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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="no"?><?xml-stylesheet type='text/xsl' href='/rssxsl.xslt' version='1.0'?>
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  3.  <channel>
  4.    <title></title>
  5.    <link></link>
  6.    <description></description>
  7.    <copyright>Copyright 2019 Leon Bambrick</copyright>
  8.    <language>en-au</language>
  9.    <managingEditor>[email protected] (Leon Bambrick)</managingEditor>
  10.    <webMaster>[email protected] (Leon Bambrick)</webMaster>
  11.    <atom:link href="" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml" />
  12.    <image>
  13.      <title>secretGeek</title>
  14.      <url></url>
  15.      <link></link>
  16.      <width>49</width>
  17.      <height>33</height>
  18.      <description>secretGeek</description>
  19.    </image>
  20.    <item>
  21.      <title>TimeSnapper for Mac: Beta Testers Needed</title>
  22.      <link></link>
  23.      <description><![CDATA[<p><img src="" alt="TimeSnapper Logo" style="float:right"/> Finally some exciting news on the TimeSnapper front.</p>
  25. <p>For a long time, the most requested feature for TimeSnapper has been a whole new version, for the Mac OS. Many of our customers and friends have moved from Windows to Mac over the last decade, and consistently told us that they miss the peace of mind and assistance that TimeSnapper provides.</p>
  27. <p>One such customer, <a href="">Jon Schneider</a> was so tired of the situation that he built a new version of TimeSnapper, from the ground up, for the Mac OS. He is now part of the TimeSnapper team (along with Atli and I) and we're now ready -- with your help -- to welcome beta testers: people who are willing to run this software and give us feedback, suggestions and error reports about their experience.</p>
  31. <p><iframe src="" width="640" height="680" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0">Loading...</iframe></p>
  33. <p>A quick recap: <a href="">TimeSnapper</a> is a piece of software you can run in the background of your computer. It takes screenshots of your desktop every few seconds all week long. You can use it to recover text you've lost when (for example) your browser crashes, or you can use it to help fill out a timesheet, or just to gain an objective answer to the question &quot;Where did my time go?&quot; It's clever about the way it uses resources, so it doesn't fill up your hard drive or slow your computer.</p>
  35. <p>Huge thanks to you for considering coming along on this journey, and a biiiiiiiiiig thank you to Jon for stepping up and getting us here.</p>    
  37. <p><img src='' alt='ts mac options' title='ts mac options' /></p>
  39. <p><img src='' alt='ts mac playback' title='ts mac playback' /></p>]]></description>
  40.      <pubDate>Mon, 08 Apr 2019 10: 02:43 GMT</pubDate>
  41.      <dc:creator>Leon Bambrick</dc:creator>
  42.      <guid></guid>
  43.    </item>
  44.    <item>
  45.      <title>React is NOT ok</title>
  46.      <link></link>
  47.      <description><![CDATA[<p>Look how tragic this is....</p>
  48. <p>You create your new react app with:</p>
  49. <blockquote><pre>npx create-react-app my-app
  50. </pre></blockquote>
  51. <p>And it spits out 907 lines of techno-babblicious output, scrolling scrolling scrolling in your console, ending at last with exactly one useful shard of information:</p>
  52. <blockquote><pre>Success! Created my-app at C:\example\my-app
  53. Inside that directory, you can run several commands:
  55. yarn start
  56. Starts the development server.
  58. yarn build
  59. Bundles the app into static files for production.
  61. yarn test
  62. Starts the test runner.
  64. yarn eject
  65. Removes this tool and copies build dependencies, configuration files
  66. and scripts into the app directory. If you do this, you can’t go back!
  68. We suggest that you begin by typing:
  70. cd my-app
  71. yarn start
  73. Happy hacking!
  74. </pre></blockquote>
  75. <p>But after the wall of gobbledygook that preceded it, it's easily overlooked.</p>
  76. <p>If the React team knew about the wonders of &quot;ok&quot; (for <a href="">bash</a> or <a href="">powershell</a>) they'd simply create a &quot;.ok&quot; file inside the &quot;my-app&quot; folder that says:</p>
  77. <blockquote><pre>yarn start #   Starts the development server.
  78. yarn build #   Bundles the app into static files for production.
  79. yarn test  #   Starts the test runner.
  80. </pre></blockquote>
  81. <p>...Then you'd immediately be able to find the commands again, <strong>and run them</strong> with a simple &quot;<code>ok 1</code>&quot;, or &quot;<code>ok 2</code>&quot; or &quot;<code>ok 3</code>&quot;</p>
  82. <p>But instead: those commands, sailing by in the infinite neon-scroll of the console, will be lost in time like tears in rain.</p>
  83. <p><img src="" alt="blade runner ending, tears in rain" /></p>
  85. ]]></description>
  86.      <pubDate>Thu, 14 Mar 2019 02: 22:11 GMT</pubDate>
  87.      <dc:creator>Leon Bambrick</dc:creator>
  88.      <guid></guid>
  89.    </item>
  90.    <item>
  91.      <title>Using "ok" as a Project Control Room</title>
  92.      <link></link>
  93.      <description><![CDATA[<p>Here's an example of the scrappy, useful sort of way I use an <a href=""><code>ok</code> folder profile</a> to help me get things done.</p>
  94. <p>I'm co-writing a book with <a href="">Joseph Cooney</a>. When I want to work on the book I navigate into the correct folder, using this command:</p>
  95. <blockquote><pre><code>j ev
  96. </code></pre></blockquote>
  97. <p><code>j</code> is an alias for <code>jump</code> which is part of my <a href=""><code>markjump.ps1</code></a> system for navigating around. &quot;ev&quot; is the first two letters of the bookmark i've got for this location, so <a href="">markjump</a> &quot;jumps&quot; me into the <code>~\evergreenskillsdotcom</code> folder.</p>
  98. <p>Inside that folder, if I type &quot;<code>ok</code>&quot; I see a list of all the actions that are easy to run.</p>
  99. <p><img src="" alt="ok evergreen" /></p>
  100. <p>As shown in the screenshot the options I get are:</p>
  101. <blockquote>
  102. <ol>
  103. <li>clowncar # use clowncar to generate static html<br /></li>
  104. <li>.\build_and_push.ps1<br /></li>
  105. <li>browse &quot;************************/edit&quot;      # view DA BOOOK<br /></li>
  106. <li>browse &quot;************************/edit&quot;  # subscribers<br /></li>
  107. <li>j journal; code .\; popd; # work on non-technicals<br /></li>
  108. <li>browse &quot;https://webmail.************************&quot; # ****** inbox [email protected]<br /></li>
  109. <li>browse &quot;********/evergreen&quot;    # Joseph's Trello for EV<br /></li>
  110. <li>browse &quot;; # REDDIT for ev<br /></li>
  111. </ol>
  112. </blockquote>
  113. <p>This rag-tag bunch of commands acts as a kind of &quot;control room&quot; for all the different work-fronts of the book.</p>
  114. <p><img src="" alt="control center" /></p>
  115. <p>I can re-generate the <a href="">website</a> by calling <code>ok 1</code> (this uses a static html generator i wrote in powershell called clowncar, which uses <a href=""><code>pre</code></a>, markdown and yaml)</p>
  116. <p>I can rebuild and push <a href="">the site</a> live with <code>ok 2</code></p>
  117. <p>I can continue to edit or write the book itself with <code>ok 3</code></p>
  118. <p>I can see the list of people who have subscribed to be notified at <code>ok 4</code></p>
  119. <p>There's a bunch of research notes about non-technical skills I can edit at <code>ok 5</code></p>
  120. <p>I can send or receive email from the evergreenskills domain with <code>ok 6</code></p>
  121. <p>Joseph has a trello board where we share a lot of notes and ideas at <code>ok 7</code></p>
  122. <p>And there's a reddit site where we've been sharing links, at <code>ok 8</code></p>
  123. <p>(I've hidden a few guids, to try and slow the doomsday clock on the <a href="">guid apocalypse</a>)</p>
  124. <p>Even a simple project like this one has an evolving set of different urls and commands and activities. Maintaining a little <code>.ok</code> file is the simplest way I've got to keep track of them.</p>
