Chandler Swift


About

I’m a lifelong hacker (the good kind!). My parents have a story they like to tell at my expense: At just a few years old, I was interested enough in my Dad’s laptop brought home from work one evening to somehow manage to change the operating system language into German. Of course, I vehemently deny everything. The interest in computers has stayed, though I like to think I require a bit less supervision now, and I like to tinker with hardware and software everything in between. Things I like include C and Go and Linux and Assembly and MIDI and abusing hardware and…! Things I don’t like include: CSS. I run this software on this OS on this hardware. Ask me about my latest project!

As a musician I’m wrapping up a stint as the organist/pianist/accompanist at Pilgrim Congregational Church in Duluth, MN, and another as an accompanist for the Lake Superior Youth Chorus. When I’m in Duluth, I often play for Jazz at Blush on Monday nights (and if you play an instrument, please come join us!). I especially enjoy playing in small ensembles and with other people as much as I can.

In my free time, I try to remain active with my Boy Scout troop (of which I am an Eagle Scout), especially on outdoor activities. I enjoy reading science fiction, though I don’t have as much time for it as I might like. I appreciate XKCD comics, especially about technology.


Blog

Nov 2022 Twos

Twos is one of my favorite card games. Isaac and I played a variant last night that made me look into how bombs should rank. (Plus, an overview of the rules.)

Apr 2022 Ages of Minnesota Wild Players

Tonight the Minnesota Wild won their game against the Nashville Predators, in a nailbiting finish—we (specifically Dmitry Kulikov, age 31) scored our final goal to end 5-4 with 1.3 seconds left of overtime.

It’s always amazing to me as I get older that a large component of professional sports players are younger than I am. (Though hockey players are somewhat older than I’d imagined: Both goalies are in their mid to late thirties, and the median player is still a few years older than I am.)

Apr 2022 2021 Taxes: Open Source Edition

Happy Tax Day! The tax industry (by which I primarily mean its largest player, Intuit) sucks.1 As a whole, the industry is an excellent example of rent-seeking behavior, and not one I wish to encourage with my patronage. So I tried out a few options when filing my 2021 taxes, and found out a few interesting things along the way2.

Apr 2022 The Holy (Midwestern) Trinity: Culvers, Kwik Trip, and Menards

If you live in the Upper Midwest, you know what I mean: There’s no place like Culvers. And Kwik Trip. And Menards. (All Wisconsin-based, for that lovely hometown charm.) But the worst part of visiting all three is the period of time between stepping out of one and arriving at another. Where is the best location we can minimize this pain?

Mar 2022 Lessons learned from implementing the BitTorrent protocol

Last week, Jeff and I had some questions about some specifics about how the BitTorrent protocol works. Over the course of a conversation, I realized that, despite years of using torrents to download Linux ISOs1, I had at best a surface-level understanding of the protocol. That’s a shame, because peer to peer file sharing involves some really neat tech! One of the best ways to understand how something works is to build it, so I wrote a toy BitTorrent client that implements the bare minimum necessary to download a file.


Projects

Jan 2021 Van Conversion Electronics

In which I help my brother to add an electrical system to his van conversion project, including lighting, battery control, automatic charging and disconnect from the vehicle battery, and a 120V inverter.

Dec 2019 Tracking Duluth buses with an interactive light-up map

In which I design and build a 3x4 foot interactive map of Duluth (or at least the parts in which I regularly travel) to view bus locations

Nov 2018 Auto-timed Fish Tank Light

In which I build a NTP-syncin’ LED-blinkin’ fish light timer.

Mar 2018 Using a 5.25" Floppy as a MIDI instrument

In which Jeff and I get hopelessly distracted from our original goal and wind up making music from a 5.25" floppy drive.

Dec 2017 Building a MIDI Pedalboard

In which I build a MIDI pedalboard from a Baldwin 125B pedalboard and a bit of Arduino magic!

Jul 2017 ESP8266 Light Switch: A Few Revisions

In which I attempt to explain the many revisions of my ESP8266 light switch, as well as some of the cooler ways to control it.