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Feel free to tell what you plan on doing this weekend and even ask for help or feedback.

Please keep in mind it’s more than OK to do nothing at all too!

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      Congratulations! Major life achievement unlocked!

      Do you have to defend it now?

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        Nope - it’s just for my bachelor’s degree. The presentation was Wednesday, there’s a recording and slides at the link above :)

        EDIT: @feoh, are the paper and slides at the link accessible to you? Does TeX play nice with screen readers?

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          About reading your paper with a screen reader, I know you asked @feoh, but I’ll try to answer.

          In short, PDF is not great with screen readers. If you can produce an HTML version with good, structured markup (at least for the prose and code; diagrams and mathematical notation are whole other issues), that would be much better.

          The reason is that PDF doesn’t present text in a structured way, but as basically a set of graphics rendering commands. There are heuristics for turning these back into structured text, but they’re far from perfect. Here are a few issues I found while using various tools to read the document with a screen reader:

          • No reliable way to detect headings and paragraphs.
          • Hyphenated words aren’t always handled well.
          • Worst of all, for a paper about code, no tool I tried could preserve the indentation of the Python code in the introduction. And yes, some blind programmers do happily use Python, even though indentation is significant.

          BTW, I do know there’s a thing called tagged PDF, that bolts HTML-style structure onto PDF for accessibility. But tagged PDFs are quite uncommon in the wild, and AFAIK LaTeX can’t produce them.

          I’ll be happy to answer any other questions.

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            It’s kind of a shame that PDF became the bog standard rather than ePub, I think ePub got tarred by the Apple brush and as a result never took off.

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              I don’t think that Apple has anything to do with it. Rather, PDF came first, and it’s much easier for document production processes that were originally designed for print to produce a PDF instead. Consider that fake printer drivers which actually output PDF have been common for a while; this wouldn’t be feasible for ePub, at least not for ePub that delivers the things that we want out of that format. Likewise, because TeX was designed as a language for producing print documents, it’s much easier to retrofit PDF support than it woiuld be for ePub. This is why PDF is dominant for academic papers.

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                You’re right. Rich content is a lot harder to create well than a bitmap, which PDF essentially is.

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            PDF is just fine for me. I’m only partially blind and don’t require a screen reader to do my thing, but I REALLY appreciate the fact that you asked, because I am lucky enough to just need to blow up my fonts and use screen zooming liberally, but there are a WHOLE LOT of people up there who aren’t.

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              To be clear, I can also just enlarge fonts to read text on the screen when I need to, and in fact I do that for code. I use a screen reader a lot for reading prose, though, and I may eventually make the leap to using a screen reader to read code, especially now that I work in a team environment where I need to do code reviews frequently.

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        I’ll make the first release candidate for CHICKEN 5.1! Other than that, maybe I’ll find some time to toy around a bit with Postgres. Got an idea for a new project.

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          I need to rewrite the cache storage model for my curses-based mastodon client. In order to keep track of which items have been read (and avoid re-fetching the content of already-fetched messages, thus lowering load on the server & avoiding request rate throttling), a cache is kept of both the list of already-seen message IDs and the content of already-fetched message IDs. Right now, that’s just a single pickled structure for the list of seen toots & a single pickled structure for the cache. After about 6 months of continuous use (this is my primary mastodon client these days), loads and saves are becoming a noticable delay, taking longer than fetches. So, I’d like to split my cache into multiple files (probably by the most significant digit of the message ID, since that changes less often than the least significant digit) and keep track of the dirty vs clean status of each of these individually. This is a pretty substantial task, compared to the scale of the client as a whole (which, while fairly full-featured, currently clocks in at just short of 700 lines).

          I’m continuing research for my next book by reading Andrew Pickering’s The Cybernetic Brain, a history of mid-century british cybernetics. This probably won’t directly impact what I cover, but it’ll almost definitely impact how I cover it. While the current draft includes both the bibliography and the ‘Resources’ section linked above, I plan to add an extended ‘recommended reading’ section that, if one read it in order, would give the reader both a broad and detailed understanding of the history of computing in both its cultural and technical dimensions (since the widespread absence of such an understanding is the problem I’m trying to tackle with this book), & The Cybernetic Brain will almost definitely make it into this list.

          Outside of that, I’m planning to watch the new Godzilla movie.

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            Have you read Brain of the Firm yet? I’m making progress on it in fits and starts. Right now trying to reserve all non work related free neurons for the Python practice course I’m taking :)

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              I haven’t read it. It’s definitely on my list (probably after Grey Walter’s The Living Brain and Ross Ashby’s Design for a Brain & An Introduction to Cybernetics).

