Quick Tips: Serve a Website Locally via Command Line

By | October 12, 2023

Every once in a while I need to serve a web site locally on my MacBook. This is one of those tasks that happens just infrequently enough that I don’t always remember the quick one line command right off the bat. If you’re a developer you probably have situations like this too.

For me looking up what process is using a specific network port falls into this category too – but we’ll save that for another post.

So anyway, this time I’m writing down exactly how to serve a web site from the command line with a one liner and sharing so that in case you have to do this too, now you know how. These instructions should work on any modern MacOS, Linux or Windows machine when used from the command line.

Here goes!

Serve a Static Website with 1 Line of Python

If you have Python 3+ installed, and you probably do, you can use this one liner:

python3 -m http.server --cgi 8888

where 8888 is the port to use. Once you run this command, open http://localhost:8888 in your browser and you should be good to go. Need to use a different port? Change the 8888 for the port number of your choice.

When you’re done, just hit CTRL-C and the process will end.

Serve a Static Website with 1 or 2 Lines of JavaScript & Node

Similar to the above example, here’s how you would serve a website with JavaScript and Node’s serve package. First install serve if you need it using the first command:-p[;

nom i -g serve

then run the serve command in the folder where you’re web site files are located:


that’s it! If you want to specify the port use this syntax:

serve -p 8888

as before the port is 8888 in this example, swap as you see fit. Once you run this command, open http://localhost:8888 in a browser and you can surf your local site. Once done, again CTRL-C will end the web server.

I hope this is helpful!

Nailed it! Return to Office is Bullshit

By | October 2, 2023

This article is simply too good not to share:

This article pretty succinctly describes the rationale behind why companies are forcing employees to RTO and what to do about it if you get the ultimatum from a boss to return.

It’s definitely worth a read if you haven’t seen it already.

One of the reasons I like the article is because it recommends you don’t cave. In fact one of the best concepts from the article is to “never give in to an ultimatum” which I think is very sound advice. Anyway, check it out. Its worth the read!

Do Good Work for Selfish Reasons … Sort Of

By | September 14, 2023

OK, so that post title is a bit click-bait-ey, but it’s a really relevant title so I’m going with it. Hopefully you will see why in a couple minutes.

The Job Market Sucks Right Now

Pretty much that. In software and tech, the job market is tougher now than it has been in recent memory. There are a lot of reasons why, mainly:

  • High Interest Rates which:
  • Reduced Tech Investment contributing to:
  • Large Tech Company Layoffs and overall:
  • General Economic Unease

There are more reasons of course, but those are the main reasons that I’ve seen in my reading and research.

I’m not saying tech jobs are impossible to find right now, but certainly, it’s harder, and for someone like me who only works remote jobs it’s a bad market at the moment. So what does any of this have to do with doing Good Work?

Your Reputation Matters, Like a Lot

I was part of a large reduction in force at Avant earlier this summer. It was the third significant layoff they had during my 15 month tenure there. I really loved Avant the company, the mission we had, and the people. I intended to retire there – but sometimes life happens and you have adjust.

That happened to me, and so I move on. Fortunately, in my career, I’ve always worked hard and tried my best to produce great work.

Customer Service Matters – Your Employer is Your Customer

I started in food service, so I know how important pleasing the customer is. It was drilled into me in my work at the small chain Tom Wahls where I started and worked throughout college. (If you are ever in western NY state, look them up the food is amazing!).

(Tom Wahls is most famous for its burgers, fries, homemade root bear, and of course soft serve ice cream!)

In my 4 years of college I worked there near or full time and worked my way up into store management. I learned a great deal from that experience about what it takes to please customers and management.

Anyway, the point here is – I learned early how important the customer is. If the customer is not happy, you will never be happy working there. If you’re manager isn’t happy you won’t be either.

If you are employed guess what your manager and employer are your customers. Make sure they are happy. That’s your most important job.

Good Work Pays Dividends

Since most of my career I’ve been a consultant – I’ve taken that learning and applied it to my work in technology. I ALWAYS strive to produce great work, on time, on specification and within budget.

I’ve got a track record now of over 25 years of doing great work when it comes to building software. That track record has served my customers very well and it has paid off handsomely for me and my family as well.

Through my reputation and good timing with past client needs – I’ve quickly picked up contract work in a really tough job market. It might have required a year or more of looking to find a good role.

But a few days after I was laid off from Avant, I was working and have maintained steady work since. I had almost no income loss from the layoff. That’s huge as we all know.

But, it would not have been possible had I not done great work in the past. Be memorable for your good work! You will never need to look long for work. Sure, that is a bit of a selfish benefits, but I think its fair trade for doing really good work for your customers!

