pssssst! brainfag is retired! i'm now at



posted in Home Jabber on September 01, 2006

Only a month now before we leave for Korea, and I somehow talked myself into buying an incredibly expensive digital SLR camera. It still makes my knees weak (as in fear, not joy) thinking about it. But here I am, confused owner of a silver Canon Digital Rebel XT that cost more than OUR CAR, and that's without a lens.. agh! Anyway, the resell value is insane on digital SLRs, so I'm not too worried about it. Now begins, however, the confusing search for a decent lens that won't cause bankruptcy.

Two very cool developments in the interweb: Google Books, which a quick search for "brainfag" brought up an 1879 text called "Homœopathic therapeutics" defining it as:

mental overwork and constant strain of eyes; headache every other day; chronic congestion of the brain, burning-stinging pains and pulsations, commencing in occiput..."


And Flickr just fired up the ability to geotag your photos, resulting in a very interesting view of where you take your camera. Flickr is pretty damn awesome.

Shawn Granton and I have slaved away the last two days on the new, almost-forgotten, 2006 edition of the Zinester's Guide to Portland, being published by the awesome Microcosm Publishing. is once again in the works, my learning project for Django. I picked a pretty complex first project, however, and it's bending my brain to do the simplest things that I could do blindfolded w/ PHP. But learning is good. And Django looks to be an amazing tool when I get it under my belt. Microcosm is also getting a facelift soon.

I've been mired in an onslaught of web and illustration jobs, so obviously not much time to update ye olde Brainfag. Too busy battling back my mental overwork and constant strain of eyes.

6 comments on this entry

Hi Nate. Let's cut to the chase. No offense, but I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE LEARNING DJANGO when the real action, the real innovation, the real passion is in Rails!!!

Can I post a link? Can I post another link? Nate, stay away from the fuggly framework! For how many years do I have to beg you to just learn Rails?!?


'Course I have to disagree -- but why else would I be choosing Django? It obviously drew me in with both of the frameworks in consideration.

Part of the decision is based on the preachy overtones of the Rails/37 Signals community, part on how Django is structured vs. Rails, and part curiosity: I just wanted to check it out. Django is growing fast and is very elegant, easy-to-understand, plus it comes with a sexy, dynamic, auto-built admin that just appears from your Models.

What can I say? I'm sure I'll learn both, but Django is up first.

Though I can't help wondering if the popularity tables were turned, would people lambast me for picking up a Rails book when all the jobs and buzz and conferences were on Django?

nate 9/1/06

Well keep me posted! I've played with Python and didn't like so much. But haven't tried Django yet. Let me know if it works for you, how well your app has tests, and how many lines of code you end up with. I'm curious!!


what the hell is django? and rails? is this shop talk?

judi 9/23/06

i guess so. i don't know if i can explain it well.

they're both "frameworks" which is a fancy term for .. well, a structured environment for building programs, applications, websites, etc, where a lot of the common tasks and structures and (one of the biggest pluses) all CRUD (create read update destroy) operations with databases is made easy. and they're both geared towards object-oriented, which is just a way of building things based on inheritance, so you do more with less code. another buzzword for this: DRY (don't repeat yerself), which i do A LOT with my usual PHP/hand-written MySQL sites.

i'm sure that didn't help at all. i'm not at all the best to explain, as i'm just starting to dabble.

but so far, i have to say, i'm totally digging Django and whenever it does something for me in minutes that usually takes me HOURS, i am very very happy.

better answer: they're smarter ways to make websites so we can focus on the fun stuff.

Nate 9/23/06

for occipital relief i would suggest 2 tennis balls in a sock, a few deep breaths, and then feel the "brainfag" melt away

Glenna 9/27/06

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