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If you’re in a country that has this week off, hopefully you aren’t working very much this week. But if you are working, what are you working on? Feel free to ask for help or advice.

And if you’re not working, enjoy the holidays!

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    Celebrating Chanukah ;)

    Working a little, since we only have two days off.

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      [edit: חג שמח; no idea how I butchered that that bad other than “iPhone keyboard”] I’ll be gifting my Christian coworkers a week off support rotation. That’s my way of celebrating.

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        Love that! A very kind gesture.

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          Yeah, it’s something I used to love doing Christmas week way back at Fog Creek. It’s usually a win-win: support calls are generally down, but, as anyone who’s ever truly taken a vacation/observes Shabbat can tell you, the gap between “truly off” and “probably off, depending on incoming calls” is huge. So I am likely to have a quiet week on support, and they get a truly uninterrupted week with their family.

          Explaining why this often does not apply to Easter supplies me a copious amount of entertainment.

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            Explaining why this often does not apply to Easter…

            How is that night different from all other nights?

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        חג שמח

        Also will be working since we’ve only got one day off and it’s Christmas.

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          Chag Sameach to you as well!

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        Preparing a Maze Rats session for my cousins’ kids on Christmas. They had loads of fun playing it on Thanksgiving too. After then, see about getting the rest of the week off since my coworker I’m working on an integration project with won’t be there either to answer any questions, ending off in a standstill anyway.

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          I’m contemplating the nature of time.

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            I’m working today and tomorrow, but then I’ll be off until the second week of January.

            My wife has some medical procedures we’ll be doing in that time, and I plan on working on Tabula Scripta off and on during the downtime (spending time with my wife is the priority, but there is definitely time to spend on that sort of side project), and catching up with paperwork and the like.

            I’m currently grinding away at the CRUD aspects of that project, but one of the bigger challenges I see coming out of it is figuring out a nice UI for the client-side spreadsheet side of things. For now, I’m mostly focusing on getting the all the connections and scripting bits working, which will be plenty to keep me busy. Does anyone here have experience with the various “Data Grid” type controls I’ve seen around?

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              Please keep us posted on your work on Tabula Scripta, it seems ambitious and very interesting! I would recommend implementing the grid as a canvas-rendered component, where you use HTML for the cursor and rest of the UI, otherwise it might get too slow. All the best for your wife’s medical procedures.

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                How would you recommend putting the input box over a canvas? Right now, I’m rendering out an HTML table (since I can SSR that), but I could see a canvas working. It’d be a solid bit of JS work to get it working, I think.

                Also, what draws your attention to it, in particular?

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                  Your cursor could be absolutely positioned, and you could manage the layout (and scrolling offset) manually. I’m interested in your project because spreadsheets are like Visual Basic: an incredibly simple way to create custom applications. They need to evolve, though, and projects like TreeSheets and AirTable show that there are interesting possibilities. I’m curious to see how your project will take shape!

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              Mostly I’m planning to bake a lot. :-) I’ve already made some stout-flavored gingerbread and some sugar cookies, and planning to bake some cheesy bread rolls and meringue cookies and possibly a red wine chocolate cake in the next few days.

              I’m hoping that, as in past vacations, the break from computery things will provide mental energy for playing with some new tech towards the end of the vacation.

              I do have a small amount of work to do, mostly providing the occasional email response to colleagues in locations that aren’t celebrating the current holiday season.

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                I’ve already made some stout-flavored gingerbread and some sugar cookies, and planning to bake some cheesy bread rolls and meringue cookies and possibly a red wine chocolate cake in the next few days.

                …we should be friends.

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                Family is coming over on christmas eve and after christmas I am attending 36c3 in Leipzig.

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                  $ figlet "Merry Christmas!"
                   __  __                      
                  |  \/  | ___ _ __ _ __ _   _ 
                  | |\/| |/ _ \ '__| '__| | | |
                  | |  | |  __/ |  | |  | |_| |
                  |_|  |_|\___|_|  |_|   \__, |
                                         |___/ 
                    ____ _          _     _                       _ 
                   / ___| |__  _ __(_)___| |_ _ __ ___   __ _ ___| |
                  | |   | '_ \| '__| / __| __| '_ ` _ \ / _` / __| |
                  | |___| | | | |  | \__ \ |_| | | | | | (_| \__ \_|
                   \____|_| |_|_|  |_|___/\__|_| |_| |_|\__,_|___(_)
                                                                    
                  
                  
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                    I want to break ground on a personal website, which was my goal six months ago before I got interested in using a lisp for the server and ended up trying to create a ‘lisp machine’.

