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I migrated to Google Tag Manager

I migrated to Google Tag Manager

I was very disappointed when a popular Google Analytics WordPress plugin moved most of its features to a $200 / year plan. I looked for a free alternative because I had very little requirements: add the tracking code to the page and track page scroll. It’s barely a dozen lines of code using autotrack. I think I have checked all WordPress plugins that appeared after searching for “Google Analytics” and I found only ONE that met the requirement. Unfortunately, it was not compatible with Google Analytics (analytics.js code), but only with Google Tag Manager (gtm.js)…

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Convert a ViolentMonkey script to a Chrome extension

Convert a ViolentMonkey script to a Chrome extension

The script I created in Course/movie labeling solution using Firebase and ViolentMonkey worked well on one page but randomly failed to work in another. It was caused by the page’s JavaScript code which altered the behavior of XMLHttpRequest. Because I was not able to resolve it, I decided to convert my script into a Chrome extension, which would be executed in an isolated environment.

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Course/movie labeling solution using Firebase and ViolentMonkey

Course/movie labeling solution using Firebase and ViolentMonkey

There are pages that do not show information about items you watched, want to watch or don’t want to. May it be a movie database, TV guide, list of online courses, and so on. One such page is Highbrow which, for an unknown reason, has no account feature yet lists a lot of courses. It may be easy to forget which you completed and even harder to find a new course to start.

I’ll show how to create a kind of addon – a GreaseMonkey/ViolentMonkey script that will be run automatically once you enter that page (here: Highbrow) and show the items you marked as completed or todo. That script will connect with a free cloud database Google Firebase to store your list and provide an easy ability to mark every course. Here it is in action:

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Windows boot & disk repairing toolkit

Windows boot & disk repairing toolkit

Recently I had the doubtful pleasure of trying to fix a blue screen in my Windows laptop. I learned a lot, tried tens of scenarios, but nonetheless I failed to repair it. This post contains a list of the tools I used to recover the system and some hints on how to deal with various problems. I will try to answer the following questions:

What is MBR and GPT? How to rebuild BCD and fix MBR? How to clone a partition or disk to another disk or file? How to remove and create partitions? How to remove Windows Update leftovers?

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Automatically enhance headers with hierarchy, links and smooth scrolling with offset

Automatically enhance headers with hierarchy, links and smooth scrolling with offset

There are several things useful in a longer document:

  • showing position of given heading in the structure
  • ability to create links to a heading
  • smooth scrolling to internal links
  • offset for scrolling if the top header covers some of the contents

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Excel / LibreOffice Calc – text and data processing

Excel / LibreOffice Calc – text and data processing

I’ll show how to parse text, extract numbers and calculate averages on an example of performance data. I have performed a dozen of performance scenarios, each repeated four times to get an average. Every sample contained three values: time in seconds of execution of the first step, time in seconds of execution of the second step, and memory consumption in MB. For instance, 17.6 | 7.4 | 687 meant:

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Online mind mapping tools

Online mind mapping tools

I’ve been using mind mapping tools for years for creating plans or elaborating ideas. So far, my favorite offline software was FreeMind. It hasn’t been updated for years, but it is open source and has impressive features, like formatting nodes, icons, good keyboard support, adding links, colorful clouds for branches, and much more. Just take a look at the screenshot in Wikipedia. Today I decided to look for some online alternative for easier access on any device (also mobile) and simplified sharing.

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WordPress – another way to add widgets area (sidebar) below a post

WordPress – another way to add widgets area (sidebar) below a post

Previously I described one method to add custom widgets areas by copying and modifying theme files:

Now I’d like to describe another possibility when it comes to adding widgets area above or below a post or page – by adding the_content filter.

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How I refactored maze generating Python code and used advanced class features

How I refactored maze generating Python code and used advanced class features

Previously, I have created a maze generating code while learning Python. Later I enhanced it with animation and marking special cells. All of it was done in rush, to solve the problem. Now I spent some time improving the quality of the code by encapsulating code into classes, using “private” methods and fields and separating concerns. The exact steps I took can be viewed in the GitHub repository or read here.

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My favorite graphing tool – Graphviz

My favorite graphing tool – Graphviz

I used to create many graphs, usually the kind of dependency/hierarchy (see the previous post about Programming paradigms in JavaScript).

A long time ago I discovered a perfect tool for a developer to create and maintain various graphs – Graphviz. You can download it and use offline, but there are also online interpreters for quick experiments, for example:

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