Back to Xubuntu

A while ago, I switched back to Windows so I could play video games… While I enjoyed playing video games, one thing I missed was the integration of so many languages and the operating system. So now, I’m back on Xubuntu.

This time, I put in a little more effort for finding apps I’ll be using and creating a nice look and feel. I’m documenting it, both to share, and in case I screw something up really bad.

Determining Intent Pt 1

Cortana, Alexa, Siri, and then some. Digital assistants are invading our lives, and I’m loving every minute of it.

As a kid I loved Digimon. I thought it would be cool to get sucked into the internet and hang out with my digital partner. It’s pretty much the reason I got into computers. I started poking around at computer vision and machine learning in hopes of one day getting sucked into the internet making computer interaction more natural.

Some people have been working on the problem a lot longer than me, but I thought it’d be fun to share some approaches on the subject. This is part one… There’s a lot of content to cover.

Automated Summary Experiment Pt.1

So, I decided to play around with Node.js and CoffeeScript. I thought it would be fun to program some toy command line script, so what toy problem would I solve?

Well, I’m sure you all heard about how Google and Yahoo have both acquired automated summary generation applications for big bucks. So I thought, why not write something similar so I can make the big bucks1?

I really wanted something like NumPy for Node. Luckily I found natural and Sylvester. “‘Natural’ is a general natural language facility for node.js.” Sylvester is a vector and matrix math library for JavaScript. I thought I’d have to write a lot more, but using these two libraries along with CoffeeScript, the code is around 100 lines.

  1. Of course, this is just for play and probably not as awesome as something worth $20 or $30 million. 

New Design

I hope things look nice and fresh and so clean clean around here1. I was trying to come up with something that looked modern and promoted readability. The goal with the home page was to have something that looked like the center column of a newspaper–headers and images to catch your attention. Individual posts are like the rest of the story, focus is on the text.

Not that the default Octopress theme is bad, it’s just bulky. I knew I wanted to redesign my blog, but I didn’t know what I wanted it to look like. I looked at the blogs I enjoy reading, like Shawn Blanc, Daring Fireball, Zach Holman, Matt Gemmell, and many others. Matt Gemmell recently wrote on blog design and made several good points.

It made me think, which blogs do I read on their site, and which ones do I read in my RSS reader? The list shrunk rather quickly. My RSS reader is subscribed to about 80 sites. Site I go to instead of reading from my RSS feed are the GitHub Blog, Shawn Blanc, Panic Blog, John August, and Zach Holman (sorry Matt).

But what made me prefer them over my RSS reader?

Introducing BookMark'd

BookMark’d saves links and is your own personal search engine.

Or at least that’s the work in progress tag line.

I was sitting at my computer this weekend and remembered that I bookmarked an interesting page. I was trying to find the bookmark, but I couldn’t. I even tried the bookmark search tool, but that only matches if a word or phrase is in a page, so I could be stuck with a lot of results, or have the wrong word and not get the result I need.

Of course, I’ve tried to organize my bookmarks into folders, but then if I wanted something in multiple folders. I’d have to bookmark it twice. And the whole interface for adding bookmarks into folders is a pain. Of course there’s always delicious, but that only lets me search through tags, and who really remembers all of that?

So I decided to crank out my own solution that works the way I want (hopefully someday, it’s still in development). You can see a live example at