~whitneymcn's Complete Tildeblog

Wednesday, December 3 2014 08:47:32 PM

Barbecue and Beer

Right now that's about all I can think about. Meeting a couple of friends to eat brisket and drink a couple of beers.

That is something that I need this evening. A couple of hours and it'll all be happening. Just need to make it through those hours.

Monday, December 1 2014 01:44:30 PM

Population Decrease

According to Whoville there are only 23 people logged in to tilde.club as I type this. For all the bits thrown at writing about the service back in October, there are only a handful of people still using it a few weeks later. And that seems just fine.

As ~ford has said from the beginning, the point wasn't to create the Next Big Thing by spinning up an instance of an Earlier Big Thing, but to have a little fun and connect a few people. And tilde.club has done that.

I'd be a little surprised if I'm still running this blog a year from now, but I feel confident that I'll still be doing a few things differently than I did during the tilde-lacuna period of my life -- the years between regular access to a shared server. And that's the part that, in my view, matters.

Thursday, November 27 2014 07:08:32 PM

Back Tomorrow. Or Maybe the Day After

In a house on the beach with friends for Thanksgiving. Carnitas, walks on the beach, afternoon beer while prepping the stuffing, football, of both televised and nerf varieties, four kids running amok in the best possible way. Catch you later.

Monday, November 24 2014 03:23:10 PM

The Daily Checkin

I just learned that there exists a soon-to-be-released app named "Pine," marketed with the line "Your daily check-in." Probably because I've been spending time in the tilde shell of late, my first thought -- my first hope, really -- was that the app was just a wrapper around the Pine email client.

As you might expect, the app does not appear to be this.

But spinning that out a little further, I realized that tilde is already my daily check-in, or more-or-less daily, anyway. Very few people read what I post here, and that's fine; I maintain this little tildeblog because it's a space for me. It represents a few minutes each day when I just think about my own little things, and try to put some kind of coherent form to them.

The tool used to accomplish this is almost irrelevant. While I think that Pine, the app, will probably turn out to be a little silly, I absolutely support the underlying desire.

Give people a little time and space on their own.

Saturday, November 22 2014 07:17:06 PM

Some Kind of Sentimentality

My father died about five years ago. At this moment I'm sitting in my living room, looking at a pile of his tweed jackets sitting on the chair across from me. They've been sitting there for a week now.

My wife's mother died a couple of months ago. We've spent the past few weeks trying to absorb the things my wife wanted to keep into our house. The closets and attic have been tested.

I'm four inches taller than my father was, so I could never have worn these jackets. At this point I no longer know why I took them; I probably had a reason at the time, I guess. As we were rearranging the contents of the closets I pulled these jackets out from where they've hung undisturbed since arriving in our house. I got them as far as that chair across the room and then got a little stuck.

The jackets themselves have no sentimental value to me, and I have plenty of things of his that do have a personal significance, but I'm having a hard time taking the jackets to Goodwill.

Maybe it's that they are so fundamentally insignificant: I keep the watch he was given when he was retired, the books he gave me, and the paintings he made because they're significant in and of themselves. But these jackets are what he put on every morning without even giving it a thought. They were a fundamental, if trivial, part of his daily life. They're significant to me precisely because they're so insignificant.

Wednesday, November 19 2014 03:33:05 PM

One Word

My kids are nine and six years old, and they go to a school that's about a half hour subway+walk trip away. My wife has done most of the school stuff thus far, but she's now shifting back into full time work and so I've been picking up more of it. Particularly the morning school dropoffs.

When I was only doing this occasionally it was a (relatively) exciting event for everyone: "I get to take you to school tomorrow!" I'd say, and there would be much rejoicing.

Even now, when I'm often taking them to school three or four days a week, I still very intentionally say that I "get to" take them to school. I don't have to, I get to. Truth be told I don't actually feel that way about it every single morning, but I make sure that I'm saying it -- and to the greatest degree possible -- thinking about it that way.

I can't imagine them as anything but little kids right now, but in the back of my mind I know that this time is going to pass with a vanishing quickness. I'm really lucky to get to take my kids to school, and so I say it as often as I can.

