Roll-your-own pub sub with NGINX and Nchan on Centos 8!

Categories: FOSS

Publish and subscribe (pub/sub) is a powerful pattern that every developer should know. And while cloud hosting is awesome, sometimes it’s nice to take a little finer-grained control over the software that’s hosting your application. While working on, the time finally came to add notifications to the stack. Since the back-end is nginx fronting […]

Adding field support to MS PowerPoint

Categories: Code, Useful Code

I’ve been working on a series of videos about an unpublished app of mine called FlipStream, and I wanted to easily insert some information about the current PowerPoint presentation on the first slide. Sadly, PowerPoint doesn’t have a generic field replacement function like Word does. So, either I type some stuff and have to remember […]

Manage your hosts file from the command line.

Categories: Code, Useful Code

When you’re a full-stack developer, you often find yourself mixing and matching destination hosts on your development system. Sometimes you need to run your development codebase against a test back-end server, sometimes you need to spoof the test back-end with your local code base. All of this switching back-and-forth can be tedious, so I wrote […]

Welcome Home

Categories: Fun Code

One of the very first “big” programs I wrote all by myself was a banner-printing program for my TRS-80. It was all in TRS-80 Basic and I wasted almost an entire carton of tractor-feed paper while I was writing it. It was terrible code, and I’m sure if I saw it today I would cringe, […]

Using Unicode Property Escapes

Categories: Useful Code

So, as part of my other post about writing a banner printer I ended up going down the rabbit hole of Unicode characters and combining marks. In the process, I found this wonderful blog post by Dmitri Pavlutin that explains the ins-and-outs of dealing with “complicated” text in JavaScript very well. But unfortunately it still […]

A beautiful gem of code from the Python docs.

Categories: Beautiful Code

So once again I found myself looking at the documentation for the Python re module, trying to remember the difference between matches and matching groups and I saw a code snippet that was so beautiful that I wanted to break it down and share it. It’s a fully-functional mini-language tokenizer in only 41 lines of […]

A 42-line JSON template engine.

Categories: Useful Code

Note: this was originally published on my personal blog ( in 2018. So, I’ve been building projects using NoSQL databases (like MongoDB and  Apache CouchDB) for several years now, and there are a lot of things I really like about them. But one need I’m always bumping up against is the ability to summarize tons of […]