Testing on Windows IE/Edge

I'm using a MacBook Pro, so I don't have easy access to a windows machine for testing web applications on Internet Explorer - or so I thought...

Microsoft have made available virtual machine images (for VirtualBox, Parallels, Vagrant, VMWare, HyperV) of Windows 7 through to 10 so you can run IE and Edge easily.

Note that the VMs expire after 90 days, but if you take a snapshot when you first install the VM you can roll it back later and start again.


Slow, Buffering, Stuttering Udemy Video

Udemy video has been completely unusable from my home broadband connection. Videos would take minutes to start playing and then continuously stutter and buffer.

Searching for a solution I came across this Reddit post - and I found the solution was to change my DNS to use CloudFlare (

After changing my AppleTV from automatic DNS to manual and using video playback from the Udemy app has been as you would expect. I don't know why this helps, but it seems to have so far.

Enabling FileVault on Yosemite

Read the full details here before doing anything:
Enabling disk encryption on OSX Yosemite turns out to be a straightforward process. Simply enable it through Setting/Security & Privacy/FileVault - if you chose not to let your iCloud account unlock your disk (for when you've forgotten your password) you'll have to keep a safe record of the recovery key (it sounds like you only get one oppourtunity to record this) - this triggers a reboot, and then when you log back in you'll be able to monitor the progress of file encryption from the same settings panel.

I have 2 MacBooks:

July 2014 Apple MacBook Pro, 2.6GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM, 512GB PCIe-based Flash StorageJanuary 2011 Apple MacBook Air, 13 inch display, Core 2 Duo 1.86GHz, 4 Gig RAM 1067 MHz DDR3, 256 Gig SSD Since disk speed is king, I wanted to measure the effect of enabling FileVault so I found this benchm…

Customising what gets included from bower dependencies (Brunch)

Sometimes you'll find you need to customise which files get included from a bower dependency.

For example, when using the moment.js library, you'll see (in bower_components/moment/bower.json) that by default 'moment.js' is the only file included:

In my case, I'm using brunch to build the project and I'd prefer to include moment.min.js - plus I want to selectively pick which moment local files to include.

This turns out to be quite easy - brunch understands bower overrides, so in your projects bower.json all you have to do is include an override which tells it which files to use from your dependencies:

Resetting your android device pin

If you've forgotten the PIN for your android device, you can reset it at

This page lets you choose from your registered devices (if you have more than one). From here you can see when it was last used, and where. You have the option of 'Ring', 'Erase', and 'Lock'. Choosing 'Lock' lets you provide a new pin - so next time you access it the new pin should be active.

Intellij tip - Joining multiple lines into one

There are times when you have some code with each statement on its own line, and you want to move it all onto one line.

CSS is where I've needed this the most.

You start off with some code like this:
And really want this:
Intellij has a very simple way to do this by using Ctrl-Shift-J - for more information, see

Finding a use for an iPad 1

I'd noticed that most of the recent applications in the App Store won't install on my iPad 1 anymore. They either need a gyroscope or IOS 6 or 7. My iPad is stuck on IOS 5.

The first problem with this is that I haven't found a way to browse the App Store for applications that ARE compatible. This is incredibly frustrating, since its just left to trial and error finding some that will work.

I'd heard about the 'download the latest version that is compatible' feature, so decided that since my iPad is in awesome condition I'd gift it to my parents - who wouldn't be needing the latest and greatest features.

This hasn't been so simple, and I suspect others might have the same problem so I've tried to document what I've found:

Doing a 'reset' to erase the iPad (before gifting it to someone) will leave you in the unfortunate situation of not being able to install many applications very easily.At this point, it doesn't seem possible to in…