about:drewcsillag

Musings of a programmer, musician, photographer, and Christian.

A Couple of Good Reads for Programmers

A couple of good reads I’ve encountered in the last month or so that cover things I’ve thought myself, but are written much better than I would have:

If you’re a programmer/software engineer/whatever, read them, they’re well worth your time.

Staples Arc Paper - $100 vs. $20

(see here for the full Agile Organizer series)

I’ve now been using my agile organizer system for now going on three years, with a few adjustments, but the main principles firmly in place. I did however switch form factor from letter sized to junior sized paper (5.5” x 8.5”, or the half-letter-sized) and 2x2 sized stickies rather than the standard 3x3. As not everything winds up on stickies, as I keep a running log of what I’m doing, notes, etc. as written on the regular pages, I did eventually need to get refill paper.

How to Use a Diver’s Bezel

a.k.a. The Suprising Utility of a Diver’s Bezel

I’ve worn a diver’s watch for years, and initially, I got one because I wanted a durable watch that I didn’t have to think too much about. The bezel on the watch was more of a decorative curiosity than something I planned much to use. Then I learned a few things.

17 Frets - Scales, a Guitar Scale Encyclopedia

Back at the end of December, I posted 17 Frets Chords, a concise chord dictionary. I had been working on a scale encyclopedia too, but hadn’t put the finishing touches on it.

It’s mostly where I want it, but there are some places where it’s not as good as I want, but I figure, might as well release it now.

17 Frets - Chords, a Guitar Chord Dictionary

I’ve been using this now for a bit, and now that I’ve not made any changes to it in a few months, and after a failed pitch at selling it to a publisher, I’ve decided to release this into the wild. I figure it’s useful to me and at least one other person, it may be useful to others.

The essence of it is that instead of the usual tome of a chord dictionary that most are, this one plots the chord tones across 17 frets of a guitar neck, using note numbers instead of names. This way, you don’t have 12 versions of a minor 9th chord, but only one. Amongst other things, this and the included index can help you find voicings, or good substutions for chords. In any case, printed double sided, the thing runs about eighteen pages, slim enough to keep in a music binder or folder you might use during practices or performances.

Regulating My Mechanical Watch

For Christmas last year, my wife bought me a Seiko SKX-009 which I absolutely love. Even though I love it, I looked at a bunch of higher end Swiss watches but found that even though many of them look really great (I came pretty close to buying an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chrono), but realized that when it came to the features I use on the SKX, the number of Swiss watches that actually fulfil them is very few. Like the Fortis Marine Master and Cosmonaut were the only two I could find - but while they fit what I want, I don’t care so much for the styling. But the accuracy of a Swiss watch was appealing as the SKX had settled to losing 15 seconds a day, which isn’t wonderful. But at least it was a very consistent 15 s/d.

The Marvels of a Mechanical Watch

Seiko SKX009

I’ve been interested in timekeeping devices for many years, and have generally been facinated with watches, and in the last year or so, I’ve become I big fan of mechanical ones.

How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love `git Rebase`

N.B. Some of this revolves around puppet, but if you know nothing about puppet, you won’t miss anything.

I’ve been doing a bunch of stuff in puppet lately. Since my actual puppet runs are inside VMs which I nuke fairly frequently, doing the actual bits of development in the VM is impractical (and somewhat dangerous even).

I use git to do my normal version control anyway, so that’s nothing earth shattering, but I also use git to update /etc/puppet in the VM from what’s on my laptop because it works really well.

Since I do that, the number of commits I generate can get large, as some commits are adding a close quote or colon, or what have you. Not only that, but I often have a few commits that I never want to actually get merged at the end of the day because they’re just there to set the node configration, or tweak things that only apply because I’m fiddling in a dev vm, and not a real environment.

How to manage all of this?