Every day, every moment, is an opportunity to learn

Creating My First Google Chrome Extension – Part 3

I was looking forward to wrapping this extension up within the first couple days of xmas break (my workplace shuts its doors between Christmas and New Year’s), but then every single one of my kids got sick in turn. It was a crappy week. But now it’s finally done, and I can generate bookmarks from Pinboard tags the way I wanted. All in all, a good learning experience!

Creating My First Google Chrome Extension – Part 2

I started writing my first browser extension a couple weeks ago, and though my spare time has been pretty limited I’ve made some (never as much I’d like) progress. I left off last time with (finally!) figuring out how to authenticate to the Pinboard API. As with so many things, once I knew the answer I couldn’t believe I didn’t figure it...

Creating My First Google Chrome Extension – Part 1

Something’s been nagging me… I’ve been on this kick recently, trying to untangle myself from my reliance on all things Google. Their services are great, and I don’t mean the following to be a rant, but a few things worry me… Should I put all my eggs in one basket? It seems unlikely, but if Google goes down or gets hacked, or...

How to compare two objects (testing for equality) in C#

Hacktoberfest and the promise of free t-shirts had me looking for a project to help with this month. That’s how I stumbled across GeneGenie.Gedcom, a genealogical library written in C# (read more about it here), and found myself reviewing everything I know about class equality. I focused on implementing some logic to make sure changes were correctly detected, and in order to do that I had...

What is Hacktoberfest and How Can You Participate?

There are 10 days left in October. 10 days to earn a t-shirt in the third annual Hacktoberfest, when DigitalOcean and GitHub offer swag to the masses to encourage contributions in open source software. Last year, DigitalOcean said participation jumped from under 1000 to 5700+ in nearly a hundred countries. I wonder what the results will be this year? And...

Reviewing the Basics Helps Us See the Light

I enjoy finding the occasional online mooc to participate in, as time permits, even if it’s something I’m already familiar with. Hearing or reading about an old concept in a slightly different way can bring new insights, make us rethink something we’ve been taking for granted, or just help us make a new connection. “Don’t assume that just because you can get something to work once,...

Find Your Reason to Code

I signed up for a moderate-paced mooc through edX a few weeks ago, and while it’s not too late to join, you’d have to hustle to catch up at this point. It’s an intro to computer science, but its heavy focus on Python is what interested me. Finding a Reason to Code There are too many languages out there to bother trying to learn them all. Some are ancient but...

Naming Things Well is Much Harder Than Just Adding One More Comment

When I was taking programming classes in college, comments were all the rage. Most of the solutions I handed in had one function (or very few), with comments above the class, above each function, within each function. Everywhere. Instructors wanted lots of comments. In retrospect, I’m not sure why. Maybe so that if the code was off, they could still give partial credit, like...

Creating a Flickering Candle Using an RGB LED on the Raspberry Pi

After getting PWM (pulse-width modulation) to work with an RGB LED last week, I was trying to think of what else I could do with an LED that demonstrated changes in color as well as intensity. I’m not sure why – maybe it was because we lost power in our neighborhood recently – but I thought a flickering candle could be an...