The kind fellows at Packt Publishing have sent me a copy of this book to review, and I have been slow with it (flu doesn't help). In any case, while I finally start reading it, here's the usual free sample chapter
But that's not that big a deal, I could make a living doing something else. I am sure I would be competent at something else, even if I have no idea what that would be right now.
It does, however give me freedom to play, which is much more important. Therefore, this post is sort of a status update on things I play with. Not games, those are not really my thing, but things that I do for fun.
Yes, some of these may mean I am a very strange person.
I'll limit myself to the last couple of weeks or so.
There's been sort of a bump in interest in Marave, my distraction free editor and it's because it has been reviewed in Linux Journal!
I have read the article (sadly I can't link to it) and it was a super positive review, here are some choice quotes:
"marave makes the dull world of text editing romantic and immersive with beautiful minimalism"
"... it doesn't just have minimalism and simplicity, it has minimalism and simplicity combined with beauty and a palpable design ethic. marave has soul, and I love that."
So thanks for the kind words to the author, and something I noticed: you ran into a big bug in marave and didn't notice :-)
The "cricket bat" icon (it's a screwdriver ;-) should show you the config dialog. However, it seems in Ubuntu (and maybe in other distros, I don't know) the config is not visible,and all you see is the text move around a bit. This is what he should have seen:
I have never been able to reproduce it, but I am going to install a Ubuntu VM just for this, so maybe soon.
On related news, marave was also reviewed in a german magazine a couple of months ago, and I have not been able to get a copy of the article. (BTW, isn't it reasonable to send a copy of these to the author of the program you are reviewing? Neither magazine even mentioned it to me!)
In any case, if anyone has this magazine and can tell me what the article about distraction-free editors say, you will make my day:
On new projects (yes, I always have new projects), I ran into this awesome blog post by Roger Alsing about approaching Mona Lisa with just 50 polygons <http://rogeralsing.com/2008/12/07/genetic-programming-evolution-of-mona-lisa/
> and being a nerd and having awesome programming tools at my command... I wrote a framework to test that kind of algorithms.
A few days ago I finally got my 89 cents bluetooth dongle (now $1.85, but still with free shipping from china!) and got a bunch of pictures I had in my phone.
The quality is crap because my phone is crap, but trust me, there must be one thing here you have never seen before.
Here they are: weird stuff that made me take out my phone and grab a picture, with explanations.
This, from Mar del Plata, is the most badass popup book I ever saw.
I'm Mark Shuttleworth!
In a free software event in Buenos Aires, Canonical's boss and former space cargo was supposed to deliver the keynote. He canceled at the last minute. So Maddog Hall offered to replace him... in character.
Someone found a really, really awesome (and/or crappy!) astronaut costume, and Maddog gave a keynote shouting "I'm Mark Shuttleworth! I'm an astronaut!" and claiming to have come from the future to examine some slides recently found, written by some unknown dude named Maddog. Really funny stuff.
Python vs. Ruby
Same event, take a look:
Yes, I swear they are taken with less than 10 seconds of one another.
I was buying groceries in San Isidro's Disco supermarket. Yes, usually buying a large package of butter is cheaper per kilo than a small one. But here, a 200g package costed almost the same as a 100g! That's just stealing money from those who don't use much butter. Me? I'm not at risk.
This was a shop in Avenida Alem in Buenos Aires. It was unusual to see a "VISA is suspended, 20% discount" sign. Much more unusual was to see the small letters: "present your visa card". I mean, wasn't it suspended?
And then I saw the rest:
It says "present your visa card and pay using anything else".
That guy must really have been pissed off at Visa!
I am just not writing here. I am writing a book instead.
What book am I writing? A book about python programming, of course! It's called "Python No Muerde" (Python Doesn't Bite) and it's in spanish.
Now, I am the first to admin: I am not a great programmer. And I am not a great writer. But I have lots of things to say. If I can organize them correctly, they even make sense sometimes!
So, I am giving this write-long-stuff thing a try.
Of course since I am an open source nerd, I can't do things the usual way, therefore, the book is under Creative Commons. And because I am a programmer, I hacked together a (if I may say so myself) decent structure to handle book-writing.
I write in restructured text
I use rst2pdf to create PDFs both of individual chapters and the
I use rest2web to create a website
I use mercurial (at googlecode) to handle revision control and
I use make to control rebuilding of chapters when code changes, or images get updated, etc.
Of course it's more complicated than that, the PDFs are in the site, the site is uploaded via rsync, the uploads and rebuilds are triggered by hg push, and so on.
In any case, I may post a few times about how this whole thing works, here is the output of the machinery: