Entries in Category Administration

Reading List for 2019

I have finally gotten around to completing last year's reading list and analyzing the results. And what a disappointment! Not only did I fail, for the first time in years, to meet my stated goal (36 books in this case), but I compromised on quality and length to even get as far as I did. What a waste of time, and only to meet a self-imposed target? That's just cheating myself.

Something has to change. I have an ever-growing list (on Goodreads) of books to read that is currently 392 titles long. For the last few years I've been choosing what to read haphazardly or worse, passively, because of the book club or because I've been given some book or because of someone else's enthusiasm. Also, the practice of setting some number of books as a challenge for the year has encouraged reading short and often not-very-serious works (although I don't want to suggest that seriousness is necessarily proportional to length). I was already aware of this last observation one year ago but didn't carry out my resulting intention of reading longer books.

So, for 2020, I won't worry too much about the total number. Instead, I'll read the bookclub selections only if I really want to, and I'll read one more book per month and that book will be something very significant and very intentionally selected. By the end of the year I want to have read 12 of the sort of books I've always meant to read and have had in the back of my mind for years. Many of these works are very long indeed, so overall I'll be reading just as much, if not more, as my previous 36 book challenges. Far more importantly, however, I'll be reading what I really want to read, finally.

Reading List for 2018

Last year's reading list is complete. I'm pleased to report that I met my target number of 36 books for the year (although only just!). My usual practice in case of success last year would be to set a higher goal for this year, but it's occurred to me that chasing ever higher numbers has the effect of encouraging me to read shorter books, which isn't exactly in line with the spirit of this enterprise. So I'll keep it at 36 and still try to read more, by reading longer books.

Adding "Edit with Emacs" to Windows

I've long wanted to be able to right-click any file in Windows and have “Edit with Emacs” among the options there. Upgrading my desktop computer after many years gave me the right motivation to finally implement little productivity improvements like this one. The following is a registry file that I've tested on Windows 7 and 10. It is hardly original—many others have posted similar things on Stack Exchange and elsewhere—but I'm documenting this version of it here really so I don't forget it myself.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="&Edit with Emacs" 
@="C:\\emacs-26.1\\bin\\emacsclientw.exe --alternate-editor=\"C:\\emacs-26.1\\bin\\runemacs.exe\" -n \"%L\""
@="Edit &with Emacs"
@="C:\\emacs-26.1\\bin\\emacsclientw.exe --alternate-editor=\"C:\\emacs-26.1\\bin\\runemacs.exe\" -n \"%L\""

EV100 Logo Banner Update: Fixing a Background Positioning Problem In Chrome

At some point since my original post in February an update to Chrome broke the layout of the EV100 logo overlay you (should!) see on the upper-left corner of this page. Before fixing it I noticed that nothing was visible there except on the contact page, and that was because that page is short enough to not require scrolling on my display. The bug wasn't present on firefox, IE, or mobile Chrome on my Android.

A little investigation revealed that the element itself was correctly positioned but that the background image wasn't visible. Removing the fixed positioning of the background (but not the element) proved to be the solution. I replaced this:

background: url(/images/ev100logobanner.png) no-repeat fixed top right;

With this:

background: url(/images/ev100logobanner.png) no-repeat;

I don't exactly understand what changed in Chrome and why this fixed it, or indeed, why I had it that way in the first place. Any explanations are welcome!

Github and Grabcad

Although I'm not very active on either platform, I have accounts on both Github, for some of my more public software efforts (mostly web development experiments), and on Grabcad, for some parts I've modeled in CAD that are both non-proprietary and potentially useful to other engineers. These models are mostly commercially available products that I have to work with or design something around, and Grabcad has a more appropriate audience for that than, say, Thingiverse. Naturally Grabcad also gets bonus points for having been an Estonian startup!

So if you'd like to be fully aware of my activities on the Internet, now split over at least ten platforms including this blog, visit both sites and follow me there too. Thanks!