This is a repost from my old blog - I'm moving some of my older articles over as nobody knows how long the machine that hosts that blog will still be around.

If you look at really productive programmers - like the top 10-20% - there are usually a couple of characteristics that they share. Aptitude and in-depth understanding of both the system they are working on and the technologies involved is obviously one very important factor. Another factor that tends to be overlooked is that these programmers are also masters of their tools in the same way that a master craftsman - say, a carpenter - is also a master of their tools. That includes potentially obscure tools, and the ones handed down from grandps or found at a yard sale.

The default installation of msysgit (aka the official git client for Windows) is unfortunately built without python support. There are understandable reasons as to why this is, starting with "where the heck do I find the various python versions on Windows". For me the problem was that I needed git-p4 to extract some code history out of a Perforce repository and guess what, git-p4 is written in Python. Only solution for me was that I had to find a way to make this work short of throwing Linux in a VM just to get a git import going.

For security reasons, apparently. I can see that making sense with the telnet server but the client? It's an invaluable network debugging tool, after all, especially in heterogeneous networks.

The perils of buying a used computer - yes, I am too cheap or just not rich enough to buy a new Mac Pro - is that sometimes you find that you inherited "interesting" fixes.

As a bit of an RSS junkie - see previous post - I had to go look for alternatives to Google Reader. I've been a feedly user on and off for a few years but I was never that taken with it. It does seem to do mostly do what it says on the tin and having various tablet apps available for feedly is a good thing, but it tends to run into a few issues with high-volume feeds (craigslist feeds, I'm looking at you). Mind you, the reoccuring Craigslist feed issue seems to be more of an issue with Craigslist themselves than feedly.