Sing the Shapes

I wrote a bit about sacred harp singing for a few months about a year ago, when I was really starting to get into it, and then I mostly stopped. I've had a few singing related experiences recently that I think are worth recounting, even if they're a bit disjointed. So I'll just hop in and hope that it adds up to something in the end. Also, if you're not familiar with Sacred Harp Singing, I'm sorry if there isn't a lot of sub tittling.…

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Key Git Concepts

Git is a very... different kind of software. It's explicitly designed against the paradigm for other programs like it (version control/source management) and to make maters worse most of it's innovations and eccentricities are very difficult to create metaphors and analogies around. This is likely because it takes a non-proscriptive approach to workflow (you can work with your collaborators in any way that makes sense for you) and more importantly it lets people do away with linearity.…

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It's A Great Time To Be Alive

... when you're a tycho. I've not been blogging very much. There were even two weeks where I totally forgot to post anything to the blog. I'm not sure if there's been a hiatus of that length at any other point in the last three years. Strange, but not bad. I've been writing--not as much as I'd like, but enough--but nothing has really managed to filter through to the blog. Seems, then, like a good time for a general "what the hell have you been up to and what are you working on post?…

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Wikis are not Documentation

It seems I'm writing a minor series on the current status (and possible future direction?) of technical writing and documentation efforts. Both in terms of establishing a foundation for my own professional relevancy, as well as in and for itself because I think documentation has the potential to shape the way that people are able to use technology. I started out with Technical Writing Appreciation and this post will address a few sore points regarding the use of wikis as a tool for constructing documentation.…

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Technical Writing Appreciation

I'm a technical writer. This is a realization that has taken me some time to appreciate and understand fully. Technical writing is one of those things that creators of technology, a term that I will use liberally, all agree is required, but it's also something that's very difficult to do properly. I think this difficulty springs from the following concerns: What constitutes describing a technology or process in too much detail?…

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Covered In LaTeX

Although I haven't used LaTeX much in the past few years, it was one of the primary tools that hastened my shift to using GNU/Linux full time. Why? I'd grown sick of fighting with document preparation and publishing systems (e.g. Microsoft Word/Open Office), and had started using LaTeX on my Mac to produce all of my papers and documents that needed to be output to paper-formats. Why switch? Because after a certain point of having every tool you use be Free software (because it's better!…

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Console Use for the Uninitiated

I have a computer, an old laptop, that I mostly use as the foundation of my stereo system. It's just a basic system with a few servers (a web server and the music player daemon), and it doesn't have a running window manager. This configuration usually doesn't bug me: I connect remotely and the computer sits under the couch, but since my recent move I've not had a network connection at home and I've defaulted to playing music and managing the system from the console.…

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