Pew Pew Laser Blog

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

Ebook Reader (for iPad) Findings.


I had been doing a lot of ebook reading on my iPad, but sometimes the experience was lacking due to the ereader application that I was using to read the book. Since then I put a variety of ereaders through their paces with various file types, and what follows is a summary of my findings.


I only evaluated iPad ereaders. My primary use for ereaders is for technical books, with fiction novels being a less common use case. As such these were the features I cared about:

Apps tested

These were the applications I considered:


Marvel Dice Masters Constructed Deck Review - January 2015.


January Marvel Dice Masters Deck I went to a constructed deck tournament for Marvel Dice Masters this weekend. I had fun, but didn't expect to lose so much. Here is a review of the cards I brought, and how effective they were in play.

When Women Stopped Coding.


Planet Money's "When Women Stopped Coding" is a 20 minute listen, but it's worth your time. If nothing else, check out the short except at

One of the most interesting points in this article was that there was a secret prerequisite to college computer courses: knowing computers - from installing software to understanding how to maintain and troubleshoot themachines. Those who had previous access to computers (probably having had one at home as children) only had to learn programming, while everyone else had to learn somewhat advanced computing skills on top of learning programming.

Since I was commonly on free or reduced-price school lunches as a kid, my family ought to have been way too poor to have a computer at home. But one year my mom used using the magic of the tax refund "savings plan" to bring a 386 running Windows 3.0 home. Having this (and follow-on models) at home no doubt played a large part in getting me where I am today - a professional web developer.

Even though I grew up in the 1980s, I didn't perceive any "outsiderness" to girls and women using computers and technology. Perhaps this was because we didn't have cable, and I did a lot less watching TV than reading - where I could more easily imagine myself in any role I wanted. Or perhaps this was because I was the oldest sister in a family of girls; there were no brothers or father at home to allow simple gender-based role assignment.

For further reading, see Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving Computing

Speaking - The Proposal.


If you've ever thought about public speaking, here are a few things you might like to know about responding to a call for papers:

Additional resources:

The Little Things in iOS 8.


I wasn't interested in any of iOS 8's "big" features in iOS 8, but there are a few small enhancements which are pretty useful:

Brussels Sprout Casserole.


Brussels Sprout Casserole from Pew Pew Laser Blog Try this Brussels sprout casserole recipe to turn around the Brussels sprouts hater in your household. Roasting the sprouts on a preheated sheet pan ensure that they get cooked through and dark and delicious on the outside. Being able to make most of this dish ahead of time makes it great for avoiding holiday oven-contention.

Nodevember 2014.


I was a selected speaker at this year's inaugural Nodevemer in Nashville last weekend. (You can view my talk "0 to Nodebots in 45 Minutes" at; here are the related links: I was also able to attend some really great talks:

The Shoulders of Giants (Opening Keynote) - Eliza Brock

Gonzo Game Dev - Earle Castledine

Make Art Not Apps - John Brown

Open Sourcing Mental Illness - Ed Finkler

Build Your Own #bada55 NodeJS Development Environment - Derick Bailey

Growing Up JavaScript (Closing Keynote) - Jason Orendorff

There were other talks that I wasn't able to go to, which I heard were really good. Fortunately, all of the talks were recorded, so I can check them out when I have time: