What’s stackable?

About this blog

After starting this blog two weeks ago, I’ve really struggled to find the right way of “theming” it, or just figuring out what it’s all about and what I’m writing about. I’ve always liked writing and, like most people that share that vice, I even like to think I have something relevant to say. A quick trip to my Google search field even turned up old work that I had long ago consigned to oblivion – The Phoenix and the Fascists, The Omega Point and Gulliver’s Island, my satirical short stories from way back in high school.

So I started writing, and I thought I needed a theme, so my first couple of entries ended up sounding pretty academic, as if I were using the blog to share my great store of wisdom with the poor, poor people of the world, who obviously need my wisdom, because hey – I’ve got a blog, so I’m definitely wise.

Anyway, that wasn’t really my intention, so let’s start over and pretend I never wrote all that stuff, alright? If you’re not into pretending, you’re kind of going to have to, since I deleted it all anyway, and as an anti-packrat in all things not code it’s not likely you’ll find it lying around anywhere anyway.

Which brings me back to my first point: What is stackable?

In this blog, I use the term stackable according to this definition:

Stackable – something that can be used by itself, as well as in combination with other things.

A pretty broad definition, and something that I’ve found very inspiring in the years since I started using Linux and saw everything going on in the world of free and open source things, be those things information, code, or anything else.

The thing is, anybody who likes to build things is happy if it’s good, and they’re even happier if other people can use it again. This is especially true in the world of open source – we put a lot of work into making things, and then we give them to the world with the hope that they will be used. Most of the time, there’s no profit involved, so the best thing you get from making something in the open is the realization that it helps other people.

And that’s basically going to be the topic of this blog, in addition to any other things that come to my mind that I feel like writing about. I love stackability, so a lot of the stuff I write will be little tips that I hope can be used in other contexts.

About me

So is the author of this blog a super-awesome expert stacker? Although Steven Purugganan looks kind of like my cousin Stevie did back in the day (whoa, Steven, Stevie? Conspiracy?), I’m not that great with the cups. Here’s some facts, though, that make me almost as interesting as Stevie (the cousin:

  • I’m an American who’s been living in Germany since 2005. No, I was never in the military.
  • My descent into the deep rabbit hole of free and open source software, data and everything else began while I was doing my undergraduate studies and realizing that commercial software neither could give me the results I wanted, nor could I explain them if it did. This lead to my begrudging switch to GRASS GIS, and eventually to openSUSE. I never looked back since.
  • I’m active on Wikipedia – sometimes more, sometimes less.
  • I was the founder of International Solar Information Solutions, a company that’s still going even though I’m not involved any more. Good luck, guys!
  • I got my master’s at the University of Marburg in Germany, and am currently working on a Ph.D there under the tutelage of Prof. Dr. Jörg Bendix.
  • I currently earn my living working for the German Weather Service in a project to improve weather models and renewable energy prognoses.
  • On the side, I work on Apis electronica, a high-level library to provide autopilot functionality for civil drones.

If you’re interested getting in touch with me, drop a line here at the blog or at any other of the places I’m wont to haunt.


My name’s Daniel Lee. I’m an enthusiast for open source and sharing. I grew up in the United States and did my doctorate in Germany. I've founded a company for planning solar power. I've worked on analog space suit interfaces, drones and a bunch of other things in my free time. I'm also involved in standards work for meteorological data. I worked for a while German Weather Service on improving forecasts for weather and renewable power production. I later led the team for data ingest there before I started my current job, engineering software and data formats at EUMETSAT.

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