Tuesday, November 18 2014 04:30:51 PM

The Blogger's Dilemma

I'd kind of forgotten about this part of it. While I've maintained my other blog since 2004, the stuff that I write there tends to be longer pieces that have been percolating in my head for a long while. Which is also why I update so infrequently there: I don't worry about maintaining an audience, I just write when I'm really sure I have something to write, and then go dark for as many weeks or months as it takes for the next Big Idea to pop into my head.

But here I want to just write more, or at least more often. And as I was walking to the subway this morning with the kids, a blog post popped into my head. Maybe not a great one, but an idea that made me thing "yeah, I'll get that down as soon as I get into the office, there's something interesting there." And by the time I got into the office, it was gone.

That used to happen to me all the time when I was more actively blogging, so I got into the standard keep-a-notebook-handy thing to jot down ideas as they flitted by, but I'd just forgotten about that. And so the idea is gone. Perhaps it'll come back to me at some point, but in the meantime this is the post you get.

Monday, November 17 2014 10:04:49 PM

Still Tired, Still Writing

...not as much as I wrote last week, but still writing.

And spending a lot of my time thinking about sanding and painting floors, which has been satisfying in a very immediate, visceral way for me lately. I wouldn't want to have to do it, but choosing to do it is pretty wonderful. As, I suppose, with writing.

Thursday, November 13 2014 01:27:03 AM

Unintended Consequences

Hello, peoples. I'm really tired, and I wrote a long-ish blog post elsewhere today, so I'm going to say that you can just head over there and read it if you feel the need to read something I wrote. It's called "Unintended Consequences (A Hyperbolic Gedankenexperiment In Five Acts).

Tuesday, November 11 2014 03:36:25 PM

On Parenthood

The six, almost 7 year old has for some time been agitating for a skateboard for his birthday or Christmas. He has now started making an actual list, and the other items currently underlined in red marker are a sewing kit and a quadcopter.

Being a parent in the future is weird, but pretty awesome.

That's all.

Monday, November 10 2014 01:34:59 PM

Remembering Canal Street

Yesterday morning I took a picture of my almost seven year old recombining the pieces of some electrical toy that he'd disassembled. He understands the basics involved, and was sitting there happily stripping wires and linking them back together with electrical tape. He didn't quite get anything working, but was happily engaged for an hour or more.

I love that he's interested in just playing with this sort of thing, and it reminded me of my own childhood.

I grew up in Greenwich Village, and one of my standard haunts when I was his age and a bit older was the western part of Canal street, which at that time was largely comprised of stores that sold...stuff. I'm not sure what the correct term for them is, but they were stores that sold odd lots and ends of lines in the mechanical/industrial/lab line.

Over the years I bought any number of odd motors, simple lab equipment, mysterious circuit boards, and other, indescribable remnants from these stores. Everything was cheap, and piled into dusty bins that lined the walls. I want to say that there were half a dozen or more of these stores, but I'm really not sure: they've merged together in my memory into a single dimly lit treasure trove.

It's still possible for me to order similar things for the kids, but I feel that it's a little loss that there's noplace like that they can go themselves and explore. I have to seed the exploration for them by picking out the pieces they have to work with.

Not bad, perhaps, but certainly different.

Sunday, November 9 2014 12:22:12 PM

Aquarium Drunkard

If this tildeblog is my personal space, I suppose it's inevitable that music will move in and try to take over. I've decided that I'm not going to worry about "days in a row" streaks (rather I'm disallowing two consecutive days without writing), so that takes some of the worry over what to write about out of the picture; writing about music still feels like a little bit of a cheat to me, simply because I'm basically always listening to something.

In this particular case, it's Aquarium Drunkard's collection of LA soul, which is utterly fantastic. In particular, check the single by Larry Williams and Johnny Watson: "Nobody" b/w "Find Yourself Someone To Love."

On a grey, chilly Sunday morning in New York, the self-consciously psychedelic, sunny optimism of "Nobody" feels like a dose of uncut summer afternoon. Give it a try if it's cold and grey where you are, too.

