The Blog of a Math Nerd...named Donnie


Allow me to introduce myself. I am a mathematician and programmer. Currently, I am working on a PhD in arithmetic geometry. I like to write about many things including math, sports, programming, education, and technology. If you would like to see my comments more frequently, you can follow me on my social profiles:

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Legacy Macs

Posted on 06/13/2016

Today it was announced that I will own my first legacy Apple computer (an early 2008 iMac) when Apple releases macOS Sierra. I have owned older Apple devices which are no long supported, like an iPhone 3GS and a first generation Intel MacBook, but never when they were no longer on the latest operating system. Even when Apple was charging consumers for the newest version of OSX, I was happily handing over the money to ensure that my machine, which houses some very important and very private data, was receiving regular updates. Now that Apple has deemed my main machine as not worthy of their newest operating system, I am hoping that I won't be left out to dry.

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Updated on 06/13/2016

Sleep Well

Posted on 03/21/2016

I've struggled with my sleep for years. I have gone through periods of great sleep, horrible sleep, or no sleep. I use the Sleep Cycle app to help me track my sleep and have been frustrated at being unable to break 60% sleep quality on a regular basis. I've always heard that blue light from my computer and phone could be a reason why I wasn't sleeping well, but sometimes I need to work and getting away from my computer is not possible. I recently came across this article on Lifehacker and I learned that I needed to change when I wake up as well as what I do to wind down the day.

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Updated on 03/21/2016

Create Your Own Dynamic DNS Updater

Posted on 01/15/2016

When DynDNS shutdown their free tiers, I, like many people, was left looking for an alternative. I tried No-IP, but their automatic updater never worked for me. Therefore, I was left to manually update my dynamic IP every 30 days like some type of animal. I was already using CloudFlare for caching, simple threat identification, and basic analytics (I don't want to use Google), so I decided to make my own dynamic DNS updater using CloudFlare, Python, and launchd. Before I layout the steps, I will say that dynDNS Remote Access is $40 per year at the time of this writing. This is definitely affordable, but a domain name is cheaper and more versatile. Feel free to follow these steps to setup your own solution. In order to complete this setup, you need a domain name, a CloudFlare account, and a Mac with python3 installed.

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Updated on 01/15/2016

My New Dog Howard

Posted on 07/16/2015

First, if you haven't read my first post on animal testing, I ask that you read that before reading this post. You'll learn a little bit about animal testing, what it means to me, and what Beagle Freedom Project (BFP) is doing to combat the unnecessary cruelty that animals go through. One of the newest programs that BFP started is called the Identity Campaign. For small donation, you can "adopt" an animal in a lab, give it a name, have the option to obtain the records of the animal, and help BFP acquire it if it is released from the lab.

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Updated on 01/12/2016

Hammerin' Hank

Posted on 05/13/2015

Baseball is my favorite sport, both to play (when I did) and to watch. Baseball and statistics go hand-in-hand. I have even created a baseball statistic myself called the Consistency Index. People use these statistics to try to compare players across generations and identify a GOAT (Greatest of All Time). This is an impossible task, but it is a truly interesting debate. It is easy to make cases for guys like Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Cy Young, Sandy Coufax, or Nolan Ryan, and these cases are very persuasive. However, it is my opinion that one person doesn't get enough support in this conversation.

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Updated on 01/12/2016

Animal Testing

Posted on 03/09/2015

About two years ago I learned exactly what animal testing is. I'm not referring to medical testing (more on that in a later entry), but rather the testing of household products many of us use every day. I thought that testing shampoo on a dog meant that the dog was getting a nice bath. This is far from the truth. The animals are severely mistreated and are never given the chance to have normal pet lives. If you have never heard exactly what happens inside a testing facility, please continue reading. I will warn you that some of the things you will read and see are disturbing and extremely saddening.

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Updated on 01/12/2016

Blog 2.0

Posted on 12/30/2014

About a year and half ago I decided to create a blog. The idea was as much about coding the backend of the blog as it was about writing. Inspired by Don Melton, who self-taught the majority of his programming skills and went on to do great things, I set out to learn as much HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript as necessary to make this happen. The first version wasn't anything special; it had a welcome page with a list of recent posts and another page that displayed a blog entry given by a GET string. The biggest feature was a dated archive that would expand and collapse as the reader clicked on it. Today, I've updated it with a few more bells and whistles.

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Updated on 01/12/2016

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