1. View Source
2. Switch Window Managers
Mainly this is for the Linux/BSD crowd. Try a lightweight like Blackbox or Window Maker, if it comes with your distro. Edit a style. By changing your desktop every now and then, it just keeps your mind loose and limber.
3. Try a New Distro
From the same reasoning as above. Live CDs are great to shop around, especially the smaller distros that never seem to get any love. You find out about new programs you never would have known about, see new styles and ways of doing things, and you might just get an inspiration for your next project.
4. Bookmark a Cheatsheet
For things like Unicode, CSS, SQL select statements, Emacs commands, Firefox hotkeys, and so on. They’re good to go over every now and then to learn them so they’lll be in your head when you need them.
5. Read a Classic Programming Book
Everybody praises them, and you know they’re great, but you never seem to get around to reading them. Here’s a whole bunch.
6. Learn a New Language
That can be programming, or mark-up, or – hey! – how about a spoken language? You know, for talking to people? The web is one big international terminal; your next coding project could bring you together with people from all over the world. Getting conversant in more than one language just helps broaden your range.
7. Write a Script
8. Spend a Day Learning a Subject You Hate
Sure, you would just as soon hammer railroad spikes into your temple as study cross-site scripting attacks. But you that know one of these days your blog’s comment box will be hacked, your database will be hosed, and you’ll be up at 3 AM cussing yourself for not learning more about cross-site scripting attacks.
9. Try a Mad Scientist’s Project
Like, oh, I don’t know, run Windows 3.1 inside of DOSBox from a Linux desktop, all to play the original Chip’s Challenge. Worth the effort just for the “You’re running WHAT?” reaction you get from people.
10. Go outside
Walk your dog. Start a garden. Mow your grass. Shovel your snow. Re-introduce your skin to the strange yellow ball in the sky that emits radiation. Seriously, I don’t know how many times I was stuck for an idea and I just went outside and a few lungfuls of fresh air was all I needed. Even if it involved a walk to the pub.
- A Fast Round-Up of Web Languages
- Fixing Windows using a Live Linux CD – part one
- Linux Link-O-Mania
- Programming FAQ
- 6 Signs You’re Not Cut Out For Programming…