In Which I Join Greplin

Hay you guys! I got a new job in San Francisco! Starting next month I will be a software engineer (specializing in mobile) with Greplin, Inc.

Some of you may be asking “Why the switch?” Well, I’ve been an avid follower of the Valley tech scene for quite some time now, from TechCrunch and GigaOm all the way down to Valleywag. I have also been the earliest adopter of tons of weird web stuff at SPG (to the sometime-bemusement of my coworkers!)– so it stands to reason that I would eventually find myself moving out to SF and working for a web company!

Anyway, if you’re not quite sure what Greplin does or who they are, I forgive you! They’re still quite young. You can check them out at — or just watch this video:

Anyway I’m incredibly excited (and also incredibly nervous!) to be joining these guys out in the bay. By the way, did I mention that Greplin is nominated for a Crunchie? Well we are! Vote for us! (I think the we/us pronouns are appropriate, even though I haven’t technically joined up yet? Not really sure, but ohwellz!)

Now somebody needs to buy my house. Quickly, get to it! It’s in a great spot in Carrboro– walkable distance from everything!

[related: In Which I Leave Spark Plug Games]


Data Formatters in XCode (or how to make XCode suck less at custom containers)

Ever been working on somebody else’s code with their cruddy old custom string class and come across this?

Really? This is all you got?

Gee, thanks summary!

…only to drill down into the object to find more of this:



Do you see my actual string there at the very bottom? Man… I’d really hate to have to do this every damned time I want to get at a string! Luckily, that empty summary box is not the final word in debugger previews. Instead you can use a handy little scripting language to create DATA FORMATTERS that will do the work for you. Check this out!

What's that?

….and then…


BAM! You win. By the way, in case  you were wondering: The ‘:s’ gives you the summary field of the value you’ve drilled down to.

Also this:

The Console can be useful as well.

P.S. — You can build Data Formatters into your project via a Bundle, instructions HERE

Getting Twitter into Pidgin’s Status Message

So it’s no secret that you can use GTalk to update your Twitter status, but I got really tired of having both an IM status message via pidgin, as well as a Twitter status message that propagated to– well, everything else really.

Then I happened across this little guide:

It takes some set-up if you don’t have perl on your system (and then even if you do, you have to tell it to install some new stuff, although it does all the work for you). After you’ve got step 3 enabled, it’s pretty much just a matter of downloading the plugin and turning it on.

However, I definitely decided that this wasn’t enough, because it doesn’t weed out messages beginning with “@” the way the Facebook app does. Thus it was time to dig into the code:

if(Purple::SavedStatus::is_idleaway() || !$updateonidleonly)

(Line 44) becomes

if(Purple::SavedStatus::is_idleaway() || !$updateonidleonly && $status_message !~ /\@.+/)

and BAM! It does what it needs to do.

Enjoy, anybody ridiculous enough to care about this.

The XBox360 failure rate is so high…

That the UPS employees can recognize the return packaging on sight.

I walked into UPS to send my system in for repair, and the guy behind the counter says “Is this your first one?” I was a bit bewildered at first so I just replied “Huh? First what?”, “Xbox Return” he replies.

Evidently he can just tell by the size of the box, considering it was plain white, and most boxes are rectangular without too much change in proportions