              I did see a recording of Beer’s TV broadcast on the subject, but I had a hard time following it.

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                Related: Have you seen All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace ?

                Adam Curtis is one of my new nerdy favorite documentary producers. I’m watching The Century of Self now and it’s extremely fascinating.

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                  I have! I’ve watched most of Curtis’s stuff at this point.

                  Have you heard of the podcast ‘general intellect unit’? I’ve been picking up book recommendations from their episodes, most of which are basically extended book reviews.

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                    I love GIU! I may in fact have been turned onto them by one of your Masto posts :)

                    In particular I loved the recent episode on Platform Capitalism where they discussed the idea of communizing large cloud providers. (I work for one. Don’t see it happening any time soon but it’s nice to dream :)

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            I’m home alone and I’m going to tidy up, organize the closet, sharpen some chisels, tidy the workshop, drink some beer, play with the cat, sweat in the summer heat, read something, watch some YouTube, etc.

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              I plan to continue relaxing mostly. I’m waiting for my stuff to get shipped over from the Seattle area, and when it gets here I will have my home network again. Going to try to install modern kubernetes on my cluster, though I think that the nodes don’t have enough ram for it (2 GBx4 and nirvana that has 4 GB). I may have to fall back on Docker Swarm until the project dies. I wish there was a better solution for clustering low-ram (less than 8 GB) systems.

              I found a arxiv paper that talks about parsing Toki Pona enough that the implemented Vim syntax highlighting rules for the language.

              I’m also going to move more of my Go modules over to my vanity import domain so I can move git repository hosts more easily in the future.

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                Maybe take a look at k3s, ist a lot less demanding and probably offer enough for most usecases: https://k3s.io/

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                I have a cousin’s wedding and we are planning a trip to Japan, anyone that has been there has any advice or tips? No tech related stuff probably.

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                  Hey! I currently live and work in Tokyo. Do you have questions about a specific topic?

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                    Oh! That’s super cool! I have some questions, yes:

                    • What would you say are some must-see things all around japan? I’m mostly interested in seeing the old japanese culture, art and towns. How easy/hard is that to find?
                    • Is rail the best way to move around the country? What would you recommend we do between renting a car or going everywhere by train?

                    And now one unrelated to the trip, how did you find work there and how was the visa process like?

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                      Unless you are really comfortable driving on the left side in dense unfamiliar urban environments I’d recommend against renting a car there.

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                        I can only speak for Tokyo area, since it is the only town I know.

                        Is rail the best way to move around the country? What would you recommend we do between renting a car or going everywhere by train?

                        The rails network is very good here. I only know the Kanto area rails network (mostly operated by JR East). All train companies here are very well integrated with Google Maps. You can track every train in real time for each station. This is super useful when you want to be sure that you are on the right platform for the right direction.
                        There are several private companies operating trains in the same area. With one pass (the “Suica” pass), you can access all networks, but avoid inter-network exchanges, since you’ll pay a base fee each time you access a network (~160JPY). So, try to stick with one company when you take the train/metro.

                        What would you say are some must-see things all around japan? I’m mostly interested in seeing the old japanese culture, art and towns. How easy/hard is that to find?

                        The Enoshima Island is great, Kamakura’s temple is fine, too. However, they are a bit touristic. If you want to visit some non-mainstream places, be prepared to speak and read Japanese! ;)

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                    Desoldering about a jillion switches from my M65-A keyboard so I can replace the spacebar with one that’s standard-sizing. Then I will re-solder all the switches (Zealio 67g) into place. All this because the plate obstructs the original stabilizer from being replaced by itself. When it’s all done, I’ll put on the XDA Oblique keycaps I got from a groupbuy and finally feel like I’m going somewhere in life and it all means something.

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                      I’m running a half marathon tomorrow morning, the second race in a four-race series.

                      I also just finished upgrading a Dell Optiplex 790 as a cheap, mid-range gaming system - I want to try out Ultima Underworld Acsendant. I haven’t played any games in years, and this is the first one that caught my attention.

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                        Are they all half marathons and how long do you get between each race?

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                          Yes, there are 4 half marathons, about one per month starting in May, all in mid-Michigan. This will be the second race of the series. I thought it would an interesting challenge this summer, and it forced me to train up early.