  125. <p>Unlike a documentation site it contains &quot;executable&quot; commands. And since I use powershell for all navigation and automatically run <code>ok</code> everytime I enter a folder, it's always in front of my eyes, and doesn't &quot;rot&quot; the way documentation does.</p>
  127. <p>(Image is from <a href=''>Pilotpriest ‎– Original Motion Picture Soundtrack</a>... I've always loved that image since I saw it on <a href=''>archillect</a>)</p>
  128. ]]></description>
  129.      <pubDate>Fri, 08 Mar 2019 07: 24:32 GMT</pubDate>
  130.      <dc:creator>Leon Bambrick</dc:creator>
  131.      <guid></guid>
  132.    </item>
  133.    <item>
  134.      <title>Meetings: Are They Worth It?</title>
  135.      <link></link>
  136.      <description><![CDATA[<p>I tweeted recently that, inside a corporation, it would be handy to have, for example...</p>
  137. <p>An Outlook plugin that automatically edits <em>every</em> meeting request, and appends a few characters to the title:</p>
  138. <p>If the meeting request was for 10 people, for 120 minutes, it would calculate &quot;10 people times 2 hours times (some reasonable rate per hour, e.g. $89)&quot; and then it would append &quot;for $1780&quot; to the time of the meeting hence:</p>
  139. <blockquote>
  140. <p>Project Kick Off</p>
  141. </blockquote>
  142. <p>would become:</p>
  143. <blockquote>
  144. <p>Project Kick Off for $1780!</p>
  145. </blockquote>
  146. <p>(The exclamation would only be added if the dollar amount was above some configuration value.)</p>
  147. <p>Or better yet:</p>
  148. <blockquote>
  149. <p>Project Kick Off for $1780, so make sure it's worth it!</p>
  150. </blockquote>
  152. <p><img src='' alt='John Cleese: Meetings, Bloody Meetings.' title='John Cleese: Meetings, Bloody Meetings.' /> </p>
  154. <p>And, although it was not an original idea, I saw a few people in agreement.</p>
  155. <p>In the past I've seen some &quot;passive-aggressive&quot; tools that perform a similar calculation, giving attendees a calculator to continuously measure their mounting frustration: but I think my idea is more straight-forward &quot;aggressive-aggressive&quot;.</p>
  156. <p>Initially it would be hampered by people feeling defensive, but once the underlying truth has been internalized people can (I believe) move forward and be both: less wasteful and more productive.</p>
  157. <p>As always, I reserve the right to change my mind in the morning.</p>
  158. ]]></description>
  159.      <pubDate>Fri, 22 Feb 2019 09: 08:47 GMT</pubDate>
  160.      <dc:creator>Leon Bambrick</dc:creator>
  161.      <guid></guid>
  162.    </item>
  163.    <item>
  164.      <title>The Visitor Effect</title>
  165.      <link></link>
  166.      <description><![CDATA[<p>This is an amazing, remarkable and wonderful effect we have been using at work to achieve things all by ourselves that we couldn't achieve in five lifetimes if we had to achieve things all by ourselves. If that sounds confusing, it is.</p>
  168. <p>The visitor effect is a little like &quot;rubber duck debugging&quot;.</p>
  170. <p><img src="" alt="spray n wipe.jpg" /></p>
  172. <p>We've noticed at work that there are some corners in our code or some processes, that only one person is fully &quot;across&quot;. One person wrote it, maintains it, and takes care of it. No one else ever needs to worry about it and frankly, no one else would want to. These are bad things because the &quot;lottery count&quot; is 1.</p>
  174. <p>The &quot;lottery count&quot; is exactly like the &quot;under the bus&quot; count, but not quite as grim; I'll describe the latter, then the former. The &quot;under the bus&quot; count on a project asks &quot;how many people would need to be hit by a bus, before all crucial project knowledge would be lost?&quot; and is often phrased like this: &quot;But what if Rupert<sup>*</sup> is hit by a bus!?&quot; to which Ingrid responds, &quot;Then you can be certain I'll need an alibi.&quot; Because all this casual discussion of death and mayhem is a bit distasteful, particularly for Rupert, it's better to say &quot;But what if Rupert wins the lottery and doesn't come back to work on Monday?&quot; The lottery count, then, is a more generalizable mathematical treatise, resembling a knapsack problem that ponders, which minimal spanning subsets of workers are barred from forming lottery syndicates to avoid major risk to the project? But I digress.</p>
  176. <p>The visitor effect proceeds like this:</p>
  178. <p>&quot;Hmm, Rupert is the only person who understands the SCLABE System. We'd better ask for someone else to work on it with him.&quot;</p>
  180. <p>Ingrid volunteers. But we give Rupert some time to prepare. &quot;In three weeks time, Ingrid will look after the SCLABE System for a few days.&quot; Rupert experiences a brief panic then launches into a flurry of activity, tidying up and improving the system in anticipation of Ingrid's scornful gaze. Rupert looks at his code with fresh eyes. &quot;What is this doing here? Why is this so broken? How come this thing is still scattered over seven classes? Why is this coupled to that? What's with these warnings? Why is that test commented out? Why isn't that TODO: done?&quot; and so on.</p>
  182. <p>Two weeks later Ingrid finds she hasn't got time to take over from the SCLABE System. But already it's running at 300% efficiency over its old performance.</p>
  183. <p>This is the visitor effect.</p>
  185. <p><strong>*</strong> Rupert, Ingrid, and SCLABE are characters introduced by Simon Harriyott in <a href="">What?! Rupert can't leave! He's the only one who knows the SCLABE system!</a>. Simon's disclaimer, which applies equally well here reads: &quot;SCLABE is a fictional legacy system written in COBOL on an AS/400. Rupert is a fictional developer, whose resemblance to anyone you know is the whole point of this exercise.&quot;</p>
  186. ]]></description>
  187.      <pubDate>Tue, 08 Jan 2019 07: 32:32 GMT</pubDate>
  188.      <dc:creator>Leon Bambrick</dc:creator>
  189.      <guid></guid>
  190.    </item>
  191.    <item>
  192.      <title>2018 By The Numbers</title>
  193.      <link></link>
  194.      <description><![CDATA[<p>Being productive in 2018 was again a challenge. If you produced nothing, but managed to survive: good for you!</p>
  195. <p>Here's a summary of things I shipped. Numbers in parens, e.g. &quot;(3,2)&quot;, are the figures from last year and the year before.</p>
  198. <p><a href=''><img src='' alt='instagram/secretgeek 2018' title='instagram/secretgeek 2018' /> </a></p>
  200. <ul>
  201. <li>1 book published, <a href="">Choose Your First Product</a> (1,0) (available as a <a href="">PDF</a>, <a href="">Epub</a>, a <a href="">kindle book</a>, a <a href="">physical book</a>, and at the <a href="">kobo store</a>)</li>
  202. <li>1 <a href="">new version of NimbleText</a> released (1,3)</li>
  203. <li>10 <a href="">Blog posts written</a> (13, 17)</li>
  204. <li>14 new <a href="">wiki articles</a> completed (10,50)</li>
  205. <li>19 Weekly Project Update emails shared with Richard Mason of <a href="">Aussie Bushwalking</a> (0)</li>
  206. <li>Modest amount of work completed on <a href="">Evergreen Skills for Software Developers</a> but much kudos to <a href="">Joseph Cooney</a> who worked very hard on this forthcoming book.</li>
  207. <li>Big shout out to <a href="">Doeke Zanstra</a> (<a href="">see also</a>) for his excellent work on <a href="">ok-bash</a>.</li>
  208. <li>1 project I forgot to tell you about: <a href="">Robots versus Electric Sheep</a></li>
  209. <li>~200 pictures at <a href="">insta/secretGeek</a></li>
  210. <li>73 <a href="">Today-I-Learned</a> Entries written (133, 233) — 117163 words (35289, 42352), 10 new topics (21, 44)</li>
  211. <li>156 contributions at <a href="">Github/secretGeek</a> (189, 292)</li>
  212. <li>2 new <a href="">articles</a> written for &quot;Your First Product&quot; (6,17)</li>
  213. <li>1 blog post published to <a href="">medium</a> (2, 0)</li>
  214. <li>0 talks delivered (1,1) phew.</li>
  215. <li>2 (really minor) pull requests successfully submitted to open source software (1,3)</li>
