Binary Redneck

  • Testing Hugo

    Tonight, I began playing with Hugo, a static site generator in Go. I’ve been a big fan of static site generators for some time, due to the incredible freedom of just not maintaining a CMS before, especially for simple content. I’ve long needed to move from Ghost, which is great for its target audience, but too WYSIWYG and clicky for my engineer brain. So far, so good. Hugo is much faster to compile and has a much bigger and more varied theme ecosystem than Nikola, the static site generator I’d worked with previously.

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  • DNS, Blocklists, and Fault Tolerance

    My workplace hosts weekly “brown bag” discussions, wherin much of the team and various guests bring our lunches to our larger conference room, or an HTML5 videoconference bridge, and discuss some information security topic over a meal. It’s an informal affair; my stuffed animals may even appear on camera in my stead if I’m under the weather as I was today. This week’s topic was the Quad9 filtered DNS service.

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  • Gifts of All Kinds

    One of my mentees recently left me with a very special gift: a copy of Donald Knuth’s The Art of Computer Programming, Vols 1-4a. Besides being a staple of the computer science community, these books have a special meaning for me personally. They remind me of another, even more priceless, gift: the support of adults in my young life, especially my parents, even when they didn’t understand me. I grew up in the last place one might expect a software engineer or information security professional to come from: the remains of an old farming community on Chicago’s south side, surrounded by some rougher neighborhoods.

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  • Just a thought...

    Someone on IRC tonight told me that he thought he was incapable of self-improvement. I pointed out that humans are born small and squishy, happily pooping on ourselves, unable to use words or spoons… If you are reading this, you have already improved yourself. So get over it, and decide what’s next.

  • My New "Toy"

    I’m a fan of going analog whenever I can manage. Fountain pens and paper are a great way to focus, and to stay organized without waiting on apps or relying on batteries. I’ve used and iterated on my trusty Bullet Journal for some time now. However, as I’ve gotten busier I’ve started missing the pre-printed calendars from when I used to use more structured planners. Not willing to give up the freedom of big note taking spreads and rapid logging, I set out to find a hybrid solution.

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  • How To Have a Meeting

    I hate meetings. I hate anything that asks me to step away from my work for overhead tasks. However, meetings are useful and necessary if you want a group of people to act in a coordinated fashion. I’ve been working recently with a group that includes several people new to the professional world, some of whom are struggling with how to have a meeting like a professional. It occurred to me that while there’s been a lot of writing on meetings, I didn’t have a succinct checklist to point folks to… until now.

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  • Bloomington Bees

    My 14yo son, Lucas1, is working on his first startup. Bloomington Bees is a Bloomington, Indiana based apiary, or bee farm, producing honey, beeswax, honeycomb, and other interesting things. The Bloomington Bees blog, linked above, launched last week and received a bit of polish today making it ready to promote. Lucas talks about beekeeping and what it is like to start a business while still in school. My original post about Lucas’s beekeeping endeavor can be found here: So it bee-gins.

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  • So it bee-gins.

    When most people talk about startups, they conjure up visions of inexperienced hipsters fighting for VC1 money with a “build it now, exit soon, profit will magically happen sometime” attitude. There’s a lot more going on in the world–a lot more going on just in the US–but it gets little attention because it’s not trendy and “high tech”. My 14yo is starting up this year. It all started last winter, when Lucas saw a movie set in Sherlock Holmes’ later life.

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  • Getting Mentorship Right in Open Source

    Thanks to pdurbin and moongazer in #openhatch for the original discussion, and pdurbin again for some good edits to this post. I was party to a great discussion on IRC today about the disconnects in expectations that can make creating great mentor/mentee relationships difficult. This post is an attempt to capture some of my own thoughts and correct some misconceptions. A Mentor’s Perspective I’ll begin by explaining what mentoring looks like from the mentor’s perspective.

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  • Meritocracy in Open Source

    I sat it on a great talk at OSCON today by VM Brasseur about succession planning in Open Source projects and communities. There was a point where she called out the weaknesses in claims of meritocracy in open source projects: At first, I expected the worst: another tirade about putting the goal of selecting contributors who look different from one another ahead of selecting for competence, differences in thinking, or complementary skill sets.

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