Our Blog

Benj and Jessica launched a nonprofit. Follow our journey as we built a 501(c)(3) and a web site, and now usher in an endless stream of worthy charity nominees and monthly grant winners!

Shortcuts: News | Winners | Nominees

These Go to 40

Like us, follow, & share:

Why don't you just make 39 be the top number? ... ... These go to 40.This weekend we celebrate as Jessica joins me amongst the ranks of quadragenarians. She's not going quietly, either.

Charitocracy is lucky to have someone of her age maturity seniority experience at the helm! Let's wish her a year, nay a decade, full of meaning and purpose and 80s references... while she can still remember them.

24 candles later... I'm still waiting for you, Jessica

Glass Half Full

Like us, follow, & share:

A glass half empty remains plenty full enough

What has become known as The Year of Benj is now half over. Let me rephrase: I'm now beginning the best half of TYOB!

I'm in a serious groove right now. It doesn't matter if I've already worked all day or if I've been out partying and get home after midnight: prime me with a couple squares of dark chocolate, tune the Apple TV on my desk to John Oliver, and next stop will be 8:30am and a half dozen items off my to-do list.  Repeat about 4 times per week, and things truly start happening!

Yesterday I worked from the beach just to prove that I could. TYOB, YOLO! It was in the mid-70s (degrees, not decade, sadly) but the wind was obnoxious. I had goose bumps the whole time. However, the equipment test mission was a success! My new beach umbrella and sand anchor didn't budge in the wind. I could see my Mac's screen just fine thanks to the dorky but effective Pixel Sunscreen. And I scoped out the beach access closest to a cell tower, which afforded me 3 bars of AT&T signal. (I'll try for 4 next time, but 3 gave me a steady 1Mbps up and down, fine for my typical needs.)

Now I just need to work out a system for accepting dark chocolate donations...

Did I mention, Charitocracy contributions are tax-deductible?

Total Eclipse

Like us, follow, & share:

Don't know what to do, always in the dark? Totally get the Eclipse debugger!

🎶 Once upon a time I was calling printf, my debugging skills were falling apart... Nothing I could do but then I found Eclipse, now I ❤️. 🎶

I have plenty of experience with debuggers: db, ladebug, gdb, jdb, NetBeans, WinDbg (affectionately known as WindBag), Xcode, and perhaps my all-time favorite, SoftICE. I've used them almost exclusively to debug low-level device driver code. This is my first time since last working on cutting-edge web code circa 1999-2001 that I've had the need to debug server back-end scripts.

PhpStorm seems to be the most highly praised option out there, but they don't offer discounts to non-profits, and it's pricey at $199 for the first year! The next most popular is Eclipse for PHP Developers, and the price is right: free. It uses PHP's Xdebug extension, and worked like a champ. I was setting breakpoints in my PHP functions, actually hitting them, inspecting variables, stepping through code, and fixing bugs (in 3rd-party code of course, not mine) with hasty abandon!

After three all-nighters in the past week, I'm really starting to get the hang of web development again. Don't get me wrong, I miss needing a debugger that lives below the operating system, and sifting through PCI buffer traces for broken command packets caused by multithreaded race conditions. Really, I don't. But someone has to make sure deadbeat donors with expired credit cards receive an encouraging email with a link to remedy the situation, right? That someone is me.

Introducing Benj, Charitocracy's fastest coder