Category Archives: web / software development / engineering

tumblr: But where do the ninjas go? Trying to organize my LEGO…

But where do the ninjas go?

Trying to organize my LEGO mini-figs according to their role-playing game character alignment.

Take this online alignment test to see where your “character” falls— I’m apparently neutral good:

A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. The common phrase for neutral good is “true good.” Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias toward or against order.

—excerpted from the Player’s Handbook, Chapter 6

Posted via tumblr: published on April 04, 2014 at 12:53PM

tumblr: Yay! Finally printed my new “personal” business card…

Yay! Finally printed my new “personal” business card design for 2014!

Complete with photo and name in “I Am Sherlocked” font on front; phone, email addresses, links to my personal website, LInkedIn profile, and Twitter profile, and contact info QR code c/o Kaywa.

Posted via tumblr: published on March 18, 2014 at 10:00PM

Markdown Cheat Sheet

I have been meaning to learn Markdown for what feels like forever, but never quite had the time until now. I’m no stranger to markup languages– HTML (i.e., Hypertext Markup Language) is of course the most well-known markup language (so well-known and been around so long that people probably forget that is one) and I’ve been using that since the Internet exploded in the mid-1990s, but another example is wiki syntax, like that used by MediaWiki, one of the most popular wiki packages that was originally developed for (and still powers) the hugely popular Wikipedia. I’ve been using wikis in one way or another since they first started becoming popular as a collaboration tool in the early 2000s after first hearing about them from some early-adopter student employees at Stanford and later using TWiki heavily for collaboration during my CMU graduate program in Software Engineering, which largely revolved around project teams. So, I love the knowledge sharing and collaboration provided by a wiki, but thought that by now, especially since most wiki packages are open source and/or free, more efforts would have been made to standardize wiki syntax. Markdown seems like a great candidate for this.

In any case, Markdown is a great tool for creating richly formatted text and documents from both easy-to-read and easy-to-write plain text markup even for someone like me who has been using HTML so long that I could write it in my sleep. So, I finally took the time today and am actually writing this post using Markdown!* I like a good tutorial as much as the next guy to help get me started with any new technology and decided to use the Markdown tutorial at The particularly great thing about this tutorial is that you have to complete small Markdown exercises to move on to the next item or step of the tutorial and any experienced programmer knows that the best way to learn a language is to use it. So, as I was going through the tutorial and completing these little exercises, I found myself copying some of my answers to save as examples of one particular thing or another. In the end, I found myself learning Markdown by taking notes in Markdown as I went through the tutorial, creating my own cheat sheet containing Markdown basics.

Aside from the tutorial’s hands-on exercises, the other driving factor behind creating my own Markdown cheat sheet in Markdown was because I happened to be using Mou, a popular Markdown editor for Mac OS X. Mou displays the source and rendered Markdown side-by-side so as I was taking down notes and pasting in examples, I could also see as well as play around with my own examples on the left-hand side while seeing the results on the right.

Markdown Cheat Sheet in Mou

I often need to switch programming languages and/or technologies quickly, working with at least two or three everyday, so I love a good cheat sheet to help me switch gears– at least until it starts becoming muscle memory and creating this cheat sheet certainly helped move me toward that goal with Markdown. So, if you’re looking to learn Markdown, I suggest you ideally follow the tutorial like I did, but if you want a quick start guide and/or cheat sheet to give you the basics, I’ve made my new MarkDown cheat sheet available here for download. As my Markdown skills develop, the cheat sheet will as well and I’ll post updated versions as I make them. Enjoy!

Download the Markdown Cheat Sheet here.

*Note re: Markdown support for WordPress: I recommend getting Markdown support for your WordPress blog via the Markdown on Save Improved WordPress plugin— this plugin smartly stores the Markdown version of your Posts separately so you can deactivate it, if necessary, without having your Posts continuing to spew out Markdown that WordPress can no longer properly process or render.

tumblr: Yay… more work… good thing I have this #Scrumban board to help…

Yay… more work… good thing I have this #Scrumban board to help me visualize all of it… #sarcasm

If not already, soon my face is going to look like that House/Hugh Laurie poster.

Posted via tumblr: published on February 12, 2014 at 09:30PM

tumblr: Such a sweet find- THE AMAZING GRACE HOPPER on…

Such a sweet find- THE AMAZING GRACE HOPPER on Letterman!

It’s only 10 minutes and definitely worth watching! Some of my favorite bits:

On going to bed instead of celebrating when she officially left the Navy after 43 1/2 years of service on 31 August 24:00:

“There’s something you learn in your first boot camp or training camp— If they put you down somewhere with nothing to do, go to sleep.”

On joining the service:

L: “What interested you about going into the Navy at 37?”
H: “Well, World War II, to begin with…” (laughter)
“That’s been one of the hardest things to tell people in this country— there was a time when everybody in this country did one thing together.”

On working on the first big computer in the US:

L: “You worked on the original computer in this country, right?”
(bit of talk about her work on the Mark I at Harvard)
L: “How did you know so much about computers then?”
H: “I didn’t. It was the first one.” (much laughter & clapping)

While showing a physical representation of a nanosecond (billionth of a second):

H: “That is the maximum distance that light or electricity can travel in a billionth of a second.”
L: “No faster, no farther…”
H: “When an admiral asks you why it takes so damn long to send a message by satellite, you point out to him between here and the satellite, there are a very large number of nanoseconds…” (illustrating with the “nanosecond” in her hand)

Explaining picoseconds, a thousandth of a nanosecond, and holding up a little packet:

“The best way to get ‘em is go to McDonald’s or Wendy’s or somewhere and get a small packet of picoseconds— they have the label ‘pepper’ on them, but they’re really picoseconds.”

Posted via tumblr: published on January 09, 2014 at 12:17PM

tumblr: This year’s alumni holiday card from the CMU CS Department…

This year’s alumni holiday card from the CMU CS Department is amusingly a propos given our latest acquisition at the office (at the other university I attended).

Posted via tumblr: published on January 08, 2014 at 02:28PM