Unsafe Chrome Sometimes Necessary

In my work – every now and then – I found myself in need of a browser with reduced security checks (mainly to gloss over cross domain XMLHttpRequests and SSL certificate violations) for testing purposes. I didn’t want to take the risk and use my main browser session with these settings, so I made me a script (also available as a Gist). 🙂

If you use oh my ZSH you can save this file in ~/.oh-my-zsh/custom/plugins/chrome-unsafe/chrome-unsafe.plugin.zsh and add “chrome-unsafe” to your list of used plugins in ~/.zshrc 

Fixing Bioshock’s Language Settings

I got myself Bioshock 1 and 2 during Steam’s Summer Sale and just came around to play it.
After installation I found out that the game was in German (while my Windows and Steam are in English)!?!? … I hate dubbed films and games!

Sadly Bioshiock doesn’t allow you to change the language in the settings menu so I had to look around. After piecing together information from several 5+ year old, outdated forum posts I found the solution.

  1. Close the game
  2. Open C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Roaming\Bioshock\bioshock.ini
  3. Find the
  4. Set
      (“int” is for international i.e. English)
  5. Save the file and restart the game

Everything should be in English now. 😀

Maintaining Maintenance

Sometimes well-intentioned features have unintended side effects. Case in point: WordPress’ maintenance mode. Whenever you update plugins WP will automatically enter maintenance mode, which displays a nice message to your visitors that the site will be back online shortly. It will automatically go out of maintenance once the updates are done.

Well, sometimes unexpected things happen: you are stuck in maintenance mode. WP will effectively lock you out … even the admin section will not be accessible. *ugh* This is the moment you start panicking … luckily if you wait 10 minutes or delete the .maintenance file manually you’ll be able to access your site again. *phew*

Just went though that whole cycle. m(

Convert any file VLC can play to mp3

I just felt the need for a script that could extract the audio track of a video, transcode it and save it as an mp3 file … 2 hours later I was finished (get the Gist). 😀 It uses VLC to do hard work. 😉

Thanks to Kris Hom for the inspiration. 🙂

Update 2014-03-01:

  • Check whether VLC is installed
  • Should also work on Linux now
  • Increase default bit rate to 192kbit/s
  • Fixed bug where the file/playlist would repeat endlessly

Update 2014-11-05:

  • Also look for VLC in “~/Application/”

Update 2016-03-05

Default Values for Boolean Options in Ruby

Let’s say you read settings from a YAML file and have some sort of settings object. Then you check if certain options are set with custom values or you have to set default/fall-back values on them. If you are dealing with Boolean options you have to be careful … as I had to find out myself.

Initially you would probably do something like the following to set a default value on a Boolean option:

Do you see the problem? What happens if the option was deliberately set to

? You would overwrite it because both cases
(i.e. nothing set) and
would evaluate to
in the context of the
operator and you would in both cases assign the right hand value (and overriding an explicit user choice in one case) … *ouch*.

So the correct solution is something like the following:

Just be careful … 😀

Render Rails assets to string

If you ever needed a way to render a Rails assets to a string, Hongli Lai from Phusion describes how. 🙂

I prepared a Gist wrapping it into a nice helper. 😀