Trying to Help Other Learn Programming

Having worked in the industry for a very long time, sometimes I forget how much I have learned (and forgotten) over the years. What seems trivial now, was once a complex idea that I had to wrap my head around, and after learning the fundamentals, there always seemed to be more to learn. This was at, in my mind, a golden age for learning computer systems and how to code. Installing Linux was not what it is today with flashing installers and disk configurators. Heck, X-windows did not start by default and you had to fiddle with configuration setting for ages to get a gui environment…

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How do I get rid of the bell in Vim on PyCharm on Windows?

One of the most infuriating things in the world is when the the bell goes off continuously when using the Vim plugin in PyCharm. Actually, this holds true for all of the JetBrains IDEs, but I have been working mostly with Python recently, and as such, it is PyCharm that is on the top of my mind. While there are a number of plugins that you can get for the JetBrains products, the one that I always end up installing is Vim. Call me old school, but back in the day, I had to work on remote systems. It was either Vim or Pico, and I…

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Getting Started with AWS Step Functions Part I

AWS came out with Step Functions a few years ago, and up until recently, I have not had the opportunity to dive in and give them a try. Yes, I could build my own pipeline or state machine, but the idea behind Step Functions is that it does most of the heavy lifting for you. That, and it ties into other AWS services. As such, I decided to dive into getting started, and looked at the demo options and walkthroughs that were available. None of them met my needs, so I rolled my own. The idea is to see how I can create a Step Function…

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Writing Tech Blogs are Hard Work

I once read an article that said more people need to write technical blogs. That the problem with much of the technology field was that people did not write in-depth articles on the stuff that they are doing. And, if more people were able to take the time and post a blog entry here and there we would all be better for it. As nice as that sounds, I have to say that writing technical posts are difficult, time consuming, and can quickly go out of date. First off, writing in general is not easy, and that is before you get to adding the technical part…

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Making Adafruit Pixel Goggles

Let me start with the motivation for this project. On one hand, I had never really created a solution with a micro controller, and on the other I wanted to create a cool Halloween costume. The rest of my family was getting dressed up in steampunk outfits, and for a change, I wanted to add something to the mix. But, to do this, I was going to have to learn how to program this micro controller, solder, and how to get the code on the NeoPixel. I know that some people would laugh and say that this would be an easy project, but when you have…

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