My blog. Personal thoughts, anecdotes, and musings.

PragProg 2020 Book Sale Published November 24, 2020

This week is having their 40% off ebook sale. Use code turkeysale2020 to get your discount at checkout. This post will be all about some books you should buy for yourself or that nerd in your life. First, let’s get the shameless plugs out of the way. This year I wrote a book on making static web sites with Hugo which gets rave reviews. Build Websites With Hugo. I have a great book on using command line tools on mac, Linux, and WSL called Small, Sharp Software Tools.

Four Years at DigitalOcean Published June 20, 2020

Today marks my four year anniversary at DigitalOcean, working on the Community tutorials and the Write for DOnations program. It’s been a ridiculous four years. I started out in 2016 as a technical editor, working with external authors to create tutorials that walk readers through installing software. It was the perfect opportunity to blend my teaching experience, systems experience, and editorial experience. I would work with the author on the topic and outline, review drafts, and ensure that the article worked as written by testing out every step.

New song - PH Balance Published December 23, 2019

I’ve been working on a new tune for a few months, and today I finally had the time to finish it off. It’s got a nice mix of crunchy guitar and classic 303 sounds mixed in with more heavy drums and synths. Happy with how this turned out. Give a listen!

Live Recording Published December 16, 2019

I’ve been working on a new tune. I decided to capture myself doing some improv with pieces of the tune.

Oldschool Published December 1, 2019

When I was in college, I spent hundreds of hours using ReBirth, a music-making app that emulated two Roland 303 bassline synths, an 808 drum machine, and a 909 drum machine. Rebirth also had a number of effects and filters included. Unfortunately, support for ReBirth died many years ago. It doesn’t even run on macOS. If you were lucky enough to buy an iPad version a few years ago, you can still use that, but it’s no longer supported since Roland threatened to sue them so they took it off the store.

Moving the Blog Published November 27, 2019

About seven months ago, I began moving this site from a WordPress setup to a static site using Hugo, which I’m writing a book on right now. There’s still a ton of work to do, but it was bugging me that I didn’t have my own place to write. I’d been delaying writing a ton of content because my site wasn’t “ready”. But “ready” is a relative term anyway, so I pulled the trigger and made the swap.

My new EP - Hack to the 80s Published October 1, 2019

In celebration of Hacktoberfest, which has a pretty great 80s theme, I composed a 5 song EP of synthwave tunes. I limited myself to virtual recreations of classic synths like the Roland 707 drum machine, the Yamaha DX-7 synth, and the Roland Jupiter-8. Give it a listen!

If Scratch Isn’t the Answer, I Think I Know What Is Published June 20, 2017

(Originally posted over at Medium)

In this post, the author, Dominic Pace, argues that we should teach “actual programming” instead of Scratch. I encourage you to read that first because it makes some great points. It’s written by a high school senior who’s hit upon something important: “Learn to code” tools like Scratch and Alice really are somewhat disconnected from software development. They do help with problem-solving, and they do help students work with the very basics of software development, but they create an unrealistic expectation of how we really build software.