Smart progress bars

Progress bars suck at predicting how long things will take. I’ll tell you what I want (what I really really want): a system-wide resource that receives a description of what the progress bar will be measuring and uses it to make an informed estimate the entire process’s duration. For example, suppose that an application installer will do several things in series, one after another. Perhaps an explanation of that process could be written in a machine-readable format like this:

Little League wants all your information

To sign kids up for our city’s Little League baseball program, you have to prove that they’re residents, which is reasonable. What’s not reasonable is the amount of information you have to provide on the registration website. You have to upload scans of a document in each of 3 categories: Proof of Residency 1 Choose one of the following: Driver’s license, School records, Vehicle records, Employment records, Insurance documents

New favorite command: Zoxide

My favorite new command is zoxide. It’s like a faster z, autojump, or fasd. In summary, it learns which directories you visit often with your shell’s cd command, then lets you jump to them based on pattern matching. In the event of a tie it picks the one you’ve used most frequently and recently. For instance, if I type z do then it executes cd "~/Library/Application Support/MultiDoge" for me because that’s the best match for “do” in recent history.

"Let's Fix OmniFocus", indeed

If you use OmniFocus, you should check out Paul Sahner’s Let’s Fix OmniFocus post: But lately there has been a growing demand for the company to rethink the user experience and interface of OmniFocus. As popular competitors like Things win acclaim for their clean, modern appearance, OmniFocus – for all of its power – appears stuck in another time period. So I wanted to see what it might take to re-imagine the OmniFocus suite of apps.

Use local Git repos for personal work

I’ve heard a lot of online arguments about whether you should host your Git-based projects in GitHub or GitLab, but a lot of them miss an obvious option. Is this repo for your own personal work that you don’t intend to share with others? Great! You can host unlimited, free, completely private repositories on your own system. Here’s the complete process: $ mkdir -p ~/src/myproject $ cd ~/src/myproject $ git init --bare $ cd ~ $ git clone ~/src/myproject $ cd myproject There, you’re done.

Dell doesn't honor warranties

In late August 2020, I bought my kid a new Dell SE2419HX monitor for his birthday. School was starting back and his laptop’s built-in screen was turning out to be too small for him to use for remote schooling. (If you’re reading about this in the far future, this was the year of COVID.) It arrived a few days later and we plugged it into his computer, sat it on his desk, and watched him happily use it for the next few months.

Automating this static website

I use the Hugo website generator to create this website out of a bunch of Markdown fils. A lot has been written about this approach, but the main advantages are that the site can load quickly even when it’s serving a lot of traffic, and you don’t have to worry about bugs in the blog software when there isn’t any. The downside is that you can’t post to it as easily when you’re out and about on a mobile device.

Security training for the masses

My company is going through its annual HIPAA privacy and security refresher training. This is a good thing and I wholeheartedly support it, as it’s always nice to be reminded of some of the details. “Oh, I forgot that we’re allowed to do X! That’s good to know.” But the most irksome thing in the world is when you know the right answer to a test question but are required to give the wrong one to pass it.

Google v. Oracle, by analogy

Suppose Joe opens a restaurant. He hires a waiter who is really great at following directions, but speaks no English. Over time, Joe comes up with a way of working with this waiter that’s very precise and detailed. You can ask the waiter for things like “order burger plus cheese plus ketchup no tomato no onion” or “bring check” or “bring water”. However, you have to say things exactly the right way each time.

November 2020 Voting Guide

These are the notes I collected to determine how I’m going to vote on November 3, 2020. I’m posting this not to tell you how you should vote, but to share my reasons for why I’m voting this way. United States President Biden is the only serious candidate. Congress U.S. House California District 13 Barbara Lee (D, Incumbent) California State Assembly District 18 Rob Bonta (D, Incumbent) State Senate District 9 Nancy Skinner (D, Incumbent)