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                        I’m interested in what I’m calling a non-linear shell. I will be using a python wrapper around bash/zsh that puts the prompt line in a fixed location at the bottom of the screen. Output buffers of each command will be organized under the command that generated the output. Ideally, there would be keybindings for navigating output and folding/hiding output buffers. A stretch goal would be a live preview of the bash/zsh syntax as I’m writing a new command, explainshell.com is pretty much the ideal output for what I’m thinking, or the bpython repl. I’m also curious to see if the oilshell bash ast parser would be useful for previewing bash commands as I’m writing them. Another goal would be to have an embedded neovim buffer as the prompt. This weekend I intend to get the project repo set up, with the basic framework for managing the terminal window, prompt line, and managing command output with an interactive zsh shell. Any suggestions, reference projects, prior art, or feature ideas welcome.

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                          After a long week doing stuff at BSides London, 44CONnect and two days of training, I’m going to sleep properly.

                          I’m also hoping to catch up on some house stuff, do some Amiga tinkering and learn about text manipulation on the C64 for an ARG I’m working on.

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                            My plans:

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                              Which specific book is that?

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                                Looking into The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing. I wanted to learn more about investing but financial topics do not interest me much. I was happy to learn there is such thing as passive investment, which involves level of engagement that I am ready to accept (surfing numbers, revenues, news etc. all the time is not my definition of meaningful life).

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                              I’m going to be doing a lot of garden tasks. Continuing my multi year battle with an overgrown lawn, I’ll be hoeing and planting a mix of white clover and other soil building non-grass lawn plants. I also need to make a moveable round pen for my goslings so they can start mowing other parts of my existing grass lawn. Then I have some non walkable weedy areas that need hoeing. I found a bunch of burpee seeds from 2014 that are probably barely viable, but I may as well use them up and see if anything sprouts. Software projects in another post.

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                                I wish I’d taken more advantage of the garden we had growing up. I always regarded working in it as a chore imposed by my mom rather than appreciating it for the meditative relaxing activity it was.

                                Funny how these things work. Back then all I had was time and I craved ANYTHING like mental stimulation. Now I don’t have 2 seconds to rub together and would kill to have an afternoon weeding a garden :)

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                                My parents have a cottage off-the-grid and the battery array kicked the bucket this year. I’ll work a bit on stuff for my internship this morning, then head up to the cottage with pops and spend the afternoon + Saturday morning installing the new batteries.

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                                  My main goal this weekend is to finish up a pixel art drawing that I’ve been taking forever to complete. The advantage and disadvantage of digital mediums is that you can endlessly fiddle with something, so this has stretched out longer than I’d expected. But at the same time, it’s my fourth or fifth pixel art piece so I can’t be too hard on myself.

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                                    Are your previous works visible on the net somewhere?

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                                      Oh! I wasn’t sure if we’re allowed to self-link, but they’re at https://instagram.com/yay.mukund.draws

                                      I ended up finishing the pixel art piece I was referring to. It’s this one: https://www.instagram.com/p/BygyYQvAWLz/

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                                    • beekeeping course
                                    • read more of the the 3rd part of the “The three body problem” series
                                    • attend Carnival of Cultures in Berlin
                                    • bake sour dough bread
                                    • sleep in on Monday (3 day weekend due to public holiday, yay!)
                                    • (also I am on-call rotation, so having an eye on things)
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                                      Sweet - glad you’re getting a class in.

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                                      Going to seen an opera in a graveyard.

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                                        I’m gonna be relaxing between jobs this weekend.

                                        Also trying to figure out how to use go-plugin[1] to build plugins for the ci/cd api that I started building.

                                        1. https://github.com/hashicorp/go-plugin
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                                          The family and I are headed to the beach for the weekend.

                                          I’m going to continue reading Exhalation while lounging about and probably won’t be on the computer much.

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                                            I just finished porting nixpkgs-fmt to WebAssembly and doing a bit of promotion now: https://twitter.com/zimbatm/status/1137337933999083520

                                            The goal of the project it to enforce nix code formatting in nixpkgs in the longer term. But first we need to get sane rewriting rules in place.

                                            See https://nix-community.github.io/nixpkgs-fmt/

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                                              Working on an Anonymity bot for Slack - https://anonymitybot.com.

                                              Editing a video from a recent event we held for Israeli Indie Hackers.

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                                                Lindy hop and balboa (swing dance) in Chicago.

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                                                  I’m telling ~16 people from three countries that Code & Supply Scholarship Fund is covering all or a part of their expenses to attend Abstractions II software conference in Pittsburgh this summer. I have a lot of paperwork to do for it but it’s worth it to see folks come who otherwise would not be able to afford the trip.

                                                  Shameless plug: Want to help fund more scholarships? Donate here. Abstractions funded 57 in 2016. CSSF spun off as a separate org and we’re shooting for 100 in 2019. We’ll be near 25 awards after this weekend. You can apply here if you’re in our target audience.