  216. <li>1 pair of driving glasses acquired (0,0)</li>
  217. <li>2 production websites moved from Windows to Linux (2,3)</li>
  218. <li>200+ days in a row I met my <a href="">daily step goal</a> (previous best streak 117, also this year, prior years' best was 73 days. At this point i just use it to track the duration between sickness/injury.)</li>
  219. <li>1000s of <a href="">tweets</a> screamed into the void.</li>
  220. </ul>
  221. <p>The tweets that travelled the furthest were both about <a href="(">Evergreen Skills</a></p>
  223. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">You want to stay relevant for the next 10 years?<br><br>These are 3 major things you should focus on:<br><br>- the binary language of moisture vaporators<br>- going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters<br>- traveling through hyperspace which ain&#39;t like dusting crops, farm boy <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Leon Bambrick (@secretGeek) <a href="">November 19, 2018</a></blockquote>
  224. <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>
  226. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Imagine two teams are competing to see who can build the tallest skyscraper. The second team can use any material they want. The first team gets a 20 year headstart but can only use bananas. How long does team 2 take to catch up? (Teams are called javascript and webassembly)</p>&mdash; Leon Bambrick (@secretGeek) <a href="">November 30, 2018</a></blockquote>
  227. <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>
  229. <p>Well, let's see what 2019 is all about.</p>
  230. <p><a href="">Previously</a> <a href="">previously</a></p>
  232. ]]></description>
  233.      <pubDate>Thu, 03 Jan 2019 05: 29:20 GMT</pubDate>
  234.      <dc:creator>Leon Bambrick</dc:creator>
  235.      <guid></guid>
  236.    </item>
  237.    <item>
  238.      <title>Think you're clever? Can you name each of these CASING styles?</title>
  239.      <link></link>
  240.      <description><![CDATA[<p>How many of these capitilization styles can you name?</p>
  241. <p>I'll give you a clue, the first one is &quot;UPPERCASE&quot;</p>
  242. <ol>
  244. <li>all work and no play makes homer something something</li>
  245. <li>All Work And No Play Makes Homer Something Something</li>
  246. <li>AllWorkAndNoPlayMakesHomerSomethingSomething</li>
  247. <li>allWorkAndNoPlayMakesHomerSomethingSomething</li>
  248. <li>All work and no play makes homer something something</li>
  249. <li>all_work_and_no_play_makes_homer_something_something</li>
  251. <li>all-work-and-no-play-makes-homer-something-something</li>
  252. <li>All-Work-And-No-Play-Makes-Homer-Something-Something</li>
  253. <li>All wOrk And nO plAy mAkEs hOmEr sOmEthIng sOmEthIng</li>
  254. <li>alL woRk AnD No plAy MAkeS HOMer sOMetHInG sOmetHING</li>
  255. </ol>
  256. <p>Take your time. Look through them carefully. One at a time, out loud, say what each of them is called.</p>
  257. <p>Scroll down for the answers.</p>
  258. <br />
  259. <br />
  260. <br />
  261. <br />
  262. <br />
  263. <p>scroll...</p>
  264. <br />
  265. <br />
  266. <br />
  267. <br />
  268. <br />
  269. <p>scroll...</p>
  270. <br />
  271. <br />
  272. <br />
  273. <br />
  274. <br />
  275. <p>scroll...</p>
  276. <br />
  277. <br />
  278. <br />
  279. <br />
  280. <br />
  281. <p>scroll...</p>
  282. <br />
  283. <br />
  284. <br />
  285. <br />
  286. <br />
  287. <p>scroll...</p>
  288. <br />
  289. <br />
  290. <br />
  291. <br />
  292. <br />
  293. <h2 id="the-answers">The Answers</h2>
  294. <p>Easy one first up:</p>
  295. <blockquote>
  297. </blockquote>
  298. <p>That's uppercase. Letters A-Z.</p>
  299. <blockquote>
  300. <p>2. all work and no play makes homer something something</p>
  301. </blockquote>
  302. <p>...lowercase, letters a-z.</p>
  303. <blockquote>
  304. <p>3. All Work And No Play Makes Homer Something Something</p>
  305. </blockquote>
  306. <p>...Title Case, the first letter of each word is capitalized.<sup>*</sup></p>
  307. <blockquote>
  308. <p>4. AllWorkAndNoPlayMakesHomerSomethingSomething</p>
  309. </blockquote>
  310. <p>Good old PascalCase... words are smashed together, with the first word capitalized.</p>
  311. <blockquote>
  312. <p>5. allWorkAndNoPlayMakesHomerSomethingSomething</p>
  313. </blockquote>
  314. <p>PascalCase's close relative, camelCase... words are smashed together, with the first word not-capitalized.</p>
  315. <blockquote>
  316. <p>6. All work and no play makes homer something something</p>
  317. </blockquote>
  318. <p>Sentence case... all words lowercase, but the first letter capitalized.</p>
  319. <blockquote>
  320. <p>7. all_work_and_no_play_makes_homer_something_something</p>
  321. </blockquote>
  322. <p>Snake case: underscores as word separators.</p>
  324. <blockquote>
  326. </blockquote>
  328. <p>Combine snake_case with UPPERCASE and you get C_CONSTANT_CASE.</p>
  329. <blockquote>
  330. <p>9. all-work-and-no-play-makes-homer-something-something</p>
  331. </blockquote>
  332. <p>This is kebab-case, great for URL fragments, it's lowercase with each word separated by a hyphen.</p>
  334. <blockquote>
  335. <p>10. All-Work-And-No-Play-Makes-Homer-Something-Something</p>
  336. </blockquote>
  337. <p>This is Train-Case, the slightly shouty cousin of kebab-case.</p>
  339. <blockquote>
  340. <p>11. All wOrk And nO plAy mAkEs hOmEr sOmEthIng sOmEthIng</p>
  341. </blockquote>
  342. <p>You might have to pay attention to spot that this is vOwEl cAsE - where vowels are sent to UPPERCASE.</p>
  343. <blockquote>
  344. <p>12. alL woRk AnD No plAy MAkeS HOMer sOMetHInG sOmetHING</p>
  345. </blockquote>
  346. <p>And this is an exmple of Sponge Bob Case, where letters are randomly assigned a case; it's different every time, and hard to detect. You can't disprove that every one of the above examples is ALSO an example of Sponge Bob case. That's the thing about random ;-)</p>
  347. <p>Here's a <a href="">NimbleText pattern that demonstrates all of the above</a>.</p>
  348. <p>Yeh, this fun and educational content is also a promo for <a href="">NimbleText</a>...</p>
  349. <p><a href="">This example lets you play with all the different casing styles and generate your own in a snap!</a></p>
  350. <p>Thanks to <strong>Doeke Zanstra</strong> for the idea of <a href=''>vOwEl cAsE</a>.</p>
  351. <hr />
  352. <p><strong>*</strong> For a more nuanced take on Title Case (for professional writers) try the <a href="">title case converter</a> tool, which can apply complex house styles, like Chicago, APA.</p>
  354. ]]></description>
  355.      <pubDate>Tue, 27 Nov 2018 07: 18:49 GMT</pubDate>
  356.      <dc:creator>Leon Bambrick</dc:creator>
  357.      <guid></guid>
  358.    </item>
  359.    <item>
  360.      <title>NimbleText is now a Machine Learning Platform</title>
  361.      <link></link>
  362.      <description><![CDATA[<p>(TL/DR <a href=''>NimbleText 2.9</a> is available now. It can *infer* a pattern from a single example.)</p>
  363. <p>I saw this image on twitter a few weeks ago, and it got me thinking...</p>
  364. <p><img src="" alt="machine learning 66.jpg" style='border-radius:3px;box-shadow:0 3px 3px #CCC' /></p>
  365. <p>The first part of the diagram is a perfect description of <a href=''>NimbleText</a>: given some <strong>data</strong> and a <strong>pattern</strong> (the 'rules') it produces an <strong>answer</strong>.</p>
  366. <p>I started to wonder:</p>
  367. <p><img src="" alt="hmmm" /></p>
  368. <p><em>How hard could it be to turn it around? Could I make it act like the second part of the diagram?</em>... given some data and a single example of an answer, can I make it produce the rules (the <em>pattern</em>) to produces this answer?</p>
  369. <p>Soon after, I had a satisfactory result and <a href=''>NimbleText</a> can now act like the second part of the diagram.</p>
  370. <p>Here's an animated movie of it in action:</p>
  371. <p><a href=''><img src='' alt='Pattern inference in action' title='Pattern inference in action' /></a></p>
  372. <p>If you leave the &quot;pattern&quot; textbox blank, but insert an example result in the result textbox and hit &quot;calculate&quot; it will <em>deduce</em> the pattern.</p>
