Top Five Best Text Editors for Coding

Top Five Best Text Editors for Coding


I love the picture above. It’s the stereotypical depiction of what a workstation looks like when someone is lost deep down the hole of a massive breakthrough coding session. While it may look pretty cool, I’m pretty sure that most code writers and developers (those I know anyway) are not using some bright, multi-color text editor that makes your eyes bleed and drains your battery.

There are a good many editors out there that do have some color function to them, which in some cases, comes in handy when quickly searching for specific pieces of code. HTML and CSS can be extremely well searched with these color features. But no matter your preference, whether the good ole black and white, or the more new bedazled editors of today, there is sure to be a text editor that suits your needs.

Today I want to highlight my five favorite text editors for coding. From the basic, to the more advanced, a good text editor is the backbone of development coding. Even when using an IDE of some kind, I prefer to edit in a text editor, then copy and paste. Do note that all of the editors listed below are available on multiple OS platforms, and are all open-source or freeware. So without further ado, here are my top five favorite text editors for coding.

5) Notepad++

Coding with Notepadd++

This is like, the standard editor that everyone starts out with. But its use is not to be made light fun of. I have used Notepad++ for various coding projects, across multiple OS platforms, and it has never let me down. It is my go to editor for HTML, PHP, and CSS. I haven’t worked on a website yet that didn’t involve the use of Notepad++. It is a major step above the piece of garbage that Windows calls a Notepad, and it won’t give you nearly the headaches with encoding. You can learn more about it and download it right here.

4) VIM Text Editor

Coding in VIM

At first glance, some people might think they are having a flashback to the early Windows, late MS-DOS era. But no, this would not be it. Rather, this is VIM. THE text editor. This is a no frills kind of text editor based on the Vi text editor in UNIX systems. Syntax highlighting and color options, but that’s close to it. This is for people who don’t want distractions with coding. I’ll admit, I don’t have that much experience with VIM yet and have only used it on very rare occasions. Like, learning to automate Windows PowerShell stuff. But that’s it. The cool thing about VIM is that it is what they call charityware. Meaning, it’s free to distribute, but they do ask a contribution to ICCF Holland Foundation, helping children in Uganda. Click here to learn more about VIM and download it for yourself.

3) Light Table

Okay, what you’re seeing above is a little more advanced than what I use a text editor for when coding, but this is pretty cool and why I decided to add it to this list. I have just downloaded this in the last 48 hours and played around a bit with it. Using different little patches of code that you can find around the web, I was able to open up almost a “live viewer” of what I had in the editor. Light Table is a relative newcomer to the market, and bills itself more like an IDE than a text editor. Though it’s easy to see how it can be setup for both. Aside from the kind of “default” dark mode kind of look to it (that in my opinion is simply becoming obnoxious), Light Table is a nice little refresh of the standard coding editor. The documentation on Light Table is still kind of young, but I had no problems getting it up and running at least preliminarily. Check it out and grab the download here.

2) Brackets

Coding the Web with Brackets

Considering most of the coding I do on a regular basis is web page based, it was only natural to include Brackets. While not that much different from most text editors, this one stands apart as it is geared towards web developers. With autoprefixer capability, Git integration, and Emmet plugin support, this blazing fast lightweight editor is everything that a web dev needs. Check it out and download it for yourself here.

And finally… My number one pick for best text editor for coding purposes:

1) Atom

Coding with Atom

Hands down my favorite text editor to date. Atom is brought to you by the same brilliant minds behind Github. Lightweight but extensive if you want it to be. It supports a huge variety of different programming languages, and if the one you need isn’t on there, you can almost guarantee there is a plugin to make it compatible. Not only does it have a repository of packages, but you can build your own right there in the editor. Multiple panes allow for modifying multiple files in a package side by side instead of switching tabs. Running on the Electron platform, it is simply a must have for those who code.


And there it is. My list of the top five text editors for coding. Which ones on this list do you like? Which ones do you not? Which one(s) that you think should be on the list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

The Top Six Punk Rock Songs Still Relevant Today

The Top Six Punk Rock Songs Still Relevant Today

Punk Rock


Where would the world be without the rise, silence, and re-rise, and re-silence of punk rock? I don’t know but I can guarantee it wouldn’t be nearly as effin cool as it is now. PunkĀ  has had a deep place in my heart since my more tumultuous high school years, and beyond. When my mental illness was kicking my ass? Punk rock helped me through. When I was cleaning up my act and figuring out what to do next with my life? Punk was there for me. When I was diagnosed with cancer, and afterwards getting my life back, punk rock lifted me up.

Punk is one of those genres that never really goes away. It’s always there, whether at the forefront of music or not. And a lot of great bands today would not be around if it weren’t for the earlier punk pioneers like Minor Threat, The Buzzcocks, Dead Kennedys, and more. The world owes a lot to punk rock. A major part of punk is rooted in addressing problems with society, politics, class warfare, and the state of the world in general. There are few situations related to those subjects that you can’t find a punk rock song for.

