Post! This post, not this tweet. ↩︎
As you might notice if you look around here, I’ve made some changes to the layout and presentation of the site. Nothing very dramatic, but the header and sidebar look a bit different.
I’m open to – and seeking – constructive criticism. How does it look? Is anything misaligned, or confusingly laid out, or hard to find?
Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter.
Things go quicker than you think. This
tweet post1 was inspired by a tweet, and I thought it wasn’t too long ago. But in fact it was April last year.
My friend Yusuf’s tweet inspired me to finally write about the term “biftace” and why I chose it and what it means. Actually I thought I had written this before, but it seems not.
So a long time ago, when I was first thinking of a name for my blog — before it even existed, indeed — I thought about the way the press used to refer to teachers working “at the chalkface.” The analogy with miners at the coalface was probably originally meant to disparage the labour of teachers as being less than that of miners. I’m guessing here, but considering the term seems to have originated in tabloid journalism, and tabloids tend to be disparaging of anything intellectual — though to be fair, they haven’t exactly been friends to miners either, over the years.
Anyway, I quite liked the term, and wanted to come up with something similar to refer to my own industry, that of programming. I tried out one or two for size, at least in my head. “Byteface” felt more accurate (it’s rare for an application programmer to care to much about bit-level things, and I mainly write Java, which compiles to bytecode); but it didn’t feel right.”Codeface” would have been another, but again, didn’t feel right.
“Bitface” did feel right, and so an early version became “The Bitface Diaries.” I don’t think I ever made that live.
When I started my Livejournal (which nowadays is just one of my syndication targets) I went with “Tales from the Bitface,” which I still like. And then when I decided to set up my own site I went with “A Labourer at the Bitface,” which harked back to the original impetus for inventing the word, and also alluded to my support for the Labour Party.
Which means I’m considering a rename now, as I consider my future in said party. But that’s another blog entry.
The conversation with with Yusuf was about hardware, which is not what the term was about. But I never worked out what we should call working with hardware in similar terminology.
For some reason WordPress decided to repost the two posts that currently appear immediately below this one. I have no idea why. They have in common that they are both of the “Link” format (“Format” here is a WordPress concept denoting types of post).
The mildly annoying thing is that I haven’t posted here yet this year, and now I seem to have started the year with two reposts. I could, of course, delete them, but then the above paragraph would be wrong.
Anyway, this is the true first post of the year, even if it was triggered by an aberration.
Hello. Happy New Year.