I like to think that if only I find The Perfect Text Editor I will somehow write better and more often. Obviously this is only a tactic I use to delay actually writing anything, but I did come across something that might actually help. Draft is a writing app being developed by one guy, Nate Kontny, that has a ton of nifty features, one of its best being a version control system that allows you to send a draft to other people and accept or reject any changes they suggest. It also has a minamilistic iA Writer type interface, which focuses on the actual writing and nothing more.
Like a lot of people, I didn’t see a clear use-case for Chromebooks. They’re just glorified browsers, right? What if I wanted to do anything outside of the browser? Why would you spend $1299 or $1449 for a computer that can only run a browser?
It’s been a while since I last wrote, but I’ve still been busy. I began my research position at the MIT Media Lab working with Fluid Interfaces. It feels like I’m designing the future; I really couldn’t ask for a better job right now. But, more on that later.
I’ve still been continuously refining my workspace, and how I use my laptop. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I’ve been moving more and more towards the command-line for day-to-day operations because of it’s unparalleled level of customizability and compatibility with other programs. There’s nothing more powerful than being able to whip up a small python or bash script that interacts with a couple of other programs to achieve something instantly that optimizes my work flow.
I’ve been moving a lot of my daily tasks to the command-line lately, and that includes redditing. I probably spend far too much time on reddit as it is, but I really wanted to find an efficient way to view reddit through the command-line. w3m could render reddit okay, but I couldn’t view my personal front-page because that required me to login to my profile.
I have finally finished my second year of college. Now that finals are over, I can post about some of the things I have been working on. First, a front-end I made with a group in my SWE 205 : Software Usability Analysis and Design class. The assignment was to create a homepage for the University’s bookstore website, applying all of the usability principles we had learned over the semester. I ended up working on it when I wanted to procrastinate on assignments in my other classes, so I put quite a bit of effort into it.
The following is a non-fiction essay I wrote for my ENGH 396: Intro to Creative Writing class. I decided to write about my experience with discovering and getting involved with the eccentric community of hackers that I met since the past two internships I’ve had at Valti and Humbug in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Seeing as it encapsulated what I’ve learned culturally since then, I decided to post it here as well.
RTMP or Real Time Messaging Protocol is a protocol developed by Adobe to stream Flash videos. It’s currently in use by sites like the New York Times, ABC, NBC, Hulu, and so on. Since the video is streamed to the user’s Flash player (in their browser) bit-by-bit, the full video file is never given to the user for them to keep. This is desirable to a lot of media companies because then they can force you to watch through ads to see their content and can charge you to download the full video.
George Mason University uses a system called eSuds to control the laundry machine transactions in the dorms. What makes eSuds really cool though, is that it keeps track of the status of every machine and displays it on a website so students can check how full the machines are before making the trek down to the laundry rooms. The system emails each student when their laundry is finished as well.
The original intention of this blog was to serve as a place where I could showcase the programming work I have done and detail my process. However, as you can tell, there hasn’t been any posts since my first “Hello, World!” post. Sure, I’ve been working on projects, but I just haven’t gotten to the point in any of those projects where I felt like I could blog in detail about it.
This past summer, I decided that the basic HTML site that I had at hallada.net wasn’t going to cut it anymore. I needed a blog.
At that point, I had already come a long way with Python and was pretty familiar with it and I was beginning to get familiar with Django, a web framework for Python. Django was what I was working with at Valti, and I was really liking making websites with it. It took what made Python awesome and applied that to web development.