November 25, 2007

Sent the first chapter of Wicked Cool Emacs

November 25, 2007 - Categories: emacs

Operating on the principle that it’s better to have a terrible first
draft than none at all, I’ve sent 21 pages to my editor at No Starch
Press. =)

The past two weeks were incredibly packed, but I survived them and and
seem to be getting the hang of working on the book. It’s incredibly
fun. Emacs is such a crazy subject to write about. I mean, come on…
Mayan date conversions? Emacs geeks! I’m sure that if I dug a little
deeper, I’d figure out how to help W- keep track of his parents’
Chinese birthdays. Now that would be useful! <laugh> Writing
about Emacs gave me an excuse to explore. There’s a lot in here that I
haven’t tried before, and you know what? It’s pretty darn cool.

I was surprised to find that I had lots of material already. It didn’t
seem like it when I was writing, but the page count just kept growing
and growing as I assembled the chapter. I’m not too happy with the way
I wrote it, because it felt a little drier than I’m used to. I should
probably browse through No Starch Press books and see which books in
that line have been written really well so that I have role models.

I’ll tweak the draft a little bit more and send it out to beta readers
tomorrow. =)

On Technorati: WickedCoolEmacs, ,

Random Emacs symbol: narrow-to-region – Command: Restrict editing in this buffer to the current region.

Weekly review

November 25, 2007 - Categories: weekly

I spent Monday to Wednesday at the new hire orientation at IBM. It was
a terrific orientation that not only showed me some of the resources
available, but also the deep values that run through the company and
the big picture of our unit’s strategy. IBM’s an amazing company and
I’m glad to be part of it. =)

Thanks to that new hire orientation and another self-paced leadership
course I took on Saturday, I’ve learned a little more about my career
passion: helping companies help people connect. More on this
later. =)

I also continued working on the shopping site project I started on
last week. I worked on user stories. I didn’t have a client advocate
around as recommended by the Extreme Programming methodology, so I
based the stories on what I’d learned at the meeting and identified
some areas for which we’d need further clarification. I was pleasantly
surprised to find that I had no problems taking that task and figuring
out what to do. Maybe I have managed to pick up some experience
and confidence along the way.

I’m starting on another project next week. For this, the project lead
specifically requested me. Not only that, she had to talk to my
manager and my team members in order to get me into the project. Wow!
I’m really flattered. I’m a fan of hers, and I’m looking forward to
working with her on this project.

It’s not all work work work, mind you. ;) Today I changed my first
tire! In fact, I changed two tires, and then W- did the other
two. PROPER. =) I had an “I rock!” moment there. And it was fun going
from grungy clothes and grime on my hands to being all dressed up for
an opera fundraiser. W- and I enjoyed some beautiful opera
excerpts from La Boheme, Un ballo in maschera, and
Madama Butterfly at the
Toronto Opera Repertoire community
opera fundraiser this afternoon. I’m looking forward to the opening of
the opera season.

I sent off the first chapter of my book, too. Yay!

Goals for next week:

Random Emacs symbol: eshell-directory-files-and-attributes – Function: Make sure to use the handler for `directory-file-and-attributes’.

Last week

November 25, 2007 - Categories: weekly

And if you’re wondering what happened last week and why I hadn’t
gotten around to writing a weekly review – my mom was in town for my
convocation! =D She flew into Toronto on Thursday with Tita Gay, a
family friend. They attended my convocation on Friday morning, saw the
UToronto lab and IBM at 120 Bloor East, and met about two dozen of my
favorite favorite favorite people in Canada. She flew out on Sunday,
which was far too early according to everyone concerned, but such is
life. I’m looking forward to seeing her and my dad and my sister again
soon!

Random Emacs symbol: ring-insert – Function: Insert onto ring RING the item ITEM, as the newest (last) item.

Feedwordpress and Planner blog = awesome

November 25, 2007 - Categories: emacs

I’ve been thinking about adding public comments and other nifty
features to my Planner blog for the longest time. It would be nice if
people could search and navigate through my blog the way they can
with, say, WordPress blogs. I thought about switching to WordPress,
but Emacs is just so much handier for me.

Today I had a thinko – why not find a way to pull entries from my
Emacs Planner blog feed into WordPress? I knew there had to be
a plugin to do this. Sure enough, a quick search found
Feedwordpress,
which took me only a few minutes to install. I don’t know why I hadn’t
made that connection before. ;) I mean, spam blogs use things like
this all the time.

ANYWAY, this neatly solves my problem. I can still blog within Emacs
with all the syntax and support I’ve gotten used to, but I can now
provide a different interface for people who like the whizbang
Wordpress stuff. =)

Watch out for more blog craziness in the future. ;)

On Technorati: , , ,

Yay, I got to talk to my dad today

November 25, 2007 - Categories: family

Kathy helped my dad set up Skype and video, so I got to chat with him
today too. Happy happy happy! He’s really doing well at the office,
having taken on more management responsibilities while my mom’s on
vacation. I’m proud of him. =)

On Technorati: ,