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                      I’m slowly travelling up the Mozambique coast and will be in Tofo by Wednesday, where I want so spend some time SCUBA-diving.

                      Also, working on making diagnostics for async-std better.

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                        Visiting family this week, then prepping for moving to the DC area next week.

                        Am working on polishing an initial release of my Rust lexing library. Last week I figured out what NFAs were, compiled regexes to NFAs, and even figured out how to enumerate the starting alphabet of an NFA to identify the fewest number of rules to run for a given character.

                        This week I’m going to start investigating how to support Unicode well. Current path forward is to store Unicode code points and match on the composition of those codepoints if needed. Previously I tried chunking the text into graphemes (via unicode-segmentation) and it has a severe performance penalty to doing it for each token that is produced. At a higher level, I’m not sure supporting graphemes is entirely necessary if we can handle them as concatenations. I’d also like to experiment with detecting reserved words and giving them a higher priority.

                        I also need a name. I hate naming things. :)

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                          Visiting family this week, then prepping for moving to the DC area next week.

                          If that’s Washington, DC, what led you over there?

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                          Firefox patches…

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                            I’m a bit in between - I live in a country that doesn’t celebrate Christmas, but work remotely, and my current most-of-the-time client does celebrate Christmas, however as a small business I’m not sure he has “a week off”..

                            Anyway, so this week, I’ll probably be (in no specific order):

                            For $HOME:

                            • Putting together some more shelving/storage furniture in various rooms
                            • Maybe running some of the external ethernet for IP cameras
                            • Maybe maybe running the internal ethernet from the router/to the PoE switch/outside the wall for the IP cameras, and to the AppleTV (wifi + a house made of concrete makes for slow loading HD media)

                            For $CLIENT:

                            • hopefully putting finishing touches on a new ‘feature’ to migrate off of Mandrill API based emails, and onto standard SMTP emails sent via a job queue (but still using an external mail service)
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                              We have this weird tradition where we kill a tree and decorate its carcass. 😉

                              Fortunately no work for two weeks. The project is crazy and the crazyness will continue next year.

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                                Spending a couple of weeks looking after my kids. My wife is off for a few days but I’m taking the whole time off. Programming-wise they just got a very introductory programming game for the 1st night of Chanukah and I tried playing with them with it this morning. They’re 4 and definitely kind of grok the concepts a little.

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                                  Not much; my dad and stepmom are in town from Hawai’i, so they’re just getting a lot of attention from their grandchildren, and my wife and I are freer to cook and clean and just relax. I might do some Advent of Code puzzles later in the week, and Sunday I turn 48, which I intend to celebrate by sleeping in.

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                                    Christmas Eve is another shift at McDonald’s and then I’ll be going on a trip immediately after Christmas. Things are busy.

                                    Merry Christmas everyone!

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                                      Toying around with making a simple OCR tool for kicks. I’m focusing on the special case of reading spells from the D&D 5e rulebook. No ML / neural networks, just isolating characters and mapping them based on some simple characteristics.

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                                        Just finished my mobile ham radio install! Icom id-4100, direct wired to my car battery. I wanted to take the time to route all the cables prettily so it meant taking apart my center console to route wires. Worth it!

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                                          Upgrading reader mode in TenFourFox.

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                                            I am continuing through the rust-lang book (on enums now). I have been wanting to learn a lower level language for a long time and have dabbled with C and C++ in various VoIP projects, but starting with the rustling exercises and going through the book, I think rust really jive with how my mind works.

                                            Feels like things are clicking and I can think of things I can build with it already. I couldn’t get to that point with C and C++ for some reason. Kept getting hung up on compiler and linker errors.

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                                              I wrote six pages last night of reflections on the composition and breakdown of systems based on my experience for my eventual website.

