Thursday, August 31, 2017

count your secular blessings

A blog I like, Lost in Mobile, sometimes parlays thoughtful comments into new articles. Here's a bit from a comment I made on an entry on folks being jaded about smartphone improvements:
Sometimes I still get myself a little frisson of excitement about how cool the little gadget I'm carrying is, how chuffed I am to have my Todo list all organized on it, and my music all sorted and at the ready, etc. I think that's a weird kind of consumerist mindfulness. I'd seriously suggest people do that – take inventory of the blessings bestowed upon you by an engineering savvy society – from crisp clean water, hot showers, and flush toilets, to public health saving us from a bajillion ailments, to our crazy ability to travel at 60 mph like it ain't no thing and hundreds of miles faster than that for a reasonable sum, to the way our little gadgets have access to SO much information, and provide (for worse but generally better) a constant lifeline of contact with our loved ones. Be thankful for all this stuff, because it's well-nigh miraculous.
Full ramble here...

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017


Async/Await Will Make Your Code Simpler... the next step beyond netsting pyramids and promise chains. It kinda just lets your async code look like good old fashioned terrible sync code!

(I always thought that the pyramid of doom could be somewhat mitigated if you didn't put a lot of logic in the pyramid itself, but left it as a structure to a lot of named callbacks instead of anonymous functions, but still, these new techniques seem pretty good.)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

simple countdown timer

My cousin posted
Thanks for the birthday wishes, folks! Tech dorky friends- if you want to give me a gift, what I really need right now is a countdown timer that displays in its own window, without a lot of other crap in the window. The ability to set the font is a huge plus. 
It is *amazing* how hard this is to find through casual Google searching.
Well, I'M a tech dorky friend! So I did an exercise in quick and dirty vanilla js and made . Its default colors are black on green (I think he's doing a green screen process and using it as an overlay) but you can change the RGB for the starting color, and then what to show when the counter hits zero, like this

At any time you can click on the time and reset it. (I also added a font= parameter but anything that's not a monospace will wiggle a bit as the centered text changes width during the countdown)

Nice to have the mojo to be able to say "I got you fam, gimme ten minutes" though it was more like half an hour. It's not lovely code. Some small tricks used include this quick and dirty vertical centering and use of "vw" CSS units so that the display was scaled to the screen (I had to set the block's height to 1em for the vertical centering to work)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

visual design and the broadway version of frozen

Here's the poster for the broadway version of Frozen... the NY Times has an article with 7 other candidates and their strengths and weaknesses.
Great seeing some of the process of evaluation at work. And I dig the "is it a lamp or two faces in silhouette" they snuck in the final design.