The thoughts, opinions, happenings, and just plain ramblings of a seemingly boring person.

Migrating to VS Code

Friendship ended with Atom, now VS Code is my best friend

I should probably add a disclaimer to start this post. At the time of writing this post, I work for GitHub (and by extension, Microsoft (who own GitHub)). As a GitHub employee, I have no more insight into Atom's or VS Code's development or roadmaps than any other member of the public. Both Atom and VS Code are developed as open source communities on GitHub. All opinions in this post (and more generally on this blog) are always my own.

For the better part of the last 5+ years, I have used Atom as my editor of choice … Read more →

Working on a MacBook Pro

Regular readers could be forgiven for thinking that I have an anti-Apple bias. Although I'm definitely not a fan of the company, I'd like to think that I am mostly objective when it comes to my views.

I've been pretty consistent in my position that I would never buy an Apple computer for my own personal use. The price-to-value return for my own circumstances isn't justifiable. I like the flexibility and customisation of Windows/Linux PCs, not to mention things that are practically impossible on a Mac, such as high-end gaming.

The one area where I use what I'm given (although, … Read more →

Migrating to Zsh

A few years back, I posted on open-sourcing my .bashrc file on GitHub. Up until very recently, I'd been using the same configuration (with some additions and updates) ever since.

Now that I work on a MacBook Pro (btw, I've been meaning to write a blog post on that), and Apple recently announced that they will be changing the default shell in the next version of MacOS from bash to zsh, I decided to make the change myself.

I've always been tempted by the increased friendliness that Zsh has to offer. However, I couldn't really justify … Read more →

5 Years as a Technical Writer

This past month saw me pass a significant milestone since my switch to a career as a technical writer. If you can believe it, and I barely can, it has now been five years since I started work as a technical writer.

I have learned so much in the past five years. Not just on the products that I write documentation for every day, but also the nuances of writing, user experience, Linux, as well as valuable skills like using Git.

I have worked with, and continue to work with, some fantastic people. Now that you could say that I … Read more →

Talking at the UQ Engineering + Technology Careers Evening

On Thursday night I had the privilege of speaking at the University of Queensland for an Engineering + Technology Careers Evening. It was aimed at high school students looking at studying engineering and tech at UQ, and I was (surprisingly) selected as a graduate success story to speak for 5 minutes on my academic and career journey. I have uploaded the slides from my presentation. It was the first time since our wedding that I've spoken in front of so many people! :S

I have to admit, it was a little strange talking about myself as a 'success' … Read more →

Work T450s and USB Switches

Lenovo T450sFor the past 10 months I have been using a Lenovo i7 T450s as my work laptop, and I have to say how impressed I have been with it. In my opinion, it's a great balance between portability and power. The SSD boots it up in a few seconds, and for the most part, it runs Fedora (with multiple VMs) admirably. The laptop keyboard is fantastic, and the dual batteries (one internal, one removable) last a while.

After my intense illness earlier this year, I have been doing a lot more working from home. As I use the same … Read more →

Open-Sourcing My .bashrc File on GitHub

gitprompt_Lucas_bullettrain_tags I've posted some pretty nerdy things on this blog over the years, but this would have to be one of the nerdiest things I've ever posted.

I use a Linux operating system on my work laptop (Fedora, to be precise). We're now fairly entrenched in a git workflow for the documentation we write: asciidoc(tor)-based source, and GitLab CE or GitHub as the hosted VCS.

For the non-uber-tech-savvy: because of the git workflow (amongst other things), I spend a lot of time running commands in a bash shell (or command prompt). One of the files that controls … Read more →

Grammar By Instinct vs. Rules

Continuing with the MOOC that I am taking on English Grammar and Style, last week we covered adjectives. I can't believe I'm learning so much from this course that I didn't previously know! Below is my writing submission for the week.

I was fascinated by this week's adjective material, as it really highlighted how much of grammar I know solely by instinct rather than by rules.

The perfect example of this was the demonstration of the 'Royal Order of Adjectives'. I did not even realise that adjectives had to be placed in a certain sequence in order for them

Read more →

Online Course: UQx: Write101x English Grammar and Style

Free online courses seem to be all the rage at the moment. Heck, even my Dad has taken a few courses from some American universities. I've decided to take the plunge and am enrolled in a course offered by UQ:  Write101x: English Grammar and Style.

This choice of course may surprise some. "Aren't you a technical writer, Lucas?!". Yes, but whilst I think I can write fairly decently, for the most part I don't really know why. Trying to understand that 'why' is mostly why I'm taking this course.

This first week involved submitting a 300 word blog … Read more →

1 Year as a Technical Writer

It's now been one year since I've been working as a technical writer. To say I've thoroughly enjoyed the work would be an understatement. I've always loved technology (as evidenced by this blog and an IT degree), and I've always loved writing (as evidenced by this blog and an Arts degree 😉 ), so I have to pinch myself that I have a job at a great company where I get paid to combine the two.

In this past year I have learned a lot more about both writing and technology. I've been exposed to some great experience in using … Read more →