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

Spam Report

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

Hello from BarCampBoston

Greetings from Boston -- specifically, BarCampBoston. My first "unconference". Nerds galore.

The format is (mostly) half-hour talks from attendees on whatever subjects interest them -- as long as other attendees have also expressed interest. It's all tracked on a big board in the lobby. So far I've been in discussions involving localization, designing for technophobes, cloud computing, physics simulation in games, and Lisp. The level of interactivity is high -- as is the collective expertise brought by the participants.

Stata Center This is taking place in MIT's Stata Center, a wild-looking Frank Gehry creation that clearly houses a lot of fun regular old MIT stuff in addition to transient visitors like us. Walking down a side hall during lunch I peered through the glass of a closed door into a large office containing a pile of what looked like robots.

Update: In BarCamp spirit, I gave a talk. The title was "Moving from PHP to Django". Much like some of my earlier blog posts on the subject, I talked about how to make the transition from PHP to Python/Django smoother and more enjoyable. At the end, I noted that I had two copies of our book on hand. I made a special offer: buy one (at a great discount price, in fact) and I would donate the proceeds to BarCamp. I had two takers and made my donation immediately after. Thanks, guys!

Saturday, April 25th, 2009
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