Getting Your Facebook Archive

Facebook actually has a mechanism for users to download their entire history from their site. It’s not exactly on the front page but not entirely hidden. If you don’t download it correctly it’s hopelessly difficult to make it useful. When you do do it correctly it is still difficult to use but with a tool like my Kyanite archive viewer it is possible to finally get access to your Facebook data in a meaningful way. This post is about how one can properly generate this archive within Facebook to use with this tool.

More …

Dart, Flutter, App Dev and More

The last month has been an incredibly productive time for me but not in my traditional areas of contribution. While I’ve done some open source contribution on other projects it has been more intensive work on a new open source project that really took up a lot of my time. I’ll be blogging a lot more on that application and releasing betas of it after next week. The big news in the short term on that front that I wanted to share was that the application development took me from an on-again-off-again dabbler with Flutter and Dart to it becoming my primary language. It has become my primary language so much that when it was time to automate some image transformation code I skipped my usual go to language, Kotlin, for Dart. It also is the first time I’m feeling this confident about a platform choice for cross platform application development.

More …

.NET Disappointment: Microsoft's Regressing Us Back to the Old Ways

I’ve had an off again/on again relationship with Microsoft over the years. I despised them through the 90s as they became the big brother corporation gobbling up all of the computer market while Mac, Unix, and other operating systems like BeOS went by the wayside both as a natural process and because of monopolistic practices MS imposed on system vendors. The same was true for how they successfully dominated the early web after stumbling out of the gates. But most of my professional development and engineering life was on Windows machines, using Visual Studio, apps that only ran on Windows, developing software that only ran on .NET. It was only in the 2012 period on when customer’s demanded Linux-based systems that I was able to practically break free from that and my having alternative OS’s like Mac, Linux, or a BSD being just a side thing. At the same time the tech stacks I was working with lacked some of the cleanness and modernness I was used to expecting with .NET. That’s why I was so excited when Microsoft bought Xamarin, .NET Core came out, and it looked like Microsoft was going to finally embrace open source cross platform development. While it was never all roses and there were stumbles it was still a process that was moving in the right direction. It was but doesn’t seem to be any longer.

More …

Why Copyleft Mozilla Public License is my favorite

I have never been an open source purist or ideologue. It actually wasn’t until ten years ago or so that I really started to engage with and contribute to open source projects. In that time I’ve migrated from being philosophically ambivalent about free and open source software (FOSS) to being a very large proponent of it. Even within that progression I’ve gone from finding the “viral nature” of copyleft licenses to be unfair to feeling that non-copyleft licenses lead to more practical unfairness in many cases. My driving motivation is the essence of fairness combined with believing that humans sharing information as openly as possible is what is best for us all. I optimize that in my own projects by choosing the copyleft Mozilla Public License (MPL) as my go-to open source license. In this post I detail my thoughts behind that.

More …

Simplified Jim Lahey NYT No Knead Bread Technique

Simplified Jim Lahey No Knead Bread


When someone comes to me asking how to get started with making bread I usually point them to Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread technique which was made famous in the New York Times, video link here. It is a dirt simple way to get tasty bread which most of the times comes out looking nice. However one potentially daunting part of it is the use of a dutch oven preheated to 500 degrees that one has to put the dough into. I was discussing this with my neighbors as a great thing to do with kids but the dutch oven step had me concerned. I therefore decided to try it with cold metal bowls and cookie sheets instead. As you can see above and below my first try didn’t come out perfect but I think it came out well enough to document it here.

More …