How to Setup Your Personal Website From Scratch


You want to have your own personal website, but you don’t know where to begin. All this Internet stuff just seems like a black box to you. You don’t want to bother with complicated technical stuff. You just want your website to work. Is this that much to ask?


This tutorial1 will get your own website up and running from scratch in under 1.5 hours. At the end you’ll be able to type “” into your browser to see a website you own and receive e-mail at “”. You’ll learn how the Internet works on a basic level, what domain name servers (DNS) are, and how to link your website to Google’s free apps.

  1. Read my explanation of how the Internet’s Domain Name System works

  2. Register an available URL (or multiple ones) from a domain registrar like name.com2.

  3. Create a Tumblr blog.

  4. Setup DNS records with this Tumblr guide.

  5. Setup free Google Apps to use Gmail, calendar, docs, etc with your new domain.

  1. There are many ways to setup a basic personal website. My method balances cost, ease, and control. You can also try out [][6] to create a basic landing page or [Squarespace][7] to create a more extensive site.

  2. I don’t take money for blog posts and wasn’t asked to write this by Tumblr or I recommend them because I they’re services I’ve personally used and like.

Birthday Paradox


What’s the probability that in a room of n people, at least two have the same birthday? It’s higher than you think.

Let $$p(n)$$ be the probability of at least two people having the same birthday. We’ll find $$\overline{p}(n)$$, the probability that no two people share the same birthday. $$p(n) = 1 - \overline{p}(n)$$.

How the Big Short Inspired Me to Make a Risky Bet in Tesla


The most difficult subjects can be explained to the slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.

Leo Tolstoy 1897

In early February of this year, my roommate Ben recommended I read The Big Short by Michael Lewis. This book tells the story of individuals who foresaw the impending 2008 financial crisis and made off like gangbusters by betting against the housing market.

Good Comedy Is Serious


I enjoy watching good comedians perform because they often address an underlying, serious issue and introduce me to different perspectives.

Dave Chappelle said he always enjoys scatological humor, but he also said, “I pride myself on saying real shit that people don’t even realize I’m saying.” Chappelle’s parents were professors, and he joked once during Inside the Actor’s Studio that he was “the first person in [his] family not to go to college who had not been a slave.” He moved at the age of 10 from the outskirts of Washington DC to live with his father in Yellow Springs, Ohio. While he was gone the American crack epidemic struck the city and transformed it into “murder capital.” Chappelle said it was as if a “crack bomb” had exploded causing almost everyone he knew to get involved in the drug trade.

For one job during his high school years, he wore a cookie costume with a big chocolate chip on his head and handed out flyers to earn $3.50 an hour while other black youth were making far more money dealing crack. Years later Chappelle filmed the HBO special “Killin’ Them Softly” in which he joked about being chauffered in a limousine by a driver who wanted to make a detour in the ghetto.

(starts at 1:36)

Modest Proposal, Let EasterCon Excuse More Public Inebriation


New Yorkers don’t drink enough. Sure, the weekend begins Thursday night when people get hammered and stumble hungover into work on Friday and just phone it in until 5pm. But there’s not enough celebrations like SantaCon and Saint Patrick’s Day to excuse dawn-to-dusk pub crawls, revealing outfits, and public urination on Christmas trees. Therefore, I propose the addition of the following new -cons. It’ll be tough to initiate, but I know New Yorkers can do it.

  • ConCon – wear orange jumpsuits and commit felonies
  • LeperCon – dress up as lepers
  • KongCon – dress up in gorilla suits and grab girls while climbing the Empire State Building
  • CongaCon – the city becomes one big Conga line
  • EasterCon – celebrate the end of Lent and Jesus’ resurrection by getting shitfaced at 11am

Remote Pair Programming With Tmux in the Cloud


I like to pair program with my fellow engineers from time to time when I’m stuck on a problem or want to ensure reviews for complex code changes don’t take a long time. Remote pair programming isn’t as high bandwidth as sitting next to each other, but the experience can be improved with the help of a telephony tool and a shared tmux session in a cloud VM.

How to Setup Ircd-hybrid With SSL on Ubuntu


Spotify uses IRC (internet relay chat) for instant messaging with an SSL layer for encryption. Everytime I logon I get a (notice) *** You are connected using SSL cipher "RSA-AES-128-CBC-SHA1" banner. Here’s how I setup an encrypted IRC service on my home Ubuntu server. Installing the vanilla ircd-hybrid package is straight forward, but the package in the official repo isn’t compiled with SSL support. I needed to build it myself with the SSL patch.