and 2019

A little over three years ago, I launched as a way to quickly display the operating status and hours of Carleton buildings. Inspired by a ski lift status board, I hacked the first version together in a week and iterated on it over the coming year.

Fast forward to today and during term the site gets about 200 hits a month. That’s not a lot by modern technology companies’ standards, but it’s nothing to sneeze at. I’m thrilled to see how many students continue to get use out of a small tool that I put together and haven’t done a lot of advertising on.

However, keen-eyed visitors will notice that data hasn’t been updated in months, and the app can occasionally show up with a blank screen. I know there are several buildings that need to be updated (I’ve received dozens of problem reports — thank you to everyone who submitted them), and I’m sorry I haven’t gotten around to doing so. Additionally, some staff from St. Olaf have released an app that is far superior to the Sayles Hill iOS app (which I whole-heartedly endorse using, as it has far more functionality than mine does).

I’m also about to graduate from Carleton, and in a few months I won’t have as keen of an interest in keeping the site up to date. (Don’t get me wrong, I love making tools that get a lot of usage, but this is one where I personally won’t be seeing the end results in a few months, so there’s less of an incentive for me to keep the site up to date. Fellow econ majors can probably relate.)

So here’s the plan.

Unless a successor comes forward, and the Sayles Hill iOS app will be decommissioned on July 7, 2019. I have paid for the domain and my Apple Developer membership through then, and I’ll probably keep a copy of the code around somewhere just in case I do something with it. However, I won’t be making updates to the Carleton files starting on July 7. Carleton students who are interested in taking over the project should send me an email and we can chat about how to make it work.

Thank you to everyone who has used and contributed to the development of, to the team at St. Olaf who built on and improved the idea, and to everyone who has found this project worthwhile.


Posted by Tate Bosler

On Changing the Pizza

I went to a small elementary/middle school (K-8 all in one building). It’s about 20 students per grade level.

The school contracted with a local pizza shop to provide a lunch option for students, once a week. You could pre-pay to have pizza during lunch every week throughout the year. (Specifically on Tuesdays. On the other days, you would bring a lunch from home. With such a small school, there just weren’t the facilities, staffing, budget, or reason to support a daily lunch service.) In my early years I exercised this option, but stopped doing so as I got older.

The pizza itself was fine. It certainly wasn’t stellar, but it wasn’t like you were eating lukewarm cheese that was glued onto a hard crust. (That only happened a couple of times.) It was decent enough most of the time. Nonetheless, the students — especially those who were aware of the other pizza shops in the area — complained that the school really could do better by contracting somewhere else.

So, every year, at least one candidate for student council — particularly in the “lower school” K-4 arm, and also particularly during my kindergarten through second grade years — would run under the campaign promise of changing the pizza. (I’m told that this happened for a few years before I got there, too.) I used that line in my campaign when I was elected vice-president of the lower school student council in second grade. Most people made absolutely no progress on this promise; they just used it to get elected. I almost got it changed — and the teachers won’t admit it, but I made serious progress, with a spreadsheet and everything! — but that’s a story for another time.

Nowadays, among students and teachers who were there at the time, “change the pizza” is synonymous with “make a promise that lots of people will agree with, even though nothing will likely come of it”.

This week are the Carleton Student Association (CSA) Senate elections. This is the body that has been involved in the KRLX PNW funding process. They pass resolutions, fund organizations, and work on large-scale projects like a free textbook library. I ran (and lost by a wide margin) for Residential Life liaison last spring. I’m not running this term, but I know a lot of the folks who are, and their proposals have some interesting ideas. Here are some of them, which are taken from a variety of candidates:

  • continuing to push for improvements in the Title IX process
  • “ensure class representatives are truly communicating with their classes on updates within Senate and administration”
  • publishing periodic reports of Senate actions and plans
  • holding weekly office hours
  • increasing transparency about funding processes, fee waivers, and other financing options available to students and organizations
  • improving diversity within Senate and Senate subcommittees
  • providing more assistance to students affected by natural disasters
  • making the organization funding request process less intimidating
  • providing students with avenues of anonymous feedback submission about campus issues
  • investing student activity fees in the stock market rather than increasing them annually
  • adding a Funding FAQ page and list of funding sources to the CSA website
  • working with the Residential Life liaison to increase communication regarding housing procedure changes (such as when rooms change to or from a micro-lounge)
  • establishing executive pay for the president, vice president, and treasurer (turning them into elected campus jobs)
  • having students use color-specific dining hall cups to indicate whether or not they’d be cool with others coming to sit with them
  • increasing access to buildings for students with disabilities by adding ramps and other accessibility features
  • increasing availability of resources for mental health

Don’t get me wrong: I’m excited about a lot of these ideas and I hope they come to fruition. Some of them would provide an immediate and real benefit to a lot of students. Some of them, like holding weekly office hours or sending periodic communications, require personal investment from Senators — which can be hard to come by at Carleton where a ten-week term flies by and the workload is so intense — but would be worthwhile in the end.