  373. <p>In other words, you can use an <em>example</em> to deduce the required pattern.</p>
  374. <p>For example, if you have this data:</p>
  375. <blockquote><pre>Jones,Jenny
  376. Smith,Sam
  377. Johnson,Jack
  378. </pre></blockquote>
  379. <p>...and you don't have a pattern, but you know the result you want, just enter an example result based on the first row, for example:</p>
  380. <blockquote><pre>Hello there Jenny Jones
  381. </pre></blockquote>
  382. <p>Hit <code>Calculate</code> and the miracle of &ldquo;machine learning&rdquo; will use your example result to deduce a pattern:</p>
  383. <blockquote><pre>Hello there $1 $0
  384. </pre></blockquote>
  385. <p>Hit <code>Calculate</code> again the result will become:</p>
  386. <blockquote><pre>Hello there Jenny Jones
  387. Hello there Sam Smith
  388. Hello there Jack Johnson
  389. </pre></blockquote>
  390. <p>It's cleverer than that though. NimbleText also deduces any functions that are needed.</p>
  391. <p>If you had the data above, with an empty pattern, and the example result you provided was:</p>
  392. <blockquote><pre>jenny JONES
  393. </pre></blockquote>
  394. <p>Press <code>Calculate</code> and it will use your example to deduce <em>THIS</em> slightly more delightful pattern:</p>
  395. <blockquote><pre>&lt;% $1.toLowerCase() %&gt; &lt;% $0.toUpperCase() %&gt;
  396. </pre></blockquote>
  397. <p>Press <code>Calculate</code> again, and the new pattern will be applied, giving you the result:</p>
  398. <blockquote><pre>jenny JONES
  399. sam SMITH
  400. jack JOHNSON
  401. </pre></blockquote>
  402. <p>...without you ever having to waste your <a href="">finger's precious few remaining keystrokes</a> typing out (or remembering) all those nasty function names. It can deduce quite a few other functions as well.</p>
  404. <p><a href='' class='action sm' >Try it for yourself!</a></p>
  406. <p>Let me know about any bugs via a comment, or via email to support at cheers!</p>
  408. <hr />
  409. <p>(It's probably worth pointing out that any "machine learning" occuring here is just "classical programming"... it's a very handy feature all the same!)</p>
  410. ]]></description>
  411.      <pubDate>Tue, 13 Nov 2018 07: 42:02 GMT</pubDate>
  412.      <dc:creator>Leon Bambrick</dc:creator>
  413.      <guid></guid>
  414.    </item>
  415.    <item>
  416.      <title>I have some feedback for you...</title>
  417.      <link></link>
  418.      <description><![CDATA[<p>I read this excellent thread from <a href="">Amanda Silver</a> about &quot;feedback&quot;:</p>
  420. <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">But the truth is that a lot of the hard problems in software development are people problems. So, I’m going to share a few tips I’ve learned about collaboration over the past couple of decades...</p>&mdash; Amanda Silver (@amandaksilver) <a href="">October 17, 2018</a></blockquote></p>
  421. <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>
  424. <p>...and it reminded me to blog about what I learned from the book <a href="">&quot;Thanks for the Feedback&quot;</a> by the authors of &quot;Difficult conversations&quot; (Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen).</p>
  425. <p>There is a lot of depth to this book. I want to share the first major insight they provide:</p>
  426. <p>When someone says &quot;I'd like some feedback&quot; there are several different things they might mean.</p>
  427. <p>They might mean:</p>
  428. <ol>
  429. <li>&quot;I'd like appreciation and encouragement,&quot; or</li>
  430. <li>&quot;I'd like coaching/training from an expert,&quot; or</li>
  431. <li>&quot;I'd like to be evaluated.&quot;</li>
  432. </ol>
  433. <p>And, if someone says &quot;I have some feedback for you&quot; they might mean to provide any one of those three distinct things. That feeling, by the way, is the blood draining from your face. And it's in part because you're not sure what sort of feedback they're about to hit you with.</p>
  434. <p>If my daughter has just played trumpet in front of 300 people and she says &quot;How did I go?&quot; it's not the time for coaching or evaluating: it's good old appreciation and encouragement. This applies even <em>if</em>, in addition to being a mum or dad, you are a world class trumpet player.</p>
  435. <p>When you've applied for a job and you've heard nothing, you write and ask for feedback. You might be chasing type 3: &quot;Did I get the job?&quot; If they respond with &quot;Your choice of shirt was excellent,&quot; (a weak type 1), you're not completely satisfied.</p>
  436. <p>Other times, it's less clear.</p>
  437. <p>So before replying with feedback, the magic trick is to <strong>ask the person what sort of feedback they want</strong>.</p>
  438. <p>And if requesting feedback, <strong>be specific about the type of feedback you'd like to receive</strong>. (And then try to accept whatever you get!)</p>
  439. <p>As I said, the book goes a lot further. It digs deep into the psychology of feedback, the overlap between different types, the way different people respond to different stimuli (&quot;baseline&quot;, &quot;swing&quot;, &quot;sustain&quot;, &quot;recovery,&quot; oh my!) and much more. Feedback is a crucial part of life in civilization.</p>
  440. <p>I found it a worthy book.</p>
  442. ]]></description>
  443.      <pubDate>Wed, 17 Oct 2018 02: 00:00 GMT</pubDate>
  444.      <dc:creator>Leon Bambrick</dc:creator>
  445.      <guid></guid>
  446.    </item>
  447.    <item>
  448.      <title>Convergent versus Divergent modes of thought</title>
  449.      <link></link>
  450.      <description><![CDATA[<p>Sometimes you need to expand your mind and find more ideas: Divergence.</p>
  451. <p>Sometimes you need to focus, cut scope, and ship it: Convergence.</p>
  452. <p>Understanding these two modes of thoughts, and switching to the right one at the right time, is a vital skill.</p>
  453. <p>&quot;Thinking exercises&quot; are often divergent; they help you find more ideas. Brainstorming exercises; Lateral thinking exercises; Idea generation; Surveys to gather data; Seeking feedback. These all increase the possibilities. They are divergent.</p>
  454. <p>This quote attributed to Antoine de Saint-Exupery, &quot;Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away,&quot; is about convergence.</p>
  455. <p>Chasing down leads, library research, finding and following references: these are divergent.</p>
  456. <p>Considering is divergent. Choosing is convergent.</p>
  457. <p>Scope creep is divergent. Bug fixing is convergent.</p>
  458. <p>Explorers are divergent. Settlers are convergent.</p>
  459. <p>Writing is divergent. Editing is convergent. (Note the saying "Write drunk. Edit sober." (Often falsely attributed to Hemingway.))</p>
  461. <blockquote><p>I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.<br />&mdash;Blaise Pascal</p></blockquote>
  463. <p>...has time for divergences, but not for convergence.</p>
  465. <p>When you've decided what color to paint the bikeshed, you have converged. When Darryl chips in with info about three more colors he quite likes, he's being divergent.</p>
  466. <p>&quot;We're re-imagining the boundaries of the enterprise, because our CEO read an article in Time magazine on the flight back from Helsinki&quot; is too divergent. &quot;It's just the way we've always done things&quot; is too convergent.</p>
  467. <p>Steve Jobs was convergent, &quot;Get rid of the crappy stuff&quot;, &quot;More wood behind fewer arrows&quot;, he never saw a feature he didn't want to remove. But he would harness divergence: <em>harnessing divergence</em> is the goal of the divergent/convergent dichotomy. Separate teams would work in parallel on their own prototypes and implementations: divergence. Then they'd bring all the results together and kill off the crappy ideas: convergence.</p>
  468. <p>Ted Nelson (inventor of hypertext) is divergent. &quot;The Laws of Subtraction&quot; are convergent.</p>
  469. <p>Inspiration is divergent. Taste is convergent.</p>
  470. <p><img src="" alt="shipit award.jpg" /></p>
  471. <p><img src="" alt="concept car.jpg" /></p>
