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This category contains 21 posts

A digital wine blind tasting grid

I built a digital version of the conclusion section of a wine tasting grid. Check it out at: http://www.ryanpfister.com/blindtaste/ Now you don’t have to find or bring along a paper copy. Plus, it will automatically calculate how many answers you got right – great if you want to compete against friends. Tech stack is react/redux. […]

Talking in loud bars with technology

If you’re in a bar with loud music it’s difficult to hold a conversation without yelling. I’ve been wondering if it’s possible to avoid the yelling and have a pleasant conversation by using hearing aid technology. It turns out there are somewhat classy options for this. However, they’re expensive and it appears you need to […]

Use text-to-speech on conference calls in quiet spaces

I’ve been interested in ideas for how to speak on phone calls in places where it’s not appropriate to talk loudly – such as in the quiet car on a train or in an Uber Pool. I first researched stenographer masks (e.g. the Martel MM-18) but I found they were difficult to make work with […]

10 things to know before visiting El Salvador

My girlfriend and I visited El Salvador in March, lured by the cheap airfare and the promise of unparalleled hipster credibility. If you’re looking to visit a country unspoiled by professional foreign tourism businesses, we highly recommend visiting. Below are ten things we wish we’d known before we went.

QuickSportsFan.com – get quick sports lines to use on your friends

Work in progress – check it out at QuickSportsFan.com. Get some quick lines to use on your friends based on the week’s NFL games.

Desktop Productivity Tools: Tips on using Executor and WinSplit Revolution

Two software programs are critical for improving my productivity. The first is Executor. The second is WinSplit Revolution. Both are free to download. I’ll describe both of them and tips for using them. Executor is essentially an enhanced version of the command line. Its key feature is an easy way to create keyboard shortcuts to […]

The Hobo Box: Adventures in Refrigeration-Free Microwave Cooking

During the past two years, I spent a lot of time on the road and lived in many different places. I often didn’t have access to a stove, refrigerator or freezer. Not wanting to eat out all the time, I started researching food that would keep indefinitely and that could be eaten either without cooking […]

How to sort by date with Nutch

I’ve been working with a team over the last few months to create a search engine that could sort by date for the local student newspaper. Among the open-source search engines available, Nutch seems to be the easiest to set up. However, I couldn’t find any tutorials on sorting by date so I decided to […]

The Closed List: Getting Things Done, with boundaries

Just finished reading Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management by Mark Forster. I’m a big fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done system, so I’m a little skeptical about new time management approaches. However, this book’s ideas seem to complement the GTD system very well. The basic idea of Do It Tomorrow […]

Speak and print your daily tasks and events

I keep track of my tasks using Remember The Milk and my calendar using Google Calendar. However, I don’t have a Blackberry or other phone with Internet access, so sometimes it’s nice of have a paper copy of what I have to do on a particular day. I created a Ruby script that reads in […]

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