Implementation of today’s xkcd in Vim

I couldn’t help myself.

In case you haven’t seen it, the xkcd comic for today plays on the weird configurations we programmers apply to our personal computers. The mouseover text reads: “If used with software that could keep up, a scroll wheel mapped to send a stream of ‘undo’ and ‘redo’ events could be kind of cool.” Well, as it turns out, Vim can “keep up.” All it takes is these two commands:

map <ScrollWheelDown> :undo<CR>
map <ScrollWheelUp> :redo<CR>

Put those in your .vimrc or run them as commands and watch as using the scroll wheel or two-finger trackpad scroll cycles through your history. Enjoy!

Fun fact: the comic alludes to mapping caps lock to control, which is something that Emacs users actually do. Vim users are more partial to mapping caps lock to escape.

Intro to LaTeX slideshow

Last week, I gave a presentation on learning LaTeX to interested UD students as an activity of our ACM Student Chapter. The presentation aimed to cover everything necessary to write a paper or lab report in LaTeX, while also touching on aspects useful for math homework. Fittingly, I created a slideshow using LaTeX (specifically, the Beamer package) to streamline my presentation. Here is that slideshow, in PDF form. For best results, view it in full-screen single-page mode, or “presentation mode,” if your PDF viewer supports it.

Introduction to LaTeX

Computer Science wins Trunk or Treat!


Hello, all,

We won! The ACM Student Chapter just got the first place prize in Trunk or Treat. I’d like to thank everyone who volunteered to help out, especially Jack, who let us use his car even though he couldn’t be there himself, John Peter, who programmed the robot and dressed up like Darth Vader, and Ted Morin, who helped weaponize the robot and got costumes for the rest of us. Now we have $75 more for public events, so let’s start thinking about how we can use it!
Thanks again,
Brian McCutchon

How to be the guy in “git.txt” (Part 2)

A few months ago, I made a blog post called ‘How to be the guy in “git.txt,”’ referencing the mouseover text of a certain xkcd comic. Here I’d like to expand on that and provide more useful resources.

  1. First, read this tutorial. It discusses different workflows you might use with Git, building up from simpler to more complex workflows. It helps you to understand the idea behind what you’re learning before you really plunge into it.
  2. Next, I again recommend Pro Git, a free online book on how to use Git. You don’t have to commit to reading the whole thing, but just skimming the first 3 chapters can make you much more knowledgeable about Git.
  3. Search the web. Seriously. If you have a question about Git, chances are that someone has already asked it (on StackOverflow, probably). You can learn a lot just by wondering, “How do I do this in Git?” then looking it up. (This really goes for any programming tool.)
  4. man git. I wouldn’t recommend using man pages to learn Git, but they are very useful as a reference. To view the manual page for a specific git command, for example, git merge, use git help merge.
  5. Lastly, I’ll leave you with a cheat sheet I found.

Interesting Workshop — Free! End of April. Register now.

This year we are repeating the AT&T IoT and IFTTT Coding Workshops 4 times – the content is identical, so chose the one that works best for you.

Session 1: Wednesday afternoon, April 20

When: 12 – 4 p.m. (registration & lunch 12 – 1, workshop 1 – 4)


Session 2: Wednesday evening, April 20

When: 5 – 9 p.m. (registration & dinner 5 – 6, workshop 6 – 9)


Session 3: Thursday afternoon, April 21

When: 12 – 4 p.m. (registration & lunch 12 – 1, workshop 1 – 4)


Session 4: Thursday evening, April 21

When: 5 – 9 p.m. (registration & dinner 5 – 6, workshop 6 – 9)


(All sessions are the same.)

Free and open to everyone. Note that you must register on Eventbrite (links above)

Additional Info:

Excited by the Internet of Things (IoT)? Interested in learning about IFTTT (If This Then That)? Then join the AT&T Developer Program and Texas Instruments as we expand on last year’s IoT DevLab Coding Workshop. This year we have added labs on IFTTT and AT&T Flow Designer (a web-based development environment for designing, building, and deploying IoT solutions). In addition, TI will join us to talk about hardware solutions in the world of IoT.

Attendance at last year’s DevLab is not required to participate in this year’s event.

This year we will be using the TI MSP432 LaunchPad and CC3100 SimpleLink Wi-Fi BoosterPack Internet-connected development boards – yours to keep – for our lab exercises. An extra perk? Attendees will be entered in drawings for a TI Educational BoosterPack MKII and a CC2650 SensorTag Bluetooth kit!

This is a 3-hour, hands-on coding workshop in which AT&T and Texas Instruments subject matter experts show you how to work with Internet-enabled devices then provide help as you go through coding examples yourself.
The event is free and we will be serving dinner. So bring your Windows or Mac laptop and join us for an afternoon of learning, coding, socializing, and eating!

Tools: Using Postman, cURL, and JavaScript for the lab exercises. More technical details on the Eventbrite registration site. So bring your laptop and join AT&T, Girl Develop It Chicago, and TI for an afternoon or evening of learning, coding, socializing, and eating!

Seating is limited so sign up soon. (Note that the content of all workshops is the same.)