Emacs-ing and Lisp-ing

Over my decades of using computers, I’ve made more than a few attempts at using Emacs, some more successful than others, but always ended up reverting back to something else like Geany or these days, Atom.  When I’m in the command line (which is fairly often), vi/vim is usually the editor I use, mostly because it’s quick and easy to start up.

A little while ago, got the bug to start using Emacs again when I got introduced to Spacemacs.  Although it also has vim keybindings, I’m mostly using Emacs keybindings.  I’m working hard to make Emacs my primary editor (mainly code editing at this point), and will try to work in some of the many other things Emacs can do later.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about org-mode, which is on my list of things to learn.

One thing that’s different about my attempt to immerse myself in Emacs this time around is that it also seems to have come with a desire to learn Lisp.  No idea why, or even what I’d do with it, but it’s prompted me to acquire a few Lisp books, including one on Emacs Lisp and Land of Lisp.

Where this will take me, I’m not sure.  I haven’t spent a whole lot of time with Lisp yet aside from reading a few chapters about Emacs Lisp.  I don’t have any projects on the horizon that I can see doing in Lisp just yet, but you never know what will come up.

xkcd: Lisp

AAPM 2018 Day 4

Final day of the AAPM 2018 Annual Meeting for me today.

The Kereiakes Memorial Lecture: Designing Pediatric Imaging to Achieve the Best Benefit/Risk for Our Patients had some great speakers who reminded us that we need to work toward maximizing the benefit:risk ratio to patients from medical imaging, and not just minimizing the risk.

The other sessions today were about artifacts in CT, MR, and mammography, CT protocol management, and fluoroscopy technology.  All good sessions.

As a “down in the trenches” medical physicist, it’s always good to attend these kinds of meetings.  Not just for the professional and scientific sessions, but also for the networking opportunities.  I need to make more of an effort to make it to the AAPM meetings on a more regular basis.  10 years is far too long to go between meetings.  After the past few days of sessions, I’m realizing how stagnant my knowledge of things, and perspective of the field has become even though I try to keep up by reading journal articles.

Off to the airport tomorrow, and then back to work.  After being off work for the past three weeks, there will be a lot of catching up to do.

First post + 15 years

15 years ago, my first blog post appeared on the Interwebs!

I was a bit of a late comer to the blogging world. I’d seen people doing it for at least a couple  years or so before this, but at the time it wasn’t anything that interested me. But, then I figured “What the heck, let’s try it out“.

So now here I am, 15 years later.  Probably not blogging as much as I was when I started, but it still provides a good outlet for my ramblings.

Breadboard jumper wire reference

Used an Adafruit Perma-Proto board to make this reference guide for the breadboard jumper wires I’ve acquired recently.

Jumper wire reference
Jumper wire reference

The bottom one has wires from sets that I bought before my local Radio Shack stores closed, and the top ones are from the 700 piece kit from Sparkfun. Since they each used different colours for the various lengths, I thought it would be useful to have a reference guide for what length each colour was.

Podcast: Charleston Time Machine

If you’ve lived in Charleston for any length of time, it’s almost impossible not to develop at least a passing interest into the history of the area. Wandering around Charleston’s Downtown peninsula, you’ll see historic markers, plaques and buildings all over the place.  Driving around the Charleston area, historic markers are more plentiful than Starbucks.

If you want to scratch that itch, the Charleston County Public Library has a relatively new podcast that started in January 2017 called Charleston Time Machine.

The Charleston Time Machine is an imaginary time-travel device created by historian Dr. Nic Butler. It uses stories and facts from the rich, deep, colorful history of Charleston, South Carolina, as a means to educate, inspire, amuse, and even amaze the minds of our community. By exploring the stories of our shared past, we can better understand our present world and plan more effectively for the future.

Did you know in 1706, the French and Spanish invaded the relatively new town of Charleston to force the English colonial settlers out? You’ll learn all about it in the first episode: Invasion 1706!

You can see a list of all the topics covered by the podcast so far (68 episodes so far) here. The episodes are around 15-30 minutes long, so they’re nice bite-sized bits of history to listen to during the commute to work or when you’re taking a break.

Subscribe to the Charleston Time Machine using the podcast software of your choice, listen via the library’s website, or on Soundcloud.