Setting up an IE6 image for VirtualBox

VirtualBox provides a great way to run IE browsers for testing during development.


Install it in the usual way(!) – probably something like:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox

(More detailed instructions at

Then grab the IE6 image from ModernIE:

Choose “Linux” as the testing OS, then “VirtualBox for Linux” as the virtualization platform.

The various flavours of IE and Windows OS should be shown – choose the appropriate one.

The image will download as an “.sfx” file. Give the file execute permissions (chmod +x filename.sfx), and run it (./filename.sfx)

It should create a, “.ova” image file.

Now start VirtualBox with the “.ova” file as the parameter (you’ll probably have to do this as a sudo command):

sudo virtualbox "IE6 - WinXP.ova" 

VirtualBox will offer to import the settings from the file – so, do that.

Select the VM, and click “Start” to run it. You should get a running Windows image with your selected IE version.

From the IE browser, you should be able to access sites running on your local machine as e.g. “″

Setting up PhoneGap on Ubuntu for Android app development

This is just some notes I made, mostly taken from

I was installing PhoneGap 3.0.0 on Ubuntu 12.04.

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Testing Javascript with QUnit, PhantomJS and JSCover

Javascript is often the part of an application that’s most difficult to test.

There are several pieces that fit together to give a framework for running the tests in an automated build system – QUnit, PhantomJS and JSCover.

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Sublime Text 3 : keyboard shortcut to reveal file in sidebar

To see where your current file is in the folder sidebar, you can install SyncedSideBar.

However, that has some side effects – sometimes, even if you’ve hidden the sidebar, it pops back up when you switch between files, or search.

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Sublime Text 3 : install notes

Get the location of the latest build from, download it and install it (this is on Ubuntu):

sudo dpkg -i sublime-text_build-3047_i386.deb

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Copy to clipboard without the mouse using xclip

Another quick command line utility thing, this time to copy the contents of a file onto your clipboard without having to use the mouse (this is on Ubuntu, with the bash shell, incidentally).

First install xclip:

sudo apt-get install xclip

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Serving a website from Amazon S3

Amazon S3 can be used to serve static content, with all the advantages of scaling and redundancy that you get from Amazon.

There are comprehensive guides to setting up a site in S3 – this is a shortened version to highlight a couple of things.

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Using xargs and curl to request URLs from a list

Just some simple bash stuff that I keep forgetting

cat list-of-urls-without-hostnames.txt | xargs -i curl -v -L{}

where “list-of-urls-without-hostnames.txt” contains a list of URL paths, like:


XDebug, PHP and Sublime Text 2 on Ubuntu 12.04

Getting Xdebug for PHP working with Sublime Text 2 is slightly tricky.

Most of the instructions are at - these notes are just a bit extra as a reminder to myself.

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Ikea Hack : Standing Desk


I often get a bad back from sitting at a computer all day, so I thought I’d try a standing desk. After 3 weeks of standing, I think I’d find it hard to go back to sitting down all day – I really enjoy working standing up.

Here what I’m using now:


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