Build Your Own Minimal and Scriptable Terminal

October 24, 2017

I’m a huge fan of Unix as an IDE and so the terminal is the core of my computational environment: I run everything from my development tools and text editor to my chat apps and email. There are a variety of terminals out there with their own set of pros and cons, but here we’ll find out how to build our own terminal from scratch and to fit our workflow precisely. Note: This can certainly be adapted to other distros, but for the purposes of this tutorial we’ll be focusing on Ubuntu and Archlinux because one is more user friendly and the other is my distro of choice. We’re specifically targeting Ubuntu 17.10 and qtermwidget >= 0.7.1

Setting up your first Mastodon server

August 22, 2017

Mastodon is a relatively young social network that aims to be a privacy concious, federated Twitter. Most people opt to join one of the larger servers ( can help find one if you want) but you and I are not most people. We like our privacy and our self hosted services, so, we’re going to setup a personal Mastodon server that ticks off all the boxes:

Eliminate Boilerplate with React Native Templates

April 17, 2017

At Code Koalas, we love React Native. We also hate boilerplate and unfortunately it seems like all of our new React Native projects use the same libraries and the same initial boilerplate. We decided to eliminate that boilerplate with React Native CLI’s new unspoken feature: project templates. With this feature, you too can eliminate boilerplate and speed along the production of your new shiny React Native apps.

Setting up VIM for Javascript development

September 5, 2016

For many, VIM is the ultimate text editor and there are many attempts to bring it’s editting prowess to a wide variety of editors. Unfortunately, few understand the power of VIM’s plugin system and the ability to get most of the features of your typical IDE in VIM itself. At the end of this guide, you should have proper autocompletion for your javascript files, jump to definition, linting and syntax checking all from your favorite text editor.

Goals for 2015 and what happened in 2014

January 6, 2015

Beginning this year I’m starting an Annual Review - a report of my reflections on the last year and what I plan to do on the year to come. This is a way to hold myself accountable to the world as well as celebrate my successes throughout the year.

Supercharged VIM built from source

December 27, 2014

There’s a reason programmers love VIM: infinite customization that is consistent across all of your projects. VIM is capable of being molded to your particular tastes and workflow, so why limit oneself with the anemic VIM that’s bundled with your OS? Let’s supercharge our VIM with the latest the text editor has to offer with the language and plugin support that we crave.[1] Note: While I’m sure the following can be adapted to another distro, I assume you’re running a newish version of Ubuntu and is tested against Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10. The same can be said for RVM - while this guide uses RVM, you should be able to adapt it for an alternative ruby manager

I want to Code

January 4, 2014

My name is Donnie West. I work in fast food and I am teaching myself how to code. I’m doing it not only to become more valuable as a member of the workforce, but also to instill in myself qualities I lack. I am utterly undisciplined Programming is a discipline where one learns to communicate clearly one’s intentions to both a computer and fellow human beings; that is, the communication must be concise and logical. This is precisely why I find programming so appealing. It is the craft of the digital age, a skill to be honed over one’s lifetime and built upon.