Thoughts on cast-iron seasoning, programming and everything…

Playing With Org-mode

emacs, org-mode

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So, as a way to procrastinate on actually starting to write/practice my lightning talk for Thursday, I decided that I absolutely wanted to make a slide show using the org-html-slideshow, a pretty neat piece of Clojurescript written by those smart guys at Relevance Cognitect.

Basically, it lets you take an outline/document written in Org-mode (another really cool piece of software!) and put some small annotations in it to delimit your “slides” and then you have a document that can be viewed as either a slideshow, or a web page. It’s harder to explain in words than it is to observe, so here’s the example page from their github repo, and the org-mode document that produced that page.

On the Importance of Distinguishing Between Stable and Development Documentation


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A few weeks ago I wrote about Why Master Should Be Stable. I spent most of that post explaining what had actually happened to me, but not really talking about the fundamental underlying difficulty. Well, now that I’ve encountered this issue again in a different context, maybe it’s time to dive in a bit and examine what I call the Doc’s Mismatch problem, and how it can be avoided.

Adventures With Clojure Macros

clojure, macros, oops

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So, this is the second day of my second week of Hacker School. I’m finally starting to feel like I’m getting into the groove.

So I tackled DCPL in Clojure once again. I found two sort of scary things. One, although my code was in a git repo, it wasn’t pushed to Github. Two, there was a big hairy macro that had apparently replaced the core of my postfix program, but it wasn’t checked in!!! Bad past Geoff. Very bad, no good software practices…

Keybase Hacker News Q&A

keybase, programming, psa

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I started using Keybase sometime back in April. I’ve been interested in doing crypto stuff for a long time, starting with using an SSH keypair instead of a password to access the WWU CS department’s computer labs remotely.

Learning more about GPG and actually figuring out how to send and receive encrypted messages has been on my list of things to learn for a while, but every time I had a couple spare minutes and tried to approach it I was rebuffed by the impenetrability of the manuals for gpg.

However, recently while thinking about who to give my remaining five invites to, I decided to do some more research on what those more security-savvy than I thought about Keybase.


personal, s&e

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The path to my graduation has been a long one. For almost a year now different people have been asking me what I’m going to do once I graduate. For the most part my answer has been that I’m focusing on getting to graduation, and I’ll handle the rest as it comes.


personal, s&e

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When I read, I immerse myself in the words. Reading has always been an escape for me. I would used to sit for hours in my mother’s house reading - no, devouring - books, using them to escape from the world around me. I loved the fantasy books best, with their worlds of magic and dragons, knights and villains.

I learned terrible habits about reading too. I wanted so much to be a fast reader that my brain learned to identify passages that were “just description.” I’ve never really gotten what people mean when they say “I saw the book in my mind.” Visualization has never come easily to me, and I think in part it’s because I never really read the descriptions.

First Contact

personal, s&e

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At the time, I was infatuated with a particular video game. This game was called Neverwinter Nights and it was a sword-and-sorcery adventure game. This was one of the reasons that I loved it so much; it brought to life all of my favorite childhood stories about dragons and elves and magic.

This was not the first such game I had played. It was however, the first game I encountered that gave players the ability to use the tools of the game to construct their own world and scenarios. The developers of the game actually included for free all of the tools that they had used themselves to create the game. I was enthralled by this toolkit.

Gap Year

personal, s&e

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So I followed through and took one year off from school. A “Gap Year” as it is somewhat euphemistically referred to. I spent some time working for a cousin in Portland doing construction. After that I helped my dad move a boat from Puerto Vallarta to San Diego. When I returned from that, I was hired by a family friend, David Firth, as a shop hand for his small business.

That was about six months into my Vacation. Shortly after I started working for him, I had to start thinking about whether I was going to return to school the following fall. It was immediately clear to me that I was still not ready to go back, so one year turned into two.