Welcome to traas.org
You have arrived at traas.org — the personal home page of Aaron Traas. Aaron is a Catholic software engineer with an intense passion for gadgets, open source software, food, music, theology, and philosophy.
If you wish to find more about the commercial projects Aaron has worked on in recent years, please visit the portfolio page. If you are looking for a great solutions-oriented, client-facing technical lead for your agency, please take a look at Aaron's online, responsive HTML5 résumé, and then send him an email if you like what you see.
If you want to know Aaron's musings and opinions about many things (mostly phones and computers), you are invited to read his blog below.
Recent Blog Entries
I've felt, however, that I've never given iOS a fair, honest shake as a primary device. After a month with an iPhone 5 as a second phone (the first 2 weeks I used it as my primary), I can say that this is absolutely true; as a gadget nerd I really aught to have given it more of an effort. There's frankly a lot on the platform to love. And also plenty to hate.
But what about turning the whole formula around. The MPR could be a box with a pair of Xeon CPU's, a really beefy professional GPU, and gobs of RAM, optional hard drive, but no OS. It connects to a Macbook of some sort over Thunderbolt. The laptop suspends the OS, migrates the OS to running on the MPR, and then the MPR takes over, using the laptop as an external display, keyboard, and trackpad, and hard drive.
In other words, most people are thinking of the MPR as a docking station with some additional compute resources, whilst my proposal would make the MPR a fully functional computer sans OS, with the OS and primary storage provided by the externally attached laptop.
Now, I'm not saying Apple will do this, but this is a way they can.
I took it upon myself to learn Python a couple months ago. I've been meaning to do so for years. I had just been introduced to Codeacademy, and I wanted to evaluate it so I could recommend it to other people wishing to learn how to code. It's very theory-light, but otherwise a good way to introduce someone to writing web-centric code. While I was there, I noticed the Python track, and decided to do it.
I was infatuated very quickly. As in, instantly.
That all changed in 2007 with the advent of the iPhone. The smartphone was elevated to a level of polish, simplicity, and approachability that they'd never seen before. Ordinary, non-nerd users started wanting smartphones. And with the advent of Android, there were tons to choose from, most of them terrible. So I created "Which Phone do I Buy?", a tool to help non-nerds choose a cell phone. There's really only a couple choices worth considering for each carrier based on a few simple criteria. Are you a non-nerd who wants a great smartphone? Give it a try—it'll only take you 3 minutes or less.
DesignSince it's safe to rely on @font-face support in browsers today, I wanted to try a very modern, clean, type-driven design. I initially started with Helvetica Neue: a classic, attractive sans-serif font that still manages to look modern after all these years. However, particularly on Windows PC's, it doesn't render well. It's also so very common and recognizable, and it would cost me at least $10 a month for access to it as a web font. As I'm a fan of Google's Android OS, I decided to go with Roboto, a Grotesk font that certainly borrows a lot from Helvetica, but is distinctly different, and freely served from Google Font API. Plus, it's available in 6 different weights, including light weights which I wanted to use on my headlines.