Inkscape just got better

I got an invaluable tip regarding Inkscape on OS X today.

One of the problems I have always had with Inkscape is the difficulty selecting object hidden behind others. I have solved this by tabbing, or putting objects in different layers.

It turns out there is a much better way. Simply alt-click multiple times in the same place to toggle between all objects covering that pixel.

Now there is only one problem. The alt key has never worked for me in X on my MacBook Pro. But there is the simple fix.

Put the following two lines into ~/.Xmodmap (you probably need to create the file first):

keycode 66 = Meta_L

keycode 69 = Meta_R

As a bonus I can now create clones using the keyboard shortcut. That is also a time saver.

Thank you Richard for making Inkscape even better.


Profiling python – the easy way

I have this line I need to look up sometimes. By posting it here, I will always know where to find it:

$ python -m cProfile --sort cumulative script.py

It usually gives me a good indication on which parts of my program that are consuming my precious CPU cycles. If you run it on a large program, you will probably want to pipe that into something like head -40.

Right now I needed it to improve the performance of a problem analyzer i am building. It is part of a larger project that I hope will result in a game released on the App Store before Christmas. But more about that in a later post.


Today I quit my job

What do you do when you have been working with R&D for the last 8 years, just got promoted and are working with a team of talented software engineers? What do you do when you have a two year old daughter and expecting another child within a couple of months? Obviously you quit your job.

Well, maybe that is not everybody’s choice, but that’s what I did today. I think this seems to be the perfect time to to start my own company and build software for the lottery that is the App Economy.

I have a long list of ideas for Apps, products and solutions that I never have time to work on. Between work and a spending time with my family there simply isn’t enough time to realize any of those ideas. Hopefully a few of them are good enough to make some money on. While working on my own products the plan is to find enough contracting work to bring in some money to produce some kind of steady income.

Building a business from scratch has always been a personal goal of mine. It was one of the reasons why I studied to get an MBA at the same time as I was doing my M.Sc. I somehow assumed that an opportunity would magically appear, and then I would realize that it was time to “do my own thing”. I don’t think that anymore. If I don’t make the first move, I will simply be employed for the rest of my life.

The dream would be to support myself completely on income from my own products. If it is in the cards it would be interesting to partner up with someone or start building a team of employees. We will see where this is headed.

Since I now have three more months of work left, there will not be a lot of (if any) activity here. Me and my colleagues have an interesting time ahead of us with projects at work, and a busy schedule until the beginning of the summer.

After my final day at work I will be back here, stay tuned!