Husband. Father. Software engineer. Ubuntu Linux user.
👋 Hi, I'm Mike!
I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Colorado School of Mines in 2011 with a degree in computational and applied mathematics; I subsequently completed a Master's of Education at the University of Denver as part of the Denver Teacher Residency. After a short stint of full-time teaching, I returned to the field of software engineering at SpotX, where I worked for three years before joining Zen Planner and finally moving on to Strava. I've been at Strava more than four years and I continue to love working on an app I'm passionate about and solving interesting problems along the way!
Last week I went to Strange Loop 2023. There were
many great sessions, but my favorite was Playable Quotes for Game Boy
Games. Joël and Adam presented an
idea for playable Game Boy “quotes” that should be (legally) shareable. (It’s
worth reading How We Made Playable Quotes for the Game
Boy on Joël’s Blog.)
Their solution’s both clever and elegant, and uses only a few hundred lines of
code (aside from existing emulators). The playable quote truly removes all the
unnecessary parts of the ROM, which is important for legal reasons. Their
implementation is also practical and future-proof, embedding everything that’s
necessary to play the game in a single distributable file. It’s also pretty
clever, using steganography to embed data into a screenshot of the game. (This
revelation produced an outburst of applause at the live presentation.) While I
watched this presentation at Strange Loop, I couldn’t help but think that a
playable quote like this would be a great way to experience catching Mew in the
original Pokémon Game Boy games.
I’m not the first person to write about a $500 developer laptop. In fact, I was
inspired by Max Rozen’s Replacing my MacBook Air M1 with a ThinkPad
Getting your own good enough laptop for under
Like Max, I’m not only writing a blog about this – I’m actually using the $500
laptop I’m writing about as my personal daily driver. You don’t need a $2,000
computer to have a great machine for web development! The laptop I chose is a
great alternative to the ThinkPad T480. (ThinkPads are great, but they’re not
the only way to get an incredibly capable and pragmatic laptop on a budget.)
I’ve been a fan of Dell for many years, and my $500 developer laptop is a
Latitude 7490. I recently bought one to replace the Latitude e7450 I was
using. Let’s see how it stacks up to the T480, and how well it works as a daily