incsync – incremental backups with rsync on Unix

[2009-02-05] hack, computers, unix
Time Machine was always a bit troublesome for me on Mac OS X, so I did some research about how to do incremental backups with open source software. The result is the script presented in this post.

JavaScript is becoming a nice language

[2009-02-01] dev, javascript


The future of Ajax

[2008-12-21] gwt, dev, webdev


Graphviz: easy graph visualization

[2008-11-17] dev, hack, software


Fixing jet lag

[2008-05-27] scitech
Copied from one of the comments of "Fasting may fix jet lag":
The procedure suggested by the researchers is:
  1. Start with the day you will arrive in your final time zone.
  2. Count back 16 hours from your normal breakfast time on that day, and stop eating from that point.
  3. At your normal breakfast time on the final day, eat a substantial, nutritious, meal
Note that this means you may have to eat your breakfast on a plane or in an airport, and it may not be your normal breakfast time in the local timezone when you eat breakfast. You are supposed to eat substantial real food, not coffee and a pastry, so you may have to expend some effort and foresight to ensure that such food is available when you are supposed to eat it.


Couch graphical user interfaces

[2008-04-19] computers
Let's review: What kinds of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) do we currently have? On the one hand, there are Desktop GUIs whose development has been a bit stagnant for a while (I have written about some new ideas, older, but not yet widely used, include lifestreams, zoomable user interfaces, and 3D GUIs). On the other hand, there are smartphone interfaces that have recently enjoyed a resurgence via multi-touch.

LaTeX on Mac OS X

[2008-04-07] apple, latex, mac
Update 2012-04-04: Brought several smaller things up to date, added a conclusion.

LaTeX on Mac OS X is a very pleasant experience, because both LaTeX and the operating system have excellent support for PDF. That means that you’ll be able to use a “PDF-only” workflow (with the occasional bitmap graphics thrown in). In this post, I describe my favorite setup for LaTeXing on the Mac.

How to guide an audience from novice to expert

[2008-04-02] education, life
The article "The Hero's Journey: Are You Experienced?" uses the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition to explain how people learn: Initially, when they are novices, they cannot handle a lot of contradictions. They want to be told what to do and everything must be simple and consistent. Combine this with the observation that abstractions must be built by amassing concrete examples, and one can derive a few rules for teaching (some of them borrowed from "Hero's Journey"):


How will mobile communication evolve?

[2008-02-08] scitech

My guess is that most people will soon find out that constantly being interrupted by one's cell phone makes it hard to relax or concentrate. On the other hand, it is convenient if someone is easy to reach.


Generics and Parameters of Type Class

[2005-08-07] dev, java

Generics allow parameters to determine the type of the return value. This can be used to avoid a cast when returning objects from an internal map, by using the class of the object as a key.