Not A Fan of Low Contrast Text

July 18, 2017

There are more than 16 million colors in the standard RGB color space. So why do modern web and app designers keep returning to gray on gray text?

My eyesight is not wonderful, I have lots of things floating in my eyes, while I am not blind or anything, I do need to make text bigger to see decently. But there is little I can do when people decide to create styles that are low contrast, generally a medium gray on a light gray background. I do not know why this became such a trend over the past decade.

This lack of contrast as an artistic design seems pervasive in almost everything. I am currently writing this post in a markdown app with, you guessed it, gray on gray. Everywhere I look in MacOS I see gray on gray. Some are worse than others. The App Store app for example is horrendously light gray text everywhere.

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Shipping

July 17, 2017

In every project there comes an important time every one of us gets to, assuming it's not cancelled:

Shipping.

Somehow all the work you've slaved over has to be deployed to production, rolled out to customers, pushed to an App Store, or like I did 30 years ago, baked into a master floppy. It's time for your baby to be born, or graduate, or whatever metaphor works for you.

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New Design And New Blog Generator

July 15, 2017

I had a little time and decided to replace the previous blog engine (written in PHP and using MySQL) which was getting long in the tooth, not to mention it really makes little sense to dynamically generate a static blog site.

So I whipped up a little blog generator in Swift and extracted and converted all the previous content from the database into a new text format.

Works like a charm. Please let me know if you see any odd anomalies.

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Every Server Is A Kind Of Honeypot

June 13, 2017

I was going to write something different, but last night I created a DigitalOcean droplet for an experiment, and didn’t finish. So tonight I came back to it and happened to look at the /var/log/auth.log which seemed somewhat large for a newly created droplet.

There were 98 ip addresses that attempted to log into the server. I don’t know if these were purely random or the ip was known as something else formerly. From the logs it was obvious that these were not legitimate attempts.

In any case I ran the collection through the tool at InfoByIp.com and got an interesting mix of domains and countries.

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Experiments in Artificial Life Part 1

June 01, 2017

Around the time of the dot-com collapse I talked with a local Computer Science professor about going back to school and getting a PhD in CS but after some discussion he dissuaded me from trying, basically he said schools didn’t want students as old as I was (early 40’s) and that the market for CS professors was limited. Of course this was before Google and others started hiring PhD’s in droves. Oh well.

After graduating from college with a BS in Chemistry I had been accepted for a PhD in Chemistry but declined as I didn’t want to go to school forever. Two chances not taken sadly.

What I wanted to study in CS was artificial biological systems, ways of constructing biological environments entirely in software to study how natural systems may have come about. Part of this area is often called artificial life, although that seems to have become less popular these days as AI and machine learning have become more interesting to study. In any case I’ve decide to play around with this despite my lack of time—sometimes you have to work on something completely unrelated to work so as not to get stuck in a technological rut.

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Too Much Work, Not Enough Energy

May 25, 2017

It’s not like I haven’t wanted to write more in this blog, but this all consuming project of the past 16 months has taken all of my time and energy. So far this year I have worked most of the days including weekends until recently.

Yes I wrote I wouldn’t do that. But there isn’t much choice given the high profile nature of the project, the complexity of everything, and especially that the team I work for being the lead team for something with more zeroes in any budget I have ever seen. Despite the grandiose budget our team is usually tasked with more work and less money given a budgetary process that makes no sense to me, and we all tend to get it done anyway despite whatever is expected of us.

Also they pay me a whole lot which makes it more palatable.

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