I've been meaning to come up with a way to flash microcontrollers over the air for a while – almost even had a use for it for a project recently. This is an awesome trick, and it looks like they did a good job of making it robust, too.
Last year I taught SIPB’s IAP Introduction to Python class. It was a really good experience, so I decided to do it again this year, and last night was the first class. But with Mystery Hunt coming up and other things having my focus, I didn’t really start prepping for the class until the day of.
Apparently Python is trendy these days! I was in a room that seats 65 or so people, and there were lots of people sitting in the aisles.
In spite of being somewhat intimidated by the large audience, and struggling to hit my stride during the beginning of the talk, I think I did a much better job this year once I actually started covering linguistic constructs. In spite of not spending a lot of time preparing this year, I had good notes for the first lecture from last year. But more importantly, I felt like I knew Python better, which really made the difference. I thought that my discussion was more focused, more concise, and more clear.
The room was an impressive mix of skill levels – several people who had never programmed and a few people who had clearly been doing it for years. Both groups asked very good questions as well.
Hopefully I’ll get to spend more time preparing for the next class, because my notes from last year get worse as I get further into the class.
Two accomplishments for today:
First, I made tortilla soup for dinner, using Mom’s recipe. It turned out really well, although it was very, very filling.
Second, for the first time, I actually made something that could be said to resemble latte art. Ever since I got a cappuccino machine at the apartment, I’ve been trying to pour latte art, and I finally pulled it off tonight. It looked very similar to this random image I found on the internet, although the leaves were curling around the edge of the cup, and there weren’t quite as many of them.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture. It was on the first cup of coffee I made tonight, and I was convinced that I could do it again, only better – a few more leaves, a little more bunched together. Of course, the other two cups were nowhere close. Maybe next time?
Hmm…it’s cold out. Also snowing. Maybe I should head home soon
I’ve been having a fun time with the idea of pulling information from other sources into my website, and I think this morning I was able to put together a toolkit that makes it fairly easy going forward.
Just about all of the information sources I might want to pull from provide RSS feeds, so I started looking at Yahoo Pipes as a way to filter, adjust, and otherwise correct feeds before they’re published here. It turns out that Pipes is far more powerful than I expected, and it’s fun to use, too. It does have the same kind of feel as piping data through a bunch of Unix commands, but it also has a bit of a functional programming feel to it too (although I tend to regard anything that has map and reduce as functional-like).
In any case, my first creation is a pipe to process an RSS feed from github. I use github as a hosting service for open source or otherwise public source code that I’m working on, assuming that I’m the one that gets to make that decision.
I decided that including all events from github would be a bit overwhelming, so instead I’m only showing events where I push local changes that I have. I then re-write the title of the post to be a little shorter. You can see the pipe at http://pipes.yahoo.com/ebroder/githubpush. I’ve generalized it a bit so that you can substitute any username.
Finally, to pull in the result of the output from Yahoo Pipes, I use WP-o-Matic to pull the RSS entries into here.
I’m looking forward to poking at some other sites with Yahoo Pipes and seeing how much I can collate into this site.
Oh – a few other details. First, I’m categorizing all entries based on their source. So far, that means “posts”, “github”, or “twitter”. If you only want to see original content on this site, just go to the posts category page.
Second, with the new evil plan to write more, but also restrict access more, it doesn’t make sense any more to crosspost all of my entries publically to LiveJournal. LJ folks, you’ll just have to deal with visiting a site outside your little circle.
Excited about the Palm Prē – I can finally get a new phone now!
Well, here goes round…3? I think it’s 3.
I’ve been meaning to bring the site back together for a while – especially after I stopped blogging for MIT Admissions. (If you weren’t paying attention, I spent August 2007-August 2008 blogging for the MIT Admissions office. I dropped it because, well, I couldn’t keep it up to date. Go figure).
But I’ve been thinking a lot recently. Here’s what I realized:
First, I hate paying for hosting, and I hate shared hosting, which means that I was totally getting the short end of the stick with the last host. Instead, I’m moving the site to a server at school, where I have total control over the whole thing. It’s much easier to work with.
Second, I’m not actually comfortable exposing my entire life to the entire world. A large part of why I wouldn’t post is because I had no mechanism to restrict who can see it. I’ve fixed that now. Anyone can sign-up for an account on ebroder.net, and the site is also an OpenID consumer, so you can use your auth.mit.edu, Livejournal, Launchpad, Sourceforge, or other OpenID identity to sign in and create an account. I encourage everyone to do that; I expect that a lot of my posts won’t be readable unless you’re logged in.
Third, there’s a trend of spreading out information and life updates on the web. Between Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, etc., a personal website is no longer the source of everything. (Zeldman seems to have noticed this early on, and I’m basing a lot of my implementation goals on Dave Shea’s description of changes to his site).
It may be a little optimistic of me to think that I’ve been generating content, and it just hasn’t been making it to this site, but I’m still going to try to build a website that can adapt to that. You may have noticed that all of my Twitter posts have been copied over. I may try to change that in the future to only include posts with a certain tag or something like that, but this seems like a reasonable start. I may also try to pull in other sources like Flickr (not that I’ve posted any photos in the last few years).
So anyway, welcome back to the new ebroder.net. Maybe it won’t die this time.
I could go for a cup of coffee right now…
Incredibly and inexplicably tired