ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ Herman's blog

What I’m doing right now

Here I keep an up-to-date list of the things I'm focussing on and what I'm doing. Think of it as a more relevant and interesting "About" page. Inspired by nownownow.com.

Last updated 2 months ago from a sticky countertop somewhere in Johannesburg.

Refining and improving Bear

Bear is growing by the day, and my focus for the next few months is to ensure the longevity of the platform. I would love to see this platform and the blogs on it survive for the next 100 years. This is an interesting problem to work on since we don't know what the landscape of the web, or tech in general, will be in the next 20 years, let alone the next 100.

So far our best method of data preservation is paper. It's wild to me that you can read a book published 1000 year ago, but you'll struggle to play a video game published in 2004.

Bear is feature-complete (with minor exceptions). I want to keep the platform tight, fast, and easy-to-use, and so my philosophy with Bear is to mainly do quality of life fixes, and improve the existing experience of the platform, instead of feature stuffing.

Trying to make education more accessible in Africa

Erik Lönnroth and I are working on making private tutoring more accessible to underserved communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. We're doing this by combining the power of LLMs (like GPT4 and Claude) and WhatsApp (which is widely used and mostly free in these communities) to create personalised socratic tutors for any subject. Here's a longer writeup I did on the ins-and-outs of running educational chatbots.

Getting fit

I've been recreationally lifting for the past 4 years, but about 6 months ago I decided to take it seriously. Now I work out about 4 times per week, focusing on strength and hypertrophy. I also follow evidence-based science communicators and stay up-to-date with the latest in sports science research. It's been an interesting journey, and has become a hobby I thoroughly enjoy.

The hardest part has been eating enough food (I have a small appetite and without a caloric surplus my muscles won’t grow), but I've been learning a lot about nutrition and what works for me.

Keeping JustSketchMe awesome

JustSketchMe has been cracking along profitably for about 5 years now. It is also mostly feature-complete with small quality of life improvements done here and there. I still handle all the support requests myself, and have managed to get this tool to a stable equilibrium that pays me a healthy salary and allows me to work on other projects closer to my heart.

Being kind

Being kind is free. It's also contagious. Even under frustrating circumstances kindness is the best gift one can give.

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ Herman's blog