Cloud9 as a Development Environment

I first encountered Cloud9 (the IDE, not the professional gamers) a couple years ago, when I was looking for a nice HTML/CSS editor for the students in my Exploring Computer Science course to use on their own laptops. I settled on it because it had good highlighting, didn’t require them to understand anything on the command line, but still focused on raw code as opposed to WYSIWYG stuff.

Since I stopped teaching high school, I hadn’t thought much about it. As a boot camp instructor, it was important to me that I teach my students how to use “real” tools, and so we focused on local tools.

At the moment though, I find myself temporarily without a dev machine, and my mind turned back to Cloud9. I’m mainly working in libraries (hurrah for free access to computers!), and while I can thankfully count on them to have Google Chrome, I can’t count on much else.

So, how can I do some real development without a real dev machine? I started up a new (free) account to find out.

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Markdown in WordPress

Markdown-mark.svgI’ve been writing a lot of prose over the past year – lesson plans, online content, blog posts, etc. As more of my prose has also involved code samples, I’ve gravitated toward Markdown for writing my text for a few reasons:

  • It’s dead simple to incorporate code blocks
  • It’s cleaner to look at than raw HTML
  • There are plenty of great tools that support it (for me those include Jupyter Notebook and The Iron Yard’s online learning platform)

(Yes, there are also reasons not to use Markdown)

But I never made the jump to using it on my blog. Until today!

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C# on a Mac

I recently was asked to teach a guest lecture for a class in C#. Only one catch: my laptop was a Mac.

Of course, this day and age, there are plenty of options for running Windows on a Mac. Some magazines have gone so far as to declare that Macs are the best Windows laptops. However, I wasn’t interested in using virtualization or dual-booting to achieve my end goal – not least of which because I’d be required to buy a Windows license (and possibly a Visual Studio license). Rather than focusing on running Windows on my machine, I decided to see if it was possible to do some stuff Mac-native.

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