adventures in elisp

samer masterson

hacker school plan (compilers!)

What needs to be done:

  • pay for my first month of rent
  • sell all my things
  • do spanish duolingo stuff
  • think about viva pinata
  • do compilers stuff!

To flesh out my ‘compilers’ plan, I basically have all of May to finish the stanford compilers course! Here’s my planned schedule:

  • Already finished: all lectures through lexical analysis
  • This week (4/27 - 5/3): finish lexical analysis & finite automata lectures and assignment 1
  • Next week (5/4 - 5/10): finish parsing, top down parsing I & II lectures, assignment 2
  • Week after (5/11 - 5/16): finish semantic analysis, cool type checking, runtime organization lectures, assignment 3
  • Week after that (5/17 - 5/23): I have literally never planned this far in advance!

This is all prep for working on more compiler things at hacker school.

what i'm doing with my life, pt 1

Hey all, it’s my birthday, and I thought I would write up a post about what’s going on in my life right now, and my current trajectory. Right now, I’m preparing to go to Hacker School, an amazing program where you create things with cool people for three months, and then they help you find a job afterwards. Sort of like a personal accelerator. The program is free, but living in New York City is not – I’m building my money reserves up for the program. I found a place to live for only ~$700 a month, which is amazing. An unlimited metro card is ~$100 a month, and if I’m being frugal, it should be possible to live on ~$200/month of food, which puts my total monthly expense at $1k! That’s a nice, round number. I’m busy selling all of my things via ebay and craigslist. I know I should get a job, but the thought is honestly kind of scary (I am easily scared, like a cat), and I’m not sure how many places are okay with on boarding an employee for a total of one month’s work.

I’m incredibly excited for the program to start! I check my email feverishly for updates. I met Allison Kaptur at PyCon, who is already like the coolest person I know. Hacker Schoolers have built some pretty amazing things, the most impressive of which is probably Julia Evan’s operating system in Rust! Hacker School seems like the environment I was looking for at my previous University, full of hard working and creative people, and I am SO FREAKING EXCITED!

I’m planning on learning as much about compilers & compiler theory as I can during my time there. I’m working through Stanford’s online compilers course right now as preparation. The next post will be a checklist of all the things I need to get done before Hacker School starts.

fixing hugo

I couldn’t figure out how to have the chrome templates access data to see what page they’re on, so I wrote this script to add the “active” class to an element.

fix_css_has_run = false;
function fix_css(){
    fix_css_has_run = true;
    var url_arr = document.URL.split("/");
    var li_id = "";
    var after_samertm = false;
    for (var i = 0; i < url_arr.length; i++) {
        if (after_samertm) {
            li_id = url_arr[i];
        } else {
            if (url_arr[i] === "") {
                after_samertm = true;
    var elem = null;
    if (li_id == "") {
        elem = document.getElementById("home");
    } else {
        elem = document.getElementById(li_id);
    elem.className = elem.className + " active";

document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded", fix_css, false);

// if DOMContentLoaded does not exist
window.onload = function() {
    if (!fix_css_has_run) {

Javascript saves the day once again!