                                              Previously undiscovered moisture damage in my new home is looking like it’s going to $10k+ to fix, so I’m working on vacation days for extra money and applying as an adjunct professor at a local college for extra money. I have no idea how much an adjunct professor would make or if the money is worth the hours. I’ve already talked to them and they’re interested and my boss is OK with part-time work, but I need to write a “CV” and I’m not entirely sure what’s supposed to go into that since I’ve only ever done resumes.

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                                                but I need to write a “CV” and I’m not entirely sure what’s supposed to go into that since I’ve only ever done resumes.

                                                Where I’m from CV and resumé are interchangeable terms.

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                                                Debating doing Advent of Code, but I feel so far behind.

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                                                  Eh, it’s just supposed to be for fun. If it doesn’t feel like fun, don’t do it?

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                                                    I stopped at day 10 and I’m still find.

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                                                    I am debugging my website mapping public pianos that I mentioned last week after finally releasing it a few days ago (just in time for traveling for the holidays). I had one big bug that sucked all my memory because of how I did my routing (using Golang and a gorilla wrapper).

                                                    Its https://pianos.travel if your interested.

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                                                      Uff, the next one is half a continent of travel for me… https://pianos.travel/?lng=20.786132&lat=-30.86317&zoom=4

                                                      Still, say… what’s up with the piano just some 100 kilometres off the coast of Ghana? Any submarine cities you know of and we don’t?

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                                                        Lol yet another bug! Thanks @skade

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                                                          I liked the submarine city theory better. We should go… debugging!

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                                                      Analysis on our performance (particularly during database failovers) since we’re on a code freeze.

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                                                        Just watched the final episodes of Mr. Robot with a friend and some pizzas, then I’m caroling with my choir tomorrow, preparing the christmas lunch on the 25th (gonna make bagna cauda) and leaving for Sweden on the 26th to meet some friends and spend new years with them.

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                                                          Just made the jump from Xubuntu 18.04 to Elementary OS 5.1 and its been fun. Spent most of the working day today just configuring the system and getting it ready to hit the ground running in the new year when I’m back from holiday.

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                                                            Finishing up scripts that clean up and tag the 60,000 songs for my local karaoke bar, which exist as a disorganized mess of 147,000 MCG, MP3, and MP4 files. Open-sourcing that Python code.

                                                            Celebrating with family in a non-religious gift-giving ceremony.

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                                                              Visiting home state, bringing work laptop to meet a deadline, bringing personal laptop to cross off personal todo items, and probably sipping whiskey!

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                                                                I’m on real vacation from my day job for the first time in a few years. I’m technically kinda on-call but another coworker is higher on the response list than me this week.

                                                                …and using the time to work on wrapping up 2019 finances for myself, the two non-profits I run, and the business I’m running while a friend is taking some time off. I’m becoming a partner in 2020, so I’m using it as a “bring me up to speed” opportunity.

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                                                                  It’s a short week for me, but I’m designing and implementing what should be a fun little project for work.

                                                                  One of our systems is basically an API translation layer that sits in front of a bunch of third-party network services. To test your integration with our system, you can tell our API to use a fake third-party service instead of a real one so your test requests won’t cause real actions to be taken. Right now that fake “service” is just a set of functions that get executed internally instead of calling out to the network.

                                                                  I’m turning it into a real thing that sits on the network and accepts requests. That’ll improve our end-to-end testing; right now if we run tests using the fake service, it exercises most of our system’s code but not the part that actually calls out to remote services.

                                                                  But the fun thing is that it will also turn into a piece of my company’s first ever take-home interview project, which we want to start offering to candidates as an alternative they can choose in place of part of our normal interview process. The plan is to point them to a Docker image that runs this service, give them some documentation, and ask them to write a simple client to communicate with it. Integrating with this kind of service is something we do all the time so we’re hoping it both gives us good insight into how a candidate would approach a problem they’re guaranteed to encounter on the job, and gives candidates some idea of what the job entails.

                                                                  Time will tell how well it achieves either goal, but even if it fails completely as an interview tool, it’ll still be useful for us internally.

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                                                                    Finally made some progress getting the HP Reverb to a usable state for VR desktop dev. work so a lot of that going on. Still need to forward the USB to a windows guest VM to get it to do the initial setup foreplay, but quality wise it’s decent enough for longer sessions now.

