Matt Hackmann

One good turn

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In my previous post, I mentioned the little "micro list" thing my mom is currently doing on her blog. Among these was a favorites list. Noticing that she had added a row for video games, I snarkily suggested she should have "favorite TNG character". To her credit, she devoted the entire next post to the topic of Next Generation. It's moments like these when I consciously consider the fact that my mom has a bit of a nerdy streak which is pretty cool.

But, enough of that, given that she went through the trouble of constructing that list, I feel it's only right that I do the same. So, following her parameters, here is mine:

1. Favorite Character - Gonna have to go with Picard on this one. How can you not respect the guy who is essentially a role model for humanity? Following closely behind would be Q, Data, and Riker (in no particular order).

2. Favorite Episode - Much to my mom's chagrin, I can't not give this award to Cause and Effect. I believe it's been mentioned before, but I love time travel stories and time loops in particular are a guilty pleasure of mine. On a funny aside, the first Google result for "enterprise keeps exploding" is the Wiki entry for this episode.

3. Least Favorite Character - You thought I was going to say Pulaski, didn't you mother? Well, despite the fact that I cannot stand her elitist attitude and the way she treats data, she's only number two in that regard. No, this coveted award goes to Tasha Yar, the overly emotional, too bull-headed security officer that preceded Worf. Her death is one of the shining moments of the series.

4. Favorite Doctor - I don't have much to say about Lwaxana Troi (though, I do enjoy the episodes she's in), but I do have words for the various doctors in the series, my favorite being (drumroll) the Doctor! Sure, the actual TV series only had Pulaski and Crusher (of two, I prefer the latter), but the good ol' EMH makes a wonderful yet brief appearance in First Contact making him eligible for this list. You can't not love his dickish, self-serving attitude and, as a main character on Voyager, was given much more time to be fleshed out as a character.

5. On the topic of Q - Who doesn't love Q? He's such an asshole, but a highly entertaining one (see above about the Doctor). Q episodes always tend to bring out the more interesting topics, such as "how would you relive your life given the chance"? He also introduced the Borg, which is kind of a big deal.

Okay, I have geeked out about Trek for long enough. I should run to the store to pick up ingredients for turkey soup. Should be a hoppin' good time.

I am thief, watch me steal

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Taking a page from the tiny little blog posts my mom is doing right now, I'm going to steal that idea.

February 5th, 2015

1. Went to work today

2. Larger breakfast because everything looked good.

3. Made coffee. Then drank it

4. Refactored touch code to be more modular. Such tedium, decent results.

5. What the fuck, Nick? I get that it's nutella day, but I'm trying to lose weight.

6. Doubled my morning water intake because I was thirsty

7. Salad with tuna for lunch. Such sadness

8. Leave work early to await my piano delivery

9. Oh, it's already here. And the stand is here too

10. "Hey, guy. My name is Mr. Headache. Let me throb for a while".

11. Fuck you, Mr. Headache.

12. Still waiting for the piano pedals, but it's good to be playing things again.

That almost felt therapeutic.

2014 Micro Retrospectives - Programming

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Getting back to that thing I was doing, today I'll cover last year's coding efforts. And what efforts those were. Actually, I think 2014 might be my most active year ever. Just going by GitHub, I totaled over 670 commits. Of course, that doesn't include anything I did at work (and there was certainly a lot of that). So what exactly happened last year?

RedditBooru v2

This is pretty well documented. January was spent rewriting basically everything as I attempted to port RedditBooru to nodejs. Then, when that didn't pan out how I wanted, went back to the original PHP stack with major modifications to the existing codebase. The new feature set in v2 wasn't the huge success I expected it to be (though, my bandwidth nearly doubled overnight). Indeed, views have been steadily dropping, though I think this is partially due to better RES integration that came along. Still, 875k page views by 214k unique users is pretty good and more than I would have anticipated anything I'd ever create would do. But, that doesn't even begin to compare to...

Anime Bracket

Some interesting stuff happened here (that is actually pending a full write up). In August, a user on the anime subreddit contacted me about using the awwnime bracket site for a bracket he wanted to do. I said yes, pulled some code strings, and let him on his merry way. Long story short, that bracket garnered over 1 million page views and 2.5 million votes by 24k registered users. Here's a fun little image showing the difference between that bracket and the one I usually run in the fall:

That tall peak is 45k users in one day

That kickstarted an effort by me to make the bracket accessible to anybody (because it has also proved to be financially sustainable). Indeed, as I write this, I'm taking a break from working on the new site. But, more details on that later.

Everything Else

As usual, those two projects continue to be my main concern while not at work. However, that's not all I've done. There was the aforementioned contributions to RES updating support for RedditBooru albums. There was also the work I did on the awwnime bracket app. I also did some work around my Hue lights and a couple of other trifling things that didn't gain traction. Of course, that's not including the stuff that I don't commit (and I do a lot of small scripts just to help out with day-to-day life).

Alright, so there's another post.

2014 Micro Retrospectives - Intro + Bikes

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2014 is winding down as the shadow of 2015 looms over us. I don't even know why we give this any mind; time is but a human construct and the "new year" marker could have been placed at any point. Indeed, other cultures have their own ways of keeping time with their own "new years". Interesting that the concept of a "year", a larger span of time filled with many smaller demarcations of time, is seen in most of these calendar systems. Still, I'm happy to use an arbitrary position on our planet's orbit to define the changing of the year. Whatever, that's not what I'm here to talk about.

For myself, 2014 was arguably less exciting than 2013. No sudden life changes, no international trips, just a fairly standard year. Still, it wasn't without its own interesting things and I'll now take a look back at the more notable things that happened in a series of very short blog posts.

Biking

I'd purchased a bike in 2013, shortly after returning from Japan (partially because my original bike had been stolen while I was gone). Despite having it, I didn't make use of it nearly as much as I should have. But, this year, I began going on long rides with friends which really makes the whole experience much more appealing. On top of that, I bought a very nice bike and, as I became more accustomed to it, started upgrading that with nice upgrades like better wheels and clips. All said and done, I logged over 1800 miles this year which is an accomplishment I'm quite proud of.

That's today, tomorrow might be more!

Letters from the Past

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Shortly after writing this post last year, I sent my future self (me now) another email with my hopes and predictions for the future. Today I have received that email:

Dear FutureMe,

Hello from the past! I feel a little strange writing this letter considering how WRONG I was on the previous one. But, here we are.

Looking at 2014 from my vantage point, there shouldn't be much change from the latter half of 2013; you'll still be at LinkedIn and, of course, in the Bay Area. I'm hoping that you'll have become slightly more suave with the ladies because that's really the last item on the checklist.

Also, there's the very vague possibility of an Oktoberfest trip with the ol' TN folks. At this point in time, I'm not sure how that will play out or if it will and it wasn't just a bunch of "Whooo!! Riding the high of life" type talk.

Finally, I'm hoping that summer with Chris hanging out while he interns winds up being every bit as awesome as I'm anticipating right now.

So, get your ass a girlfriend and I'll see you in a year!

All in all, that summed up the year pretty accurately. I'm still at LI, still in the bay, and Chris' internship was a lot of fun. Of course, the Oktoberfest trip didn't happen, but I did wind up visiting all of those folks in their new home of Smogsville, TX just last weekend.

There does seem to be a recurring theme here in the form of "get a girlfriend you big ass". And, as I prepare to write the letter to myself for next year, that thing will come up yet again. Of course, actually trying to meet somebody would probably be a huge step towards actually realizing this. Having a handful of dates with one girl per year isn't getting me anywhere very quickly...