How To Better Use Keyboard Shortcuts

As a long time computer user one of the things that has sped up my usage of my computer has been to memorize keyboard shortcuts. While graphical interfaces are great for discovery of features, repetitive execution of commands that are hidden in menus is often slow. You might already be familiar with keyboard shortcuts, but want to use more. Here are my tips and tricks for keyboard shortcuts so that over the next month or two you can become a pro with them.

Read More

How Apple Does Civic Tech

On June 7th, 2021 Apple announced at WWDC that they would provide a mobile driver’s license on the iPhone. As a former government employee and citizen I was a bit surprised that the motor vehicle departments across the United States were able to execute on this without anyone knowing. I wanted to learn more, so did what any good government reporter would do: file public records requests. With help from Mike Morisy at MuckRock I filed public records requests with twenty five states (every one that had an accessible motor vehicle or licensing department in the MuckRock database) and waited to see what I got back. In response I got a window into Apple’s approach to building a government standard.

Read More

The Most Important Civic Tech Product is an Effective Team

Imagine walking into a restaurant. You sit down, place your order, and wait for food to show up. It does not arrive. You do not see your waiter again. Frustrated you find your waiter and ask what is going on. You re-iterate your order, go back to your table and wait. Your food does not show. You walk back to the kitchen and ask the chefs whether they got your order, and they say no and sorry. You share your order with the chefs, and not trusting the restaurant anymore you offer to wash dishes while you wait. Under your watchful eye your meal is cooked, but the waiter never returns. You take the plates with your food and return to your table.

Read More

All Good Things…

At the end of April I will be wrapping up nearly four and a half years at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. If you want to see a local government that punches above its weight, Boston’s regional planning agency is the place to look. While state and federal government is place where millions of dollars are spent on probable failures, local government is a place where thousands of dollars are spent on improbable success. Public service is a place where failures are loud and success is quiet. Here I am going to light that tradition on fire.

Read More

Migrating Homebrew and fish to Apple Silicon

When Apple released its new computers with the M1 Apple CPU software developers had to update their apps to work with it. In order to make the transition easier the folks at Apple developed the amazing Rosetta 2 translation layer to let Intel apps run on the M1. Like many early adopters I setup my web development environment entirely in Rosetta 2 to avoid the hiccups associated with using the native versions. A request to test an update to Nokogiri lead me to try migrating my environment from Rosetta 2 to Apple Silicon. It had a few hiccups, but overall was not bad to do. I recommend reading this post in full before starting the process because there are some python and homebrew cask specific steps you might need to follow before removing Intel homebrew.

Read More
This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.