Friday, November 7 2014 03:45:58 PM

Unexpected, But Obvious

This is the fifth day in a row that I've written something for this tildeblog. It's also the second day in a row that I've gone through a variation on my old writing exercises on 750words.com. And I've got two drafts going on my "real" blog. For someone who doesn't really consider himself "a writer" anymore that's not too bad.

This was not the plan when I logged into tilde.club for the first time. I figured that tilde.club would get me writing some code again, building little things because tilde.club evokes a time and place where knowing just a little perl, HTML, and shell was enough to build something "real" on the Internet.

But I've found myself writing, instead, both here and elsewhere. Granted, my writing here is supported by code I wrote myself, but I've been pulled towards putting down one word after another far more than lines of perl.

Now that I can see how things are actually shaping up, it's no surprise. With a very small number of exceptions, I code when I want something to exist but I can't convince someone else to do it. I don't love coding, I see it as a means to an end. Once I get something more-or-less working, I have little interest in making it better; once the idea is expressed in code, someone else will implement a better version of the idea if it's worth doing.

Writing, on the other hand, I love for itself. I haven't published (in the sense of "gotten paid for") anything in many years, but I don't care. While writing well is hard, and I do put it off on many occasions, I just enjoy the process of writing.

I've said to many people who see me as "a techie" that I'm not a real coder -- not a good one -- because I don't love doing it. To be really good any anything, you need to love the process for its own sake. You have to be willing to go back and fix what's already good enough, because it's not yet what it could and should be.

That's how I feel about writing. Once I've broken through and gotten started, I love the process of getting the right words bumping up against one another. The feeling when I realize why a phrase or transition felt wrong to me is an actual rush.

There's a certain irony to tilde.club being the catalyst here. The last time I was really writing was the period when I was first digging into the Web. The nostalgia I felt for "the old Internet" turned into something very different: it made me bring back something completely different from that time, and it's something that I've been missing.

Thanks, tilde.club.

Thursday, November 6 2014 07:12:04 PM

No Particular Reason

I talked to my mother on the phone last night for a full hour.

We needed to coordinate meeting to take my son and one of my nephews to a performance of the Magic Flute (two six year olds who attend opera by choice right there), but we took care of those logistics in just a couple of minutes. And then we just talked.

As a rule I don't enjoy talking on the phone; I prefer to have either the luxury of time to think and frame things that comes with email or the immediacy of face-to-face. But in this case I genuinely enjoyed it. No particularly sigificant topics: Tuesday's elections, a trip my family took to Canada when I was seven or eight years old, books and bookstores, and half a dozen other bits of miscellany.

While I see my mother regularly every week or two since her return to NYC, I now realize that most of the time we're with a family group that includes at least two or three people under the age of ten...quiet, relaxed conversation time can be hard to come by. For all that I still don't love the telephone, I'm going to make sure that I call mom a bit more often.

Wednesday, November 5 2014 02:16:16 PM

More On Writing

Yesterday's post covered the basics of why I'm writing here on tilde on a (more or less) daily basis. Today, a little more about the process of writing.

My father was a historian and a writer, and a lot of my writing ability comes down to the many hours I spent with him as he edited my work. He was a talented writer himself, but also a fantastic editor. He made blunt statements when necessary ("it's clear that you weren't even trying here"), but more often just asked questions. Why did I use a particular phrase? How could I eliminate a sentence from that paragraph? What would happen if I changed the order of the ideas I was introducing?

But the single biggest thing I learned from him was a very simple, but not easy, idea: you're always writing for one person.

Even though your writing may be read by hundreds or thousands of people, you always have a one-on-one relationship with each of those readers. You're writing for each one of those people individually, not for all of them collectively.

That seems obvious once stated, but for me it's a significant shift in mindset when I sit down to write. In the back of my head, a single person is reading through this,; I'm trying to rcommunicate something in the same way I would in a conversation...I'm not standing at a podium in front of an audience, I'm sitting across a small table from someone, trying to make a connection.

Tuesday, November 4 2014 10:58:54 PM

Tired, But Writing

I've written about this before and elsewhere, but it bears repeating.

Years ago I made a practice of writing down one thing each day. It didn't have to be much, but it had to be observational in some way: from something as simple as "tired after a full day of meetings about the CRMPlus project" or "beautiful sunset reflecting off of the snow outside my window," or much more involved thoughts, but it had to be something.

