Josh's Brain Blogs

Sorry, Another Home Improvement Project

Okay, fine, I’ll do another DIY post, because COVID has me doing more and more of them - like pretty much everyone these days, I guess. I spend way more time in my office at home than I probably should, even before literally everyone started doing the same thing. It is essentially a workspace and I guess almost a “man cave,” though I absolutely loathe that term, insomuch as the office also houses most of my collectibles and dorky things I’ve accumulated over the years. One of those collections is my batch of soccer scarves, which have been collected over the last decade from various matches I...

Making a Basic DIY Fountain

alvies.org is not going to become a DIY blog. Because, really, who would read it? Fewer people than read the content I put out now, for sure. But, with all of us spending so much more time at home over the last couple months, we’ve all needed an outlet, and I’ve been tinkering with things at home. In this case, I pulled out a bush from my front landscaping that had been dying since we bought the place and was left with a big open area. I’d never had a water feature at any home I’ve owned, so I decided this was the time. Fountains are expensive, and I am cheap. So I decided that I wanted to...

Automated Renaming and Reformatting for Photoshop CC

It's been ages since I've written a blog post, mainly because I haven't done enough that's been public enough to talk about (and what I have done isn't as interesting as I'd like!). Today, though, I've got another small code snippet of something I just finished to make my life a little bit easier.

I've alluded to in the past, I'm sure, that my day job involves a lot of legacy and mission-critical code, and with...

Hack Together a Home Server

Wow, it's been ages since I wrote anything up for this blog. So, here's a quick one from a hardware project I'm wrapping up for my home; for many years, I've run a desktop machine that has in the loosest terms been a "server" for my own needs. It's usually been whatever is handed down when I build a new PC for photo editing and/or gaming, so it's a pretty low-spec machine running some variant of...

The Gamers' Midlife Crisis

I was catching up on my magazine reading the other day - yeah, I actually read physical magazines because I'm old and I get distracted reading them on screens - and I came across this article in the latest Wired .

I've never been much for watching vlogs like this, but the guy's "character," "NES...

Telecommuting: the Advice is Now

As a followup to my last post , I'm going to assume that based on my previous thoughts you've now gone to your management team and advocated successfully for some work-from-home days in your life. More likely, of course, is that you're fortunate enough to be in a corporate environment where remote work is already embraced, whether that's for just some days during the week or month, or all of them. However you got to this point, though, this is where I come back in to impart my advice for working remotely in a...

Telecommuting: the Time Is Now

And the time is still now, even if you're in a different time zone from all of your coworkers!

I've had a blog post in mind for months about how to most effectively work remotely, as I've been doing it for virtually the last ten years; in fact, I've been in my current organization over nine years now and of that time, all but eighteen months has been either partially or fully remote, mostly from more than a thousand miles away. Before I get to that post, though, I want to do this shorter one about why exactly it's valuable to work remotely for both individuals and the organization...

Project in Detail: Caves of Narshe Logo Redesign (Part 2)

Continuing from the previous Project in Detail blog , the first part of the new CoN logo's creation.

Specialization

As mentioned, the genesis of the logo update was the desire to make another special version of the logo to celebrate the site's 20th anniversary. Very few sites, particularly hobby sites, can claim to have survived so long, and I wanted to do something special to commemorate the time spent in development and among the community. Conceptualizing the new, sleek iteration. The...

Project in Detail: Caves of Narshe Logo Redesign (Part 1)

This is the first "Project in Detail" blog I've done about something that wasn't either explicitly web code, or heavily web code with some design enhancement along the way. This time around, I'm documenting the process involved in revamping the logo for Caves of Narshe to celebrate the site's 20th anniversary (on July 31, 2017).

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Don't Forget the Rubber Duck

As someone who didn't come into software engineering from a traditional path, it was way down the line before I first heard the term "Rubber Duck Development." Everyone else out there probably knows full well what I'm talking about already, and there's really not that much more I can say about the core principle. I will do so anyway - in short, it describes a simple trick of the human brain: when trying...

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