A pleasant walk through computing


Chrome Browser Pinned Startup Tabs

I finally "fixed" an irritation that's been part of my Death by a Thousand Cuts. I have a setup of web pages I want to open at startup in Chrome. However, I also want them to open pinned, as shown above.

Chrome provides three startup tab options:

  1. Open a New Tab page
  2. Continue where you left off
  3. Open a specific page or set of pages

Many people use #2 to accomplish what I want. But, you have to close all the other tabs before closing Chrome.

For years, I've used option #3. The problem was, my pinned tabs would typically appear but so would all my startup tabs, like this.

I'd then have to delete the regular-sized tabs. But if the pinned tabs didn't load, at least my startup tabs would appear and I could repin them.

The solution: a Chrome extension named Save Pinned Tabs.

This extension lets me save a named set of currently open pinned tabs. I can have multiple sets (not that I need them...yet), and mark one as Autoload.

I then changed my startup tab options to #1 Open a New Tab page and, et voila!, Chrome opens how I've always wanted!

It'd be nice if the extension let me edit the pinned tabs directly, but at the worst I can load a set, change them, and resave.

One less!

Solving NancyFx Tokenizer keyChain.bin Invalid Read Type Request '115'

The Error

I was getting this error when running an ASP.NET solution using NancyFx:

System.Runtime.Serialization.SerializationException: 'Invalid read type request '115'.'

on this statement in my NancyBootstrapper:

container.Register<ITokenizer>(new Tokenizer());

There is only one mention of this error when searching Google, and it refers to using a sync service of some kind. So, not apparently related.

After quite a bit of sleuthing, I wondered about Nancy's keyChain.bin file, which I knew had been modified during a recent git rebase operation.

Sure enough, I checked out the file from a working branch and the bug went away. Interestingly, I had renamed and saved the "bad" file. When I renamed it back, the bug didn't recur. So, I don't really understand what went wrong, but it got fixed.

A simpler way to fix this would have been to rename or delete the keyChain.bin file, then let Nancy regenerate it.

Make it Better

I also was doing the wrong thing for the right reason. The (deprected) Nancy Token-Authentication requires a writable keyStore folder. By default, it gets created in the project root. I was marking the keyChain.bin file Build Type as Content and Copy Always, so it would be created in a first-deployment. But that meant storing the file in Git and it was always changing.

My current solution is to use a readme.txt placeholder file, and ignore keyChain.bin.

The better solution...I'll blog if successful...will be to write a custom FileSystemTokenKeyStore that stores the keyStore folder in App_Data, which is always writable.

My Ideal Markdown Editor - Thoughts and Reviews Part 1

Where I'm Headed

I've been meaning to blog about my ideal Mardown editor requirements, and which editors today get close to being my dream-editor-come-true.

I'll probably be editing this post, but it gives a good idea of what matters to me. In upcoming parts, I'll review some--not all--of the editors and announce a winner.

My current Markdown editor is Markdown Monster, and I'm not expecting that to change. Still...we'll see!


  1. Use a Git parser that at least supports GFM.
  2. Ideally, support MarkDig because it's fast and, itself, supports all MD flavors.
  3. Scripting/snippet support.
    1. Specifically, journal datetime, but I have other snippets I've become used to.
  4. Addin support.
    1. Want to be able to create/publish using my static site generator.
  5. Standard MD behaviors
  6. Standard Editor behaviors
    1. Including block editing
  7. Supported. Editors seem to come and go.
  8. Drag-and-drop image paths.

Extras I've Found I Like

  1. Preview window outside the editor.
  2. Automatic check-box bullets.
    1. And, auto-checking from the editor. See the Android app iA Writer.
  3. Open to end of document. Would love to do this per-document, so my journal opens to the end.
  4. YAML handling.
  5. Tabbed interface simultaneous with separate instances. I love being able to do my journal summary without changing settings.
  6. Using Ctrl-K (or whatever creates a link), automatically includes whatever's in the clipboard.'
  7. When pasting HTML, the ability to strip extras down to just the Markdown, instead of pasting the HTML styles, etc.
  8. When pasting a link, if it's just a link then automatically surround with <>.