Pew Pew Laser Blog

Code. Glass art. Games. Baking. Cats. From Seattle, Washington and various sundry satellite locations.

AWS Easy Mode == Architect.

5.16.2018

While severely belated, I wanted to take a bit of time to talk about a really nifty project that I learned about at EmpireConf 2017 last October. In her talk "Architecture as Text (AWS Easy Mode)", Angelina Fabbro talked about .architect - an open source project which handles provisioning of AWS / Lamda servers through the `.arc` file - a plaintext manifest file. The most amazing and wonderful fact is that with .architect in Angelina's demo, the servers were provisioned faster than DNS propagation.

Also of note, she's got a great definition for "Serverless": Functions (the var func = new Function(arg){} kind) as a service, not a web server. Abstract away the notion of a server altogether.

For more info on .architect, definitely check out the talk from EmpireConf, or the website at https://arc.codes/.

LinkedIn for Job Seekers.

4.23.2018

I've done the job search thing a few times, and one of the first places I start is with LinkedIn. It's how I found my last job. Here are a number of hopefully useful tips that I've picked up over the years stemming from my own discoveries to advice from professional job search advisors.

Other links about job searches:

Handy Regexes for Search and Replace.

3.26.2018

Sublime Text - my favorite editor - will let you use a regular expression (regex) in its search and replace functionality. Here are some handy regexes that I've used in the past:

Any anchors
href=\"[^\s]*\"
Any dollar value
\$[0-9.,]+
All HTML comments and their contents
<!--(.|\s)*?-->
Either "alpha" or "beta"
(alpha|beta)
Any blank lines
^\n
Any pair of "s not preceeded by ="
[^=]""
Sass mixins
@mixin .* \{
Sass extends
\%[^\s]*

Inkscape - Using Path > Difference With Text.

3.3.2018

It turns out that Inkscape's error messages will appear in the status bar at the bottom of the application.

Part of getting my Glowforge laser cutter has been learning to use a new piece of software, Inkscape. I was having problems using Inkscape's "Path > Difference" option to combine (well, cut out) shapes and text elements. Here's what I had to do to get the elements merged:

  1. Optional: Disable any stroke styles on both objects. Use fills instead.
  2. Optional: Make sure the first element - the non-text - is a path. Select it and choose "Path > Object to Path".
  3. Turn the text into a path. Select it and choose "Path > Object to Path".
  4. Ungroup that new path. Right click it and choose "Ungroup".
  5. Bring the "top" element to the top layer (Home). This is what will be removed from the other element.
  6. Position / align the elements as desired.
  7. Select both of the elements.
  8. Choose "Path > Difference".

Global Diversity CFP Day Q&A.

2.6.2018

Last week was Global Diversity CFP Day and we held the Seattle workshop that I'd been organizing for a few months. Global Diversity CFP Day was started by Peter Aitken, who ran a similar event to improve the diversity of submissions for his event ScotlandJS. At the event, a number of locations world-wide held workshops where people who are under-represented at technology conferences could learn about submitting talks to conferences from experienced speakers and event organizers. The attendees asked some really good questions, so I figured I'd answer them here for posterity. I hope readers will forgive me for including one "Socratic method" question at the end.

Games I've Beat.

1.15.2018

Gender-based marketing is lazy and video game marketing has been lying to you. Here is a list of video games that I have beat. Where "beat" means variously beat the final boss, won all races or levels, or completed the story, as appropriate for the genre.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Web Dev Tools Inspector and Console.

12.7.2017

Sometimes, right clicking on something in a browser and picking "Inspect" from the context menu just isn't fast enough for me. I wanted to find a way to quickly open the Inspector and Console tabs in a browser's web developer tools, so naturally I turned to keyboard shortcuts. I've compiled a reference of the commands for Firefox and Chrome here.

Firefox:

Even better, the Web Dev tools will open up - with the last active tab - when you hit your F12 key. (In OSX, use fn F12 if you haven't enabled the "Use all F1, F2, etc keys as standard function keys" Keyboard Preference.)

Chrome: