A bestselling novel will make a promise to the reader in the first act and build on that promise through each chapter until it’s fulfilled at the climax.

The Promise Is a Mystery

The first act of the plot should establish a mystery and the promise to resolve it. In detective novels, the mystery is…

In programming, comfortable is the same as dead. That’s a lesson I learned the hard way last April when I and others were laid off. The employer was trying to negotiate with clients, who also owned the employer, who demanded that fewer people be employed for less money. The programmers’…

very simple circular progress bar and donate button

So you’ve signed up for the You Need a Budget app. You’re trying to be responsible and save up for your goals. The problem is saving takes months and you’d much rather receive donations.

Here’s your warning: your security is your problem and this little tutorial doesn’t cover that. The…

Bo Burnham doesn’t have a milligram of optimism for you.

I just finished the “comedian’s” new special “Inside" and am not wasting a moment to process it. As usual for his shows, the theme is less thesis and more mood. He bounces between ideas, but doesn’t do much to connect…

Finite state machine indicating the probability of a region transitioning into another

The goal here is to quickly assemble a Markov chain-based generator for geography. I’ll be using the finite state machine pictured above.

First, notice how each geographical feature (state) has three exit arrows with an associated decimal. Those add up to 1, because they represent a percent probability of entering…

dumpster diver with head in the trash and legs in the air

There was a time in my life that all of my meals had at least one component that came from a dumpster. It wasn’t even a question for me. I was hungry, I didn’t have money for food, and there was a lot of it freely available in the trash…

straightforward contact form that doesn’t use <table>

I used Bootstrap to take care of most of the CSS, but the idea is to use divs to group related elements instead of tables.

<legend>Contact Information</legend>
<div class=”row”>
<div class=”col-md-6">
<label for=”fname”>First Name</label>
<input name=”fname” type=”text” id=”fname”…

Ben P

Web developer looking to make a quick buck.

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