The Dentist

When I was younger one of the things I hated the most was going to the dentist. My feelings towards this have not changed but the experience gets worse as I get older. In the past two years I have had the misfortune of getting multiple crowns. It is one of those procedures that sounds routine but when you experience it, it is always worse than you expected.

Journey of the American Voter

My group Code for Boston hosted a series of Ignite talks for the National Day of Civic Hacking and the keynote was by Dana Chisnell. It was a fascinating and compelling story about the journey of the American voter. How they feel and why its so hard to vote:

Man It’s a Hot One

From the New York Times:

The continental United States had its hottest month of May and the third-hottest month of June. Japan was walloped by record triple-digit temperatures, killing at least 86 people in what its meteorological agency bluntly called a “disaster.” And weather stations logged record-high temperatures on the edge of the Sahara and above the Arctic Circle.

Fish Shell

For the past couple years I have been using mostly ZSH as the shell on my Mac because it has special features. However, over the weekend, I discovered and have been trying the fish shell. So Far using the fish shell has been enjoyable compared to using ZSH. It includes some of the features I really enjoy about ZSH but also has lots of features that quickly help you recall terminal commands or look up their documentation. It provides all its extra features by default. This was a big improvement from dealing with ZSH which required add-ones and configuration to fully expose its best magic.

As the fish site says, it works out of the box:

fish will delight you with features like tab completions and syntax highlighting that just work, with nothing new to learn or configure.

While it is worth understanding bash, using a shell like fish on your personal machine can make life an inch easier as you engage in software development.

Why Code for America and Code for Boston Take Donations

Yesterday someone asked me why Code for America was soliciting for donations via email. The answer ends up being mundane: Code for America is a non profit so they run entirely on donations. Some are from big donors and tech companies but some also come from smaller donors. Folks can donate to Code for America and earmark it to Code for Boston and that’s how we pay for pizza, events, etc.

Since folks at Code for Boston donate their time we try to not ask for direct donations and focus on corporate contributors, but other brigades operate more like a co-op where people put in money for food every week. We have considered asking members for donations before but so far have been lucky enough to generally not have to do that.

Over the next few months I will likely be doing more fundraising for Code for Boston to make sure we have money in our account to cover our expenses. While we are not in danger of running out of pizza money, raising capital can help us put on better events and reimburse some of the developer and core team expenses that we want to cover. If your company or organization wants to sponsor Code for Boston get in touch or donate online.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.