Looking at the state of the world we live in now, it’s not hard to see that punk rock still has a place. And a lot of songs from the past still ring true today. For my next list post, today I am bringing you the top six punk rock songs that are still relevant today.

Franco Un-american – NOFX

A classic from NOFX from 2003 that gives us a great description of the way people tend to have a sudo care for different things in the world. And how the problems of the world are nothing more than disturbances that we don’t care about. My favorite line from this song:

I want to move north and be a Canadian. Or hang down low with the nice Australians. I don’t want to be another “I-don’t-care”-ican. What are we gonna do Franco, Franco Un-American.

911 for Peace – Anti-Flag

Anti-Flag has way too many songs for me to be able to list on this post. I could write 10,000 words on them. 911 for peace came to us in 2002 as a response to the 9/11 attacks the prior September. But the lyrics are raw and powerful. Lines like “We are all human. It’s time to prove it.” It was a message to the world that enough is enough. Things have to change. Unfortunately, 15 years later, I’m afraid things are much worse. My favorite lyrics from this song:

This is a plea for peace (world peace). To the oppressors of the world and to the leaders of nations, corporate profit takers,
to the everyday citizen. Greed, envy, fear, hate– the competition has to stop. When you see someone down, now’s the time to pick them up. Set our differences aside and never look back, no

You are the Government – Bad Religion

In true punk rock style, Bad Religion delivers this great anthem in only a minute and a half. “You are the Government” was released in 1988, in the earlier days of the band’s success. Though this particular tune is not a direct anti-establishment song as one would think. This brief yet powerful song more deals with the concept that the people wield the power and with that power and voice, the government will not be able to ignore their cries. Best line in this quick ballad:

And as the people bend the moral fabric dies. Then the country can’t pretend to ignore its people’s cries.


Rise Above – Black Flag

Henry balls to the wall Rollins. Pioneer of punk and hardcore… General badass as well. Him along with his friends of Black Flag are some of the most notable voices in early punk rock. They had a number of power hits that put their names on the tongue of everyone with a mohawk in the 90’s. Rise Above is perhaps one of the most popular of their hard hitting ballads. In typical blaring fashion, Black Flag delivers line after line in this memorable song. The top line from this power anthem:

Laugh at us behind our backs. I find satisfaction in what they lack. We are tired of your abuse. Try to stop us. It’s no use.

If the Kids are United – Sham 69

Let’s go way back to 1987 with Sham 69. Th originators of one of the greatest (in my opinion) punk anthems of all time. This song would go on to be covered by punk greats like Rancid, where it appeared on the “Give Em The Boot” compilation in 1999. But this, this is the original, and a great throwback to the roots of punk rock. True back in the 80’s and true now:

They can lie to my face, but not to my heart. If we all stand together it will just be the start.


God Save The USA – Pennywise

This song of course contains a strong language warning. For those who love the outrageous use of the F bomb, this song is for you. Pennywise is another staple of the punk rock community, widely known for fast paced melodic punk, and great punk covers of old songs. But this is an upright obituary for the United States written back in 2003 during the Bush presidency, and now we can see this same need for rage and sadness for our country. Last verse says it all:

Government hypocrisy – American Idolatry – Corporate philosophy. Nightly news of tragedies – Where no one cares what’s right or wrong Our heroes now are all long gone – The freedoms that we all abuse. The obituaries front page news.

And there you have it. My pick for the top 6 punk rock songs still relevant today. What would you add to this list? Is there one that shouldn’t be one here? Spill your piece in the comments below.

I am Not Your Hero

I am Not Your Hero


I wrote the first version of this post a long time ago. Prompted by my then neighbor remarking something along the line of “You’re a ***damn hero to me. You’ve beat something that should have killed you.” It was something along those lines. Anyway, he meant it. I know this because this is a guy that doesn’t mince words. When he says something, he means it with heart. And I went to bed that night, a little drunk, but a lot in thought.

Hero. What does that mean? What makes one a hero? The dictionary defines a hero as such:

A person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

I’ve been called a lot of things in my lifetime. The majority of these things was nothing good, so I won’t go into the trouble of listing it out here. Just use your imagination. But until that conversation, I had never been called a hero, and I didn’t know how it was supposed to make me feel. On the one hand, it did inflate my ego for a bit. It felt good. On the other hand, it wasn’t really a label that I wanted.

There are some people who shun the label, and those that seek it. They do things that are heroic in nature, and decline the praise, or they intentionally do things to seem like they are worthy of that praise. Me? I don’t do either of those. I say thank you to the good-natured comments I receive, and I never intentionally seek those comments. The more I thought about it, the more I started to stew.

I do not want to be…

I am not, your hero.

People like to talk about how strong you are when you beat cancer. That you are a winner of battles. And I’ve never felt okay with that. As though somehow, those who lost their lives to this bastard beast were somehow weaker, and not winners. When I’ve found that most of the time, those people were a hell of a lot stronger than I can ever dream of being. Those people won life by fighting till the end, by inspiring others with their last breath. By always thinking about others before themselves.

