LaTeX, for those who haven’t heard of, and fallen in love with, it, is a document formatting engine. It’s similar to HTML in how you’re encouraged to separate the content from the presentation. Rather than using a WYSIWYG editor like Microsoft Word, you use a plain-text editor to create .TEX files, then run them through a program that converts them into, for instance, a PDF. LaTeX is often used for publication in many scientific fields, but I also use it for my personal resumé. Why? Because it’s so great at making documents look good. I use a slightly modified version of Michael DeCorte’s res.cls for the presentation, and, if I do say so myself, I think my resumé looks quite[…]

I absolutely adore my license plate, and I consider myself very lucky to have gotten it. As far as personalized plates for standard web protocols goes, this is probably the best plate there is (it’s way better than HTTP 1 through 79, or 81 and above, to be sure). A lot of non-geeks ask me why I chose 80. Here’s why. When a computer tries to connect to a server over the Internet, one of the first things it tells the server is which port number it is trying to connect to. The port number can be anything from 0 to 65535, and it’s used to determine which program should be run to handle the connection. Most HTTP servers are[…]

It seems like it’s become fashionable to be of the opinion that the penny is worthless and should be abolished. I’ll admit: it does seem a little wasteful to consider it worth one cent when the copper itself would be worth more melted down.

I started out this year with the intention of writing a blog post five days a week. That quickly proved problematic; I’m both an introverted person and not very good at thinking in the specific sort of abstract manner required to come up with ideas for blog posts. At the same time, writing a blog is a great way to increase online visibility, so I decided to force myself to try. I’d say my effort has failed. Even before I impulsively decided to switch to a three-post-a-week goal at the beginning of February, I’d say it failed. Why? Because I’m not writing enough about the types of things for which I’d like to rank highly in Google. Which begs the[…]

There’s been some consternation in the Web community recently over websites’ increasingly common use of the hashbang (#!) URL construct as a means by which to reduce overhead when downloading a page. I have a proposal for how the web community might fix this.

I’m announcing the launch of, a site I offered to set up and maintain for my neighborhood association. As with the last one, this was a pretty basic WordPress+theme+hosting, but I also did some minor tweaking to the theme itself and am managing the content.

I got an email last Thursday from a professor at Illinois Wesleyan. She needed a really basic website, really fast, for a new group she co-founded. The whole thing only took me a couple of hours, and the site is already online!

My opinion that no government entity should be able to shut down internet access is complicated by my opinion that the internet should be a public utility, like water or roads. But if the government controlled the pipes, they could close them at will. This worries me.