A Vim Experiment

in Tools

A few months ago, I got the itch to learn a new programming tool. Perhaps there was a blog post I read or something like that (I really can’t remember), or maybe my subconcious brought up memories of a former coworker who was an avid Vim user. Continue reading

A little more than a year ago, I got an itch to start biking to work. In the past, I had walked the 3.5 miles to the office and back, but that required a larger time commitment and planning. What captured my imagination was the idea of a well-equipped commuter bicycle, complete with a rack and and pannier bags so I could carry my laptop and gear easily without ending up with a sweaty back.

Continue reading

I had a bit of free time this evening and tried my hand at reporting on iOS using Pythonista. I had heard from various blog posts about the idea of using a Python script to massage and process data in a way that would be easier than the lower-code options of Siri Shortcuts or other automation tools. My main purpose behind this was to get a better view of data that affects one of my hobbies, coffee roasting.

Continue reading

Apple released the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 12, to the general public today. Traditionally, the software is available around 10am Pacific Time, so I started refreshing the Software Update screen on my phone around 11am here in Colorado. It was after lunch by the time I got around to installing it, thanks to some other meetings, and I’ve spent most of my downtime today exploring all the new features.

Continue reading

I’ve been listening to podcasts for a few years now, and only recently switched podcast apps on my phone. I started with Overcast as the first podcast app, primarily leveraging the “Smart Speed” feature to trim silences so I could get in more listening. But back in my Overcast days, I was a more casual listener. More recently, I’ve switched to Castro due to a few super-handy features.

Continue reading

This afternoon, the office was somewhat abuzz with coworkers in my area trying out what3words, a geocoding system developed back in 2013 that uses words instead of numbers to define coordinates for map locations. I had heard about the system in the past but hadn’t tried it out in a while. It was fun to play around and find the approximate location of our “specific” desks in the office building, using the satellite imagery as a very inaccurate guide.

Continue reading

One of my favorite tools for Mac is Alfred, a launcher app that’s effectively the “Swiss Army Knife” of my computer experience. Alfred can search files and websites, open, calculate, process data, expand text, and even play music. Best of all, Alfred is completely expandable via “workflows”, plugins that allow users to do whatever they want within the Alfred toolset.

Continue reading

A few days ago, I ran into a weird problem with my iPhone and a the iTunes subscription model. One app that I subscribe to is Ulysses - it’s great for writing, taking notes, making lists, and I even use it to publish drafts for this blog. I have the app installed on my iPhone, my work laptop, and the iMac that my wife and I use at home.

Continue reading

Over the last few months, I’ve enjoyed digging into automation technologies and finding new ways to shortcut common tasks, or blaze the trail to solve an unsolved problem I wish I could figure out. One way to do this is with a published application programming interface (API), which is essentially a specific way for programmers and computers to interact with a system or piece of software.

Continue reading
Author's picture

Matthew Johnson

I’m a Christian, a husband to an amazing wife, a father of five children. Technology and reading are some of my current hobbies, and I love roasting good coffee.


Software Developer


Denver, CO