The idea was to get myself writing at least a little each day, because writing becomes easier the more that you do it, but it had an interesting secondary effect, as well. I found myself paying a little more attention to everything as I went through my day, half-consciously looking for something that engaged me enough to write down.

I eventually lapsed on the undertaking, but when Twitter came along some years later I found that it served the same purpose for me. I started watching for interesting little moments in the day that I could compress into 140 characters.

I still do that with Twitter, but I've started to want more again. I don't necessarily want to write about anything in particular yet, but I want to write more; I want to get that facility back. And it's easy to do here on tilde. I don't feel like I need to write about anything in particular -- it can be nothing more than a stream-of-consciousness brain dump (which was another writing excercise that I took on for some time), and because it's here on my odd little homepage in this little pocket world within the Internet, it doesn't need to be anything more than that.

Maybe someone (you) is reading this right now, but it's here far more for me than for you.

Monday, November 3 2014 01:55:31 PM

Where and What

As I've mentioned before, I've been enjoying having my tildeblog, because it's an easy return to personal blogging. My "regular" blog, which has been around since 2004, drifted towards more technical/business stuff over the years, as I found other outlets (Tumblr, Twitter) for my more personal musings.

But now a couple of factors (most significantly creating a Slack hub with a few friends that includes a room that pulls in our blog posts) have made me want to get this personal stuff that I'm posting here syndicated out a little bit.

And with my policy on tilde.club -- that I build what I use here -- that means I've either got to update publi.sh so that it can generate an RSS feed, or move the personal stuff elsewhere so that I can feed it into the #punks slackroom using someone else's code.

There's an interesting side note, too: that I've currently got two different online communities that feel like "home" in a way that I haven't felt in a few years is interesting, and feels like a very positive development.

We'll see how I resolve this, but whatever approach I take it's a high-class problem to have.

Friday, October 31 2014 01:02:05 PM


The kids, six and nine years old, were up and dressed by 6:15 this morning, waiting for halloween to kick in. The adrenaline should carry them through until it's time for the sugar high.

We'd planned on a multi-family Muppets theme, but with the upheaval of the past few weeks, we gave up on the adult costumes; we've got the Swedish Chef, Animal, and Miss Piggy, all of whom look great, but I've got to admit that I'm a little disappointed that I'm not going as Floyd (that's the bass player from the Electric Mayhem, in case you grew up under a rock).

I'm not sure it's possible for me to be as excited about anything as the kids are for tonight, but I'm on a pretty good contact high after walking them to school.

Thursday, October 30 2014 10:24:53 AM

Now With Headings!

What with being awake and restless since 4am, I poked at a couple of things here in my little corner of the tildeverse.

The pages themselves are now slightly less ugly, though no less crude. I was a little sorry to let my Ello joke go, but it wasn't really all that funny to begin with. ~whitneymcn now uses CSS and stuff, with a little less table-based layout.

I also updated publi.sh so that it uses headings, and now has the concept of a post title, so that my posts can have titles. Exciting stuff.

Dumb little tweaks, but fun.

Tuesday, October 28 2014 08:24:40 PM

I rarely chat much on the tilde.club IRC channel, but for the past couple of weeks I've had it open a lot. I've got at least two other blogs floating around on the Internet, but this is the one that, right now, I feel like I should update, and regret when I don't get around to it.

The difference, I think, is the throwback nature of tilde.club.

Not the table-based layout, or the fact that I'm typing this into a Bash script, in a terminal window, but maybe it's the product of those things: this blog, and the server that it runs on, are for me a throwback to the period when there was no reason to do any of this stuff except that it was fun. It was exploring a new world (or perhaps many "pocket worlds") purely for the joy of exploration.

One didn't build a presence, or a personal brand, online, one just did stuff. Made stuff.

Even though I think that more people probably see some of these posts than most of my "real" blog posts, this feels like a different space to me. I'm just writing stuff, and making stuff, for the hell of it.

Monday, October 27 2014 05:58:50 PM

A friend recently wrote a blog post wondering why -- even with the resurgence of medium-length personal blogging -- people adopt a confessional tone online while still hiding a lot of the fears and failures that they experience daily.

