Writer, musician, and programmer. I write personal essays about life experiences, creativity, and technology. Visit me at www.earthtoabigail.com

A few months ago, I started a new pet project. I thought it would be fun to create a podcast dedicated to algorithmic music that follows the same format as a radio show!

So in collaboration with cult.honeypot.io, I created the Earth To Abigail’s Live Coding Radio podcast series. This series of interviews was a great opportunity for me to talk to artists I love about their work and creative process.

We talked about code and how it relates to music. We talked about the reality of being a live coder and what it means during the pandemic.

And we…

Be careful about how you’re using affiliate links

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Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

The word “illegal” sounds scary, even if the current US president seems to break rules on a daily basis. But since I’m seeing a rise in affiliate posts on Medium, I thought this issue was worth mentioning.

I have absolutely nothing against affiliate marketing. Actually, I think affiliate marketing is pretty great. If you believe in a product and take the time to write about it so others can benefit from it, why not take this opportunity to increase your income in the process?

Affiliate marketing sometimes has a bad reputation because of the way people use it. Some marketers…

Time to get things moving in a new direction.

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Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash

I can’t believe it.

This Friday, I’ll be stepping into a new decade of my life.

Seems only like yesterday when I was a teenager and forty just seemed so old. Even as a kid, I had a hard time accepting the passing of time. I remember thinking to myself “when I’ll be forty, then I can start worrying about death. I’ll be a real adult by then. I’ll be able to handle this thought better.

Yeah well, news flash, that feeling of being a “real adult” never fully came. What changed is that, before, I felt happy and proud…

Time to get naked.

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Photo by Yohann LIBOT on Unsplash

I recently joined ILLUMINATION and I have to say, this community is incredible. I love the way we are encouraged as community members to unveil ourselves and share who we are on a personal level. We are not only writing to provide value, we are writing for a community of people who are interested in discovering the person behind the words.

In that line of thought, writer and editor Tree Langdon, CPA, CGA recently challenged us on the Illumination Slack channel to answer some of the questions part of the Proust questionnaire. …

It’s surprising how easy it is to forget

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Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

“Mynah, I have to talk to you. It’s important.”

I was alarmed. Amir doesn’t usually message me when I’m not in Canada, even though we are old-time friends. I called him up.

“What’s wrong?” I said, afraid of what I would hear next.

“Oh, nothing is wrong. I just had to share something with you.” He sounded excited.

“I started to watch this TV series… It’s called ‘Mozart In The Jungle’. Watch it. Promise me that tonight, before going to sleep, you’ll watch at least the first episode.”

“Uhh… Ok, I guess?”

“Listen, Mynah, I never watch TV series. But…

Some of the most genius discoveries happen by accident.

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Photo by Moritz Erken on Unsplash

In 2011, a programmer going by the name of published the following video on YouTube:

Accompanying the video were various articles written by him and published on his blog. In them, he describes how he accidentally discovered that by running a simple C program outputting single characters and piping them into the audio interface of a computer, it’s possible to encode these bytes and turn them into not just sounds, but music.

The video and article created an uproar in the community. People started experimenting with basic C programs and coming up with interesting melodies. …

Reverse psychology on the classic self-help advice

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I discovered programming at the age of 35, which, to be honest, I think is pretty late if you compare to the young folks working in high tech who program practically since their fingers were able to type on a keyboard. Before that, I was a full-time musician, working in recording studios and playing gigs all around the world.

I won’t go into the details of the story of why I decided to learn programming but what I’d like to talk about is why I consider that programming healed me and how it transformed me into a new person.


#10: If you truly love and care for your programmer, learn how to connect to your own Googling abilities.

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Photo by Ryan Stone on Unsplash

“Programmers are weird.”

That’s what I hear most of the time from my non-programming friends.

As someone who remembers the transition from the non-programming to the programming world, and who faced the bewildered expressions of friends when my personality drastically changed, I remember what it’s like to think that programming is weird.

I understand: it’s not easy to have a programmer in your life. You need to suffer through the half-explained inside jokes, the numerous times five minutes turn into hours or the awkwardness of their interactions during social activities.

Honestly, we are tough cookies to crack sometimes and our…

If you can’t seem to find yourself in the usual routines or productivity advice, you’re not alone.

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Photo by Amauri Mejía on Unsplash

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been good at following the crowds — or any kind of rule set for that matter. It’s not for lack of trying: when I was young, I felt that not being able to fit in meant something was wrong with me. I learned by being bullied and laughed at in school that being the black sheep can cause severe emotional damage to someone.

Throughout the years, I learned to appreciate myself and those sides of me differentiating me from other people. …

After years of working in high tech, do you remember why you started to code in the first place?

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Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Recently I had a conversation with a friend and fellow developer which broke my heart.

He told me: “You know, I started programming when I was a teenager because of a game I was playing with some friends.

There was a feature in the game we all really wanted. So somehow, my friends and I implemented that feature by making a separate module that players could download. I learned the basics of programming by coding that module with them.

To our surprise, it got quite popular in the gaming community and we even made some money out of it by…

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