Programming deep dives, side projects, and miscellany

Other blogs

Stories for Outcasts is home to some of my more lengthy and involved tech posts, a pair of which were briefly on the front page of Hacker News, until the “hug of death” hit my bandwidth limit on App Engine.

Medicine for the Sky is a blog I ran from 2005 - 2013, starting out with commentary on life as a single dad/helicopter parent, and switching over to tech content after I remarried and had more kids, and moved family content to Facebook. The résumé page on that site has links to a handful of side-projects that I’m particularly proud of.


Six Degrees of Spidey is a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon clone written in Node/Angular, where you pick a Marvel Comics character, and a list is generated of the (probably) shortest path of crossover comics until Spider-Man is reached. Since he’s crossed over into hundreds of titles, this was more about the graphics and API calls, and less about perfecting an algorithm, since most characters have a Spidey number of two or less. I wrote this for a code challenge while interviewing at Mutually Human, and liked it enough to keep it around afterwards.

Dinghy is a blog engine written in Go to work with Google App Engine’s database and memcache systems. It has a tolerably good admin interface, and a Markdown parser written as a single Go file, following the variables, function names, and spirit of John Gruber’s original perl script. Dinghy is the engine that serves the Stories for Outcasts blog from above.

The unwritten game is the end result of a computer club I ran at my daughter’s school during the 2016/17 school year. I met with a group of 15 middle school students for a couple hours once per week after school, with the intention of building a video game with them over the course of the year. The game never got written, sadly, but along the way we explored some more concise design and development topics. The examples folder in this project shows a lot of what was used as content for the club meetings, ranging from fractals, to Logo, to level design, to basic code-breaking.