I have no good answer to that beyond "human nature," but it did get me thinking about one of my own odd practices. As with many people who have come to love the mediated contact with the world offered by the internet, I have a somewhat harder time with "normal" social contact. My memory for perceived slights, offered or received, is long, and I run through alternate, better ways I could have handled a situation for days after the fact.

But I'm as guilty as the next guy: my public presence, online or off, focuses more on the positive. The guilt, shame, and regret are what I tend to keep for myself, to be replayed more-or-less endlessly.

Having ackowledged that, some time ago I started keeping some of the positive stuff to myself. Things that make me happy that I've never shared, even with my wife, family, or close friends. Little things, of course, but enough that the late-night load that I carry contains at least a few good things for me to be alone with, along with the bad.

It's an odd thing to do, and I'm not entirely certain it's the healthiest thing to do, but I feel like it helps.

If there must be things that are mine alone, I want some of them to be treasures, not burdens.

Friday, October 24 2014 01:21:27 PM

So it turns out that my basic web skills have deteriorated, from a starting point that was already a little questionable. I can write some code -- at least in the basic shell/perl/HTML/Javascript world -- but I've come to depend heavily on the work of others when I code these days.

Designing an implementing web pages, even ones as simple as what I want to do on tilde.club, is a lot harder when you consciously refuse to use stuff like JQuery, pre-built CSS frameworks, and the like. I don't want to make a self-consciously retro presence on tilde.club, but I do want one that's my own code from the ground up.

And that's somewhat harder than I remembered. My shit is pretty ugly when I'm not standing on the shoulders of others.

But that's why I'm making stuff here, I suppose, so it's all good.

Tuesday, October 21 2014 02:34:29 PM

I read Sam Lessin's post on what he's learned since leaving Facebook yesterday -- as well as a little of the snarky coverage of the post -- and I was a little surprised.

What surprised me wasn't his position, but rather that Lessin never ackowledges that all the corporate campus perks are explicitly set up to make employees "more efficient."

Facebook wants its employees to spend as much time as possible on campus and working, so they make it as easy as possible to do so. This is the entire reason that corporate campuses exist, and it seems odd that someone could work in that environment for years without coming to that realization.

Sunday, October 19 2014 11:34:05 AM

Realized that I'm not sure what to write here this morning, but publi.sh enforces a "finish once youve started" mindset, so I have to just keep going. Clearing out my mother-in-law's house has been less stressful that I thought it might be.

Other than the appointments we've had with others (lawyers, realtors, etc.) it's been a clock-less time. I've been trying to find something concrete and useful to keep me occupied at any given time, so that I can leave M free to just go through the house and its contents as she needs to.

In the end I'm pretty certain that we'll bring little home with us, but M needs some time and space to spend immersed in it all.

Friday, October 17 2014 10:37:18 AM

Today we drop the kids off at school, then drive north to spend the weekend starting to clear out my mother-in-law's house. First time we'll be back since the memorial service. INot sure whether M will have trouble with it -- I don't think so, but the experience makes everything very visceral and immediate.

We'll see.

Thursday, October 16 2014 01:19:02 PM

Just this: I saw Mike Watt play with Il Sogno del Marinaio last night. I've seen Watt play many times, with many different people, and it's always been great, but last night's show was something else again. Utterly fantastic and weird.

From what I've heard, the records really don't do justice to the live show. If you can catch them on this tour, do it.

Wednesday, October 15 2014 03:07:55 PM

The Look and Feel

I like the self-consciously retro look of many tilde.club pages. My own stuff here has definitely gone in that direction (and having Ello to poke a little fun at when tilde.club came online was something I just couldn't say no to).

But at the same time, I'm thinking that I want to clean up my presentation here a bit. I still want to hand code everything (or at least hand code the code that creates everything), but I spent the late '90s trying to make pages as attractive as I could, so I think I pay better tribute to my former self if I do the same thing here.

I'm not going to touch the ASCII-art goodness of Whoville, of course, but as time permits I'm going to pretty things up around here.

