Where Are The Wise Men?

Mike's Ramblings

Best Feature of the Nest Thermostat

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Our favorite feature of the Nest Thermostat is the lock feature. We found out about this feature after kids starting turning up our thermostat. One time up to 81 ℉! The nicest thing is what we can still adjust it on our phone without unlocking it.

Interactive Fiction

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Once every few years I end up looking at Interactive Fiction and am surprised that it's live and well. People are making games like Zork for the fun of it. What a fun little niche that I'm glad is still going on.

Oh and if you have never played inkle's 80 Days you are missing out.

Safari Books

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My fantastic employer let me put Safari Books towards my (ample) education/training budget last year. Just last night I remembered that I hadn't used it in a while so I fired it up and undid some books that were in my queue that I didn't need anymore. Then I had to think about what I wanted to get this time. Oh a book on JPA. Yes, they have one and yes it's already become useful.

Hooray for great employers!

Org Mode

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My latest post on the Object Partners blog has something unusual about it. Not necessarily the content (which wasn't Grails-based, so that is different). It was how it was written. Instead of being in Markdown and converted to HTML like I usually do, I did something completely different. I used an Emacs-only based format called Org Mode.

I've heard of it before but never really dug into it. I've heard about it mostly for the todos and I'm perfectly happy with my system using RememberTheMilk. But one day I stumbled into this YouTube video where he demoed a lot of Org Mode features. Linking to anything, re-ordering lists, etc. Even after using Markdown for years, I've found Org Mode's conventions easier to get in my brain (but they are very similar). And, if you watch that linked video, at least make it to 6:13, where he demos how tables work. It's amazing.

I like taking notes on a code task and putting a link to the source file straight into my notes. You can't do that with Evernote. I like writing a blog post and importing my code snippets from my sample into my article, as opposed to copying the code in. You can put your Org mode document anywhere – not just in a special folder but spread throughout your projects. That seems weird but it actually makes sense.

I'm almost giddy about it. Making my own wiki, notes, and having it in Emacs and being able to whip it to any format I want and link to any files I want…. wow. If you needed a reason to jump into Emacs, I can't think of a better reason than Org Mode.