Fixing software bugs

Set screws. These are the tiny little screws used to hold on the handles for some bathroom fixtures. I didn’t know what they were called before, that would’ve saved me some time. The handles of our bathroom faucets would occasionally fall off, not often, but maybe weekly. I never really had a problem with them, […]

Working with Animated GIFs

A few resources and snippets for working with animated GIFs on Linux. I use animated GIFs for various screenshots to highlight bugs or demonstrate features. It is quite useful to have For Windows 10, the ScreenToGif app is excellent. It is the only app I know that shows you every frame captured and allows editing […]

The Hill We Climb

I absolutely love the inauguration poem The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman. It was exactly what we needed, the poem is full of optimism and reality; beautifully capturing the current moment. It is rejuvenating to hear the poem and see the strength in Gorman, it fills me with hope. The text of the poem […]

Use Cornell Notes for Online Class

I’ve found two things that help me get more out of online classes: first is to make space and pay attention, and second I use the Cornell Note taking method during the class. There isn’t anything that different using the Cornell Note method for an online class, than an in-person class, except you can pause […]

Enable Learning in Technical Writing

My goal writing documentation is to enable a student to learn, give them confidence they can learn, and not just copy-paste their way. This is not easy and I’m still learning myself what is the best way to organize any given set. This post covers my thinking around, it is a deeper follow on to […]

Embracing Windows 10

First off, I am a huge proponent for Linux, it has been my primary OS for many years. One of the first big projects I led was converting ETRADE’s production system from Solaris to Unix, running Linux on your production servers was a radical idea back in 2002. I’ve embraced and been a champion of […]

Kurt Vonnegut Buying an Envelope

When Kurt Vonnegut tells his wife he’s going out to buy an envelope: “Oh, she says, well, you’re not a poor man. You know, why don’t you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet?” And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope […]

Course Review: Writing in the Sciences

A review of the Writing in the Sciences online course that I recently finished. The course is taught by Dr. Kristin Sainania a Professor of Health Research and Policy at Stanford University. It is a free 8-week series of canned videos, online quizzes, and homework assignments designed to improve your writing. Course Structure Each week […]

Async is the Key to Distributed Work

I wrote A Year Working Remotely after my first year at Automattic — a company now at 1,000 fully distributed employees across 76 countries. This is a 6-year follow on sharing additional learning on work and productivity. A colleague Alister wrote a great post, Three Years of Working from Home, that covers personal care tips, […]

Lessons from Walt Disney

On a sunny day, my family and I went up to San Francisco to visit the Walt Disney Museum. The museum is located in the beautiful Presidio near the Golden Gate Bridge. I simply hoped to enjoy a nice day out of the house, maybe something the kids would like–I didn’t expect to be inspired […]

Using the Pomodoro Technique

I recently started using the Pomodoro Technique to help me focus. I find it a useful productivity tool to fight distractions. The technique is a rather simple process: Set a timer for 25 minutes, Work focused on your task, When the timer goes off, take a short break (5min) Repeat After completing a few sets, […]

Notes on Technical Writing

Over the past year, I’ve worked off and on documentation for WordPress. I started contributing during a launch freeze to help developers transition to the new block editor. I found I enjoy writing documentation, it is rewarding to craft quality documentation that helps people. Over time, I’ve read numerous resources on technical writing and documentation. […]

Bauhaus Centenary Block

To celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Bauhaus design house, our team created a celebratory block for the WordPress editor, see our announcement post on Automattic.design. The Bauhaus Centenary block is available as a plugin with three styles – basic forms, year, and ribbon – that embraces the character, variety, and edge of the Bauhaus […]

On Fruit Trees and Code Bases

A fruit tree planted in a nice sunny spot, given water and time will grow. It may not grow how you want or expect it to, but grow it will. Each branch of the tree does it’s job and sprouts new branches. All of them competing for sun, getting in each others way, and shooting […]

Switch from Ubuntu to Manjaro

I switched from Ubuntu to Manjaro for my primary Linux system, a Dell XPS laptop. I’ll cover briefly why, but the change is not nearly that big because I still use GNOME desktop which is more or less the same for both. I also use a Windows 10 desktop 😲 for games and other things […]

The Story of the Laggy Mouse

A story as old as time, not all the stories involve computers and peripherals, but the tale is known by all do-it-your-selfers, home-depot-excursioners, and other fixers-of-small-things. It is a story told around camp fires, in fact one version of the story starts “So we were out of firewood…” My version starts with “So my mouse […]

Using Firefox user.js settings file

The Firefox user.js file stores user settings, the file is loaded each time Firefox starts. This a convenient way to save your browser customizations and apply them on different machines. The prefs.js file already exists in your Firefox profile directory, find the location using about:support in the top bar. The prefs.js file looks like it […]

Summer Sabbatical

My company, Automattic, has the wonderful perk of a 3-month sabbatical every 5 years. Amazingly enough, I’m already an old-timer and been there over 5-years, so this summer I took my sabbatical. I timed it to be off the same time as the kids for summer, so I didn’t work for June, July, and August. […]

Ethernet, FTW!

I’ve been interested in running a caching DNS server off my Raspberry Pi for awhile, and with the recent Cloudflare announcement of their new DNS service and discussion around it, seemed like a good time to set it up. Pi-hole I setup my device with Pi-hole a great bit of software which was easy to […]

Terminal Heatmap Chart

Awhile ago I created a simple script to create bar charts on the command-line for when I published my running year in review, 2017 example here. I published the script on Github and surprisingly have received a few contributors over the years, recently a couple of students from Greece did a nice upgrade to numerous […]