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                                                    Replacing the front wheel bearings on my wife’s car (boo)

                                                    Probably buying a motorcycle (yay)

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                                                      I was playing around with Ferret and Arduino recently. Here’s a sample: https://github.com/runejuhl/ferret-keyboard. I’ve played around with an ESP8266 and a NodeMCU too, and found some DS18B20 1-wire temperature sensors too.

                                                      Maybe I’ll have a go at porting an Arduino C++ 1-wire library to pure Ferret. Tried doing it in the Clojure codebase of Ferret by “just” using the C++ library, but it’s was a bit hairy…

                                                      Other than that I’ll probably take the kids to Copenhagen Medieval Market. A few too many mass-produced souvenir trinkets for my taste, but the kids’ll love it.

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                                                        Again I know it’s super low octane for this crowd but the Talk Python 100 Days of Python has been a real boon for me.

                                                        I will eventually need brain straining problems to stretch my ability to solve, but what I need most right now is practice solving simple problems and expressing them in code, and this course does that very well.

                                                        Doing rock/paper/scissors using simple OO decomposition, tests for everything.

                                                        This weekend is days 18-20.

                                                        Also reading Becky Chamber’s latest book Record of a Spaceborn Few. I really enjoy her fiction as a ‘palate cleanser’ when I’ve just finished something heavy or super poignant or outright heartbreaking like The Left Hand of Darkness which I just finished a few weeks back. incredible book on gender issues, especially considering it was written i 1969 but YIKES what an ending :) Her stories aren’t all unicorns and rainbows, but they’re focused on people getting in touch with the best side of themselves and making a good life amidst some fairly sincere hardship.

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                                                          Actually, that looks like a good resource for folks leveling up in Python or something else. A problem I had early on was problems of the right size which were interesting. Just the course description along gives a bunch of things to try even for people who don’t take it.

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                                                            Very true.

                                                            The course also uses https://codechalleng.es/ which you can use up to a certain point for free.

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                                                          Staying at home, practicing guitar, and helping out as my wife is hosting a laid-back book event. She’s an Independent Usborne Organiser, essentially selling children’s books on a small scale.

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                                                            Honing up on https://tutorial.djangogirls.org/en/ and https://coach.djangogirls.org/ for next weekend at PyLondinium

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                                                              Drinking with a bit of uni thrown in

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                                                                Oh, I miss uni life. I still think doing a PhD would be nice (but I’ve been out of academia for two years, so it’s probably hard to get in again).

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                                                                Started a new job this week at a company which builds toolchains for microchips. I was a bit anxious, but so far the job has been pretty good. It is the first ‘real’ developer job (I was a consultant before. The client was great, but I felt like a milkcow: low wage, stuck in a place where I didn’t learn anything, with management pushing me to do more hours, and complaining I never go to the front-end trainings in the evening). First week felt interesting (I learn a lot about low-level details of file formats, instruction sets, and architectures), but a bit slow. Big disadvantage is the commute: I have been away for 12 hours every day, got too little sleep due to waking up early, and it was quite exhausting, even though I skipped the exercise I usually do in the evening.

                                                                I am going to watch my GF do an athletics competition. I might write a bit for my blog. The rest of the time I’ll relax. Maybe watch ‘Better call Saul’.

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                                                                  I’ve promised to make a pinata with my daughter this weekend, and I’ve got plans to do some work on a data capture application for web, mobile and desktop that I’ve been working on for the last little while. Going to set it up as an SaaS in the coming months and see if I can make any kind of progress with that, even just a little side income.

                                                                  Other than that, still on the hunt for a new job. Anyone have any recommendations for companies that hire language generalists with experience in mutliple languages and experience in data analysis and data capture on mobile, desktop, and web? I keep trying to think of places and applying directly to companies / orgs, but running out of ideas.

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                                                                    I have the girls to myself this weekend, which means that the time is simultaneously lightly scheduled and heavily planned. We’re going to the AGO tomorrow, and then doing some gardening (they’ll “help” for about 10m and then get bored, of course). I have a bunch of house stuff to do, so they’re going to spend Saturday night at their grandmother’s house, and then we’re all going to brunch.

                                                                    One thing I want to carve out some time for is learning how tractable my Mac app project really is – I haven’t built interactive apps since, uh, Nextstep? and, while I’m perfectly comfortable in Objective-C, I get the feeling that that’s not the right way to kick off a new project. Some time with tutorials or just a good book (does anybody make good books any longer?) seems like my approach.

                                                                    If I can find a couple of hours, I need to retube my amp (a Mesa/Boogie Mark IV) and work on my pedal board. I am starting to seriously think about downsizing my amp; partly because it’s a pain to deal with, partly because it’s too loud (GOD ALMIGHTY IS IT TOO LOUD), but mostly because I’m feeling fidgety.

