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MINNEAPOLIS BASED APPLICATION DEVELOPER
GEOPEEKER
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In my quest to solve DNS caching issues last week, I forgot to mention another handy tool. The tool is called, GeoPeeker. GeoPeeker allows you to load a website from 6 different geographic locations. Those locations include Singapore, Brazil, Virginia, California, Ireland, and Australia. The free version does limit your usage but they do offer a premium account if the free tool isn't enough for you.

This tool helped to rule out the server the site was hosted on and to focus my attention on the route from my ISP to that server. GeoPeeker is a great service that saved me a lot of time and I hope it can help you too.



SNAG.GY
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Cache is not always a great thing...

I've been working on a project lately where DNS caching has been an issue. The issue is somewhere between my network, the domain registrar, and the server where the website resides. I've been working with multiple tech's online to resolve these DNS issues and it hasn't exactly been a walk in the park.

Thanks to a great tool called, Snaggy it has made the process less of a headache. Snaggy is an image hosting service that lets you paste images from your clipboard directly online. It'll immediately provide you with a temporary link to that image. This has been great for sending screenshots back and forth.

So keep this tool in mind if you ever need to quickly share an image.



SQUOOSH APP
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Web developers should check out the new Squoosh App by Google Labs. It's meant to help optimize your images for faster page loading. Just upload your image and it'll return an optimized copy with a side by side comparison of the two.

I was able to reduce the background image on this site from 971kB to 214kB with little to no change in quality yet a noticeable difference on page load.



BRAIN DEAD
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Since Halloween I have buried myself in reading, coding, and taking online courses. It's actually quite enjoyable and has been great for polishing up current skills and learning new ones. Although some days I do feel overloaded and as if my brain is about to explode.

Here is a list of what I am currently dedicating my free time to.

Current Reading

  • Data Science, MIT Essential Knowledge Series by John D. Kelleher and Brendan Tiernet
  • Hackers - Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steven Levy
  • Step by Step JavaScript 3rd Edition - Microsoft Press
Current Courses
  • Python Programming Bootcamp
  • Python/Django Full Stack Web Development
  • Vanilla JavaScript Development
  • Vue.JS Client Side Development
  • Advanced CSS and SaSS


EGYPT'S SUNKEN CITIES
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I have never felt the need to partake in anything relating to Black Friday in my life. However, this year the Minneapolis Institute of Arts was giving away free tickets on a first come, first served basis to see their new exhibit, Egypt's Sunken Cities. My girlfriend and I decided this was something that we definitely wanted to see and what better way to see it than with free tickets?

Friday we got up at 5:30am and after two pots of coffee we finally made our way to the Institute. We managed to get free tickets and the exhibit was incredible. The pieces on display were very well preserved and in amazing shape for being submerged in water for over 1000 years. I snapped a handful of pictures but like most things, pictures don't do it justice. This is something you should see in person if you can. I recommend the audio tour if you happen to go.

Here's some verbiage they have about the exhibit on their website.

More than 1200 years ago, two ancient cities were lost to natural disasters and the rising tides of the Mediterranean Sea. Two decades ago, underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio and his team discovered those cities, revealing monumental statues, religious images carved in stone, exquisite jewelry, and delicate ceramics—and a greater understanding of life during the age of the pharaohs. Don’t miss this epic story of their discovery.



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