Articles

Koserstag 2020

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Known to some as St. Kosers' Day, Koserstag is a holiday rich with meaning and tradition.

Coronavirus Will Change Our Lives

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Friday, March 13, 2020 is when I realized that COVID-19 was serious. (Of course it was Friday the 13th.)

Ping Pong Rules

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The International Tables Tennis Federation (ITFF) sets the official ruleset for ping pong, "The Laws of Table Tennis".

When will I see the Sun?

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Rain poured down outside the car, and the little boy squirmed unhappily.

Six Degrees of Ioan Gruffud

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Are you familiar with the theory of six degrees of separation? It seems that everyone on Earth is within six social connections of everyone else on Earth.

In Scorn of Frogs

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Bulky and droopy, slimy and gloopy, frogs are a blight to the eye.

The Glory Days

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The bold, brave warrior bellowed his challenge as he charged towards the dragon, cloak streaming behind him and sword held high aloft.

Motherhood

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"I'm tired of being pregnant," I thought as I watched my husband eat all the sushi he wanted.

The 5 Whys

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Have you heard of The 5 Whys? It's a Six Sigma technique for discovering the root of a problem.

Travel

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We've traveled quite a bit over the seven years of our marriage.

Christmas Letter 2018

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Hello again, friends! It’s been a great year in the Koser house, full of activities that have brought us closer together as a family.

Support Creators: The Dice Tower

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Melissa and I have been into mod­ern board games for a few years now. We're hov­er­ing at around 100 games in our col­lec­tion, keep­ing about 95% of our pur­chases. The main rea­son for this great suc­cess rate is The Dice Tower.

The Magic Thread

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Too of­ten, peo­ple want what they want (or what they think they want, which is usu­ally "hap­pi­ness" in one form or an­other) right now.

Personal Website Manifesto

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I’ve had a per­sonal web­site for years. Back in col­lege I snagged bri­ankoser.com, put up some short pro­gram­ming ar­ti­cles, and ex­per­i­mented with HTML and CSS.

Support Creators: Inkscape

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Inkscape is vec­tor-draw­ing soft­ware. Vec­tor graph­ics are dif­fer­ent than the more com­mon raster graph­ics.

Support Creators: Launchy

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Did you know on Win­dows 8 and 10 you can hit the Win­dows key then start typ­ing to search for apps, set­tings, and files? I’ve been us­ing Launchy to do just that since Win­dows XP.

Support Creators: Book Catalog

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Hi, my name is Brian Koser, and I have a prob­lem. I can’t re­sist used book stores, used book sales, flea mar­kets…to be com­pletely hon­est I even browse through the used books at Good­will.

Support Creators: Paint.Net

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You prob­a­bly don’t need Pho­to­shop. I cer­tainly don’t. For the ba­sic work I do Paint.NET is more than enough.

Podcasting, Start to Finish: How to use a mixer

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A mixer (also called a “mix­ing con­sole” or “mix­ing board”) is nec­es­sary if you record with more than one in­put, like two mi­cro­phones or a mi­cro­phone and an in­stru­ment. It can be in­tim­i­dat­ing to start, so let’s just look at the ba­sics.

Pinterest-perfect!

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She smiled as the sounds of girl­ish gig­gles and laugh­ter fil­tered through the house. Her daugh­ters were hav­ing friends over for a sleep­over and were thor­oughly en­joy­ing them­selves. She was glad every­thing was go­ing so beau­ti­fully.

Support Creators: KeePass

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You should never reuse a pass­word. That means a dif­fer­ent pass­word for every com­puter and web­site ac­count you have. If you’re like me, that means over 100 dif­fer­ent pass­words to keep track of.

Support Creators: Dan Carlin

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I like books, blogs, pod­casts, and soft­ware. I’ve cre­ated some my­self (no books, prob­a­bly never a book). And I like to sup­port peo­ple who cre­ate things that I like.

Practical Typography

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If you use Microsoft Word or build websites and have never learned the basics of typography, I’d like you to check out Matthew Butterick’s Practical Typography.