  472. <p>A &quot;Ship it!&quot; award is convergent. A concept car is divergent.</p>
  473. <p>Amy Hoy and Alex Hilman's book title &quot;Just F*cking Ship&quot; is convergent. Bob Dylan's &quot;Tangled Up In Blue&quot; is divergent.</p>
  474. <p>Wikipedia hosts the long-running battle between Inclusionists and Deletionists. In other words, Divergence versus Convergence.</p>
  475. <p>Map|Reduce... map is divergent, reduce is convergent.</p>
  476. <p>Scatter is divergent. Gather is convergent.</p>
  478. <p><a href=''>Sylvia Duckworth</a> knows what's going on:</p>
  480. <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">New <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Sketchnote</a>: Modes of Thinking <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#edchat</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#edtech</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CreativeThinking</a> cc <a href="">@dougpete</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Sylvia Duckworth (@sylviaduckworth) <a href="">January 28, 2016</a></blockquote>
  481. <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>
  482. </p>
  484. <p>Refinement and exploration are convergent and divergent:</p>
  486. <p><img src='' alt='Refinement vs Exploration' title='Refinement vs Exploration' style='border:1px solid #666'/>  <br />(<em>from <a href=''>Intercom blogpost referencing Bill Buxton</a></em>)</p>
  488. <!--
  489. <p>Directed acyclic graphs are convergent. Networks are divergent.</p>
  490. <p>Trousers are divergent. Shirts are convergent.</p>
  491. <p>TED is divergent. TEDx is divergent. Come to my TED talk.</p>
  492. <p>The cloud is divergent. A PC is convergent.</p>
  494. -->
  495. <p>Dreams are divergent. Goals are convergent.</p>
  496. <p>Santa Claus is divergent. The tooth fairy is convergent.</p>
  497. <p>Ward's Wiki is divergent. <a href=''>Getting Things Done</a> is convergent.</p>
  498. <p>Sketching is divergent. Inking is convergent.</p>
  499. <p>Riggs is divergent. Murtaugh is convergent.</p>
  500. <p>Divergent people think they're too convergent. Convergent people think they're too divergent.</p>
  501. <p>Distraction is divergent. Focus is convergent.</p>
  502. <p>Tag clouds are divergent. Inbox Zero is convergent.</p>
  503. <p>&quot;Ideas man&quot; is a divergent title. &quot;Man of action&quot; is a convergent title.</p>
  504. <p><strong>Yes, And...</strong> is beautifully divergent.</p>
  505. <p>A question mark is divergent. An exclamation point is convergent.</p>
  506. <p><strong>Both are good. Neither is enough.</strong></p>
  507. <p>May all your divergences converge.</p>
  509. ]]></description>
  510.      <pubDate>Tue, 16 Oct 2018 05: 29:58 GMT</pubDate>
  511.      <dc:creator>Leon Bambrick</dc:creator>
  512.      <guid></guid>
  513.    </item>
  514.    <item>
  515.      <title>How do you get things done?</title>
  516.      <link></link>
  517.      <description><![CDATA[<p>Personal productivity is one of those things you work at every day of your life. A forever project. Right now, I've got a lot of different &quot;systems&quot; that work together and I'm pretty happy with some of it, so that's a nice change.</p>
  518. <p>I just want to write it down and share it. There might be something you can take away from it. Or something you can add or replace and tell me about. It's very personal and I don't expect this to be completely useful to anyone. I am <em>very</em> interested in how <em>you</em> get things done.</p>
  519. <p>Below is a list of the different systems, followed by a brief description of what they each do. But before getting into the systems, I want to talk about two critical concepts: <strong>Commitments</strong> and <strong>Habits</strong>.</p>
  520. <p>Any time you decide to work on a new project, whether it's with other people, for other people, or for yourself, there is more work involved than you can readily see. This is the &quot;total commitment&quot; of the project. Over days and weeks and months and years, the project will chew up a bunch of hours. And you always have a <em>limited</em> number of hours.</p>
  521. <p>Hence there are only so many commitments you can take on. For any project you need to decide if you're committed or not, considering the &quot;total commitment&quot;. And the best answer is &quot;not.&quot; You can quickly say &quot;I can't commit to this.&quot;</p>
  522. <p>When you hear about a new television series, you can think about the total commitment and say, &quot;I don't have room for that television series right now.&quot; And that's a really liberating thing to say!</p>
  523. <p>When people are super busy I think that really they're over-committed. You can't please everyone. But you <em>can</em> displease everyone. I'm not saying this to insult you: I point the finger of blame at myself first of all.</p>
  524. <p>The other concept is &quot;Habits&quot;. Charles Duhigg's book on <a href="">&quot;the Power of Habits&quot;</a> is excellent. You need to develop good habits if you want to be productive.</p>
  525. <p>Here are the systems that I use habitually:</p>
  527. <ul>
  528. <li><a href='#overdrivelibbyborrowbox'>overdrive/libby/borrowbox</a></li>
  529. <li><a href='#pocket-kobo'>pocket + kobo</a></li>
  530. <li><a href='#k2pdfopt'>k2pdfopt</a></li>
  531. <li><a href='#til'>TIL</a></li>
  532. <li><a href='#cleverdeck'>CleverDeck</a></li>
  533. <li><a href='#devoir'>devoir</a></li>
  534. <li><a href='#calendar-reminders'>calendar reminders</a></li>
  535. <li><a href=''></a></li>
  536. <li><a href='#alarms'>alarms</a></li>
  537. <li><a href='#markjump-j-now'>markjump / j now</a></li>
  538. <li><a href='#ok'>.ok</a></li>
  539. <li><a href='#wiki'>wiki</a></li>
  540. <li><a href='#music'>music</a></li>
  541. <li><a href='#passwords'>passwords</a></li>
  542. <li><a href='#weekly-email'>weekly email</a></li>
  543. <li><a href='#dread-task'>dread task</a></li>
  544. </ul>
  546. <h2 id="overdrivelibbyborrowbox">overdrive/libby/borrowbox</h2>
  547. <p>I get free audiobooks from the library via these apps (<a href="">OverDrive</a>, <a href="">Libby</a>, and <a href="">Borrowbox</a>) that integrate with many libraries, including my own mega local library complex (Brisbane City Council Library). (Brisbane is a massive local government, with an excellent library service; use it, people!)</p>
  548. <p>Most of the time when I'm out walking (I consistently meet my daily step goals... I'm still committed, yay!) I listen to audiobooks at 1.5 or 1.75 times normal speed, with frequent pauses for &quot;thinking&quot;. (Thinking pauses! Use them!)</p>
  549. <p>A recent addition is that I try to listen to each non-fiction book a <em>second</em> time.</p>
  551. <blockquote><p>"The reading of a single text twice is more proftable than reading two different things once (provided of course that said text has some depth of content)"<br/>&mdash;<a href=''>Nassim Nicholas Taleb: Skin in the Game</a></blockquote>
  553. <p>The first time is entertainment. The second time is to make the information really soak in. The second time around I listen faster, at up to 2.5 times normal speed. It really flows. (There was a study that listening to audio at faster speeds is good for depression. It might be bad for mania though, so be careful with this power.)</p>
  554. <p>I find that listening to audiobooks has really improved my skills at &quot;performing&quot; a book out loud to my kids at night, instead of just &quot;reading&quot; it. Every character can be unique, and there's no such thing as &quot;over-acting&quot;. Audiobooks also give me deep immersion in different accents, which carries over into performing books for the kids.</p>
  557. <h2 id="pocket-kobo">pocket + kobo</h2>
  559. <p>When I see an interesting long-form article online I save it using the <a href="">pocket</a> extension, which I've installed both in my desktop browser and on my phone. I also use this extension when I'm researching a topic. I try to save a broad swathe of articles I can read all at once.</p>
  560. <p>This way the article will be available (in a readable form) when I open my <a href="">Kobo ereader</a> at night. Kobo has great pocket integration.</p>
