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

Pow + PHP + LiveReload + Anvil = Yum

I haven’t been dabbling in web development lately, and I’ve missed a lot of things. I was really excited to see some of the newer tools available out there and put them to use. Sadly, some of the information out there is old or is project specific.

Because I just got it figured out, I figured I’d write this note on getting it setup to benefit myself and others who may have the same question I did.

Can Pow work with PHP and Anvil? How can I tie in LiveReload or something similar1?

The answer is yes and easily! So let’s get started.

  1. If you’re only using Sass or LESS, theres Scout and SimpLESS. They’re free but lack reloading or live previewing. Some editors support live previewing and will work with Scout and SimpLESS with a little effort (like double saving). 

What's Next?

So I finally did it. I defended my thesis, and now I’m waiting for commencement and receiving my diploma. It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve spent the past 6 years at university. It just seemed to fly by.

One of the questions that no one seems to be asking me is “What’s next?” I understand because everyone knows I’m going off into the real world to work for Microsoft. I don’t want to say that’s not really “What’s next?”; it’s just that there’s so much more that can go on than just that. And because of that belief, I feel like I’ve reached my quarter-life crisis.

Why I almost cried during Wreck It Ralph, but not Wall-E

Caution: Spoilers may be present

Wreck it Ralph has to be one of my favorite movies of 2012 so far. Yes, it is a movie targeted at children (I believe?), but it shockingly pulled on some of my heart strings and almost made me cry.

No main characters died, no character was close to death, and no character suffered any major loss (except for back story things). The main issue–and it’s a big one–is that Disney hinted at a possible “Happy Ending” that didn’t have a wish come true feeling in the end.