hardscrabble 🍫

By Max Jacobson

Psst. Check out bluff.website, a game I made, for you to play with your friends on your zoom calls.

announcing metaphor loop

18 Sep 2015

Last month I started a podcast but I didn’t really publicize it because I wasn’t sure I was going to keep doing it. I put it on this site, hidden down in the footer, and I put it on iTunes, and I tweeted a few cryptic things like:

Today I released the second episode, which makes it real enough that I’m ready to share it.

metaphor loop

metaphor loop

(Click on the art to visit the show homepage, which has subscription links)

It’s about “how we think about programming”. I started out with an agenda, which was to argue that figurative language is the best tool for teaching code, or something like that, and I’m finding that I’m not sure what I think anymore, but I’m excited to keep exploring the ways people build understanding by interviewing programmers about what goes on in their heads.

The first episode was an interview with my old friend Corey Mendell. I had a really good time recording and editing it and the few people I shared it with seemed to like it too. I was immediately addicted.

I don’t think I have it in me to do it on a weekly basis like a lot of podcasts. Today I’m sharing the second episode, approximately a month after the first. So, monthly? Maybe.

This one features Vaidehi Joshi who I don’t even really know, but whose blog I really like. I’m happy with how this one turned out and think you’ll like it.

a few details

I’m not planning to have ads. I want this to be a fun, pure endeavor that makes no money. I’m not tracking subscriber counts or anything like that. I don’t want to know.

I’m licensing it under a creative commons license, because

  1. why not?
  2. I wanted to include some CC-licensed music, and it had a “share-alike” clause
  3. so why not?

By the way: part of the reason I made this is that I really like listening to podcasts and my ego would often hear them and think “why don’t they invite me on?” One thing I’m realizing is that inviting people on is kind of hard, because you don’t know if they’ll want to do it and maybe they’ll think it’s dumb? So: if you listen to some episodes and think you’d like to be on the show, let me know, and we’ll at least have a phone call and if it feels like a show, it’ll be a show.


pro tip open firefox tabs in background

08 Sep 2015

One good thing to know if you’re a firefox person: visit about:config and poke around, configuring things.

Here’s what happened today: I was watching a youtube video while browsing Twitter via Tweetbot. I clicked a link, which opened a new tab, pushing my video into the background. I diligently clicked the video’s tab to bring it back to the foreground so I could continue passively watching it while browsing twitter.

Then I clicked another link, and instinctively clicked the video’s tab to bring it back into the foreground again.

By the third time I did this, I realized I really wished there was a setting to automatically open tabs in the background. I tried googling it, but wasn’t really finding anything. So I checked about:config and searched through for “background”. The screen is a list of every configuration you can control. Many of them are boolean attributes, which can be toggled by simply double clicking the attribute.

I saw one, browser.tabs.loadDivertedInBackground;false and thought “hmm, maybe?” At this point, I’m not certain there’s even a configuration that does this, but I try toggling it… and … click a link from a tweet… and…

It did what I wanted. Sweet.