Number or String?

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If a value contains only numeric digits, when should you store it as a number in the database, and when as a string?

SILO: Snakes on Sticks

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I’ve started book­mark­ing the in­ter­est­ing Wikipedia ar­ti­cles I stum­ble on. You’ll see them pop up here with the pre­fix “SILO”: “Stuff I Learned On­line”. En­joy the tid­bits.

Please

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This is why I use an ad-blocker:

Pocket Supercomputer

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Now that I have a su­per­com­puter in my pocket (cur­rently a Google Nexus 5), life is less clut­tered.

Ten Characteristics of My Spouse

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In honor of Valen­tine’s Day, Melissa chose to do this list of things we love about each other. Melissa ranked her list; Brian just al­pha­bet­ized his.

Ten Top Ten Lists

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I like mak­ing top ten lists of every­thing. Melissa is­n’t as big on lists (she did­n’t have a fa­vorite color or an­i­mal un­til I made her choose), but I think she’s com­ing around.

Web 2.0(16)

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It’s interesting to read Paul Graham’s Web 2.0 ten years later.

ES6: The Future is Now

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Last month I gave a presentation at work about ES6 (view the slides). Giving yourself two weeks to prepare a talk on a subject you don’t know is a great way to learn. 😀

2015 → 2016

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Squishy goals are bad. When you set a goal, like a New Year’s res­o­lu­tion, it should be con­crete. In­stead of “I’m go­ing to eat health­ier” your goal should be some­thing like “I’m go­ing to eat un­der 2000 calo­ries six days per week.”

IoC

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I just watched an Inversion of Control course on Pluralsight. I get it now, but I’m writing this down to make sure I get it tomorrow.

Top Ten Punctuation Marks

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I like punc­tu­a­tion marks. Why? Well…maybe be­cause they shape lan­guage so much while go­ing mostly un­no­ticed. Maybe be­cause they’re never spo­ken* and their names are un­known to lay­men, giv­ing them a mys­te­ri­ous air.

Link Digest — September 2015

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Here are all the interesting links that I found in September 2015 that I deem worthy of being preserved for the future.

Browser Wars: A New Hope

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Firefox 1.5 is the first browser I specifically remember using (discounting AOL, which was a little more than a browser). Back then Firefox users were hip, the cutting edge. We’ve got tabs, man, so you can visit multiple web pages in one window!

Jon Skeet Strikes Again!

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Quick background on Stack Overflow and Jon Skeet: Stack Overflow is a website where you can ask and answer computer programming-related questions. Everyone votes on the questions and answers, and you get points when someone votes for you.

Antonio, a Board Game Geek trading tool

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If you’re into designer board games (you should be!) and you’re online (…you are!), then you’re probably aware of BoardGameGeek, which is the board game website, where aficionados discuss, trade, and celebrate all things board gaming.

A Complex Query

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I’ve written a lot of SQL, but most of it tends to be pretty simple. Even most of the large queries that I’ve written aren’t complex, they just have a lot of tables and columns to deal with. Probably the most complicated and interesting query I’ve written.

12 Reasons I Hate SQL Developer

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I don’t like Oracle’s SQL Developer. It’s hard to like a GUI with so many usability problems.

Oracle Parameter Precision

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When I first started writing Oracle PL/SQL, I tried to define function and procedure parameters in the same way I defined SQL table columns.

MVC (My Viewpoint Changes)

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Last time I wrote about how much I like the beginning of a project. Opening up all the cans of tech and getting a big whiff of that new technology smell…sniff Aaaah. Well, I liked choosing the technologies for my new project so much, that I decided to do it again.

Ruby on Rails, I Choose You!

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I don’t know about you, but the beginning of a programming project is one of my favorite times. And one of my favorite parts of the beginning is choosing the tools.

Loop through Gridview data keys

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Today I was adding an “Export to Excel” option to a Gridview. I wanted to mark each exported record in the database, but it wasn’t immediately apparent how I would do so.