Name Marco Von Ballmoos
Member since
Email [hidden]
Home page http://earthli.com/users/marco

The (only) developer at earthli.com.


2286 Articles

4 days Ago

Azure Linked Accounts and SSH Keys

Published on in Programming

Azure DevOps allows you to link multiple accounts.

Our concrete use case was:

  • User U1 was registered with an Azure DevOps organization O1
  • Microsoft did some internal management and gave our partner account a new organization O2, complete with new accounts for all users. Now I have user U2 as well, registered with O2.
  • U2 was unable to take tests to qualify for partner benefits, so I had to use U1 but link the accounts so that those test results accrued to O2 as well as O1.
  • We want to start... [More]

Using Git efficiently: SmartGit + BeyondCompare

Published on in Programming

I’ve written about using SmartGit (SG) before[1][2] and I still strongly recommend that developers who manage projects use a UI for Git.

If you’re just developing a single issue at a time and can branch, commit changes and make pull requests with your IDE tools, then more power to you. For this kind of limited workflow, you can get away with a limited tool-set without too big of a safety or efficiency penalty.

However, if you need an overview or need to more management, then you’re going to... [More]

Multi-language web sites

Published on in Technology

Why are multi-language web sites so hard to make? Even large companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple regularly send content with mixed-language content.

This is probably due to several factors:

  1. Large web sites pull data for myriad sources, including CDNs and caching services. Each source needs to respect the requested language, If a source doesn’t have support for a requested language, then just that piece of content will be delivered in the fallback format.
  2. Any proxies have to pass the... [More]

Visual Studio 2019 Survey

Published on in Programming

Visual Studio 2019 (VS) asked me this morning if I was interested in taking a survey to convey my level of satisfaction with the IDE.

VS displays the survey in an embedded window using IE11.[1] I captured the screen of the first thing I saw when I agreed to take the survey.

 Visual Studio 2019 Survey error

I know it’s the SurveyMonkey script that’s failing, but it’s still not an auspicious start.

[1] I’d just upgraded to Windows 10 build 1903, which includes IE 11.418.18362.0. I can’t imagine that they didn’t test this... [More]

MasterCard SecureCode web dialog

Published on in Design

I just can’t believe that this gruesome thing is still a thing.[1] In an age where we are supposed to have been sensitized to phishing sites, this thing is still an integral part of the online credit-card purchasing chain. It is generally called up with a completely different URL than the store where you started and it looks terrible and untrustworthy.

 SecureCode Dialog

It’s probably a combination of:

  1. not being able to change a running system because people are used to it now
  2. not being able to change a running... [More]

Strava Data-caching

Published on in Sports

Strava makes for strange conversations: I’ve had discussions with nearly non-technical cycling colleagues about “eventual consistency” and caching and shared servers and data regions. It’s a funny old world.

In the two shots below, Strava is telling me that I got my second-best time[1] but the time for each activity is clearly lower than the time that it’s indicating as a PR. Even after recalculation, Strava is adamant. I’m not sure what could cause this as it’s pretty basic math. Maybe the... [More]

Book recommendations from Kindle

Published on in Books & Movies

My Kindle’s home screen has not, to date, recommended anything that would interest me in the least.

Most of the books look like something I would be leery of setting on fire for fear of toxic smoke.

Case in point:

 Kindle Home Screen

This one has the tag line of “Mystery solving cats. A humorous who done it with heart.”

Anyone who knows me will not be surprised to hear that I noticed the missing hyphen in “Mystery solving cats” immediately.

After that, I crashed into the next sentence, assuming that they’d... [More]