Tuesday, October 14 2014 09:47:23 AM

So yesterday I posted about my little project researching how many tilde.club users have never logged into their accounts, and found that the number was 57. I just took a look at the stats page (mostly to make sure that the cron job actually ran), and found that we're down to 56 users who have never logged in!

Excellent to see -- here's hoping that the number keeps dropping.

Monday, October 13 2014 08:53:59 PM

So because somebody asked it of The Great and Powerful Wall earlier today, I started wondering what percentage of those with tilde.club accounts have actually logged in and used them. And because this is nothing more (or less) than an plain old *NIX box, it was easy enough to find out.

So that others can point out any cases where I may have gone astray, here's the process I followed:

Step One: grabbed a list of usernames from /etc/passwd.

Step Two: removed the accounts that I know to be system or other non-human users.

Step Three: ran finger on the resulting list of users, grepping for "Never logged in."

From this I learned that tilde.club has a pretty great conversion rate: of 636 (probably) human accounts, only 57 people have never logged in.

But I also learned some other interesting stuff.

Of the first 300 human user accounts created, only one has never logged in.

The next hundred were pretty good, too, with a 97% login rate, but then, curiously, things go a little pear shaped.

Starting from account number four hundred, the login rate drops: 78% of accounts 400-500 have logged in, and only 74% of accounts 500-600. But for the last little bit (or as I refer to it "we, the 600+") the login rate pops back up to 95%.

Now one of the interesting bits of metadata available to work with is that the UNIX passwd file stores its records in the order in which they were created, so I took a quick peek. What I found was that starting just about at the point where login rate drops, the account names being created were in alphabetical order.

Before (and after) that block there's no such pattern, but the low-login group seems to correspond to a group that was batch entered...one might suspect that it's those of us who heard about tilde.club through some random source or another and filled out the waitlist form. While we were interested enough to fill out the Google form, many of us were apparently not interested enough to actually log in.

Was this discovery actually interesting enough to merit what I think is the longest blog post I've yet written here on tilde.club? Dunno, but it was fun to play around with.

Monday, October 13 2014 12:32:16 PM

More On Discoverability

As I type this, 2,477 people have visited one of my tilde.club pages since I added hitcounter a week or so ago.

While it's a small shot to my vanity to admit it, that means that this space is more popular than the "real" blog that I've run more-or-less continuously since 2004. (Though not quite as popular as the Alien Abductions, Incorporated site, which I've been more-or-less maintaining since 1998-ish, so there's that, at least.)

Is this traffic all, or largely, tilde.club people? Is it the Internet at large, coming by because tilde.club pages are the new, cool thing, for some value of "new" and "cool?"

Hard to say, and while I could probably put some code together to answer that question, I don't think I will.

For now I'll just find it mildly amusing and go on with my day.

Sunday, October 12 2014 05:04:10 PM

Contemplating (Literal) Discoverability

So you'll have to bear with me a little on this one, but I'm pretty sure there's a point in here somewhere.

My mother in law died three weeks ago. One of the only things that my wife brought home immediately was a couple of boombox-style cassette players and a couple of boxes of cassettes. Some of the tapes are recordings my wife's grandparents made for her many years ago, some are music, some are stories...it's a mix of stuff.

At this very moment, my six year old is sitting in front of one of those cassette players listening to a recording of "the War of the Worlds" that sounds like it was taped off the radio. No one suggested to him that he might listen to it, he was just plunking tapes into the player until he found something that grabbed him.

Those tapes are discoverable in a brute, physical way for which I can't yet imagine a digital analogue. Would my son browse a hard drive full of mp3s or ogg files? Will the hardware he has, and the software, even recognize those file formats in another five or ten years?

Clearly tilde has put me in a bit of a nostalgic mood, but that's not all of it.

My wife and I are in the process of dealing with the physical artifacts of a life, and while there's both good and bad in that, one wonderful part of the good is what we stumble across simply because no one ever bothered to get rid of it. The stuff that tells an odd little story of its own -- maybe not an important story, but an interesting one.

Tilde reminds me very much of the early '90s, when I was typing into a terminal window the first time around, and it reminds me that none of the stuff I made then remains, nor even any record of that stuff's passing. A sysop deleted a user account and my Minutemen fan page is gone. No archive.org yet, it's just gone.

