Archive: September, 2007

Quick Tip: speedier PHP/CSS commenting

Continuing in the vein of “the obvious ones are often overlooked,” here’s another quick productivity tip!

When you want to type a comment in a PHP or CSS file, speed things up a little by using the / and * keys on the numeric keypad. On (most) laptops, hold down the Function (Fn) key to access the overlaid numeric keypad.

Back when I used to use a full-size keyboard, I would use the / and * keys on the numeric keypad to quickly insert comments into my PHP or CSS. It was so much quicker than using / and Shift+8 keystrokes.

When problems with RSI last year encouraged me to switch to using a compact keyboard, I missed that shortcut. However, I quickly realised that I could hold down the Function (Fn) key on my new keyboard to quickly access the overlaid numeric keypad.

I recently bought myself a MacBook Pro and have just figured out that I can do the same thing. Holding down Function (Fn) allows me to access the numeric keypad and my quick way of typing comments. Yay!

Geek networking in the South West of England

I went to the Future of Web Apps Road Trip geek-up in Bristol last month and more recently to d.Construct in Brighton. Both events were a great departure from the workload and a chance to socialise with like-minds and discuss Web geekery.

Networking within our industry is difficult in areas of the South West of England, particularly the more sparsely populated areas, the backwaters of Devon being my particular neighbourhood! Hence, the Road Trip meet-up in Bristol was especially welcomed.

Attending these recent events reminded me how important it is, at least to me, to meet up with others in our industry. I’m encouraged and inspired by these events, and I find it difficult to get to them often enough. It was with this in mind that Zach Inglis and I launched South West New Media (SWNM), but with sporadic interest in the site and little time for promoting, it has fallen by the wayside. Time to do something about it.

There’s movement on the creative horizon up in Bristol (or “Brizzel” to the locals) with Bristol Skillswap, BarCampBristol, GeekTogether, etc. Indeed, judging by activity on the
South West Web Designers (SWWD) group, recently set up by Paul Boag, there’s quite a bit going on throughout the South West.

Call to action

I think it’s time to pull my thumb out and keep the South West New Media site updated with events – there certainly seems to be a growing interest for it around here. So, if you run or attend a geek event in your area, tell others about it by adding it to the South West New Media group on The event will then show up on the site too. If you have any ideas for making the site useful to you or are interested in helping out, give me a shout as I’ll be freshening up the site before the year is out.

There’s also a mailing list on South West New Media, so feel free to join that or the aforementioned South West Web Designers (SWWD) group.