Scott's Card
This is a card I received from a dear online friend named Scott. Sent to me during his battle with glioblastoma that would claim his life a few months later.

Scott was the very definition of a warrior. Going through this hellish Crossfit WOD after leaving the hospital receiving radiation treatment. I mean, a true badass. Am I to believe that somehow I am a winner and he is not? I can’t even make it through 10 pushups now without my lungs reminding me that I’m really that weak. Let alone a whole WOD. After Scott’s passing I did a set number of burpees as it was a part of the Serene WOD in his honor. No words can describe the pain I felt. I was sad, mourning, hurting physically, and there was no way I could give up. That is how Scott still wins. By still reminding me what real courage and heart looks like.

Scott, to me, is the definition of a hero.

But me? I am no hero. I have no noble qualities. I’ve been a liar, and a cheat in my life. I have failed others just as much as I’ve failed myself. I have gotten lucky a few times in the fact that I am still here. I’m not the greatest of husbands, or greatest of fathers. Not the greatest son, or brother, or friend, or coworker. I know this. I try, but I know deep down I could be much better.

No, I am no hero. I am but a simple dude. I wake in the morning grumpy like everyone else. I go to bed grumpy like most. I have fun when I can, and I get bored very easily. Sometimes I stay up late playing Mario with my son, some nights I just tell him I’m tired in crawl in bed at 8:30. No, I am no hero.

Save your heroes for those who truly deserve it. Like my great-grandfather. Started working in the mills to support his family at an elementary school age. And did well raising his family, watching them raise their own, and fighting his own battle. Loving his wife who had forgotten who he was, and making sure she still felt his love. Save heroes for men like Scott, who was selfless in every sense of the word and gave so much to this world that we could never give back.

Save your heroes for the people who lay down their lives for others without even being asked to do so. Save your heroes for those who expand our ability to treat disease with their efforts. Save your heroes for those working 48 hours to provide life saving care to people they will never know past a last name and a patient chart.


I am not your hero. I am merely me. And a hero? Well, a hero is so much more than I will ever even dream to be.



I am Okay but the Memory Remains

Memory Remains

I’m okay, I promise you. I’ve had clean scans for the last 4.5 years. Yeah, there are still some long-term side effects that I deal with but otherwise, I’m okay. People ask me about my cancer experience all the time. I really don’t mind talking about it, especially if I think it will make a difference in somebody else’s life. It’s great that people I don’t see for long periods of time ask me if I’m still good. It shows they care. I’m really okay now. What still hurts, is simply this: The memory remains.

As time has gone by, the physical demands of surviving cancer have diminished greatly. Nausea isn’t as big of a problem as it used to be, neuropathy really only strikes when it’s cold or I’m over working my body. The fatigue I used to feel has gotten much better. But the memories of the experience linger, and they feel like it was simply a few hours ago. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the feelings. All of it lingering behind like a bad tattoo sleeve that you can’t cover up.

That bench over there out in front of the main building? That’s where I was the only time I heard my father drop an F bomb, right after I did, discussing the discovery of something in my brain. That computer out there in the hallway? That’s where I first really saw what the doctors saw in the scans, and it shook me to my core. Room 3204? I can still show you where I hung up the felt Christmas trees my kids made me while I was inpatient. I’m okay now but,

The memory remains.

I look around the lobby and never forget that I am too fucking young to have to be doing this. At 29 years old and more than 30 years younger than the majority of patients I would say good morning to, I never fit in the scenery around the chemo suite. And now, at 34, I still don’t belong. Yet, there I am, a few times a year, hoping to God that the news is still good. I don’t know that I could handle it if it wasn’t. Ad everyone there has the same thought on their mind: Why the hell did it have to be me? Damnit, why couldn’t have been someone else?

The memory remains.

If you have ever had a CT scan with the IV contrast then you know the taste of pennies you get when it starts to run. I can taste that at the mention of a CT scan. I use hand sanitizer like nobodies business. But never without being able to smell the cleaning chemicals they use once a day to mop the hospital rooms. I have learned every bit of medical coding on my hospital orders and could probably do it all myself at this point. I can find my veins faster than the nurse and pose for the x-rays quicker than they can take them. I am okay now, but

The memory remains.

I spoke with the intake lady today as I waited for them to process my insurance for my x-rays and blood work. She is currently two years cancer free. She shares the same sentiment. We will never be quite the same again. While life will go on, and continue, there will always be a little bit of what if. What if I go to the doctor and they tell me something is wrong again? What if I end up with a secondary cancer due to my previous treatment? What if, what if, what if.

That is the biggest part of the remaining memory. It’s the part of us that will always remain under the watchful eye. It is part of us that will stay forever in the shadows of what could be, and what has been. The constant in our new-found lives after cancer. Long after the follow ups stop. Long after the sights and smells have vanished. This will be what remains.

For those that have been there or are there now, it is a common bond that we all share. Every one of use has different memories that are associated and remain. We all went through different experiences on our paths to being survivors. But we are all linked through one common thought.

The memory remains.