Author Archives: Mark Eaton

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On podcasts

I spend more time than I’d like to on the New York City subway. It’s mostly boring, punctuated by occasional dramatic failures, where getting to your destination seems almost impossible. In any case, I find that my time on the subway needs to be put to use with some productive activity, or I would totally […]

Posted in learning, podcasts | Leave a comment

On testing code

Unit testing seems like a very sensible thing to do. Having tests that ensure that your code is doing what you expect is an obviously good idea. I’m a very cautious person by nature, so testing appeals to me very strongly. Nonetheless I’ve been slow to add it to my workflow. In part this is […]

Posted in testing | Comments closed

Pi-hole

I’ve had a Raspberry Pi sitting around my office for quite a while. I bought it in a brief moment of enthusiasm for hardware that quickly faded, so it has mostly sat around in the box unused. I think the main reason I neglected it is because I hadn’t come up with a compelling use […]

Posted in networking, pi-hole | Comments closed

Creating a desktop application using Python

Recently, my colleague Julia and I made a Python script to support outreach to faculty. You can read about our attempts to document the project here. Because deploying a script like this can be difficult for librarians who are sometimes unfamiliar with Python, we thought it might be useful to sidestep some of the complexity […]

Posted in desktop application | Comments closed

DNS

I’ve had some adventures with DNS recently. DNS resolves domain names to IP addresses, so it, uh, mostly just looks things up. It won’t forward traffic, or resolve the path in a url to some other path, or anything like that. It won’t help you serve things over HTTPS. It just translates domain names to […]

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On documentation

Two weeks ago, Julia Furay and I presented a poster at ACRL 2019 about automating a library outreach initiative with Python. The presentation went well; people seemed interested in the project. But talking to librarians at the conference really got us thinking about how to make our code more reusable. If others want to use […]

Posted in conference, documentation | Comments closed

The unpredictability of bots

I recently made a Mastodon bot that didn’t really turn out how I expected. My goal was for it to be a bit cheeky, by being a bot who poses as a scholar. That’s not how it comes across. Rather, it presents itself as pedantic and over-confident. I suppose I could tweak it to make […]

Posted in bots, mastodon, software | Comments closed

Contributing

I’ve recently had the honor of contributing to an open source project called ephemetoot. It’s a project by Hugh Rundle that auto-deletes your old Mastodon posts. I’ve wanted to contribute more to open source projects for a while now, but finding the right project is surprisingly hard to do. Hugh’s project appealed to me for […]

Posted in ephemetoot, mastodon, open source | Comments closed

Learning the conceptual stuff

Because I’m a self-taught programmer, and still very much a beginner, there’s a lot of computer science theory that I’m totally unaware of. Yet I’m now beginning to see the value of classic theoretical solutions to common programming problems. When you can immediately identify a problem as being solvable with, say, a concept like a […]

Posted in learning | Comments closed

Friday thoughts on greenOA

As Kingsborough’s representative for CUNY Academic Works, our university’s institutional repository, I help faculty share their publications freely and openly online. This is useful work, because it increases the visibility of their work, and allows many people around the world to access scholarship that might otherwise have been unavailable to them. The institutional repository provides […]

Posted in institutional repository, open access | Comments closed
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