Coding Challenges

June 18, 2013

For the last year, I haven’t done much coding aside from work. Part of that is because of the kids eating up so much time. Part of that is because I was choosing to spend my freetime on things like MUSHing. But, part of it was because I just didn’t have a project to work on.

Inspiration hasn’t struck. I have a lot of old projects, but none of them are very compelling to me right now. I spent a week happily hacking away on the code I use to generate my blog, and that was fun, but now that it’s working, I don’t really have much to do there. I spent a couple of weeks toying around with writing a feed aggregator but ultimately decided to use something else.

So, I’ve decided to take on a couple of challenges. First, I started resumed working on Project Euler last night, and that’s fun. I also dashed an email off to get started on the Matasano Crypto Challenge. I’m doing both of these in Haskell, and I’m enjoying myself thoroughly. It’s a great way to exercise my brain.

I Found a Cure

June 17, 2013

Nearly two weeks ago I posted about my illness. Well, I’ve found a cure. I tried it out on my iPhone last night, and today I installed the chrome app on both of my machines. It’s pretty great, and completely destroyed any desire I had to finish writing my own feed reader.

So, if you’re still looking for a replacement for Google Reader, I recommend feedly.

It's an Illness

June 5, 2013

It’s less than a month before Google Reader is shutting down, and I still haven’t decided how I want to continue feeding my RSS-consumption habit. So, tonight I gave it some serious thoughts. I searched around a bit, and saw there are some genuinely good products out there. But, I don’t think I’m going to use them, because I have an illness.

See, it can’t be that hard to write a simple feed aggregator, right? If it’s just for me, then I can make lots of tradeoffs to keep it simple, right? Most importantly, it would be fun, right?

It’s an illness, I tell you.

Twenty-five days should be more than enough, right?

It's Alive!

May 30, 2013

It’s been a long time since I last posted. A lot has happened since then, and I haven’t given much thought at all to blogging. I missed 2012 entirely. I even considered shutting the site down. But, I have found a renewed interest.

The biggest thing that’s happened in the last 18 months is that we had another son. On Liam’s first birthday, we found out Erica was pregnant, and on November 4th, 2012, Elijah Rowan Tesla came into this world. He is just like his brother in most of the ways we expected (e.g. he’s huge), and not like his brother at all in ways we didn’t expect. He’s wonderful, and I love him. Needless to say, I haven’t had a lot of brain for blogging.

I spent most of my free time over the last year roleplaying. I enjoy playing table-top roleplaying games online on MUSHes. I know, it’s very 1980s of me. One of the nice things about this hobby is I can do it from both my laptop and my phone, so I can do it when I’m stuck in a bedroom with a boy. Of course, this hobby expanded to fill all of my available time and brainspace. That’s another reason I haven’t been blogging much.

So why the sudden inspiration to start blogging again? Well, for one, I’d like to work on developing a writing habit that’s a bit longer than 140 characters. I was also reminded that sometimes I have good things to say. Back in February, I was reading my news when I came across an article that had a quote attributed to me right across the top.

“Go is not meant to innovate programming theory. It’s meant to innovate programming practice.” — Samuel Tesla

It was a bit surreal to see my own words quoted on somebody else’s blog. Especially when I didn’t remember when exactly I’d said them. I dug around and finally unearthed the rant here on my blog where I’d said that. Kudos to Carl for extracting the best two sentences of that entire post. Since then, I’ve seen it crop up in a few places. I even had a coworker ask me if I was the same Samuel Tesla that has the quote about Go.

Aside from stroking my ego, seeing that quote out there made me want to keep the site up and start posting again. But, the final barrier to my blogging was that I was unhappy with my tools. I have fallen out of love with Ruby over the last few years, and besides, Jekyll is just slow on my site. Cue the inevitable migration, because setting up my blog is way more fun than actually blogging, and here I am. My site is now powered by Hakyll, which is very similar, and yet much more suited to my needs.

Let’s see if I can at least put as much work into writing new content for the site as I did porting it over to a new tool.

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