Along with dealing with decades of old digital clutter, I’ve been dealing with a lot of IRL paper clutter as well, which has surfaced a bunch of old thoughts written on the backs of napkins and in the margins of magazines. When you do a lot of your thinking by writing, it’s not so much that the ideas will need to be written down for later review, but that getting it on the page unblocks the brain for the next train of thought.
Strangely enough, I’d started a few dev diaries over 2021, but never got around
to publishing them. 2022 is starting out alright, so thought I’d share the
latest (after accidentally clobbering the rough draft concatenating all the old
diary links into this one, of course).
I set up a Windows 10 machine for the first time (I can’t even remember the
last time I did a fresh install of Windows), and the setup experience was
somehow more horrible than I remember.
TIL there’s an Arctic Code Vault to hold
open-source project code for 1,000 years. It’s a great sentiment, but given
humanity’s track record of keeping older machine’s running, I suspect the
humans in 1,000 years will have trouble getting the kernel to compile on their
80386 (well, at least any new ones since they dropped 80386 support a few
Today I’m going to sing praise to the iCalendar
format. With a simple text-based format,
you can directly integrate into people’s calendar programs. Why go through all
the bother and fuss of using Facebook or Meetup, when a static ics file on a
static server can let everyone know the time and place. Ah, if only everything
could be this easy.
Today’s project was writing a command-line version of the
CrushEntropy format. I like the ability to play
around with relative time blocks in it, but there’s a few other features I’ve
wanted (like “find the next free space for this thing”), and the ability to
keep my calendars off-line and easily searchable.
Today felt like a good day to get my repositories in order. I’ve been using
GitHub kind of by default since I moved my personal stuff to git so many years
ago. However, I’ve largely treated GitHub like a dumb static server with a few
neat tricks, since I do a lot of stuff client-side.
In a fit of boredom before going to bed last night, I decided to pull Donald
Knuth’s The Art of Computer
Programming off the bookshelf (more
accurately, from the stack of books on my office floor). I bought the series a
few years ago, but avoided it because it looked a bit intimidating. I also
assumed that I needed to read through Concrete
Mathematics first, but the
problem I find with most textbooks is that they’re a little hard to read on the
couch while drinking a coffee.
The new CoffeeOutside bot has finally managed to successfully call its first
location. Sure, the rewrite took learning 2 programming languages and several
hours of my life that I’ll never get back. But the satisfaction of when it
finally worked made it worth it.
Let’s talk about the Twitter API for a second. A tweet is not a “tweet,” it’s a
“status”. If someone is following you, they are called a “follower”. If you
follow them, in the API they’re called a “friend”. I can’t tell if it’s a
cheerful sentiment, a historical anomaly, or developers writing independent
parts of the API with no guiding naming spec. If you’ve worked on the Twitter
API and have answers, there’s a free beer waiting for you.
Every time I learn about another thing that systemd does now (besides being an
init system), I wonder how things could have been different. A more permissive
license (to get the BSDs on-board), memory-safe language use, an approach that
allowed better forward-compatibility. I walked miles while rolling this around
in my head.
Statutory holidays are a fine time to pull a project idea out of the hat. Today
I finally started to poke at Jitsi - something I’ve been meaning to do since we
started doing podcasts remotely.
Sometimes it takes a vacation where you’re largely unplugged to have a really
good think about the technology choices you make. Are the things you’re using
in service to you? Or does it feel the other way around?
I’ve been busy pulling apart a ROM of the old Sega Genesis NHL Hockey game,
will have that article up as soon as I hit the pay-dirt I’m looking for
(although I’ve already found a few odd bits along the way…)
I’m pretty sure I blew out a pound of dust from the inside of my laptop today,
and now magically the overheating issues seem to have disappeared. I love it
when you get a nice performance bump from such a trivial activity.