K.D. Murray

Let's Play - The Drive to Make a Thing

Yet another Internet nerd jumping on the Minecraft Letsplay bandwagon? Yes. In a way… Somewhere, not too deep down I hope, is a content creator who used to actually take pride and find joy in creating content. That seems to have fallen away almost entirely over the last several years. And… I feel the need to justify some of my playing time. I love the work I do with other people, particularly my production work for Knightwise, but that doesn’t feel like nearly enough.

Iced Coffee Engineering

Over the past week or so it’s been pretty warm here on the Canadian West Coast. That’s led me to want to drink a lot more iced coffee than usual. The downside of this being, of course, that take-out coffee is way more expensive than at-home coffee. So it was time to find a home-grown solution to this problem. I’ve started to make the majority of my home-based coffee in a french press and that’s done a fine job for me of getting my morning coffee with a minimum amount of hassle and an end product that I really enjoy, thanks in part to James Hoffman’s Ultimate French Press technique.

Using Analog Tools

For the last four years I’ve been a fountain pen user, some might even say an enthusiast. I’ve been using very old technology to help me navigate my otherwise very modern and digital world. Why? Because it makes me think… and it’s fun. I never grew up with fountain pens. I understand that there are places in the world today that still tech kids to write with them, and that in many cases those students can’t wait to get away from these messy devices and start using something more modern like a ballpoint pen.

WSL Manual Install

If you happen to be in a situation where you would like to take advantage of Microsoft Windows subsystem for Linux but don’t have access to the Microsoft store, there is hope. The one largest caveat is that you need to have permission to install the windows subsystem for, without that the rest of this advice is useless, but once you have done that and rebooted your machine you’re ready to move on to the next phase which is find yourself some Linux.

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Year of Self

For the past couple of years I’ve eschewed the practice of the New Year’s Resolution in favour of broader goals or themes for the year. These have been helpful for me in providing an overall direction or guidepost for me as I work to make incremental improvements or changes throughout the year. Where I’ve been… The first of these, “Year of Less”, helped me to de-clutter mentally and physically, as well as direct my efforts towards a few specific projects and tasks.

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Agile Resolutions

We’re coming up to the end of the year again. I’m already starting to see the conversations starting about one of my most hated holiday season traditions: New Year’s Resolutions. Why am I such a grinch about self improvement? Why be opposed to people making a change for the better? I’m not, and I’m not. It’s not the change, or even the resolution itself that I have problems with, it’s the “New Year’s” bit, and all of the associated issues that come with it.

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Simple Isn't Easy

Simple and easy – These are two words that the English language allows people to confuse and that often become the source of misunderstandings of all sorts of sayings, advice, instructions and all manner of other communication. What’s the difference? Easy is a measure of difficulty. If something is easy to do, it doesn’t require a great deal of effort and most people will be able to complete the task. The level of ease may depend on other factors, tall people can reach things more easily than short people for example, but generally speaking if something is easy the majority of people will be able to do it without much stress or difficulty.

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Sharpen the Saw or Something

Writing software is something I’ve loved to do for a very long time. But a little over a decade ago I made some career choices that meant my day-to-day no longer involved the production of code. I became an amateur developer. Since then I’ve noodled around with things here and there, and have even managed to write some code that I or a small number of other people have used, but I find it hard to prioritize the time to do these things.

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Remove the Barriers

The key to success is quite often getting started. The laws of conservation of energy apply to the macro scale of our lives as much as they do to the basic physical principles of the universe. A body at rest will remain at rest, while a body in motion will remain in motion. For anyone who’s ever tried to “get in shape” the starting of that routine is often done with sheer willpower.

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A Case for an Open Podcast Directory

Podcasts have come a long way since people started just recording audio files and posting them to a website. Over the last decade the advent of RSS and mobile technology has provided publishers with the ability to produce text, audio and video content and have that content delivered directly to millions of subscribers around the world. While many podcast enthusiasts find shows based on recommendations from friends or social media, the most common way to find new podcasts is through a podcast directory, specifically the iTunes podcast directory.