Book Review: Spaceman by Mike Massimino

Everyone needs a job. For many of us, it's a means to an end, something to pay the bills. For some, it's a career path that challenges us and helps us grow. I thought that was as good as you could hope for, to go to work enjoying the challenge. But the truly fortunate get to do something they've dreamt of since childhood, then find that the reality of it doesn't disappoint, and they get to push humanity forward while inspiring others. Oh, and they still get paid for it. It's easy to admire those who seemed to have "made »

Cooking with Simon Monk - Raspberry Pi Cookbook

It’s been too long since I messed with the Raspberry Pi. It started with Hacktoberfest a few months ago, then we had a baby, and then I got it in my head to write a Chrome extension and… life happened. So I picked up a copy of Raspberry Pi Cookbook by Simon Monk to jump-start things again. I assumed it’d have “recipes” for some cool projects, but it ended up being much more comprehensive. It takes you from the very basics of unpacking your Pi and setting it up, to installing Raspbian and creating your first Python script, »

Book Review: Getting Things Done, Part 1

Do you ever get exhausted, thinking of everything that needs to be done? I do. I always have this feeling that there’s tons of “stuff” to do – some that needs to get done and a lot I want to get done, some at the forefront of my thought and some I just have a nagging feeling about. There’s stuff I wanted to do years ago that I still kind of intend to do, maybe, if and when I magically formulate a plan. Or more like, when the plan formulates itself. Most of it’s so vague that I »

Charles Townes, The Laser, and Fostering Curiosity

When I hear about a discovery or invention, it sometimes seems inevitable that the people involved should’ve ended up where they were, doing what they did, as if they were handed the situation or the whole thing were preordained. At the very least, I don’t give much thought to what in their lives led them to that eventual point of discovery. I doubt I’m alone in this. In science, there is usually no cold, objective inevitability to discovery or the accumulation of knowledge, no overarching logic that controls or determines events. . . . One has ideas, does experiments, meets »

Review: Visual Studio 2013 Cookbook, by Jeff Martins and Richard Banks

I was recently offered a complimentary copy of Visual Studio 2013 Cookbook. This was timely, since I focus primarily on the Microsoft stack and use Visual Studio 2012 daily, and our team at work is considering upgrading soon. Before you read further, note that this book is neither an in-depth guide to Visual Studio for someone who’s never used it before, nor a complete tutorial on the C# language, .NET 4.5 / 4.51, or any particular construct(s) therein. Instead, this book is split between general enhancements, such as the Quick Find box and continuous testing, and enhancements »