Years ago, I lost my temper while arguing with my brother, and said, "Jeff, I could teach you everything I know and you'd still be an idiot." Please keep that in mind as you read this site.

Recent posts

We Got a Mention in Comm. ACM

The March 2010 issue of Communications of the ACM has an article on grid computing that mentions Software Carpentry and Titus Brown's course at Michigan Stat...
February 25, 2011

An Easy Place to Start: Systems Programming

As a follow-up to recent posts on how to contribute, what better looks like, and Elango Cheran's secure shell episode, here's a specific request: we would li...
February 24, 2011

What Better Looks Like

Paradise is exactly like where you are right now... only much, much better. — Laurie Anderson It's hard to make things better if you don't know what "b...
February 22, 2011


I’ve only owned one store-bought sweater in my life; all the rest have been made for me, mostly by my mum. Her arthritis won’t let her knit any more, but I t...
February 20, 2011

Giving Ourselves Permission

There’s a line from Alan Furst’s 1930s-era spy novel Dark Star that has stuck with me: “We need people who can do good, and not get caught.” It came to mind ...
February 18, 2011