The Chronicle

of a ColdFusion Expatriate

My Surface Pro Journey

January 21, 2020

To start, let me warn you that this journey is somewhat circular, as I venture into the world of the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 only to ultimately arrive back where I started, except more disappointed and with less money.

But if an exploration into the pros and cons of the Surface Pro (the previous generation at the time of this writing, I grant you) interests you, then please, do read on.

Raspberry Pi on DisplayLink

January 6, 2020

So I'm sitting here on my computer—something I do quite often—and find myself staring at this Lilliput 7” USB display that I have here. I've had this thing for a while; I bought it to use for Slack at work originally, and it worked OK. 7” turns out to be just slightly too small for anything serious, but it worked alright for chat at least.

Anyway, I brought it home and hooked it up to my Windows PC and never found anything really great to use it for. Suddenly I had a brainstorm: what if it could work on a Raspberry Pi? Then I could put some useful home automation output on it and maybe position it somewhere else in the house.

I set about figuring out how to get the Raspberry Pi to send GUI output to this USB-powered DisplayLink monitor. I did, eventually, get it to work. But, I ran across so many conflicting, incorrect, and outdated articles that I am compelled to describe what I did to make it work.

Introducing Hugo.el

December 10, 2019

I promised more posts, and more posts you shall have. Indeed I have been a busy little bee, and finally I have something to show for it.

When I was blogging frequently, using Octopress, one of the things I did straight away was to write a wrapper for Emacs called octopress.el (view on GitHub), which provides an interactive interface to its basic functions and a few ergonomic benefits like easy image and post URL insertion.

But, as I noted in my previous post, Octopress is effectively dead (and slow, and tricky to set up), so I moved onto Hugo. I immediately missed having an Emacs-based interface directly into Hugo's essential functions (though eshell works surprisingly well)… So I wrote one. I call it hugo.el.

Something Seems Different

December 6, 2019

Does something seem a little “off?” I mean, something other than me posting here after a conspicuously silent gap of over two years…

That's right, I'm generating the site with Hugo now! No, I didn't expect you to notice, because everything looks exactly the same. This blog was built by Octopress/Jekyll for years, but after migrating desktops and having to get it all set up each time, I tired of the whole Ruby house of cards that it felt like it was perched upon, so, I switched.

Read on for some of my thoughts, if you care.

The Right Tool for the Job

August 26, 2017

I've become somewhat more of an Emacs celebrity than I could have predicted. After giving that talk and spending a couple years blogging and tweeting about Emacs, people frequently ask for my opinion or advice regarding its use, how to learn it, or whether to learn it at all.

Today I want to share my long-form answer to a few related questions that I get asked pretty often. Those questions are, roughly:

  • Should I start using Evil Mode right away, or learn “pure” Emacs first?
  • Should I learn Vim before using Evil Mode?
  • Is Emacs the right editor for me if I am a: computer science student, professional programmer, astronaut, whatever?

The answer is: maybe.