Documentation Rhetoric

Other than shortening sentences, inserting lists, and using document structure, there are a couple of "easy edits" that I make to most documents that other send to me for review: Remove all first person, both singular and plural. 2. Remove all passive sentences, typically by making the sentences more imperative. In practice these changes are often related. Expunge the First Person Removing the first person is important less because it's "more formal" to avoid the first person and more because it's always unclear in documentation: Who are "we," and who is "I"?…

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ThinkPad x220 Review

My Decision Throughout this spring I've been eagerly waiting for the announcement and arrival of the new X-series laptops from Lenovo. I've been incredibly happy with every Thinkpad I've ever had, and while my existing laptop--a very swell T510--has been great, it was time: I needed a system with a bit more power. The power of my existing system was being to frustrate me. Things took too long to compile, I was having some annoying networking processing issues, and to make matters worse.…

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Emacs Thoughts + Some Lisp

In no particular order: Org Mode Guilt and a Lisp Function I have some guilt about having mostly forsaken org-mode, [1] in particular because I was watching Sacha Chua's chat with John Wiegley, and I think both are such nifty hackers, and have done so many things that are pretty darn nifty. I liked what I heard about johnw's org mode setup so much that I might give it a try again.…

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Analog Editing

After doing the first pass of editing on my technical book, "Systems Administration for Cyborgs" on a screen and feeling utterly buried by it, (See: /posts/the-editing-hole,) and I'm considering different approaches for the next book. Specifically, for this novel I have, I'm thinking about getting the novel printed somehow and then editing it "analog style." I'd love to hear feedback from anyone who has done this, particularly recently. Particularly from people who are very digitally savy.…

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Collar Design

The success or failure of the collar of a sweater determines the success or failure of an entire sweater. This post provides an overview of my basic: "how to knit a collar" system that usually works for me and some thoughts on why collars are so important. The hard part of collars is that on the whole, collar shaping accounts for five or ten percent of the knitting, but weeks or months worth of work hangs in the balance.…

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Lazy Sunday

I've had a nice quiet weekend, the first such weekend in quite a while. It's nice to be able to relax, work on projects without deadlines, and avoid all of the editing that I ought to be doing. Some notable accomplishments, current projects, and other events in the last few weeks: If you ever visit tychoish.com in your web browser (as opposed to by way of its aggregation,) you'll note that the design has changed somewhat.…

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Knitting Patterns

In the course of writing a computer program, engineers typically face the same kinds problems again and again. As a result programmers have developed a way of thinking about different kinds of solutions and situations as "patterns," which provide generalized ways of talking about common problems and strategies. > See: Portland Pattern Repository for an > example catalog of programming patterns. When I opened the editor to write this post, I wanted to write something to connect this idea of a "pattern" with a knitting pattern, which I think is (or could be) a very related concept.…

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