George V. Reilly

Negative Circled Digits

I found something very useful in the dingbats range of Unicode characters: the negative circled san-serif digits, ➊ ➋ ➌ ➍ ➎ ➏ ➐ ➑ ➒ ➓ .

I've started using them to label points of interest in code. They play well with the code-block directive in re­Struc­tured­Text.

sudo docker images --format '{{.Repository}}:{{.Tag}}' \ | grep $IMAGE_NAME \ 

Blog Cleanup

I started this blog 14 years ago, in February 2003, on EraBlog, a long-defunct platform. Many of my early posts expressed outrage at the imminent Iraq War. Within a couple of years, I had moved to running dasBlog on my own website, hosted at

I wrote a lot of posts over the next decade. With rare exception, most posts were composed offline as re­Struc­tured­Text and saved in a repository. There was no formal schema and most posts did not know their permalink.

In late 2014, I moved to the Acrylamid static blog generator and I hosted www.georgevreil­ at GitHub Pages. I migrated most of the dasBlog content into a more continue.

Tufte Makeover

I've long been a fan of Edward Tufte's work. I'm also a fan of old-style serif fonts, such as Bembo.

I happened across the R Studio Tufte Handout Style yesterday, and I was im­me­di­ate­ly struck by how much it resembles Tufte's books. It uses Tufte CSS and the open-source Tufte Book Font. ETBook is a “computer version” of Bembo that Tufte con­struct­ed for the more recent editions of his books, sup­plant­i­ng the lead type of the earlier editions.

I've adapted this blog's stylesheet to use ETBook and some of the other settings from tufte.css. It's not completely faithful; e.g., headings are bold, not italic.

On Blogging

Blogging has been on my mind lately, as I've just set up an en­gi­neer­ing blog at work.

I gave a speech about blogging earlier tonight to my club, Freely Speaking Toast­mas­ters. I no longer write speeches be­fore­hand; I ex­tem­po­rized my speech from a mindmap that I had prepared yesterday. This post is a more coherent and expanded rendition of my points.

As Toast­mas­ters, we give speeches about topics that interest us, when we want to share or inform or entertain. A live, in-person speech reaches a direct audience at one point in time. A written blog post can reach a much larger audience. Toast­mas­ters have something to say, whether in person or in continue.

Blog 2014

My DasBlog-based blog at http://www.georgevreil­ has been out of commission for months. I've been meaning to replace it for a long time, but I only just got around to making a serious effort, as I realized that otherwise I would have no posts at all for 2014. I received only a handful of complaints about its absence; if there had been more, I would have fixed it sooner.

DasBlog is a fairly light­weight blogging engine that runs on ASP.NET. It doesn't require a database, but it does require the ability to write XML blogpost entries to the local filesystem. That's a non-standard con­fig­u­ra­tion for ASP.NET and IIS websites, which inevitably causes continue.

Static Website Conversions

I've spent time over the last three weeks working on a new website for the Northwest C++ Users' Group. I blogged about the NWCPP website refresh over there. In brief, I moved the website from an instance of the Joomla Content Management System at Just Host to a static website generated by Pelican and hosted at Github Pages, and I'm happy with the results.

Not only am I the Webmaster (and Secretary) of NWCPP, I am also the webmaster for several other or­ga­ni­za­tions:

The Tubes Have Ears

Be careful what you say: you might trigger a Google Alert.

Eric had the temerity last week to gripe on his blog about a certain open source business in­tel­li­gence product, and got swarmed by irate defenders. Apparently he showed up in their Google Alerts. Some of the posters were helpful, but the ad hominem attackers were more en­ter­tain­ing:

Your blog has had 22 posts in the past year, and your blogroll includes absolutely no one of note in the open source world. So I think it’s safe to say that while you are pointing out a perception that they should address in some way, that your opinion isn’t worth much.

I'm in continue.


In a footnote to the post about Propo­si­tion 8 on November 7th, I said that it was the first in a series of daily posts for NaBloPoMo, the National Blog Posting Month, which I had just found out about.

Here I am a month later, having posted something every single evening. I covered humor; movie and book reviews; being the #1 tech blog (now #2); politics; Thanks­giv­ing; food; personal stuff; and even some technical posts. Whew!

Why bother? As with the two-year-old exercise in book reviews, it was a personal challenge to come up with a post every single evening for a month. Sometimes, the events of the day made continue.

#1 Technical Blog, revisited

A week ago, I said that my technical blog somehow comes up as #1 technical blog on Google.

Several people pointed out that in my screenshot, I was logged in to Google. As you can see if you click on this screenshot, I can reproduce this result even when I'm not signed in.

I'm still confounded by that ranking. My content is good, but largely un­re­mark­able—though I'm unduly fond of A Use for Octal; my style is un­der­stat­ed; my traffic is un­con­gest­ed; and my top billing is undeserved.

But none of the technical blogs listed on that first page are of the first order, except Mark Russi­novich's.

If I thought it made sense, I'd continue.

#1 Technical Blog

A friend whom I haven't heard from in a few years googled for technical blog this evening, and my technical blog somehow came up as the very first hit!

I have no idea how I achieved such high page rank, nor how I eclipsed Mark Russi­novich.

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