Alfred + dc

I use Alfred 2 a lot on OS X in order to get things done. It doesn't completely change how I use the operating system, but it comes close. However, one of my pet peeves about it has always been that the built-in calculator is pretty terrible (even with the "advanced" equals-sign calculator). I realized this morning that I could fix this, and, lo, the dc alfred workflow was born.

It just takes its input and runs it through the dc command-line utility, giving you a fully-programmable RPN calculator. It's not quite as great as PCalc, but it's just a …

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Interesting SSL Issue

Shortly after I upgraded to OS X 10.9.2, I was connecting to battle.net, and I got an SSL error. At the time, I didn't think anything of it (after all, sites have bad SSL certificates all the time). However, I noticed it again today when looking at the page for Reaper of Souls, and decided to look into it again. When I did, I found something very unusual: my system has a second copy of the DigiCert root CA certificate in the "login" keychain. For those of you who aren't familiar, OS X uses a hierarchy of …

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Pebble Steel First Impressions

I've had an article sitting in Draft status since June 2013 about the Pebble smartwatch which I bought during their Kickstarter campaign. The article essentially said that the Pebble has awesome features, but feels like a toy and scuffs if you look at it askance. I was planning on going into detail about how apps like httpebble and smartwatch+ feel immensely hackish.

Well, as of today, I'm confident reporting that Pebble has resolved all of these issues with the Pebble Steel and Pebble OS 2.0.

Pebble Steel on table

I'm going to talk (briefly!) about both of these new releases. All of the …

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I Got Sick

As I alluded in my last post, I've had a fair bit of extra time on my hands for the last couple of weeks. That's because I've been quite ill. This post is the exciting story of what I've been sick with.

Starting in the evening of Friday, 2014-01-10, I had body aches and a fever. Now, at first, I didn't even know if anything was wrong — I'd slept poorly the night before, and maybe I was just feeling poorly because E was going back to school. Unfortunately, when I woke up on Saturday, 2014-01-11, the fever was worse, so …

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New Site, Again

Hello dear readers. If you can see this, then it means the new, redesigned is up and running. I got tired of dealing with WordPress vulnerabilities regularly, and was somewhat embarassed to have a site running on PHP. After all, there isn't actually any dynamic content here, so why bother?

The site is now a bunch of Markdown files compiled into HTML using the Pelican framework.

Major wins:

  • Much faster, since it's just static HTML
  • Back to being standards-compliant HTML5
  • Behaves sanely on mobile, for the first time ever (thanks Bootstrap!).
  • Better Atom and RSS feeds (although they're at a new url...)
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A Rant on Redis

It's been a while since I posted, and I've been spending a lot of time fighting with Redis, one of the darling databases of the NoSQL era, at work, so I thought I'd grace y'all with a brief rant on Redis, what it's good at, what it's bad at, and so on.

What is Redis?

Redis is an open-source moderately-structured in-memory key-value store. This means that, unlike full relational databases, it doesn't have a fixed schema, and it can't perform server-side operations like joining and filtering data1, and theoretically it's faster. Redis looks an awful lot like memcache, but …

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