Screenshot of ExamDiff application, showing two window panes - left and right - and highlighting the differences between two files
Screenshot of the ExamDiff application

Here’s a simple piece of software that I love, and find incredibly helpful: ExamDiff.

ExamDiff allows you to compare two text files and it will show you what the differences are, highlighting the lines where changes have occurred.

There are enough options in the free version to make it very useful. For example you can choose to:

  • Ignore all white space in lines
  • Ignore changes in amount of white space in lines
  • Ignore case
  • Treat both files as text files
  • Ignore leading white space in lines
  • Ignore trailing white space in lines

It’s really useful when, for example, you’ve been editing a CSS file and realise that you should have been marking it up with /*comments*/ to indicate your changes.

Simply load the original file (you did keep a backup, didn’t you!) and the new file and click OK. A few seconds later: ta-da! You can now immediately see which lines you’ve altered, as those lines have now been highlighted.

I don’t use it terribly often, but it’s a great application to have in your toolkit for those moments that you quickly need to compare two files.

OMG! Who cycled into Kilrenny?!

My bike propped against a bridge, with Kilrenny in the background.
My bike propped against a bridge, with Kilrenny in the background.

I was out on my bike again today, and what a glorious day to be cycling around the small backroads of the East Neuk of Fife. It was the debut for my new Altura Nevis fluorescent yellow cycling jacket, which was soon relegated to being tied around my waist as I began to overheat in the sunshine.

As I’m building myself up again towards getting fit, I’d rather go out for 30 mins and enjoy it than for an hour and feel miserable and sore and then not go out again for weeks as a result. So I ventured out for 30 minutes, on a quick loop out of Anstruther on the St Andrews road and then back via a picturesque backroad into Kilrenny.

What do you mean where is Kilrenny? Kilrenny is the place that was featured on the BBC News maps helping people locate Cellardyke after the dead swan (with the H5N1 strain of bird ‘flu) was discovered:

“Where is Cellardyke?” most people I spoke with asked. But the BBC kindly answered that question for them, with this map:

Map from BBC News showing Cellardyke and Kilrenny.

“Ohh…!” people would then say, “that Cellardyke! The one next to Kilrenny!”

Kilrenny is a lovely, tiny, village, and even smaller than Cellardyke. That’s Kilrenny in the background in the photograph above; I should take more photographs of the surrounding countryside. It’s particularly beautiful just now.

And I heard on the grapevine recently that Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne were bidding for a property just outside Kilrenny too. Bidding against this man, seemingly. I’ve not heard whether they bought it or not.


In other news Jane and her sister arrived safely in Canada. I had a quick telephone call from her the other day to say hello. They are off to Vancouver Island today for a few days and then visit Seattle for a couple more before returning to Vancouver for the flight back to Blighty. We’ve yet to chat on Skype.

And, yes, I’m coping without her. I always find that I struggle for the first few days, and then I settle into my own rhythm. The house hasn’t been so clean and tidy for as long as I can remember! I’m a neat and tidy boy at heart.