AI’s Amazing New Toy – Create any Image using Text to Image

By | August 23, 2023

I have always been a tinkerer and technologist. I just grew up tinkering with computers instead of woodworking like I probably would have had I grown up in the 50’s instead of the 80s and 90s.

The latest toy I’ve been playing with are AI Text to Image bots. Surely you know by now that AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. I wouldn’t quite say that the tools that generate these images hold intelligence per say, but the certainly can create some interesting scenes with simple text prompts.

See the image up there at the top of this post? Yep, created by AI via a simple text prompt. I told the AI to “create a painting of dogs running on a beach scene” and bam, 5 seconds later I had 4 unique pieces of digital art to enjoy!

I’ve really been excited by the recent renaissance we’re undergoing in the area of AI, and this is just one of the great tools that is out there.

What is this Good For?

Well, creating fun imager is one use. But, on a more practical level, if you need a certain graphic for a presentation, a paper, a blog post or whatever – you can literally now ask for it, and get it. No need to find a designer or create yourself, the AI does it for you. This is definitely a tool you should consider using if you ever need art for your work.

Want to Play?

Here are some free, capable, and interesting AI Text to Image services, check them out and see what you can create! If nothing else, you get a good laugh when the AI creates something whacky. Enjoy!

AI Image Examples

Here are a few of the better images I have generated, and the prompts that created them. Some are great, some are OK, some are just odd, you never quite know what you will get. But the AI tools generally generate at least 2 images so you can choose the best one. Here goes:

Man with Head in Hands

Cats, a Dog and a Raccoon Playing Poker

A Female Superhero on a Beach with a Storm in the Background

Yes, this was a whacky prompt with a whacky result!

A Baseball Player Hitting a Home Run, in the Style of a 1950’s Comic Book

Weird, but it made something kind of neat.

Amazon Forces RTO, Cites Increased Nearby Restaurant Sales Increases as Reasoning

By | August 25, 2023

What is serendipity and how does it connect to software or the production of software? Beats me! But apparently Amazon is using an executive’s personal serendipity to “know” that forcing remote workers back to office is better. Yes, really, this isn’t a joke.

As you may know already Amazon forced most of their remote staff to return to office earlier this year. At the very least they returned hybrid but I’ve read stories indicating that they were forced full time back in the office. (Yuck!) This happened even if the employee was hired 100% remotely and never worked in an office. It also happened if employees lived NOWHERE near the office in question.

“Hey, I know you live in Salt Lake City out in Utah, but I need you in the office in Chicago on Monday. Mmmm, kay?”

Yeah, I imagine it went down like that. Office Space style. Or similarly I’m sure. With a similar total lack logical reasoning or any regard for the employees personal life or well being.

They Had Good Reasons though Right??

No internal or productivity data was provided providing reasoning behind the demand to have employees in office. What they did provide was the following data that was sure to excite employees:

In Seattle, Amazon’s return to its South Lake Union campus has led to an 82% increase in foot traffic between May and July and an 86% increase in credit card transactions at restaurants in the neighborhood, according to data shared from Amazon.

– From Amazon Directly

No, you read that right. Amazon is quoting restaurant sales increases near their offices as a key positive outcome of return to office. Yeah, amazing isn’t it. That is the best they have to share from forcing RTO on people for no logical reason.

Unhappy Workers == Less Productive Workers

You would think if productivity, collaboration or work output had increased or improved they would have shared that right? I think we know why they didn’t. I’m sure that a large majority of remote folks are not happy being forced to commute and work in a fishbowl open office. I’m also sure a significant number of these folks personal lives were deeply impacted by these forced, and arbitrary changes.

Let’s put it in simple terms. Remote employees would not be and are not happy about these forced arbitrary changes. I’m sure over the aggregate, Amazon has seen work quality and quantity drop. In my experience folks who are unhappy at their jobs simply don’t produce as well as those who are. I’m sure Amazon is learning that lesson now.

This study reported by ADP claims that unhappy employees cost employers up to $300 Billion a year through lost productivity, turnover and other measurable losses. Oh and that was in 2014, so here 9 years later that number is likely higher.

I hope Amazon relents and reverts back to the policies that drove them to record profits during the Coronavirus forced work from home from 2020 – 2022. I’m not a shareholder, but if I was, this is one of the things I’d be wondering about.


I know this is the third article about return to office I’ve written recently – and probably the last for a while.

Remote work is a subject I’m passionate about because I know how well it works both for employers and employees. It is something I’ve done now for most of the last two decades.

I hope that companies continue to embrace remote work for employees who can be productive anywhere. It will be a competitive advantage for hiring for sure – and it will produce happier more productive, and more loyal employees!