pat macpherson

everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler

asdf - Brutally utilitarian

I am a programmer. Too often I forget this.

I get caught up in my day-to-day work, battling bugs and slow IDEs, silently cursing shortcomings in my OS.

One day I remembered that I am a programmer - I can use code to brighten my day.

For me it started with the need to “find and replace” across multiple files, in a way that regular tools couldn’t do. Next came common snippets that I found myself cutting and pasting several times a day.

So I created a simple command line application, which would do these little things that annoyed me. As new annoyances popped up, I added new solutions.

Early on, I realised that I needed to keep this application private. Why? Because any threat of other people seeing this code would cause me paralysis by perfectionism, that feeling of “I can’t share this until it is up to a standard that i approve of”. By removing this, I freed myself to be quick, to be hacky, and to ACTUALLY improve my working life.

And the name of my applicaton? It had to be something as brutally utilitarian as its goals. And what is easier than the home keys asdf?

Some of the functionality I’ve got in my asdf program-

  • Clipboard
  • Password generator
  • Time log
  • Slack status updater
  • IDE opener