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Dev Hell Show logoRecently I went on the /dev/hell podcast with Reg Braithwaite to discuss encouraging diversity and inclusiveness at tech conferences and in our community in the wake of the BritRuby controversy.

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Be a Courteous Inbox Citizen

I'm anti-email.

I don't make a secret of this fact. I don't include my email address on my personal (non-business) cards and ask people to send me a message on twitter before emailing me. It feels like I always have too much email. I have more unanswered emails in my inbox than I'd like to admit. The more involved in projects and community initiatives I get, the less time I have for email, but the more email the new responsibilities create. 

Email has become a part-time job for most people - many employ part-time help to triage their email.

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As someone who has organized 20 or so conferences over the past 10 years, I can tell you: organizing a conference is hard. It takes a lot of time - way more than you initially thought when you agreed to organize a conference. It's hard work. It's expensive. It's nerve-wracking. Organizing a conference also represents a lot of risk - what if no one shows up? What if we don't get good speakers? What if the wifi goes down? 

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My own dark ages

(Trigger warnings for violence, abuse, rape)

I'm not self-centered enough to believe that my life story is any worse than anyone else's. We've all got trauma in our pasts whose tendrils have woven themselves into our lives.

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Balance and Pespective

 

per·spec·tive

noun /pərˈspektiv/ 

True understanding of the relative importance of things; a sense of proportion

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Like most people, I have quite a few email addresses spread across multiple domains. The email addresses are a mix of personal, business, and organizational. Obviously checking multiple email addresses multiple times a day is a huge time sink. Over the past few years I've developed a workflow that makes the most of the time I have to spend on email. What follows is the system I've devised that funnels all of my email through one gmail account (and don't worry - people who send email to/receive email from me can't see it from the outside), with daily local backups using Mail.app (OSX).

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I've been reading and talking to people a lot lately about becoming more self-reliant: cooking from scratch (which I'm generally pretty good about) making my own when I can or buying used when I can't, and making plans for starting an indoor garden (I have no green space where I live - woe is me!). Yesterday I took my car in to get some things tuned up so I could pass emissions and found out that the expected repairs came to around $2k. This totally sunk me, as you can imagine. I bought the car used a few years ago - a 2003 Toyota Corolla.

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Turn off your dashboard in OSX

I've been trying to speed up my macbookpro because it seems to have slowed down lately. I talked to Matt Gauger and he suggested turning off my dashboard if I wasn't using it.

How to disable your dashboard in OSX

Open terminal and paste this command in.

defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES

Attempt to launch dashboard. If it doesn't, you win!

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A couple weeks ago I drove up to UW-Madison to see Merlin Mann talk about Time & Attention. He was an amazing, really passionate speaker and you could tell that what he was talking about (the way you spend your time and attention) was important to him and that the conclusions he drew from his life were hard won. You can find a video of his talk (not the one I saw, but the same topic) below.

Knowledge Workers

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So I have been re-watching the show Jericho - a series about what happens in the USA after bombs take out a bunch of major cities and it got me thinking. In the show they have to be very resourceful about how and why they used things because it's very difficult to get many things now that the infrastructure of the country has been all but destroyed.

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