  561. <p>I mark an article as a &quot;favorite&quot; to indicate I've read it completely. I wish there was a better way to indicate things about an article and to take notes or store snippets directly in the ereader. I'd pay a small fistful of coin for this ability.</p>
  563. <h2 id="k2pdfopt">k2pdfopt</h2>
  565. <p>If I have a scientific article I want to read later I convert it to a "mobile-reader" pdf using this strange program, <a href="">k2pdfopt</a>, and then use <a href="">Calibre library</a> to convert it to epub.</p>
  566. <p>It's difficult to transfer the epub to the Kobo ereader, wirelessly. The simplest way I've found is to turn on the &quot;Calibre content server&quot; on my latop, so I can serve the file out to anyone on my network. Then, from my Kobo, I can browse to it and download the files I want. (I store a &quot;favorite&quot; on my Kobo, that makes it faster to browse to the Calibre content server on my laptop. I think it's hilarious that the 'web browser' feature in the Kobo is buried under "Settings | Beta Features" and introduced with this text: "Take the on-ramp to the information superhighway" like it's 1997)</p>
  567. <p>With a Kindle I believe you can email files directly to the device, using a private email address.</p>
  569. <p>(To investigate further: <a href=''>PDFMunge</a> "Improve PDFs on eBook")</p>
  571. <h2 id="til">TIL</h2>
  573. <p>When I learn things I want to be able to access later, I write them into a markdown file in a repository on my computer. I run a command (via ok) and it's published to the internet, at <a href=""></a> in html, pdf and epub format, thanks to <a href="">gitbook</a>.</p>
  575. <p>This is a modern take on an ancient practice called the <a href=''>commonplace book</a> or "commonplace".</p>
  577. <blockquote><p>"Commonplaces" are a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books. Such books are essentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind: recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas. Commonplaces are used by readers, writers, students, and scholars as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts they have learned. Each commonplace book is unique to its creator's particular interests. They became significant in Early Modern Europe.<br />&mdash;Wikipedia</p></blockquote>
  580. <h2 id="cleverdeck">CleverDeck</h2>
  581. <p>When I need to memorize a fact, such as the name of my friend's new pet dog, I put it into a <a href=''>spaced repetition</a> app called <a href="">CleverDeck</a>.</p>
  582. <p>These are different from TIL facts, these are little things I need to be able to instantly recall without looking them up.</p>
  583. <p>Facebook does a good job of remembering birthdays for the people that are on there. But other people I have to remember for myself, so I put them in CleverDeck and find them easy to memorize.</p>
  584. <p>I think I'll start putting a lot more things, including technical things, into CleverDeck.</p>
  585. <p>Here are two lengthy articles on spaced repetition that cover a <em>lot</em> of ground:</p>
  587. <ul>
  588. <li><a href="">Michael Nielsen: Augmenting Long-term Memory</a></li>
  589. <li><a href="">Effective learning: Twenty rules of formulating knowledge</a></li>
  590. </ul>
  592. <h2 id="devoir">devoir</h2>
  594. <p>This iphone app, <a href="">devoir</a>, is the latest addition to my systems.</p>
  595. <p>There are some recurring maintenance tasks I want to remember to do. They're basically &quot;chores&quot;. I put them into devoir.</p>
  596. <p>When a task is marked as done in devoir it is immediately set to be redone at a certain distance into the future. For example: wash the car. If I wash the car and tell devoir I've done it, it will disappear, only to re-appear in 6 weeks. It's very easy to change the frequency of any task or add a new task.</p>
  597. <p>At first, I had only a few things in devoir. But now it has grown to effectively manage more and more of these Sisyphean chores. And since devoir is the only thing that knows when (for example) I last had my annual home pest inspection, there is a &quot;lock-in&quot; with this product.</p>
  598. <p>Some recurring tasks I don't have to remember because the task will remind me. For example, dentists are not shy about reminding you to come in for an appointment. And each time I get my haircut I book in the next appointment right away (and add it to my calendar, see next item).</p>
  599. <p>Amy Hoy's recently launched &quot;<a href="">pep</a>&quot; product may be a more powerful way to manage recurring tasks. I haven't looked into it. But her design work is out of this world, so I think it would be money well spent.</p>
  601. <h2 id="calendar-reminders">calendar reminders</h2>
  603. <p>How many calendars do you look after?</p>
  604. <p>I've got my main calendar on my phone. And an analog family calendar my wife looks after on the wall of her study. There's my personal work calendar in outlook. And my teamwork calendar in Outlook/SharePoint. Sometimes I'm on projects that have their own calendars.</p>
  606. <h2 id=""></h2>
  608. <p>I have a journal file that I use for processing what I'm doing. I press Ctrl-D to insert a timestamp.</p>
  610. <h2 id="alarms">alarms</h2>
  612. <p>I have alarms set at different times for every day of the week. I choose distinct ring tones for each type of reminder, to try and create pavlovian responses. I hear one alarm it means &quot;gently start to awaken from your slumber&quot;. Another sound means &quot;get the fuck out of bed, dipshit.&quot;</p>
  614. <h2 id="markjump-j-now">markjump / j now</h2>
  616. <p>I use the command line for all my computer work. Using <a href="">markjump</a> I can jump to any of my projects with the alias &quot;j&quot;.</p>
  617. <p>For example, to work on &quot;<a href="">Choose Your First Product</a>&quot; (the book) I type <code>j yfp</code>. To work on the website &quot;<a href=''></a>&quot; I type <code>j</code>.</p>
  618. <p>There is always a bookmark called <code>now</code> which I can jump to with <code>j now</code> which is the current project I am committed to working on.</p>
  620. <h2 id="ok">.ok</h2>
  622. <p>Each project I work in has a <code><a href=''>.ok</a></code> file (a little text file) that I can instantly peruse or execute.</p>
  623. <p>As soon as I jump into a project, the <code>.ok</code> file is listed. It shows me a bunch of handy one-line commands for that project, with a number next to each one. I press <code>ok 1</code> to run the first command, and so on.</p>
  624. <p>I edit the <code>.ok</code> file with <code>n .ok</code> (because I have a function called <code>n</code> that opens a file or series of files in my text editor.)</p>
  626. <h2 id="wiki">wiki</h2>
  628. <p>There are some things I learn about that I find fascinating. I put those into the wiki at <a href=''></a>, not into the other systems.</p>
  629. <p>And other things become blog posts, or book ideas, or paintings or drawings or <a href="">stupid tweets</a> etc. Everything ends up somewhere.</p>
  632. <h2 id="music">Music</h2>
  634. <p>As <a href='/DeepFocus'>previously discussed</a> I use "deep focus" playlists to help me get and stay "in the zone."</p>
  636. <h2 id="passwords">Passwords</h2>
  638. <p>Passwords of course go into a password manager. I use PasswordSafe, aka PwSafe.</p>
  640. <h2 id="weekly-email">Weekly Email</h2>
  642. <p>But the best new thing that's helping me be productive, is the weekly email I get from Doctor Richard Mason. It's not a mailing list email, it's a personal email.</p>
  643. <p>Talking to Doctor Richard we found we were both letting our side-businesses flounder with important tasks left undone for too long. There were easy tasks that we were simply not moving ahead with.</p>
  644. <p>Now he sends me an email each week. He tells me what he's planning to do on his personal business projects. And tells me what he got done. I see him making steady gains. It's wonderful to witness!</p>
  646. <p>Then I reply and say what I'm planning to do and what I got done. Things I could've put off indefinitely are getting moved along. It feels good.</p>
