Kevin C. Tofel

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I'm tired of managing contacts. You do it!

Posted on February 11, 2023

I've been tinkering with an idea lately in terms of big tech and contact management. This is mainly for two reasons. One: My contacts are basically "held" by big tech. I have them with Apple…

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So my new desktop PC was delivered in a padded envelope

Posted on January 29, 2023

It's been nearly three years since I custom build my last desktop PC. And to be honest, I love that computer. Between the more than good enough AMD Ryzen processor and an AMD Radeon 6800XT GPU, it's…

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Defeated by the elves

Posted on December 11, 2022

I know when I'm beaten and this week, I was beaten. I surrendered to Santa's elves after just a few days during the Advent of Code. No more stars for me. At least not for a while; I can always go…

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It's been a... week

Posted on December 04, 2022

What a long, busy week. I mentioned on Monday that I'm beginning to prep for my first JavaScript assessment. And I put a good 15 hours in on that effort. I also wrote five blog posts about…

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Training for the JavaScript Jedi Trials

Posted on November 28, 2022

Since February of this year, I've been a JavaScript Padawan. If you're not familiar with the term Padawan, it's a reference to a Jedi-in-training, apprenticed to a Jedi Master in Star Wars. I'm not…

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I'm a JavaScript padawan learner at Launch School

Posted on February 06, 2022

Anyone who knows me even a little knows that I can't sit still when it comes to my education. Sure, I'm 52 but there's always time to learn more. That's why I went to my local community college at age…

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So ends the great Masters in CS experiment

Posted on December 22, 2021

Well, my first semester in the Georgia Tech OMSCS program is over. And my first semester is also my last semester. I’ve decided to not continue this online Masters program. My decision isn’t because…

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Gas station free for 2 months and loving it!

Posted on August 31, 2021

As I get older, I'm starting to appreciate "things" more. And by things, I mean particular physical objects that I need, not that I want. See the most excellent new Minimalism documentary on Netflix…

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Why I'm drowning in the C

Posted on July 31, 2021

What a slacker. I just realized I haven't posted here since April. And so much has happened since then! Time for a recap from then to the present because I'm literally drowning in C, as in the…

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It's just a CRUDdy app, but at least it's my CRUDdy app

Posted on April 23, 2021

The last time I blogged here was when I applied to the online Georgia Tech Masters in CS program six weeks ago. I'm still waiting to hear if I'm going to be a Yellow Jacket or not. While waiting, I…

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Wish me luck (I'm gonna need it)

Posted on February 28, 2021

I made a big life decision this past month. At age 51, I've applied to an online Masters in Computer Science program at Georgia Tech. Yeah, I'm surprised too. See, I always wanted to teach college…

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Replacing Google Drive or other cloud services for data privacy

Posted on February 08, 2021

I've been remiss in following up the series of blog posts on data privacy. I blame my insatiable need to keep honing my programming skills as once class ended in early December, I tackled my own…

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My first CRUDdy JavaScript app

Posted on November 30, 2020

We're in the home stretch of the fall semester where I'm taking my first JavaScript (JS) class. After learning most of the syntax basics (which aren't too different from what I've used in the past…

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Living a mobile life without Apple or Google, part 2: apps and email

Posted on November 29, 2020

Last week, I shared my current experiment of living without "big tech". I won't recap it in detail but I'm essentially using a de-Googled phone as my daily driver. I explain why in the prior post…

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The experiment: Living a mobile life without Apple or Google (part 1)

Posted on November 21, 2020

I've been thinking quite a bit about data privacy and the mobile industry lately. They're two separate, but related, topics in my mind. At this point, your mobile device is either going to run…

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So I hit the Nvidia RTX 3080 lottery

Posted on October 17, 2020

When I built my $900 budget gaming PC back in June, I never thought it would become a money pit of sorts. The build is now around $2,200, which is up from the $1,500 back in July. Why the big $70…

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Microsoft Surface Duo: Dual screens and dual personalities

Posted on September 15, 2020

The Microsoft Surface Duo I ordered two weeks ago arrived late last week. I removed the SIM card from my Pixel 4 and popped it in the Duo this past weekend and have used the Duo as my primary "phone…

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JavaScript: The semester begins

