March 27, 2017

Journalistic Writing Exercises 1

I recently purchased Journalistic Writing by Robert Knight. I’m not a journalist, but I’m sure some of his lessons transfer to other areas of non-fiction writing. At the end of the first chapter, the author presents the reader with a number of sentences that contain unneeded thats, there is’s, there are’s, etc.; the goal of the exercise is to rewrite the sentences without them. Here is my attempt. There were half a dozen vintage airplanes standing in the foreground of the museum. ... Read more

March 18, 2017

Libre de Penser

En août dernier, j’ai utilisé mon premier chèque de paie pour m’offrir un abonnement au journal Le Devoir. Ça fait maintenant 6 mois que je le lis plus-ou-moins quotidiennement (ces jours-ci, je passe plus de temps à lire sur la situation politique aux États-Unis) et c’est un 17$ par mois très bien investi selon moi: je suis mieux informé qu’avant et je peux lire sur mon téléphone, dans mon navigateur web, et même avec un lecteur PDF. ... Read more

March 11, 2017

Understanding Recursion

Recursion is my absolute favorite programming technique. It’s powerful, it’s elegant, and for many problems it yields simple and beautiful solutions. Unfortunately, recursion has a terrible reputation: new programmers find it hard and unnatural and some programmers with years of experience avoid it because of the trauma it incurred when they learned it. There are valid, practical reasons to not use recursion; fear and disdain are not good reasons. ... Read more

March 5, 2017

How 'Learning Red Hat Linux' Changed My Life

Can you point to a book that changed your outlook on life and had a profound impact on the kind of person you are? For me, that book would be Learning Red Hat Linux. In 1997, I was 14 and I decided that I wanted to be hacker. In order to look the part, I wanted to install Linux on my computer. This was early in Linux’s life and the distributions of the time didn’t have easy-to-use installers—we had to create root and boot floppies with a tool called rawrite. ... Read more

February 26, 2017

Le Processus de Sélection d'un Jury

En septembre dernier, j’ai reçu une lettre qui me convoquait à la cours de Montréal pour servir comme candidat-juré. Je ne savais pas du tout comment le processus fonctionnait et quand je suis arrivé au Palais de Justice, j’ai réalisé que la majorité des gens présents étaient également ignorants du processus. J’ai pris des notes durant mes deux journées—que deux, car je n’ai pas été retenu comme juré—que je résume ici et qui, j’espère, vous aideront à mieux comprendre cet aspect de notre système judiciaire. ... Read more

February 22, 2017

A month of literate programming

During the month of December, I completed all the Advent of Code problems using a programming technique called Literate Programming (LP). My programs look like LaTeX documents, they mostly contain text that explains the task at hand and details my solution, and they are interspersed with Rust code that gradually builds the solution. The script transforms the LaTeX-like files into PDFs and executables. The Teacher Mindset We don’t typically write programs with readers in mind. ... Read more

February 18, 2017

My Impressions of Final Fantasy IV Advance

Final Fantasy IV is a fantastic game, and Final Fantasy IV Advance is a fine port plagued by an unforgivable flaw. Final Fantasy IV was released in North America as Final Fantasy II; the US port was modified to be an easier game. Enemies had fewer hit points and the characters had fewer abilities, like Cecil who didn’t have his Darkness attack. Final Fantasy IV Advance is a port to the GameBoy Advance of Final Fantasy IV as it was in Japan. ... Read more

February 11, 2017

Impressions on Final Fantasy I: Dawn of Souls

Following my playthrough of the original Final Fantasy for the NES, I played the remake for the Gameboy Advance, Final Fantasy I: Dawn of Souls. The game wasn’t very hard, and since I knew exactly what I had to do, I didn’t wander around aimless and was able to finish it in roughly nine hours. The port to the GBA includes modernized graphics, sound, and music; modernized game play; quality of life additions; improved translation, longer dialogues with NPCs, and modernized names for magic spells; bug fixes; new side quests. ... Read more

February 4, 2017

My impressions of Final Fantasy for the NES

A week ago, I finished my first playthrough of the original Final Fantasy for the NES. In the past, I had not been super interested in playing this episode since it was said to be (understandably) rough around the edges, being the first entry in the franchise. A few factors changed my mind: first, I heard great comments on the FF1 run at AGDQ 2017 by Feasel and Gyre and I was looking forward to watching a solid speedrun; second, I discovered that a couple of my coworkers were big fans of this game; lastly, I’ve been thinking that there is a void in my video game culture due to not having played (or even watched) the early episodes of Final Fantasy. ... Read more

January 26, 2017


I used to have a blog, a long time ago, where I’d sometimes write incoherent ramblings about coding, politics, and any other subject that struck my fancy. After a long hiatus, let’s get going again!