  648. <p>It's a bit like a daily standup, but at a different pace, and more deliberate, less coerced.</p>
  651. <h2 id="dread-task">Dread Task</h2>
  653. <p>Sometimes there is a dread task that I struggle with. These are often small, sometimes vague. They usually involve contacting a stranger or a person who has the whammy on me. Sometimes they are weird technical bugs that I can't resolve or reproduce.</p>
  655. <p>As soon as I notice a task like this, I tell my brother about it. He doesn't need to tell me to do the task or anything. His role is just to acknowledge that I've said it. The reply &quot;ACK&quot; is sufficient. If he has a similar task, he can let me know about it. I try not to offer solutions unless he explicitly asks for them. Just an &quot;ACK&quot;.</p>
  656. <p>Having him there to hear about my dread task is really useful. It's a very trusted position. Thank you, John.</p>
  658. <hr />
  662. <p>That's about it for the systems I use today.  How bout you?</p>
  664. <p>Here's some of the many many systems I've used previously:</p>
  666. <ul><li>TiddlyWiki</li>
  667. <li>Trello</li>
  668. <li>OneNote</li>
  669. <li>Todo.txt</li>
  670. <li>Ta-da list</li>
  671. <li>Google Calendar</li>
  672. <li>followupthen</li>
  673. </ul>
  675. <h2>Further Reading</h2>
  677. <ul><li><a href=''>Being more organised</a></li></ul>
  679. <p>(I finally found the link above, an essay from Simon Harriyott about <em>his</em> systems of organisation. It's from 2014 though, and everything was different in ye olden times.)</p>
  681. <h2>Addendum</h2>
  683. <p>Screentime feature in iOS 12+ is also helping me out now. </p>
  684. <p>And I'm using an app called "Toned Ear" for learning Relative Pitch (i.e. musical training) in a form of deliberate practice.</p>
  685. <p>For organizing papers/pdfs (which Pocket doesn't handle well) I use <a href=''>zotero</a> ("your personal research assistant").</p>
  686. ]]></description>
  687.      <pubDate>Thu, 13 Sep 2018 08: 24:45 GMT</pubDate>
  688.      <dc:creator>Leon Bambrick</dc:creator>
  689.      <guid></guid>
  690.    </item>
  691.    <item>
  692.      <title>Spy Codes: a code booklet to help your little spies</title>
  693.      <link></link>
  694.      <description><![CDATA[<p><strong>A handy cheatsheet for helping your kids crack codes.</strong></p>
  695. <p><a href='' class='action sm'>Download PDF (6 pages)</a></p>
  696. <p>I love this! I built this and extensively field-tested it with my own crack team of super spies (my kids).</p>
  697. <p>It's 6 pages of my favorite Spy Codes, for use with your own budding spy team (i.e. your kids).</p>
  698. <p>It's a FREE PDF, a dense little book, guaranteed to bring you hours of fun. (And give your kids a lot of practice at performing lookups.)</p>
  699. <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="spy codes preview" /></a></p>
  700. <p>This 6 page booklet is simply a series of tables containing alphabets that help you translate:</p>
  701. <ul>
  702. <li>Morse code</li>
  703. <li>Braille</li>
  704. <li>Pigpen cipher</li>
  705. <li>Knights Templar Code</li>
  706. <li>A Mayan Numbering System</li>
  707. <li>Caesar Cipher (complete table)</li>
  708. <li>Complete ASCII (in decimal, hex, <em>and</em> binary)</li>
  709. <li>And more</li>
  710. </ul>
  711. <p><em>It is vital that your child does not let this book fall into enemy hands.</em></p>
  712. <p>Using these sheets to encrypt and decrypt messages is a practical introduction to substitution ciphers.</p>
  713. <p>If your kids (or students) enjoy these, there are many, many more advanced concepts that pick up where these exercises end.</p>
  714. <p>Last year I blogged about: <a href="">Dadding 101: Give Your Kids A Trail of Codes To Break</a>.... and of course coding trails are not limited to use by dads. Mums, grandparents, foster parents, step parents, guardians, siblings, cousins, friends... everyone should be giving trails of codes to break to all of their loved ones at all times. It's one of the most joyful things in life. I know my brother and I set these up for each other when we were not the grizzled old men we have transformed into today.</p>
  715. <p><a href="">Simon Singh's delightful volume &quot;The Code Book&quot;</a> is a great read on the topic of codes throughout history. It's a pleasurable read and goes qute in-depth. Fun for all ages.</p>
  716. <p>Znl nyy lbhe pbqrf or nf rnfl nf guvf bar!</p>
  718. ]]></description>
  719.      <pubDate>Sun, 10 Jun 2018 09: 10:05 GMT</pubDate>
  720.      <dc:creator>Leon Bambrick</dc:creator>
  721.      <guid></guid>
  722.    </item>
  723.    <item>
  724.      <title>The Book Is Ready</title>
  725.      <link></link>
  726.      <description><![CDATA[
  727. <p><a href=''><img src='' alt='Choose Your First Product cover 200' title='Choose Your First Product cover 200' style='border:1px solid #338;float:right;margin:10px' /></a></p>
  728. <p>Here's the thing. I wrote a book. It's out now. And you can get it here:</p>
  729. <p><a href="" class="action sm">Get &quot;Choose Your First Product&quot;</a></p>
  730. <p>This charming little tome, &quot;Choose Your First Product,&quot; is for any first-time product creator who wants to find a product idea that they can sell with <em>confidence</em>.</p>
  731. <p>There's a tragic pattern that I've seen too many times:</p>
  732. <p>I've watched people around me as they make their first product. They find an idea they love, or a problem that intrigues them. They pour everything into it. They code in isolation. They delay shipping, again and again as they add features, or polish existing features. If they ever ship, which they almost never do, the product is full of beautiful code. Yet it can't find a single customer. Or very few.</p>
  733. <p>And they're supposed to &quot;pivot&quot; at this point. But that's impossible. They're demoralized, for starters, and second, they have no meaningful feedback on which to pivot. They've failed completely. Defeated, they declare &quot;I was just no good at marketing.&quot; And give up.</p>
  734. <p>They think the problem happened after launch. They didn't <em>hustle</em> hard enough. They didn't choose the right font on their landing page. (Maybe they can A/B their way to success?) They don't realize they were on the wrong track before they even fired up the IDE.</p>
  735. <p>This book is a practical remedy to that problem. How do you <em>start</em> with something people will pay for? How do you <em>start</em> with something that will be easy to sell?</p>
  736. <p>I've boiled it down to a four-step plan, the T.O.A.D. It's a framework. Of course it is. I walk you through the TOAD, this four-step framework, showing how easy it can be to find an idea that will <strong>help real customers</strong>.</p>
  737. <p>Because I like to overdo things, I made it available in four formats:</p>
  738. <ul>
  739. <li><a href="">Paperback from Amazon $14</a></li>
  740. <li><a href="">PDF eBook $7</a></li>
  741. <li><a href="">EPub eBook $7</a></li>
  742. <li><a href="">Kindle eBook $7</a></li>
  743. </ul>
  744. <p>If you want to make a humble product that will help real customers, then it's possible this book will be useful. No pressure though.</p>
  745. <p><a href="">Read more here.</a></p>
  746. <p><img src="" alt="bird1 row 230" /></p>
  747. ]]></description>
  748.      <pubDate>Wed, 06 Jun 2018 08: 24:25 GMT</pubDate>
  749.      <dc:creator>Leon Bambrick</dc:creator>
  750.      <guid></guid>
  751.    </item>
  752.    <item>
  753.      <title>Death to the Passive Voice</title>
  754.      <link></link>
  755.      <description><![CDATA[<p>When I was a funny little school kid, my English teachers would moan:</p>
  756. <blockquote>
  757. <p>Stop using passive voice in your writing!</p>
  758. </blockquote>
  759. <p>I did not know what they meant and found no enlightment in their answer:</p>
  760. <blockquote>
  761. <p>Passive voice is when a verb is used without a clear subject.</p>
  762. </blockquote>
  763. <p>Now that I'm a big kid and I live in the modern futuristic utopia of 2018, I finally understand what passive voice is all about!</p>