Some of them probably aren’t in Senate’s jurisdiction at all, have already been done, or would be infeasible to even start, such as:

  • building accessibility is mandated in new buildings and those with renovations; all buildings on campus are wheelchair accessible with the exception of the 19th-century Willis Hall and some rooms in Goodsell Observatory, but these buildings can’t be modified to improve accessibility as they are historic and NRHP-listed
    • Update: After doing further research, halls face a requirement of accessibility, but houses do not. This candidate is trying to increase accessibility to houses, some of which (like Henry and Bird) are used as administrative offices.
  • you can’t put the entire student activity fee fund into a stock portfolio because that prevents you from being able to spend the money on organizations, so you would need to have a massive fee increase to start the fund while maintaining organization operations; plus, I’m not sure of the legal or tax implications of this plan

And some of them are certainly feasible, but probably aren’t going to happen for a multitude of reasons, which (depending on the issue) may or may not include the fact that others have campaigned on it before but nothing has been done about it.

So, to the candidates who are proposing these ideas that we’ve seen in platforms before, and to those who are proposing the more radical ideas: I’m curious to see where you could go with these proposals if you get elected, and I hope you make some good progress on them if you get the chance.

After all, no one has proposed changing the pizza.

Updated 2018-02-09: I misinterpreted the issue on building accessibility, notably excluding houses from the discussion. Carleton uses some houses (Henry and Bird come to mind) for administrative offices, even though they were originally residential homes before Carleton bought them. This candidate is proposing improving the accessibility to these buildings.

Posted by Tate Bosler

Sayles Hill for iOS v1.0.1

I’ve updated the Sayles Hill app for iOS to version 1.0.1. This update fixes an issue where the app could get stuck downloading hours every time it was launched after an update was pushed.

This update is now available in the App Store, though it may take up to 24 hours to appear worldwide. If your device uses Automatic Updates, the update will be automatically installed for you (usually overnight when connected to Wi-Fi). Otherwise, you can head to the App Store to grab it.

If you don’t have the app, go ahead and grab it here!

Posted by Tate Bosler in Updates

Announcing Sayles Hill for iOS

Sayles Hill for iOS is now live in the App Store! You can download it on any device running iOS 10.0 or later and see all of the building hours and what’s open right now, even if you don’t have an internet connection.

Download the app here!

What’s next?

I’m working on a few new features for both the iOS app and website. The iOS app will soon include the bus departures board to bring it up to par with the website, but both could get new features entirely in the future!

If you’re an iOS beta tester, please keep TestFlight installed! It’s how I’ll send out future beta builds, but you can safely upgrade in-place to the full version. New downloads of both betas will expire on August 6.

Posted by Tate Bosler 3.7 has been updated to version 3.7. This version doesn’t include too many front-facing improvements, but it does include a new problem reporting tool, which you can use to let me know of inaccurate building times.

Since is not maintained by Carleton, I have to update it manually. Usually that works out, but hours can change unexpectedly or without my knowledge, so I rely on community reports to keep everything up to date. If you notice something is inaccurate, please fill out the problem report form at and let me know what’s wrong, and I’ll give you credit on the site!

Posted by Tate Bosler in Updates service restored

Service on has been restored after an outage caused by an expired SSL certificate. uses Let’s Encrypt, a free, automated SSL certificate generation platform, to manage its security certificates (in fact, all of my websites use Let’s Encrypt, but SSL is only mandated on and some pages of Let’s Encrypt failed to automatically renew the certificate when it expired recently. That problem has now been fixed and service restored.

Posted by Tate Bosler in Updates

Project New Wave Updates

It’s been a while since I’ve given an update on Project New Wave, KRLX’s project to renovate our studios and replace our gear. Since we were funded in February, a few things have happened that warrant an update.

The quick and dirty is that we’re preparing for Phase Two: construction. We’re in the process of getting our Phase Two funding on the spring ballot. But I’m getting ahead of myself – there are lots of cool things in the works. Read on for details!

Continue reading →

Posted by Tate Bosler in Et Cetera, Updates

The KRLX Show Priority System Explained

I’ve been asked regularly about how the KRLX show priority system works, and especially with regards to how it will work this upcoming spring term. Is zone B better than zone S? What happens if there’s a “T” prefix? And why do organization shows now have the number 0? Read on for very nerdy details.

Continue reading →

Posted by Tate Bosler in Et Cetera

Want to get reminders about radio?

I have three weekly radio shows on KRLX – No Apologies, Mathemusical Hotdish, and The Super Effective Show.

If you’d like to get reminders about No Apologies, you can subscribe to an email list I’ve set up just for that purpose. Each academic term I’ll also send out a full copy of the station’s schedule and highlight each of my shows that I’m participating in.

If this all sounds good, you can subscribe online by clicking the button below:

Posted by Tate Bosler in Et Cetera

PNW Phase 1 Funded!

KRLX Project New Wave, Phase 1 has been funded! Thanks to your support, we’ll have a bunch of new gear in place for the start of spring term radio! I personally am very excited to get started!

Posted by Tate Bosler in Et Cetera