Matt’s Picks

This is a list of my favourite things.


  • Technology:
    • Vergecast – I used to listen to the TWiT podcasts, but I found them to be consistently too long and often times had annoying guests.  I have replaced it with Vergecast.
  • Politic’s and News:
    • Dan Carlin’s Common Sense – Common Sense is a politically heavy current events series which deals primarily with American/International news.
    • CBC’s The House – A Canadian podcast that deals heavily with the federal government and sometimes lower levels of government as well.
  • Science
  • Misc:
    • Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – Hardcore History provides a fascinating and very well performed look at some of greatest events of the past

Computer Science Books

  • The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master – A fantastic book that’s more self-help than theory.  But it does a great job at showing you tools and methodologies that can help you become a real pro in the field.
  • Head First Design Patterns – This book is one of the first looks I had at the idea of using well established patterns in my development.  Rather than attacking all problems the same way.
  • Growing Object Oriented Software Guided by Tests – This book was excellent for learning some new (to me) techniques with testing software, such as using a Mocking Framework to create mock objects quickly, and asserting that an object inside the one you’re testing was called a certain number of times, or in a certain way, etc.


  • Text Editors
    • Notepad++ – (Free) – An editor with loads of features and a large database of extra plugins that you can install to make it do pretty much anything you want.
    • Sublime Text – (Paid) – I love this editor.  It has a very attractive design, and also has a very large set of plugins (“packages” as referred to by Sublime Text).  The engine allows you to create plugins in Python, which is far easier than what you need to do to make your own in Notepad++ (although it’s still not bad).  Well worth the price to me.
  • Database Administration
    • DBeaver – (Free) – This is the tool I currently use.  It supports quite a few different databases, with the ability to download the appropriate JDBC driver upon creation of a new DB connection type.
  • Firefox Plugins – (addon name – official description – my notes)
    • Firebug – “Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page.” – if you do web development, you probably already know about this plug in.
    • Greasemonkey – “Allows you to customize the way a web page displays or behaves, by using small bits of JavaScript. You can write your own scripts, too.” – I love this one.  I use it all the time to add my own functionality to websites.  Especially internal company websites that are often lacking in features.
    • Theme: FXOpera – I love Firefox, but their current design is not the most appealing.  So until project Photon lands (link 1, link 2, link 3), I’m using this theme and love it.
  • Password Manager
    • Keepass – an offline password manager, so you need to handle syncing between devices.  I myself make use of Syncthing to do just that.  And here is how I keep it synced across multiple devices.
  • Misc Utilities
    • Launchy – Makes opening up applications very fast.
    • PureText – Adds the ability to paste text without formatting into any application.

This page will be continually updated!

2 thoughts on “Matt’s Picks

  1. veran

    Hello Matthew,

    Three months ago, i had the following message, when i wanted to display “hello world”, the emulaor was launched bt somehow too slow with finally the followingg message
    Open that directory and run “IntelHaxm.exe” to install it. If your system is not capable of running HAXM, the install will fail, according to Intel:
    x86 emulation courrently requires hardware aceleration and i wasn’t ale to install HAXM…
    So what could be for me the best waay to make it work ? thanks for your help. Best regards.
    Intel HAXM installation will fail if your system does not meet the system requirements, including support for Intel processor features, such as Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT).

    1. matthewurch Post author

      Intel VT is a technology built into the hardware of the CPU. So if the HAXM installation is failing due to that not being supported you will need to wait until you have a CPU that has it. The hardware requirements for Intel HAXM are:

      • Intel® processor with support for Intel® VT-x, Intel® EM64T (Intel® 64), and Execute Disable (XD) Bit functionality
      • At least 1 GB of available RAM

      So make sure you meet these requirements and then try the install again.


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