  764. <p>If you go to an application like <a href="">&quot;Hemingwayapp&quot;</a> and paste in the sentence:</p>
  765. <blockquote>
  766. <p>Passive voice is when a verb <span style='background-color:#cFc'>is used</span> without a clear subject.</p>
  767. </blockquote>
  768. <p> will see the app highlight the words &quot;is used&quot; as a blatant example of passive voice...</p>
  769. <p>We've employed a &quot;doing-word&quot;, the verb 'used', but we haven't said <em>who</em> or <em>what</em> did the doing. There's no one to blame for this action.</p>
  770. <p>With a little thought we can re-write the sentence in an active way:</p>
  771. <blockquote>
  772. <p>&quot;Passive voice is when <strong>writers</strong> <strong>use</strong> a verb without a clear subject.&quot;</p>
  773. </blockquote>
  774. <p>Now we know who is doing the thing... <em>writers</em> did the thing!</p>
  775. <p>As an editor it's hard to turn someone else's passive writing into active writing. Because when we turn passive writing into active writing we must decide &quot;<strong>Who</strong> did this verb?&quot; Only the original writer can be sure where to stick the blame.</p>
  776. <p>Passive voice is completely reliant on weak verbs. Things are &quot;done&quot;. But they're not done in an interesting and engaging way. Once you've made a subject responsible for the action, you can also enliven the verb:</p>
  777. <blockquote>
  778. <p>&quot;Passive voice is when writers <strong>dribble</strong> out their verbs with no clear subject.&quot;</p>
  779. </blockquote>
  780. <blockquote>
  781. <p>&quot;Passive voice is when tepid writers <strong>lay down</strong> their verbs with no clear subject.&quot;</p>
  782. </blockquote>
  783. <h1 id="death-to-the-adverb">Death to the Adverb</h1>
  784. <p>On this topic of choosing verbs we find another big suggestion from hemingway app: use fewer adverbs.</p>
  785. <p>If you write:</p>
  786. <blockquote>
  787. <p>The girl ran <span style='background-color:#c4e3f3'>quickly</span> across the lawn.</p>
  788. </blockquote>
  789. <p>Hemingway app will ding you for &quot;quickly&quot; -- as it's an adverb, and Hemingway himself punched out as few of them as possible. You may have observed that he wrote the books &quot;For Whom the Bell Tolls&quot; and &quot;A farewell to arms&quot;. He did not write &quot;For Whom the Bell Merrily Tolls&quot; and &quot;A Cheery Farewell to Arms.&quot;</p>
  790. <p>A writing coach won't just tell you to ditch the adverb: they'll get you to improve the verb.</p>
  791. <p>So this is worst:</p>
  792. <blockquote>
  793. <p>The girl ran <span style='background-color:#c4e3f3'>quickly</span> across the lawn.</p>
  794. </blockquote>
  795. <p>This is better</p>
  796. <blockquote>
  797. <p>The girl ran across the lawn.</p>
  798. </blockquote>
  799. <p>But this is betterest!</p>
  800. <blockquote>
  801. <p>The girl <strong>dashed</strong> across the lawn.</p>
  802. </blockquote>
  803. <p>A single word, a verb, that contains within it more meaning than the verb plus adverb combo.</p>
  804. <p>And again, only the writer, not the editor or the coach, can choose the correct verb.</p>
  805. <blockquote>
  806. <p>The girl <strong>sprinted</strong> across the lawn.</p>
  807. </blockquote>
  808. <blockquote>
  809. <p>The girl <strong>dashed</strong> across the lawn.</p>
  810. </blockquote>
  811. <blockquote>
  812. <p>The girl <strong>flew</strong> across the lawn.</p>
  813. </blockquote>
  814. <blockquote>
  815. <p>The girl <strong>tore</strong> across the lawn.</p>
  816. </blockquote>
  817. <blockquote>
  818. <p>The girl <strong>fled</strong> across the lawn.</p>
  819. </blockquote>
  820. <p>And so on. Each with different connotations.</p>
  821. <p>(I'm hooked on these topics lately, as I've been writing the book <a href="">Choose Your First Product</a> (launching any day now!) and editing the book <a href="">Evergreen Skills for Software Developers</a>... I can't read anything without mentally taking out the <span style='color:red'>red pen</span>.)</p>
  822. ]]></description>
  823.      <pubDate>Sun, 06 May 2018 20: 20:30 GMT</pubDate>
  824.      <dc:creator>Leon Bambrick</dc:creator>
  825.      <guid></guid>
  826.    </item>
  827.    <item>
  828.      <title>I'm .ok you're .ok: introducing folder profiles for bash and powershell</title>
  829.      <link></link>
  830.      <description><![CDATA[<img src='' alt='ok ' title='ok ' style='float:right;border:6px solid #888;border-radius:25px;margin-left:7px'/>
  832. <p>Summary: a <code>.ok</code> file holds a bunch of handy one-liners, specific to the folder it is in. It can be viewed or executed with a simple command. It makes you smarter and more efficient.</p>
  834. <p>I work on lots of little projects and each one has its own nuances and tricks. Context switching from one project to the next is hard on the brain. Some projects are brand new, some are ten years old. Some are in Windows, some are in Linux.</p>
  836. <p>Every time I go to resume work on a project there is that moment of confusion as the brain tries to reload a dusty tape of facts from cold storage.</p>
  838. <p>To make it easier to recall all pertinent facts, I've started putting a little file called &quot;.ok&quot; in each project. This file holds any relevant shell commands I use with that project. (I have a <a href="">powershell version</a> and a <a href="">bash version</a>)</p>
  840. <p>For example here's the <code>.ok</code> file from my &quot;<a href="">Today I Learned</a>&quot; project:</p>
  842. <blockquote><pre><code>.\quick.ps1; .\deploy.ps1; # quick-build, prepare to deploy
  843. .\build.ps1 # complete build, after which you can see preview
  844. _book\index.html # see preview
  845. .\wordcount.ps1 # custom word count script
  846. </code></pre></blockquote>
  848. <p>If I type the command &quot;<code>ok</code>&quot; then I will see a listing of this file <strong>with a number against each line</strong>:</p>
  850. <blockquote><pre><code>&gt; ok
  851. 1. .\quick.ps1; .\deploy.ps1; # quick-build, prepare to deploy
  852. 2. .\build.ps1 # complete build, after which you can see preview
  853. 3. _book\index.html # see preview
  854. 4. .\wordcount.ps1 # custom word count script
  855. </code></pre></blockquote>
  857. <p>And if I type &quot;<code>ok 3</code>&quot; then it will run line number <code>3</code>, like this:</p>
  859. <blockquote><pre><code>&gt; ok 3
  860. &gt; _book\index.html # see preview
  861. </code></pre></blockquote>
  863. <p>(And in this case I'll see a HTML preview of the current state of the book)</p>
  865. <p>To make &quot;<code>ok</code>&quot; extra useful, I've setup my system so that <em>every</em> time I navigate into any folder (via <code>cd</code>), the command &quot;<code>ok</code>&quot; is run immediately. So if there is a &quot;<code>.ok</code>&quot; file I'll immediately see the available commands. (I did this by removing the &quot;<code>cd</code>&quot; alias, and making a custom &quot;<code>cd</code>&quot; <em>function</em> that does a <code>set-location</code> followed by a call to &quot;<code>ok</code>&quot;)</p>
  867. <p>If I want to add a command to the file, it is the work of a moment. I can do it immediately by editing the &quot;<code>.ok</code>&quot; file with &quot;<code>ed</code>&quot; or any <a href="">standard</a> <a href="">editor</a>.</p>
  869. <p>Source code is here:</p>
  871. <p><a href="" class='action sm'>&quot;ok&quot; folder profiles for bash</a></p>
  873. <p>And here:</p>
  875. <p><a href="" class='action sm'>&quot;ok&quot; folder profiles for powershell</a></p>
  877. <p>Sometimes I write a thing and slowly stop using it. Other times I use it more and more, day after day, year after year, as happened with <a href=''>NimbleText</a>. So far, "ok" seems to be one of those "use it more and more" solutions. So I think you would do well to give it a try.</p>
  879. <p>Any issues, lemme know.</p>
  882. ]]></description>
  883.      <pubDate>Thu, 04 Jan 2018 03: 34:30 GMT</pubDate>
  884.      <dc:creator>Leon Bambrick</dc:creator>
  885.      <guid></guid>
  886.    </item>
  887.  </channel>
  888. </rss>
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