Longform posts

A miscellaneous series of longer blog posts from a variety of topics


  • System76 Darter Pro 6 with Coreboot

    Oh. My. Gosh. I am so glad this was announced when I started thinking of looking at laptops. The choice wasn’t hard because I couldn’t decide what laptop I wanted, but it was hard if I could justify a new laptop. I did, and I made a post about it recently. This post is the meat–a review and thoughts on the laptop itself :]

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  • Linux on Laptops and Buying New Laptops

    I just spent a casual weekend (or now a full week as I’ve done this sporadically) with my new System76 laptop, a coreboot-powered Darter Pro (darp6)! These were recently announced, and I was eager to jump at the opportunity to support them with their efforts to not only push quality laptops pre-loaded with a usable Linux-based distribution, but also for their efforts to open-source as much as they possibly can.

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  • Foxback Post-mortem

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  • D3 for Data Plotting

    I found d3.js a few years ago and thought it was absolutely brilliant. I immediately wanted to use it for plotting data (something I do a lot, but have never been happy with my many options: Gnumeric/Excel, QtiPlot/Origin, matplotlib/Matlab, and Octave/Gnuplot).

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  • Infinity Mirror Music Matchbox!

    Last year, I moved to Denver from Massachusetts for a job, and have since grown to love the city and develop a close circle of friends. I'm not usually a Christmas person, but after seeing these 3D greeting cards hidden in redecorated matchboxes, I was inspired to do something small and cute like that for my friends. I also love LEDs and electronics, so hey, why not thrown some microcontrollers in there and see what I can do?

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  • Building Unbundled Electron from Scratch [natively on armv7]

    I am starting to grow tired of Emacs, and enjoyed Atom/LightTable and want to start using them more often (aside from running them essentially sandboxed from the rest of my system). However, using Atom/LightTable, the default mode when “building from source” is to download a pre-built Electron binary. Building Electron from source, however, still downloads precompiled versions of libchromiumcontent (the library version of Chromium content engine). You can set a flag to build libchromiumcontent, but this downloads prebuilt clang binaries from Google unless you set another flag. Ugh.

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  • Self-hosting a Known Instance

    I was never much of a web person, and I considered it a gross, disjointed, and messy platform. Circa 2010, my impression was that web apps were business oriented ventures, using and providing proprietary services hosted by servers that may cease to exist for any number of reasons. The spirit of open source did not seem to penetrate as deeply as it did on the desktop, where I had managed to use open source software almost exclusively.

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  • Academic Presentations: HTML Slide Decks using deck.js and citeproc-js

    I am a long time Linux user, and have been using it (or [Free,Dragon,Open]BSD) exclusively since around 2004. For nearly every situation I have either been able to find an open-source replacement, or alternative for most workflows I encounter. Finding alternative workflows happens to be one of my favorite exercises.

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