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Building Tallymark

On 29, Jul 2013 | No Comments | In Projects | By Daniel Kao

I started learning Django this summer, with the goal of creating a web based application with a friend.

Having never worked with Python or Django before, the only appropriate response to building this application was “challenge accepted”.

From the git-go (see what I did there), I had issues getting the right versions of Django and Python set up both locally and on the server. After a whole week installing Arch Linux and living in the terminal, I finally got Django setup and running without errors.

We officially unveiled the pre-launch page yesterday, opening the application up for people to stay updated via email.

To me, this project represents the power of autodidactic learning, or learning on your own, not bound by any requirements, grades, or work hours. In fact, everything I know about the web was completely learned on my own, independent of any academic classes.

About Django

Being the first time that I worked with Python and Django, there were a lot of things I had to get used to, such as the fact that python uses tabs instead of curly braces, giving me weird indentation errors on occasion.

But I’ve really grown to appreciate the framework, because of the way that it makes so many things so simple, and how intuitive the model-view-template philosophy is. I’m definitely beginning to like Python even more than PHP (gasp).

I’ll spare you the rest of the technical details, because there’s still a lot that I’m learning about Python and Django.

About Tallymark

Tallymark is an application designed as a hassle free way to divide costs between people who live together, saving you the trouble of figuring out how to pay each other back. The idea is simple: Have each person log their purchases for the apartment/house/room, and Tallymark will take care of the rest.

If you’re interested, head on over to to stay updated!

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What College is For

On 15, Jan 2013 | No Comments | In Education | By Daniel Kao

I recently got together with an high school friend to put together a short article on college.

Even though more people than ever are receiving a higher education, there still hasn’t been a true democratization of college. This is ironic, because we have all the tools to make such a change. The biggest difference between the past and the present is how drastically communication has improved.

At this point, there are two visions of the future. One would continue down the path of escalation and hyper-individualism, where human beings steadily become more machinelike, starting from taking college prep courses in elementary school and ending with being hooked up to an IV at work, continually ingesting a cocktail of Adderall and Ritalin and other cognitive enhancers just to be able to hold onto your job. When everyone is struggling to place themselves above the rest, every man is an island, with no opportunity for collaboration.

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