hacking

The HAC Metric

 
Whenever I get a bit of free time, I start to wonder what I can do with it. Should I work on some code? Write a blog post? Draw something? Fix something around the house? The worst thing that can happen is that I'll end a weekend or holiday feeling it was wasted no matter what I do, and I guilt myself for days for my supposed laziness. I've written about organizing my weekend time before; organizing your off time for projects can work, but it's an incomplete method. It does nothing to help you decide...

LED Streetlights

 
As much as I want LED, solar powered street lights, I keep thinking about a problem many southern dwelling designers never considered.  Snow. A few years ago -- far before LA's switch -- Wisconsin tried to switch to LED bulbs for power savings in their existing light fixtures. It was working great until a front of wet, sticky snow came through. Snow stuck to the fixtures, eventually covering the light and making it useless.  Why wasn't this a problem before? After all the light...

Raspbmc

 
I was in a bit of a tinkery mood today. Originally, I was intending to spend the day coding after once I was finished with groceries. Instead, I wanted to work with my hands. Coding and typing on a keyboard simply doesn't satisfy that craving. I had the idea a few days ago to take one of the Raspberry Pis and put the media center software XBMC on it. Parts: A Raspberry Pi model B. An HDMI to VGA adapter -- the TV only had one HDMI input and it was already occupied by the Chromecast.

Drupal 8: The Valley of Dearth

 
Friday was an interesting day. I was -- and still am -- suffering a particularly bad head cold. I called in sick hoping to have a low key day where I could poke at some Drupal code and attempt a nap. By the afternoon, I was in the middle of a argument about Drupal 8. Background I've been working to port Flag module to Drupal 8 for almost a year now. I've leaned heavily on API documentation, my wits, and conversations on IRC to make as much progress as I have. Often I need to...

The Nibbler and how CPUs finally made sense

 
It's the early 90s, and a younger version of me is soldering chips to a board in my high school industrial class.  I had been looking forward to this part of the class. Having some self-taught experience with electronics, I took the opportunity to try something really ambitious. Instead of a blinky-light kit, motor, amplifier or radio, I decided to build a computer from chips. I had convinced my Dad to invest the money in an Elenco Micro Master Computer Training kit. This single-board...

Last week in Drupal Development

 
This week has been an interesting one for me in regards to Drupal.  PHPStorm Debugging After reluctantly trying the latest iteration of PHPStorm, I finally decided to try to use it for debugging. While I have Eclipse installed, it's been more of a matter of necessity than of desire. My enterprise experience left me familiar with Eclipse and its many idosyncracies. It's large size and slow boot time have always been an annoyance, but one I overlooked given the functionality it offered. I...

State of OSN5 for May 12th, 2013

 
Since the news that I will be attending Drupalcon stuck over a week ago, I've lost the thread of what's going on with OSNews 5. Every night since then has been spent either in abject exhaustion, or in a frenzy of worry and anticipation. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that this happened. It is, however, frustrating and the interruption a terrible detriment to my productivity. So where *are* we with OSN5? At this moment, the entire codebase has been ported to migrate.module, and the old...

Null Editors and OSN Import 2

 
For the last year, I've been working on writing import code for OSNews.com. It's been a lengthy process due to the fact that I'm doing this when I can spare the time. Some weeks there's furious development, others none at all. Some months ago I had the first complete version of the import code working. It was a completely custom module, relying only on core APIs to get the job done. I knew that the Migrate module existed, and provided a lauded framework for importing content into Drupal. I dismissed it...

25699

 
For the last year I've been working on writing import code for the OSNews website into Drupal 7. It actually wasn't such long task as it might sound. I'm working on this project gratis, and spending my limited free time in order to make it happen. If I someone had hired me to do this, I might have gotten this done inside of a month. The project has gone in fits and starts for the entire year since I agreed to work on it. Some days I would just have no time, or no energy, or the requirements of work...