How to load MySQL time zone tables from Mac OS time zone files
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Recently I found myself working with timezone translations in a Rails app. However, I had never loaded my local MySQL with the timezone information which led to the conversions’s returning null.

If you haven’t yet loaded your MySQL time zone tables on your Mac, here’s a step by step for doing so from your Mac’s own time zone files.

Bookmarks of the Week – June 3rd
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21 Ruby Tricks You Should Be Using In Your Own Code Great Ruby tips here. Keeping this open in a browser tab and trying to use the tips throughout the week.

XMLMate TextMate plugin: “Check XML and XHTML documents for Well-Formedness and Validity while editing them in TextMate with support for DTD, W3C XML Schema, RELAX NG, Schematron, XInclude, XML Catalog, and XPath 2.0 Visualizer.”

Elements of Design Great collection of web design elements but together by Christian Watson. Great for inspiration.

Rails Widgets Nice Rails plugins to assist in creating navigation bars, tabs, tooltips, show/hide toggling, and tableizer.

39 Reasons I Love My Mac
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As I mentioned previously in, Everything Changes, I switched from PC to Mac about two months ago. I’m still just as excited about it every time I turn it on as the first day, so I’ve compiled a list of what I love about my Mac. By the way, I previously used linux as my sole computer for almost five years and Windows before that every year since it came out.

These are only in the order I thought of them…too hard to order them:

  1. Ability to use a PC keyboard seamlessly (maybe I’ll write later about why I prefer this, and I tried the Mac keyboard for a month before switching)
  2. Quicklook
  3. TextMate (have to save the wows on this for another post, too many to list – goodbye eclipse, netbeans, texteditor, notepad++, text wrangler, sql tool and wordpress blog gui)
  4. Adium (better than gaim, trillian, gtalk, etc)
  5. Auto mute when I take out my headset (just like I asked for last year)
  6. Mighty Mouse (best mouse I’ve ever used)
  7. Ability to use external monitors (love my Gateway FPD2275W, 22″ DVI-D with built-in 4 port USB 2 hub and PIP)
  8. Font rendering (improves the entire Internet browsing experience)
  9. Fluid (use this for bloglines, remember the milk, gmail)
  10. Unix underneath
  11. Running Windows on VMWare Fusion (when I unfortunately need to test something in Windows, but at least rebooting is not as painful and it seems more stable)
  12. Quicksilver
  13. Coverflow in Finder
  14. Finder’s 3 pane folder view (genius!)
  15. Dashboard
  16. Intel Dual Core
  17. Slick, streamlined case, and lightweight
  18. Cheap memory upgrade (through of course)
  19. Firefox never crashes! (well, maybe on occasion, but it crashed consistently before)
  20. Hardware just works, from bluetooth devices to external usbs and hard drives
  21. Wifi just works (don’t get me started on Linux and wifi)
  22. iMovie and ease of using digital video cameras…plugged it in and iMovie sucked all the video in, with thumbnail generations, and sorted all the clips by date!
  23. Auto recognition of other devices on the network (lets see how do I connect to that linux server, hmm never done this, oh wait, why is it listed in the finder already…it already found it!)
  24. iSight, easy video chatting and recording
  25. the dock (love Mac’s take on this)
  26. Expose!
  27. Using external monitor as the primary and laptop screen as secondary monitor
  28. Running everything all at the same time while watching full screen video (on the laptop screen), running mongrel/Rails, mysql, textmate, firefox, and no problems!
  29. FrontRow
  30. Controlling my Mac with Ruby (instead of ActionScript…but haven’t actually tried it yet)
  31. Easy VNC with Vine Server
  32. Super easy installs (ugh, goodbye linux install tools, and command line builds) and uninstalls
  33. Small well-designed power brick, with fold out plug (don’t even need the 2nd part of the typical plug and brick)
  34. Being able to test my web development on all the main browsers on my laptop: IE 5 – 7, Safari on win/mac, Firefox 2/3 on Win/mac (see Running Multiple Browsers for Testing)
  35. The remote control
  36. Long battery life, excellent battery conservation when unplugged
  37. AppFresh
  38. Force quit
  39. Overall feeling that everything is more intuitive, more stable, and better integrated
Mac Apps I Use (from
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Found a new site today, called Its a collection of Mac application with an easy to use GUI to quickly mark the apps you use, sharing the list with others and in the process, finding other apps you might like (which I did). Here are the apps I’ve currently marked that I marked as “loved”:

For a complete list of apps I use on the mac see this list.

Easy movie creation with iMovie
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As if I didn’t love my Mac enough already, I had a chance to use iMovie this weekend. I was creating a video message for my 10 year old (who is raising money for a fundraiser which he does every year…he raised almost $1,400 last year). We recorded several takes with my Sony digital camera, then easily imported the video onto my Mac with iMovie.

Once imported, its so easy to select which pieces you want and drag and drop them into your project. Adding transitions is a snap. We added a music track, and some overlay text, then exported it, and converted it to a flash movie using ffmpeg. I then used the JW FLV Media Player to embed the flash movie into my son’s WordPress blog. In all, it was surprisingly pain free.

To view our finished result, which we are quite proud of, but hope, most importantly it helps encourage more pledges, visit Brandon’s site: Brandon Walks for Life.


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