The quick and dirty KISS way

On a fresh macOS installation, I wanted to pull down all my GitHub repositories (i) to work on my code locally and (ii) because redundant backups are never a bad thing.

GitHub API

I started digging around in the GitHub API, but getting set up with tokens and authentication (for private repositories) seemed like overkill for a one-off task like this. After half an hour of Stack Overflow and Postman, I gave up on the API method.

I didn’t want to have to clone each of the 50-odd repositories individually — at least not manually — because programmers are lazy.

Laziness: The quality that makes you go to great effort to reduce overall energy expenditure. It makes you write labor-saving programs that other people will find useful and document what you wrote so you don’t have to answer so many questions about it. …

Because most students have no idea that it even exists…

“Computing Services allows personal homepages on This web space can be used to host web pages, where owners can add and maintain content as well as set permissions. All faculty, staff, and students are allotted 1 GB of disk space, to be used either for email or web space. All computing usage at UVic, including personal web spaces, are subject to policy IM7200.”

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Every student (regardless of faculty) is provided a web space at:


note the tilde before yourNetlinkID: “~”

You can use it for simple file serving, like this, or you can put a full, rich webpage on it, like this. …

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Sometimes it’s handy to use the powers of a spreadsheet to process and manipulate data, and sometimes it’s even more useful to display that data in real time, with the functionality of the spreadsheet running on the back end.

You can do this for free with Google Sheets.

Here’s an example spreadsheet:

This is a work in progress. I will continue to add to it as time permits. Any comments or suggestions are welcome!

Part 1— Establishing a connection and installing zsh

In UVic’s CSC 361 (Computer Communications and Networks) class, we’re required to develop and execute our programming assignments on the server(s) via SSH, servers on which we students are not granted sudo privileges. I’ve been interested in learning Vim for a while, but the precipitous learning curve of Vim coupled with the allure of my fully-customized Sublime Text undermined that goal. …

It’s built in!

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Connecting to the UVic VPN gives you access to all the internal assets from anywhere, like wireless printing and personal network drive storage, which is awesome. The UVic VPN set-up documentation instructs you to download and install the Cisco application to connect… but Mac OS X 10.6+ already has a Cisco-compatible VPN client built in, so let’s use that.

The VPN configuration is accessible from the Network section of System Preferences.

Open that up,

[Edit — September 2017: Google has since added this functionality to their Backup & Sync client.]

I’m a big fan of automatic real-time remote backups of my personal files; however, I don’t like to lose the convenience of the default folder locations of ~/Documents, ~/Pictures, ~/Sites, et cetera since I have that tilde-slash in my muscle memory.

The system that works really well for me involves a cloud storage service’s desktop sync client and UNIX symlinks. …


Stevie Howard

Technology, Mechanics, and Engineering. Currently trying to solve more problems than I create at Microsoft.

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