Posted on September 07, 2020

Up until three months ago, I'd never written a single line of JavaScript. I still haven't written much outside of a sample web app that shows cryptocoin pricing based on the user's choice of coin…

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Why I bought a Surface Duo (or two)

Posted on September 05, 2020

After noting how easy it is to switch from iOS to Android, I decided to pre-order a Microsoft Surface Duo. Two Duos, actually, although only one is for me. A friend from overseas reached out and…

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Thoughts on switching from iPhone to Android these days

Posted on August 30, 2020

Earlier this month, I took the SIM card from my iPhone 11 Pro and dropped it in my Pixel 4. I have a Pixel 4 XL too, but it's a bit big for my small hands and pockets. Why do I do this? As long as I…

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I'm such a sucker: I bought an older GPU to replace a newer one

Posted on August 29, 2020

A few weeks back, I explained how my $900 gaming PC quickly became a $1,200 gaming PC. Would you believe we're up to $1,500 now? Yeah, I'm a sucker. Although at $900, the original system was perfectly…

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It's things like this that annoy me about Windows

Posted on August 08, 2020

Why do things just... break? I was all set to share an interesting tech tidbit here this morning and was stopped in my tracks. Instead of blogging from my Chromebook (using Linux with Gatsby in VS…

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I was so wrong. Don't build your own PC

Posted on July 31, 2020

About a month ago I suggested that most people should build their own PC at least once. That was right after I built a decent gaming PC on a $900 budget. And so far it has served me well, not just for…

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Goodbye Hugo, hello Gatsby!

Posted on July 24, 2020

After a month of considering a switch of the Static Site Generator, or SSG, that creates the pages for this blog, I decided to make the switch. As of now, Gatsby, which replaces Hugo for me, is the…

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Interesting: Developing in Ubuntu through VS Code, running in WSL2

Posted on July 18, 2020

Late last month, I said I’d be looking into WSL, or the Windows Subsystem for Linux, which is still a work in progress and available for Windows 10. If you’re not familiar with WSL, it’s an easy way…

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Three weeks in, a $68 PC storage upgrade: SATA SSD vs. M.2 NVMe drives

Posted on July 17, 2020

I dropped $68 on this Western Digital 250 GB M.2 NVMe drive from Amazon this week and it arrived today. When I built my PC last month, I wanted to keep the budget low, so I put a less expensive 50…

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Added to the to-do list: A Jamstack blog commenting system

Posted on July 10, 2020

I've gotten away from posting here or continuing my path towards learning Gatsby for blog publishing of late, mainly because of other work, my Chromebook blogging and prepping for my fall JavaScript…

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Should everyone build their own PC at least once?

Posted on June 28, 2020

I'm going to answer my own question with a caveat. I think just about everyone should build their own PC at least once in their lifetime. By "just about everyone", I mean everyone who needs a desktop…

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The Great Gatsby vs Hugo for static site generation

Posted on June 18, 2020

Well that didn't take long. I've been thinking about the tools that power this site since my last post because I couldn't insert or embed my demo JavaScript app in it. After doing a good week's worth…

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Getting JavaScript-y with APIs, even if it's hard to secure the keys

Posted on June 06, 2020

School's out for summer! My spring semster ended about a month ago in a whimper as the pandemic hit smack dab in the middle of March. The college quickly shifted to online learning. My particular…

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Test post from Netlify CMS

Posted on May 30, 2020

Testing the Netlify CMS Just added it to my repo and configured it. If this post appears on the public page, that means it's working! :) Here are the technical details of the Netlify CMS. The beauty…

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Git sub-modules: I finally see the power

Posted on May 30, 2020

As I noted in my last post, I'm still a n00b developer. So that's my defense in not knowing about Git sub-modules, which have been around for years. What's a Git submodule? Essentially, as I…

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Attended my first dev conference: Jamstack

Posted on May 28, 2020

Jamstack Conference 2020 Since I'm really only just beginning my delving into being a developer, I haven't yet attended any developer conferences. That changed today. I caught most of the live…

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Hello World

Posted on May 25, 2020

It works This post suggests that I correctly have my Hugo-rendered site up and running. Check the link for more information on the Hugo open-source software, but essentially, it takes Markdown content…

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