But at some point, I should […]

Git choose-your-own-adventure

I use git on a daily basis. Not to age myself, but I went from rcs to cvs to svn to git, with some Perforce and SourceSafe sprinkled in there, so I have a long background in source control. But git is just different enough to throw me sometimes. And for whatever reason, a lot […]

Contributing to Open Source

One of the questions I’m always asked is how to get experience in tech writing. It’s a chicken/egg problem: you need a job to get experience, but you need experience to get a job. You can attend a code camp or complete a certificate program to get some real-world experience to add to your resume, […]

Gray/Grey

I wish I had learned this forever ago: If you are in America, it is gray If you are in England, it is grey It’s that simple. (I partially blame this confusion on Fifty Shades of Grey.)

REST API Doc article

I think the big problem with API docs is what to document. And it usually ends up with a comment per method, where you have “createFoo = creates a foo; deleteFoo = deletes a foo” and no real content. The question always becomes “well, what else?” And the real value of API docs is everything […]

The hoarding of 25,000 manuals

I started tech writing right around the time print was dying. My first job involved writing software documentation as a manual and as WinHelp, and it all went electronic after that. I also briefly wrote for print books about Linux and Emacs. So I have a box with versions of those manuals, and that box […]

Removing the Adobe Update Installer from the Mac menu bar

So at some point, Adobe Creative Cloud added a second notification to the menu bar on my Mac. There’s already one that opens the CC app, and always sits in the menu bar. And everyone else wants something in the menu bar. But Adobe started showing this second icon, with a perpetual 1 next to […]

Photoshop CC Keyboard Shortcut Cheat Sheet

It seems like the days of cardboard key templates are over – they were a huge thing back in the old days when I started as a consultant in the computer labs back in college. Most of the cool kids would memorize everything, but more of the “returning” students would overlay the laminated cut-outs over […]