Posts by category: Blog

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Copying File Contents to Clipboard via Terminal Command

Have you ever been in terminal and wanted to copy contents of a file to the clipboard and move on to your next task?  This seems to be a pretty common occurrence for me and I just found out there is a command to do precisely that: pbcopy.

Let’s say you’re IMing with someone and you want to send them your public key so they can set you up to ssh into their server. Depending on your IM client, it could be a pain to send a file, but the contents of your public key is just text. Previously, I would just do this:

cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

… then highlight the output with my mouse, and copy & paste. Not only is using the mouse for n00bs, but when you have something like public keys, you need to be sure to capture the whole key exactly and have no room for human error. Now I’ve learned that I can just pipe to pbcopy and the contents will be copied to my clipboard.


cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub | pbcopy

In case you’re wondering, pbcopy stands for “pasteboard copy” because apparently clipboard wasn’t a thing when this command was written decades ago. Here is another article on clipboard vs. pasteboard.

About Paul Mestemaker

Paul Mestemaker is a full stack engineer /Product guy who splits time between Los Angeles and San Francisco. He helps startups launch their MVPs and gather feedback through usability tests and live site metrics. In his former life, Paul was a co-founder of Mythly Studios and System Center Advisor and Head of Product at Close Inc. He co-authored a book on SQL Server performance tuning. He has been rated as a top speaker at conferences (TechEd, PASS, Connections, et al). He is also a guest lecturer at Colleges and Universities across the U.S. He was the co-host of a weekly tech news show with over 6 million views. Paul's proudest accomplishments is unlocking the "World Champ" achievement on Wordament.

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How to Get ImageMagick Display to Work on Mac OS X

Let’s say you’re playing with ImageMagick. And you’ve found all sorts of documentation that tells you what you can do with ImageMagick on Linux, but it doesn’t seem to be working on your Mac. If you’re on a Mac, you may not have some of the ImageMagick libraries by default. To fix this, you need to

ImageMagick display command not working on Mac:

>> display pencil.png
display: delegate library support not built-in `' (X11) @ error/display.c/DisplayImageCommand/1904.

Resolution: Re-Install ImageMagick with X11

>>brew uninstall imagemagick
Uninstalling /usr/local/Cellar/imagemagick/6.8.7-7...
>>brew install imagemagick --with-x11
==> Downloading https://downloads.sf.net/project/machomebrew/mirror/ImageMagick-6.8.7-7.tar.bz2
######################################################################## 100.0%
==> ./configure --disable-osx-universal-binary --prefix=/usr/local/Cellar/imagemagick/6.8.7-7 --enable-shared --disable-static --without-pango --with-modules --disable-openmp --without-gslib --without-
==> make install
/usr/local/Cellar/imagemagick/6.8.7-7: 1435 files, 22M, built in 108 seconds

Run ImageMagick display

>>display pencil.png

Discover other options with brew info imagemagick:


>>brew info imagemagick
imagemagick: stable 6.8.7-7 (bottled), HEAD
http://www.imagemagick.org
/usr/local/Cellar/imagemagick/6.8.7-7 (1435 files, 22M) *
Built from source with: --with-x11
From: https://github.com/Homebrew/homebrew/commits/master/Library/Formula/imagemagick.rb
==> Dependencies
Build: pkg-config ✔
Required: libtool ✔
Recommended: jpeg ✔, libpng ✔, freetype ✔
Optional: fontconfig ✘, libtiff ✘, little-cms ✘, little-cms2 ✘, jasper ✘, libwmf ✘, librsvg ✘, liblqr ✘, openexr ✘, ghostscript ✘, webp ✘
==> Options
--with-fontconfig
Build with fontconfig support
--with-ghostscript
Build with ghostscript support
--with-jasper
Build with jasper support
--with-liblqr
Build with liblqr support
--with-librsvg
Build with librsvg support
--with-libtiff
Build with libtiff support
--with-libwmf
Build with libwmf support
--with-little-cms
Build with little-cms support
--with-little-cms2
Build with little-cms2 support
--with-openexr
Build with openexr support
--with-perl
enable build/install of PerlMagick
--with-quantum-depth-16
Compile with a quantum depth of 16 bit
--with-quantum-depth-32
Compile with a quantum depth of 32 bit
--with-quantum-depth-8
Compile with a quantum depth of 8 bit
--with-webp
Build with webp support
--with-x11
Build with x11 support
--without-freetype
Build without freetype support
--without-jpeg
Build without jpeg support
--without-libpng
Build without libpng support
--without-magick-plus-plus
disable build/install of Magick++
--HEAD
install HEAD version

About Paul Mestemaker

Paul Mestemaker is a full stack engineer /Product guy who splits time between Los Angeles and San Francisco. He helps startups launch their MVPs and gather feedback through usability tests and live site metrics. In his former life, Paul was a co-founder of Mythly Studios and System Center Advisor and Head of Product at Close Inc. He co-authored a book on SQL Server performance tuning. He has been rated as a top speaker at conferences (TechEd, PASS, Connections, et al). He is also a guest lecturer at Colleges and Universities across the U.S. He was the co-host of a weekly tech news show with over 6 million views. Paul's proudest accomplishments is unlocking the "World Champ" achievement on Wordament.

