I am a technical communicator with a love of explaining technical concepts in documentation, blog posts, videos, books and more. I run a small agency called Gregarious Mammal if you’re interested in hiring me for that kind of thing.

I am also a podcaster, video maker, writer of interactive fiction, and games. This website is a home for all my blog posts, podcasts, newsletters and creative projects.

Need advice for your documentation project? Sign up for my office hours.

The Weekly Squeak - Apollo GraphQL with Geoff Schmidt

The Weekly Squeak - Apollo GraphQL with Geoff Schmidt

This issue I speak with Geoff Schmidt of Apollo about their GraphQL offerings. I also cover general AI, decades old technology bets, is it wise to remove WhatsApp, and much more.

Episode 104 - Romans, painting, Egyptian detectives, and hitchhiking space journalists

Episode 104 - Romans, painting, Egyptian detectives, and hitchhiking space journalists

Rebecca, Chris, and Jason are joined by Michael Hopwood to consider Romans painting swords, Egyptian detectives, and far flung journalists trying to find a story. Will the games we create be total nonsense, or race to the top of the hotness lists?

WTD Episode 33 - Simplified user interfaces, with Anton Bollen

WTD Episode 33 - Simplified user interfaces, with Anton Bollen

One of the most challenging and frustrating things about being a tech writer is managing screenshots in your product documentation. How many times have you needed to take complex screenshots of your product and meticulously marked them up with callouts only to be told that a field has changed and you need to do everything again? It’s so frustrating and demoralizing as a writer because it feels like wasted effort. What if there was a way to create screenshots that could withstand the rapid iterations of a product under development while still conveying valuable meaning to your readers. Today we’re joined by Anton Bollen from TechSmith who explains how we can do this using low-detail screenshots, aka simplified user interfaces, that let you focus your users’ attention on just the bits of the interface that matter.

Tools to help generate screenshots for your documentation

Tools to help generate screenshots for your documentation

I won’t repeat any famous phrases about how pictures equalling a quantity of words, I think we all understand the potential power of a good visual. Well considered images in documentation can help illustrate a concept, clarify a complex idea, or show a reader what they can expect from undertaking certain steps.

The Weekly Squeak - Updates from the Ukrainian Startup scene with Stepan Veselovskyi

The Weekly Squeak - Updates from the Ukrainian Startup scene with Stepan Veselovskyi

I speak with Stepan Veselovskyi, the CEO at Lviv IT Cluster about what’s been happening in the Ukraine tech and startup scene since my last visit. I also cover JetBrains, Google, WhatsApp, and… The Amiga.

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DXposé - Graph-based applications with Apollo

Simplify app development by combining APIs, databases, and microservices into a single data graph that you can query with GraphQL.

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The Solo Adventurer - Computer generated dungeons with AI Dungeon

I enter a world of endless possibilities, where you can do absolutely anything you can imagine…. What will I find?

Nvidia Jetson with Amit Goel

Nvidia Jetson with Amit Goel

This week, I speak with Amit Goel, Director of Product Management for Embedded AI Platforms at NVIDIA about the Jetson platform. I also cover the M1 (again), Discord, the Romans, and the Archers…  xx Chinch

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DXposé - Mysterious Operating Systems with Google Fuchsia (part 2)

What is the new Fuchsia OS from Google? I investigate what it is like to get started with and reach my own conclusions as to it’s intent.

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DXposé - Mysterious Operating Systems with Google Fuchsia (part 1)

What is the new Fuchsia OS from Google? I investigate what it is like to get started with and reach my own conclusions as to it’s intent.

Crit Test Dummies Ep. 10 - Isle of the Dying Moon Pt. 1

Episode 10 - Isle of the Dying Moon (Pt 1) was streamed live on our Twitch channel at Twitch.tv/crittestdummies on November 29th. Check us out most Sundays at 6 PM CET for new episodes! You can find this adventure and more by Aaryan Balu on DMs Guild at https://bit.ly/3aOhGux He can also be found at @aravar27 on Twitter. Character art made by Lance @20sapodcast on Twitter. Game audio by Tabletop Audio. Thank you to Aaryan for letting us use their work, our players Chris, Enya, Patrick and Shane, and our DM Peter!

