Random Issues on OS X After Installing Xcode

Ever had some strange things happen on the Mac command line? Have you installed or updated Xcode recently? The issue is most likely related to the command line tools. Before you tear your hair out, make sure you check these possible solutions first.

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∞ Font Awesome Icons Showing Up as Squares

Today I finally upgraded to Font-Awesmome 4, adding it to a new project. I installed it with Bower, referenced it, then used it. When I opened the page in my browser the icons all show up as squares. Usually I’d start digging in the console and start checking headers but luckily I Googled first and this is what I found. Rather than take credit for it myself, here’s the solution for those of us who are experienced developers who somehow messed up Font-Awesome. The short answer is, they added a new class. You have to add fa as well as the normal fa-iconName class to each <i />.

∞ User Authentication in a Client Side JavaScript App

I’m in the middle of a pet project of mine (also writing related like Write.app) and in the course of my research on client side user sessions, I came across this great article which introduced me to the concept of JSON Web Tokens. They’re an awesome concept. I once wrote about my own homegrown method of protecting API keys in an Angular app but JWT seems like it might be a better idea in this case.

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What Do PageRank Numbers Mean?

Every now and then I get caught up in an SEO fever and decide to check my Google Analytics, PageRank, and Alexa stats. One thing I’m always forgetting is what do the PageRank numbers mean. Now, for my own future reference and amusement, I have them right here:

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Coder’s Block

As a programmer, have you ever felt totally burned out? Have you lost the motivation to start new projects, work on existing ones, or are you simply unable to bring yourself to write most code at all even (or maybe I should say especially) when the code in question is simple? You’re either burnt out, have coder’s block or both. If this is you, you’re not alone. There are a few reliable symptoms to diagnose your malady and a number of ways to combat it. As always, there’s more after the jump.

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Sometimes the Best New Feature Is No New Features

My new pet project, MoonWeather for iOS and Android just got an update to version 2.3.1 a while back and it introduced… no new features. It didn’t need any. Sometimes the best new feature is no new features.

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Roll Your Own oAuth if You Dare

It’s common for experienced developers to tell you to never ever roll your own oAuth solution. Hell, you really shouldn’t roll your own anything when it comes to security. After all, oAuth, user authentication, and the like aren’t like coding a blog or something. It requires forethought and lots of planning. There are a lot of holes to slip through. That said, sometimes it’s not practical to integrate an existing solution into your app. Sometimes you need to allow API consumers quickly. Don’t let the cool kids scare you. It’s definitely possible to roll your own, much simpler, version of oAuth like the one I’m working on for Write.app. Follow along and I’ll show you how to build a very simple, straightforward oAuth scheme that requires only two database tables.

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Run a VPS? You Are Being Hacked Right Now

I get selected portions of my server logs emailed to me for certain servers I run. Normally there’s no need to check them real closely. A quick scan usually shows about one hundred or so break-in attempts along with much of the activities I had run on my own the previous day. Today was no different but for some reason I began to think about all of those server break-in attempts. They’re mundane and just par for the course in my eyes but what about all of those server newbies out there (like I once was) who think that their immune to hacking either because they think they’re too small to be discovered/cared about or they’re lulled into believing secure passwords are all one needs. Here’s a quick reality check to remind you how many people are trying to break into your server for one reason or another and what you can do to prevent it.

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SSDs Fail. Hard Drives Fail. Back Up Your Stuff Now.

It’s so strange how we’re bombarded with PSA’s from everyone and their mother about the importance of having backups of your computer’s hard drive or at the very least your most important files yet so many of us fail to listen. Every day I see at least 10 ads for some app or service that promises to back up your system in case of a disaster and every day I ignore them all. Catastrophic computer failures are an inevitability in the same way that repairs or replacements for many of the most critical parts of your car will be neccesary. Still, many of us somehow keep thinking that this is something that happens to someone else. Well, just this week it happened to me. I’m someone else. So here’s my PSA for everyone and my thoughts on third party SSDs for MacBooks.

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All My Menu bar/Finder Icons Have Disappeared. What Gives?

Last week I started up my Mac and all the menu bar icons had disappeared. Well, some of them did at least. Just randomly. So how do you fix it? Pretty easily, actually. Just start your Mac in safe mode and restart. Here’s how to do that:

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