E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Started my career doing graphic design for newspapers and magazines in the '90s. Then wrote tech commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and others you never heard of. Then I built operations software at a photography school. Then I helped big media serve 40 million pages a day. Then I worked on a translation services API doing millions of dollars of business. Now I'm building the core platform of a global startup accelerator. Feel free to email me.


I co-wrote "Python Web Development with Django". It was the first book to cover the long-awaited Django 1.0. Published by Addison-Wesley and still in print!


Built using Django, served with gunicorn and nginx. The database is SQLite. Hosted on a FreeBSD VPS at Johncompanies.com. Comment-spam protection by Akismet.


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Stuff I Use

Bitbucket, Debian Linux, Django, Emacs, FreeBSD, Git, jQuery, LaunchBar, macOS, Markdown, Mercurial, Python, S3, SQLite, Sublime Text, xmonad

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At least 237143 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

Great open source apps for the Mac

The Open Source Mac site is a great thing. I don't even care if they're just doing it for the Adsense clicks -- though I'm pretty sure they're not. They've built a simple site devoted to "the best, most important, and easiest to use" open source desktop applications for OS X. These are popular, and popularizable, apps like Camino, Adium, VLC, and Cyberduck.

They understand the subtle wisdom that, besides being useful and OSI-compliant, a successful open source desktop application needs two things: a cool icon and a big obvious download button. (And you know I like big obvious download buttons.)

Their choices are generally excellent. I regularly use at least eight of the apps they list, and I've even contributed a little code to one or two.

This is the kind of site you can share with someone who is a Mac enthusiast but doesn't necessarily have the Developer Tools or X11 installed. It gently evangelizes everyday, nontechnical, useful-right-now open source software.

(In case their two pages aren't enough for you, here are two bonus links: Apple's Unix & Open Source Downloads and FreeSMUG.)

Monday, January 23rd, 2006
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