The Weekly Squeak - Algolia search with Julien Lemoine

The Weekly Squeak - Algolia search with Julien Lemoine

In this episode I cover the new Algolia integration with Netlify and look at the rapid growth of interest in their search solution. Also features news on Fuscia OS, taking Google offline, GPT-3, and much more!

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DXposé - Code editing with Nova from Panic

The beautiful, fast, flexible, native Mac code editor from Panic.

How to decide on an API that gives your team the best developer experience

How to decide on an API that gives your team the best developer experience

If you want to build your applications and business on existing APIs and not reinvent all functionality yourself, how do you decide between the plethora of options available? This article helps you make that decision based on the developer experience (DX) you should expect from an API.

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The Solo Adventurer - Solo D&D with Frozen Offerings part 3

In this Solo Adventurer I play some solo D&D, with a dangerous expedition across Icewind Dale by Paul Bimler. This will be the final part!

Recommendations and Newsletters

I currently curate 4 newsletters on Ethics (mostly in technology), gaming, Language and Linguistics, see my latest recommendations and join those newsletters below.

The Weekly Squeak Newsletter

My general newsletter "The Weekly Squeak" draws content from all these sources and a couple more, sign up to that below.

Latest ethics posts

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Newsletter coming soon, for now enjoy the posts below.

The idea of artificial general intelligence as we know it today starts with a dot-com blowout on Broadway.
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After several years of escalating tension between workers and management at Google, Google workers have publicly launched a unionization effort—a critical step in an industry where labor has become increasingly organized.
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Miriam was only 21 when she met Nick. She was a photographer, fresh out of college, waiting tables. He was 16 years her senior and a local business owner who had worked in finance. He was charming and charismatic; he took her out on fancy dates and paid for everything.
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The funding model that made Silicon Valley a global hub excels at creating a certain kind of innovation—but the pandemic has exposed its broader failures. I felt bad asking Zack Gray to repeat his story. He was used to it, he said.
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Messaging app Telegram is under pressure to crack down on an AI bot that generated tens of thousands of non-consensual images of women on its platform.
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Latest language posts

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Newsletter coming soon, for now enjoy the posts below.

2020 was quite the year for science fiction, but it wasn’t all about escaping to other worlds.
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Garbage Language

from Vulture
This article was featured in One Great Story, New York’s reading recommendation newsletter. Sign up here to get it nightly. I worked at various start-ups for eight years beginning in 2010, when I was in my early 20s. Then I quit and went freelance for a while.
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A program that can automate website development. A bot that writes letters on behalf of nature. An AI-written blog that trended on Hacker News. Those are just some of the recent stories written about GPT-3, the latest contraption of artificial intelligence research lab OpenAI.
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The AI is the largest language model ever created and can generate amazing human-like text on demand but won't bring us closer to true intelligence. “Playing with GPT-3 feels like seeing the future,” Arram Sabeti, a San Francisco–based developer and artist, tweeted last week.
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An insight into the way machines make meaning. A few years ago I used an algorithm to help me write a science fiction story.
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Latest gaming posts

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Newsletter coming soon, for now enjoy the posts below.

The Best Tabletop RPGs Of 2020

from Game Informer
Many tabletop role-playing enthusiasts had to make big changes to their playstyles in 2020. Whether it meant suspending long-running games, moving to virtual play sessions, or playing more with those they lived with, it’s been a challenging time to get a fix of that dice-rolling goodness.
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Working through the Fantasy Religion Design Guide, our first step is to decide on the scope of religions on the world we are creating.
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Depending on your campaign setting idea, in the early stages you may only need a bare minimum of details about your religion.
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It’s an eight-and-a-half-hour drive from Toronto to Indianapolis. And the route, which takes me through Sarnia, Detroit, Toledo and Fort Wayne, is far from scenic. But Gen Con is the biggest boardgame convention in North America, and there’s no direct flight between the two cities.
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Tabletop RPGs provide some of the most memorable experiences you can have at the table, whether it's cheering at a clutch dice roll, gasping after a dramatic payoff or laughing at the charming antics of Tim the Goblin.
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