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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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      Writing something about programming that hopefully won’t get instantly downvoted.

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        That’s a mood

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          Yeah, there’s a few people that instantly down vote everything I write/post here as off topic or spam and it’s kinda discouraged me from writing as much as I normally do. If it continues i may ask push to look into it or something.

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            Yikes, I recognize your name as someone who’s submitted great quality original posts in the past. Maybe I’ve been missing them recently because of this.

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            That’s odd. The stuff you tend to work on and talk about tends to generally be a good read.

            Maybe a bit sillier than other people may like, but solid nonetheless.

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            For what it’s worth, I have the opposite reaction. I think of your writing as always detailed, practical, unpretentious - exactly the things that lobsters was built to showcase. (Sidenote: your posts on NixOS are what finally convinced me to switch, so thanks for that :))

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            If it helps, some of your stuff I like a lot and some of your stuff I’m not terribly interested in, but I never downvote your posts ’cause I want you to keep writing and posting here.

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        Illegitimi non carborundum.

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        I also have anxiety about this, which is why I have several things I’ve written and haven’t posted.

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      Digital sabbatical on Sunday. I spend so much time online that I get anxious in the absence of access. I might buy a separate phone with a simple plan in order to have maps and emergency call access but with none of my usual apps installed or accounts logged into. The perspective will help, especially when it comes to deciding what I will and won’t need from the digital world during the rest of the week. I could use the relaxation, too.

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      Doing the narrating part for an upcoming podcast episode about Zig. I swear that sounding like yourself when you record yourself talking is harder than it sounds.

      Also sitting outside on my half-finished deck if the weather is nice.

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      My dog died earlier this week. She was a fixture as a therapy dog at the tech conferences I’ve run in Pittsburgh. I haven’t felt creative or productive since. Grieving is hard.

      I’m spending the weekend hanging out with friends and taking care of my girlfriend’s dogs while she’s out of town. I might work more on my Wilkinsburg/Pittsburgh annexation/merger analysis even though the group pushing for the annexation has changed their referendum target from November to next May.

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        Grieving is hard.

        It really is. Don’t put pressure on yourself to try to “get over it” or blame yourself for being uncreative or such. Just let yourself feel what you feel, and carry on with the basic things in life.

        …that said, that analysis is really cool. I feel like there needs to be more data analytics in local government.

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          Don’t put pressure on yourself to try to “get over it” or blame yourself for being uncreative or such. Just let yourself feel what you feel, and carry on with the basic things in life.

          This was a hard lesson for me to learn. I first encountered a need for it as a skill when I was laid off/fired a few years ago. There were probably a hundred variables that if anything had been different, I might have lasted a little longer or avoided the ax or left on my own terms — I was already actively interviewing because the job had soured and the company culture was going in a direction that my team and I felt was toxic.

          I had the privilege of hearing Jay Harris give a talk at Codemash 2019 entitled “Pivot: How to proceed when things don’t work out”. He recounted two gut-wrenching stories, one about his wife dying in a car accident and one about his startup failing. His talk was a smack upside the head that I needed to stop obsessing over what went wrong and small things I could have done that could have produced a different outcome. Instead, take the big lessons and move on. I wish I could find a recording of this talk and I want to get Jay to one of my conferences so I can record it for posterity, because I think there are a lot of introspective people grieving who could stand to benefit from the framework he established for himself in that talk.

          there needs to be more data analytics in local government

          100%. I’m very thankful for Western PA Regional Data Center but I want to get more data into it and get more people interested in consuming it. C&S hosts Code4Pittsburgh but it’s been dormant since the pandemic started. I can’t wait for it to start back up!

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        From one dog lover to another, my sincerest condolences. I lost my best friend of 14 years back in December, it was my wife and I’s first dog as a couple, so was especially hard on both of us.

        Grieving is indeed hard, and we truly never get over it.

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      Recovering from a corrupted filesystem that ate all my files (yeah, all of them, except for some empty root directories: /media, /proc, etc) and half of my life.

      And no, my backups were not up to date.