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41 Visitors from International Space Station – Control Room

I look at analytics every day.  It’s somewhat of a compulsion.  Today, I saw a big orange dot and went to investigate.   There were 41 Visitors from International Space Station – Control Room.  In fact, it looks like all of my sites have become very popular with the International Space Station – Control Room!    I clicked on it to drill into their activity and saw that it was an April Fool’s day prank by the Google Analytics team.  Nice work.  I am sure you’ve made many search engine marketers very happy every thinking that 41 people were concurrently visiting all of their sites because of whatever tweak or content they just launched.  Oh, if only we could be there when their hopes and dreams came crashing down.

Screen shot of Google Analytics April Fool’s Day prank 2013:

41 Visitors from the International Space Station - Control Room

41 Visitors from the International Space Station – Control Room

It would be epic if the International Space Station really did visit everybody’s site and tried to pin it on Google.  I’ll be wearing a tin foil hat just in case.

About Paul Mestemaker

Paul Mestemaker is a full stack engineer /Product guy who splits time between Los Angeles and San Francisco. He helps startups launch their MVPs and gather feedback through usability tests and live site metrics. In his former life, Paul was a co-founder of Mythly Studios and System Center Advisor and Head of Product at Close Inc. He co-authored a book on SQL Server performance tuning. He has been rated as a top speaker at conferences (TechEd, PASS, Connections, et al). He is also a guest lecturer at Colleges and Universities across the U.S. He was the co-host of a weekly tech news show with over 6 million views. Paul's proudest accomplishments is unlocking the "World Champ" achievement on Wordament.

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Tuxedo Challenge Goes Viral

Tuxedo Challenge Goes Viral

What are we, farmers?

Surfing while in a tuxedo

It’s been a crazy day.  Last night, my Mythly Studios co-founder, Ikrima, published a 2 minute montage of his European vacation.  This wasn’t any ordinary trip, though.  On this trip he and his 8 friends only wore tuxedos.  Yes, you read that right.  For 30 days they only wore penguin tail tuxedos with top hats and white gloves while hopping around to 24 different cities!  He dubbed it the “Tuxedo Challenge“.  In a last minute edit he put in #TuxedoChallenge for the final cut.  Much to our chagrin, people love the video and the Tuxedo Challenge has officially gone viral.

About Paul Mestemaker

Paul Mestemaker is a full stack engineer /Product guy who splits time between Los Angeles and San Francisco. He helps startups launch their MVPs and gather feedback through usability tests and live site metrics. In his former life, Paul was a co-founder of Mythly Studios and System Center Advisor and Head of Product at Close Inc. He co-authored a book on SQL Server performance tuning. He has been rated as a top speaker at conferences (TechEd, PASS, Connections, et al). He is also a guest lecturer at Colleges and Universities across the U.S. He was the co-host of a weekly tech news show with over 6 million views. Paul's proudest accomplishments is unlocking the "World Champ" achievement on Wordament.

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Favorite 2012 Year in Review Posts – Entrepreneurship

It just dawned on me that this was the first year I didn’t do a year in review comedy show.  Consequently, I didn’t scour the web for pop culture references and try to make jokes that would be funny for all of one week.  I did, however, read a lot of very interesting 2012 year in review posts about entrepreneurship, science, advertising, et al.  Here is the first in a series of posts about my favorite 2012 year in review articles and a couple of highlights that I found interesting.

Favorite 2012 Year in Review Posts

Patrick Mckenzie from Bingo Card Creator and Appointment Reminder [Entrepreneurship]

Patrick Mckenzie (AKA patio11) is known on the internet for his contributions to sites like Hacker News.  He shares a lot of his personal experience with pricing your services, SEO, A/B testing, and email drip marketing.  He has historically shared a lot of this on his blog.  He has since expanded to email lists, podcasts, video training courses, and ebooks.  In addition to consulting, he runs two products on his own:

  1. A website that creates bingo cards for teachers.
  2. A SaaS app to help businesses remind their customers’ about upcoming appointments.

I really enjoy Patrick’s writing.  It’s very valuable because it is highly actionable and cites specific examples.  Here are some tidbits that I’ve learned from Patrick this year and how I’ve applied it

About Paul Mestemaker

Paul Mestemaker is a full stack engineer /Product guy who splits time between Los Angeles and San Francisco. He helps startups launch their MVPs and gather feedback through usability tests and live site metrics. In his former life, Paul was a co-founder of Mythly Studios and System Center Advisor and Head of Product at Close Inc. He co-authored a book on SQL Server performance tuning. He has been rated as a top speaker at conferences (TechEd, PASS, Connections, et al). He is also a guest lecturer at Colleges and Universities across the U.S. He was the co-host of a weekly tech news show with over 6 million views. Paul's proudest accomplishments is unlocking the "World Champ" achievement on Wordament.

