Although my usual coding hardware (a Mac Mini on the desk, a Macbook Air in a Pelican Backpack on the road) continues to serve me well, we’ve finally reached the point where cloud-based web development is practical, simple, and even compelling. (Don’t believe me? Here’s a five minute tutorial for a completely cloud-based workflow for publishing to your Github-hosted Jekyll site from Cloud9). My Macbook Air seems to stay home for an increasing percentage of my travels these days.
Grunt, or any task runner for that matter, tends to be something we install once and forget about. Till an OSX upgrade breaks stuff, of course, and then we frantically look through our installation notes and wade through dependency / permission hell trying to figure out what went wrong. After discovering that my Homebrew installation was borked and reinstalling it from scratch, I figured a clean reinstall of Grunt was the way to go.
The premise is so simple you'll wonder why every IDE doesn't do this by default: for any line of CSS that includes a reference to a color, this will place a small dot of that color in the gutter next to the line numbers. If you work on Other People's Code, especially, this can save you a lot of pain tracking down nested overrides in Chrome's dev inspector.
The Pelican backpack has survived a year and a half of extremely rough digital nomading around the world, through some of the harshest conditions I've subjected my gear to. I thought it was time to revisit my initial review with updates on how it's doing.
One of the recurring challenges in the digital nomad world is bandwidth. Not surprisingly, some of the remote parts of the planet we love working from are, by definition, the least connected. If your work involves programming, you're probably used to first-world broadband connections piped directly to your coffee shop. Working high in the Himalayas, on the other hand, requires a different approach, and a different set of tools. I'll outline a the workflow that has helped me as I'm traveling in the Himalayan mountain kingdom of Sikkim, and how it has informed (and improved) my workflow in Chicago or London.