Magnets & Miracles

Drawings & Illustrations by Prathamesh Pai

About Me

A.k.a: Why do you want to know?

tl;dr: I’m a computer programmer & web designer who loves to draw and take photographs. In a past life I also used to teach at a university.

Expected more? Writing an about me page without sounding cliched is hard and I dislike cliches. I do not enjoy talking about myself and using adjectives to describe me or my work either. I have already had to do that on my work site, which is more than enough for a lifetime. For more, click on the links to my other sites and personal projects that live near the end of this page. The rest of this page is mostly about this site.

Purpose

A.k.a: A new personal blog in the age of social networks? I must be crazy!

tl;dr: This blog seems to be going through an existential crisis even before it has started!

For years I have waited for the right moment to start a blog but it never came. Social networks are a more popular way of sharing and consuming content than personal blogs now, so it felt like a good time for me to start a blog, when nobody is watching :) Besides, having my daily sketches online will help me learn and …oops! I nearly bumped into a cliche there!

Technology

A.k.a: the nerd stuff

tl;dr: Jekyll, Ruby, Python, SASS, HTML5, JavaScript, Minimalistic Design, MAC OSX, Terminal, Vim

For those interested, I programmed this website using a myriad of technologies. Now this is something I don’t mind talking about. I’m tempted to say that the process of programming & designing the site (the journey) was more enjoyable than the end result (the destination), but I will not say it, because it will sound cliched.

This site is fully static and uses Jekyll with a few custom plugins I wrote
using Ruby.
Why? Because I decided to use a static website for this blog instead of a CMS.
A Python program I wrote automates the daily sketch post by casting spells on any image file I point it to.
Why? Because it is ultra cool to do stuff like that and because repetitive tasks are boring. It also makes my life easier and lets me use the time I save to draw (or procrastinate about drawing, depending on how the stars are aligned that day) or do something useful.
SASS for managing the CSS
Why? Because I can’t write plain old CSS any more.
HTML5 for the layout/structure.
Why? Because HTML5.
JavaScript for added flavour.
Why? Because where would we be without added/artificial flavour?
Minimalistic, typographic, functional & non decorative design (if that even
makes sense).
Why? Because the content should (hopefully) do all the talking.
Coded on a Mac
Why? Because I’ve had a Mac from before it was cool to own one where I live (circa 2003 - the PowerPC days). I spend most of my day in the terminal (I use iTerm2 and Zsh) though, so in a way it defeats the purpose of having a shiny Mac. I can do most of what I do on any computer running Linux (except for design work which is a lot easier in OSX). I do have a Slackware (my distro of choice since 2001) machine that I use occasionally for work and more frequently as a media centre. To complete the circle, I use a Windows phone — because nobody else does. Just kidding! It deserves more love than it gets from all the people (journalists and users alike) who criticise it for no reason (or maybe it is cool to diss Microsoft now). Completely unrelated, I know, but I went with the flow there.
Using the Vim editor.
What can I say about Vim? It is (along with Emacs of course, but I started with Vim) what a programmer’s editor should be. Newfangled editors make me nervous and after all these years of using it, Vim finally feels like it is an extension of my mind.:wq

Hopefully that should satisfy any curious passers by. If you need more information or want to hire me to design your website, code your web/mobile app or do some illustrations, send an email to prathamesh@t… I’m sure you are smart enough to fill in the rest (it starts with a t and ends with a .com — look at the domain name of this site).

Terms/Privacy

The terms are simple. You will not steal my work (copyright details at the end of this page). I’m a big advocate of online privacy. I do not use cookies on this site. I do not use any kind of web analytics/tracking (I don’t care about details like where you’re from, how much time you spent on this site, how many others visited this site, what other sites you visited, what you ate for breakfast and all that rubbish). I will not sell/share your information if you leave a comment or email me.

My other sites

Caution, here be dragons

A.k.a: tread with caution

tl;dr: © Prathamesh Pai. All rights reserved. Thou shalt not steal my work.

The code that runs this site, its design and the words, drawings & photographs that are on it were made with a lot of effort. Please do not steal any of it or share without giving proper credit unless you want to be eaten by a ferocious fire breathing dragon ^..^

Dragon