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Favorite Memories of 2012

My self-esteem hitting an all-time low

My self-esteem hitting an all-time low

When I was growing up, I had some awkward years.  I was very smart for my age and used that as an excuse for my difficulty in making friends with my peers.  In high school, I had spent one New Year’s Eve completely alone and felt very depressed watching some car drop into a bunch of vans stacked on top of each other.  Sitting on the couch alone at midnight, I became abundantly aware of my self-esteem plummeting faster than that car!

That night I started to

About Paul Mestemaker

Paul Mestemaker is a full stack engineer /Product guy who splits time between Los Angeles and San Francisco. He helps startups launch their MVPs and gather feedback through usability tests and live site metrics. In his former life, Paul was a co-founder of Mythly Studios and System Center Advisor and Head of Product at Close Inc. He co-authored a book on SQL Server performance tuning. He has been rated as a top speaker at conferences (TechEd, PASS, Connections, et al). He is also a guest lecturer at Colleges and Universities across the U.S. He was the co-host of a weekly tech news show with over 6 million views. Paul's proudest accomplishments is unlocking the "World Champ" achievement on Wordament.

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Why I’m Leaving Microsoft

Why I’m Leaving Microsoft

Looks like it’s about that time… after 7 years, I’m leaving Microsoft!  This may come as a shock to people who I’ve met over the years, so I’d like to give you all some insight.

This past year was a transformational year for me.  I had completed my responsibilities to launch the closest thing to a startup Microsoft had to offer.  My co-workers were leaving Microsoft in droves.  My product team was primarily based in Shanghai and, after the exodus, I was the only person left in Seattle.  Almost all of my closest friends had left the Seattle area.  My girlfriend and I broke up.  To top it all off, I was diagnosed with

About Paul Mestemaker

Paul Mestemaker is a full stack engineer /Product guy who splits time between Los Angeles and San Francisco. He helps startups launch their MVPs and gather feedback through usability tests and live site metrics. In his former life, Paul was a co-founder of Mythly Studios and System Center Advisor and Head of Product at Close Inc. He co-authored a book on SQL Server performance tuning. He has been rated as a top speaker at conferences (TechEd, PASS, Connections, et al). He is also a guest lecturer at Colleges and Universities across the U.S. He was the co-host of a weekly tech news show with over 6 million views. Paul's proudest accomplishments is unlocking the "World Champ" achievement on Wordament.

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Harry Potter for Free from Amazon Kindle

If you own an Amazon Kindle and have Amazon Prime, you can say Avada Kedavra to paying a dime for the entire Harry Potter series.  Amazon has recently acquired the exclusive rights to make the series part of its Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.  This means all 7 Harry Potter books will be available to be digitally “borrowed”

About Paul Mestemaker

Paul Mestemaker is a full stack engineer /Product guy who splits time between Los Angeles and San Francisco. He helps startups launch their MVPs and gather feedback through usability tests and live site metrics. In his former life, Paul was a co-founder of Mythly Studios and System Center Advisor and Head of Product at Close Inc. He co-authored a book on SQL Server performance tuning. He has been rated as a top speaker at conferences (TechEd, PASS, Connections, et al). He is also a guest lecturer at Colleges and Universities across the U.S. He was the co-host of a weekly tech news show with over 6 million views. Paul's proudest accomplishments is unlocking the "World Champ" achievement on Wordament.

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Wordament is Alive on Xbox LIVE

Wordament is my favorite game on Windows Phone.  In fact, it is the only game I’ve consistently played since I got my phone a year ago.  Throughout the year, the Wordament team has made consistent progress and improvements to the core game.  In the last couple of weeks, they’ve done a massive overhaul and

About Paul Mestemaker

Paul Mestemaker is a full stack engineer /Product guy who splits time between Los Angeles and San Francisco. He helps startups launch their MVPs and gather feedback through usability tests and live site metrics. In his former life, Paul was a co-founder of Mythly Studios and System Center Advisor and Head of Product at Close Inc. He co-authored a book on SQL Server performance tuning. He has been rated as a top speaker at conferences (TechEd, PASS, Connections, et al). He is also a guest lecturer at Colleges and Universities across the U.S. He was the co-host of a weekly tech news show with over 6 million views. Paul's proudest accomplishments is unlocking the "World Champ" achievement on Wordament.

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Facebook Friends Adopt Metro Look and Feel

The friends list on my Facebook page reminds me a lot of the tiles on my Windows Phone.  I like the look.  Though, I wonder what happens when you have a long name?  Does it

About Paul Mestemaker

Paul Mestemaker is a full stack engineer /Product guy who splits time between Los Angeles and San Francisco. He helps startups launch their MVPs and gather feedback through usability tests and live site metrics. In his former life, Paul was a co-founder of Mythly Studios and System Center Advisor and Head of Product at Close Inc. He co-authored a book on SQL Server performance tuning. He has been rated as a top speaker at conferences (TechEd, PASS, Connections, et al). He is also a guest lecturer at Colleges and Universities across the U.S. He was the co-host of a weekly tech news show with over 6 million views. Paul's proudest accomplishments is unlocking the "World Champ" achievement on Wordament.

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