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                                                                      Vacation! Going to be going to Japan with a bunch of friends for two weeks. I am hyped.

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                                                                        • Resting
                                                                        • Writing a PGCon report
                                                                        • Thinking about cleaning up my github repos, might just do that
                                                                        • Nuking an old article on my blog
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                                                                          Might poke a bit more at bpftrace’s issues this weekend.

                                                                          Other than that, I found out about a few cafés in Dublin that I wanna try. Will probably rent a bike with a friend and go around trying coffee tomorrow :P

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                                                                            I’m going to finish configuring my IKEv2 responder so I can connect to a home VPN from the road in order to use more of my home network infrastructure. All in base OpenBSD: iked(8), ikectl(8) for X.509 CA, and pf.

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                                                                              Trying to finish Part 1 of Functional Programming in Scala this weekend. Otherwise just chilling and hanging out with friends. Maybe doing some Sunday meal prep.

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                                                                                This weekend I’ll be “refactoring” (honestly straight up restarting) my DnD project. I’m going to switch it over to use Actix Web 1.0.0 (yay!) and maybe graphql?

                                                                                Regardless, I’m excited. I commissioned a designer to do some branding work for the project, and I’m getting a lot of different artists on board for joining in. It’s going to be super fun.

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                                                                                  I have a few of chapters “Object-Oriented Programming in Common Lisp” left, and I’d like to finish it. I want to start on “Let Over Lambda” next, but I’ll probably wait till Monday.

                                                                                  I’m supposed to get some bike parts in today, so a little bit of bike maintenance either tonight or tomorrow morning.

                                                                                  I ended up skipping last weekend’s overnight ride due to procrastination and weather uncertainty, so I should probably do that, but there’s a high chance of rain, so I’ll have to see.

                                                                                  Other than that, no definite plans.

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                                                                                    I want to finally get around to sorting out my dotfiles, probably storing them with Stow or somnthing similar.

                                                                                    After some issues with Gentoo, I temporarily installed Xubuntu, and as always, felt very ashamed when I plugged in my thumb drive to copy the dots across. I don’t use most of the software I have dots for, and I’m finally going to do something about it.

                                                                                    I also intend to continue work on my package manager. It’s actually pretty similar in design to the one Dylan Araps was working on for his distro, which is nice because he seems pretty competent ;)

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                                                                                      Installing Docker + Docker Swarm in a cluster of C.H.I.P. for my home lab.

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                                                                                        Ooh! Using a guide, or blazing a trail of your own?

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                                                                                          I am using a guide. It’s not easy because you need to compile all the modules needed

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                                                                                        • take custom AC window exhaust pipe inserts made of wood panels to friends house and enlarge holes to fit new AC I bought 2 weeks ago. It’s getting warm over the summer!
                                                                                        • play with friends doggies.
                                                                                        • pack up old Synology 415+ for RMA process at Synology.
                                                                                        • clean condo.
                                                                                        • play with friends doggies … more.
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                                                                                          • I’ll fix the Webmentions implementation on my website built with Next.js
                                                                                          • I’ll continue to work on an ActivityPub server implementation with Python
                                                                                          • And will prepare for an interview I have soon.
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                                                                                            I want to install an alternator in my Toyota, first time doing that job. Also want to clean my HVAC coils. I’ll probably catch up on GSL (StarCraft II), watch Solo, cancel HBO, start Wolfenstein II. Read more Mastering PostgreSQL, that or a Python ebook. As long as I get that alternator done, I’ll be happy. Advice for a diy mechanic welcome.

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                                                                                              Cool! Step 1 disconnect battery.

                                                                                              Everything else will depend on make and model ;)

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                                                                                              I gave a presentation at work today on AWS Lambda, so of course now I plan on actually trying AWS Lambda (maybe should have done that before the presentation). I have a task that runs once a day on five different sites and usually returns in less than a second that I think would be a good fit to move to Lambda to free up server resources.

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                                                                                                Looking at making a uSD Card Mux for testing Linux SBCs.

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                                                                                                  I will continue working on NGS.

                                                                                                  As part of working on what could be innocent “pmap() - limit number of concurrent threads”, I’ll continue working on Executor (new type) and specifically ThreadedExecutor (new type) so that when finished, one should be able to mydata.pmap(ThreadedExecutor(10), myfunc) to map mydata in parallel, using 10 threads.

                                                                                                  The details might change but the general direction will stay the same.

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                                                                                                    Getting ready for my conference talk at INFORMS.