                                                                    Heading over to 36C3.

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                                                                      Flying to New York from tomorrow, still not quite sure what to be doing there though.

                                                                      Are there any cool geek things in NYC that won’t be closed over the holidays? I did the living computer museum in Seattle and it was my favorite thing in the world

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                                                                        As a long-time self-hoster, I took time to refactor bits from my aging infrastructure, I noticed some corrupted data on my synchronized directories (thanks Syncthing for the “conflict” files, I would never have noticed otherwise) and my home server has been making some unsettling sounds.

                                                                        1. A 6 years old gitolite install that “just worked” was in dire need of replacement, I went straight for Gitea.
                                                                          I used to run Gitea at work but our growing needs for CI made me migrate to Gitlab which I regret doing, too many outages, overall slowness, and confusing interface, in retrospect I should have gone for the “CI only on external repository feature”, but I did not know about it at the time.
                                                                          I took the time to mirror all my Github repositories which I used to do with crontab but is now handled natively by Gitea.
                                                                          Gitea just works, it’s fast, and incredibly easy to deploy.

                                                                        2. Three years ago I mentioned rewriting my file explorer in Go. This project was abandoned but I resurrected it from scratch for the needs of my new setup. I don’t want to write (and deploy) PHP anymore.
                                                                          It’s coming along nicely, it’s snappy, lightweight (no JS, single-binary executable) and already has more features (I finally have video thumbnails).
                                                                          Before releasing it I need to implement authentication and token-based public sharing links.

                                                                        3. I need to migrate off Whatsapp, that’s long overdue, I’m still trying to find the right thing. Signal might be a contender, I’m thinking about hosting a Matrix instance.

                                                                        4. After having repeatedly corrupted databases and archived files, I disabled Syncthing on my home server. Conflicts were still popping up and I finally made the link with my random browser crashes and ran a memtest.
                                                                          One 8 GB stick is dead, memtest bails after five seconds.
                                                                          I build and deploys production images with this PC, there’s no way to know the extent of the corruption. For the next week I’ll have to battle with customer support which will probably be drowning in post-christmas calls and mails.

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                                                                          Cooking! … more than I’d like to.

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                                                                            I’m taking the opportunity of quiet time to progress on my side project, and hopefully leverage the holidays to get more traction going.

                                                                            For fellow crustaceans who get to see this, do you think it’s worthy to share as a “show” story? (you can find it here monitoro.xyz) It did present a few technical challenges I’m planning to write about later and potentially share as well.

                                                                            Happy holidays everyone!

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                                                                              This certainly looks useful! I’d be glad to have a “show” post about this.

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                                                                                Thank you for the feedback! I’ll make sure to share it at a good time.

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                                                                              I’m leaving my apartment this week. Taking a train to Warsaw, and then an overnight train to Kyiv. Then I’ll fly to Keyseri in Turkey for a week of snowboarding on a volcano.

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                                                                                • Eating
                                                                                • More eating
                                                                                • Working on my Java bytecode IR
                                                                                • Creating a little libc for a friend’s hobby OS project, and for my own future projects
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                                                                                  Will be continuing to work on way through “Serious Crypto” and related erata. Working on a impl of the Fortuna PRNG currently.

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                                                                                    I’ve got the week off (though I‘ve volunteered to carry the team pager on the 25th and 31st, since I don’t celebrate those dates) and spending it at home with wife and eight-year-old son. We play Minecraft, D&D, Catan, and read. I’m also practicing guitar, and trying to think about how to change my practice routine: my progress isn’t quite where I’d like, despite practicing an hour a day 5-6 days a week on average.

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                                                                                      Hanging out with my in-laws and building a bulk import shipments functionality for terminal49.com.

                                                                                      Some of our customers are adding dozens of shipments one by one on daily basis. So this will be a nice addition.

                                                                                      Canceled all meetings until the 2nd so me and team have some space to work without interruption, if they so chose.

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                                                                                        Working on adding support for the Sipeed Maix Bit (sporting a RISC-V Kendryte K210 CPU) to U-Boot.

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                                                                                          I’m working for the first few days :(

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                                                                                            :(