I think that the people coming of age in the Facebook era are learning that a lot of stuff online survives much longer than one might like these days, so I'm not saying that it's bad, exactly, that these digital histories disappear...I'm just wondering what, exactly, it is that we're losing here. And how much.

Saturday, October 11 2014 11:56:43 PM

Having looked at my last tildeblog post, I now realize that there are aspects of my personality at war here: I love the fact that I'm blogging with software I wrote myself, and embracing the "one chance only, no edits" situation that my software forces on me. But seeing that last blog post -- basically one continuous typo and grammatical oddity -- was kind of killing me.

We'll see how this experiment plays out...

Saturday, October 11 2014 07:55:20 PM

I have now installed and am using Mosh to connect to tilde.club. I'm not entirely sure why I've done that it's very much the same experience I had with this kind of thing the first time around: a bunch of people here atarted talking about Mosh, which made me think that I should try it out and learn some more about it. My default assumption here is that I should learn more about whatever ends up being discussed, which may or may not prove to be a wise position.

Friday, October 10 2014 09:46:34 PM

Data visualization is all the rage these days, so I made use of a conference call to try it out. I decided to create a visualization of how many people, and who, are on tilde.club at any given point in time. Thus we have Whoville. If I'm feeling ambitious this weekend I'll make users' houses taller or shorter depending on how many sessions they have active.

Good clean fun.

Friday, October 10 2014 01:21:04 PM

Tired, and a little hung over.

I'll update publi.sh today so that rather than a single monolithic blog page I've got monthly archives, but once that's done I think I'll leave it alone for a while.

The next task will be getting ithild.in up and running. (That is, or will be, a site that shows you content that was created in the same season and phase of the moon as the time you visit.) A lot of the heavy lifting is done already, so I think I'll have something to roll out by next week.

And then sleep. Lots of sleep

Thursday, October 9 2014 06:42:17 PM

Okay, one more update for the day: on the status-driven shit volcano front, I realized that since my blog posts here dont actually change my index.html, I wasn't appearing on ~delfuego's list of recently updated pages when I add something.

That made me kind of sad, and after a minute or two of soul-searching I decided to update publi.sh so that it touches my index.html whenever I post.

I am all too human.

Thursday, October 9 2014 05:39:12 PM

So I finally (it's been up on the Internet for, like, *hours* already) got around to reading ~ford's piece on tilde.club, and it solidified something I've been mulling over for a day or two.

I decided that I'm not going to write anything about tilde.club except on tilde.club.

In part that's because reading the post reminded me that there was no need for any more think pieces on the topic, but there's something else: doing it here, now, is fun in a way that firing uwordpress at my "real" blog wouldn't be.

If I write about tilde.club here, you're reading courtesy of publi.sh, a (sort of) blogging tool that I wrote myself. (It's actually a crappy bash script, which is still the only kind I know how to write, even though I logged into my first shell in the early '90s.)

But it feels worthwhile to do that. I can't edit these posts, I can do multiple drafts and revisions, I can just type into a terminal window. And once I've written a paragraph, I'm done -- the bits have gone to the file. But if I want to, I can change that. I've already started seeing some flaws in how I set up publi.sh, and will make some changes to it over the next few days.

And learn a bunch of stuff as I do that.

And write about it. Here.

Thursday, October 9 2014 01:07:17 PM

So I did it.

While there are many other, better ways to do it, I have my very own weblogging software on tilde.club now: publi.sh!

It's a crappy, simple Bash script, and it's ever so limited in functionality, but it's alive.

One of the side effects of this -- and one which I really like -- is that I only get one real-time draft of a post. No editing after the fact, no saving drafts, I have to type "blog" at the command prompt and then finish what I start right then and there.

Note: this does, of course, also mean that my posts here are likely to be full of typos, but that's a price I'm willing to pay for this odd little experiment.

It's probably been ten years since I spent any amount of time in a shell and I like it. And I like that there's nothing to tilde.club but what we build here.

However long it lasts, it's going to be fun.

Wednesday, October 8 2014 07:58:23 PM

Okay, here we go...