      This time I will keep my backups up to date. This time I will keep my backups up to date. This time I will keep my backups up to date.

      No, I really will this time. I swear.

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        I’m gonna take a nubbin out of Amazon culture that I’ve found super useful in cases like this: Rely on mechanisms. Not best intentions.

        Telling yourself that if your backup strategy requires discipline and manual intervention is a recipe for self disappointment and failure. Make it effortless and you win big today and into the future.

        There’s something to be said here for having some kind of central file store (I use a NAS, YMMV) and backing that up to at least 2 additional places.

        My NAS backs up to a local USB disk as well as to Baclblaze, and I’ve made actually using it for my regular work trivial with things like using autofs on the Linux side (It’s easier than you think to set up, but in true Linux fashion you’d never know that from the docs. Blog post incoming) and on the Mac/Windows side the very first thing I do is set up a persistent fileshare and do all important work there.

        It’s all work for sure but it’s a one time investment that’s allowed me to make continual iterative forward progress rather than having to start from scratch every few months when my laptop gets blown away :)

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          Inspiring. My backup setup is pretty good, using borg to back up several computers onto a dedicated drive on my home server/NAS, but… Maybe what I should do with my weekend is get notifications for failed backups working properly and automate restore tests.

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            I’ve found borgmatic to be great for automating my borg backups and sending me notifications when there are problems.

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            You’re already well ahead of the game from most people :) I should look into borg.

            I’m using a Synology NAS at this point because when I bought it ~3 years ago I wasn’t confident enough in my own skills to be sure that I could manage a server of my own without losing data.

            Were I to do it again today I’d definitely look REALLY hard at using FreeNAS or UnRAID or … Something :)

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          My NAS backs up to a local USB disk as well as to Baclblaze

          Backblaze is so simple to setup and forget about that I think it should be the first step in most anyone’s back-up strategy.

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        I have a folder on my desktop. I have the same folder on my laptop. And my NAS. I run backups from my NAS only.

        Syncthing is really nice like that.

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      Getting on a plane (gasp!) for the first time since Feb 2020, to fly to meet the team I now work with that has come into being entirely during the pandemic and is completely located on the far side of the country from me.

      I might also do a bit of tourism in DC while I’m there.

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        Hit Udvar Hazy while you’re out here – especially if you’re around Dulles. Such a great museum and well worth the trip.

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          It’s already on the list.

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            There is a tower simulation, worth walking through. After seeing the enola gay of course.

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      Prepping the house for sale… If you buy in a bubble, sell in a bubble. Taking the leap of faith in finding a new place in a lower-cost area. Debating what to do with old computers and drives. Leaning towards pulling and keeping the drives…

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      I’ve grown sick and tired of constantly rewriting certain boilerplate code, so I’m doing it one last time in a new project (liblattutil). Effectively, I’m writing a consumable C shared library of code I’ve found myself writing frequently. Some of this is proprietary code that I’ve decided to open source. Once it’s open sourced, I can use it in other FOSS or proprietary works.

      What I hope to finish this weekend:

      1. Universal configuration file parser
      2. Easy SQLite3 API
        • I might make this into a more abstract SQL-based API, with the ability to choose the backend (SQLite3, MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.) at runtime
      3. Pluggable logging API (can choose at runtime whether to log to std{out,err} or syslog. other logging backends will be implemented, later)

      My wife and I are also preparing to dogsit for a friend. We’ll have their dog over here for a few days. We’re going to do a trial run Saturday night to see if our almost-three-year-old dog (a male goldendoodle) will fare well with their dog (a female). Our dog’s incredibly social and loves other dogs, but this will be the first time we’ve had another dog sleep at our house.

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      Writing libmpdclient bindings for Racket via FFI.

      Drinking, drinking, and… probably more drinking.

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      Reading Little Languages from Programming Pearls. Catching up on all my bookmarked reading from the week.

      Perhaps doing (How to Write a (Lisp) Interpreter (in Python)) by Peter Norvig.

      Otherwise trying to stay cool during a mini-heatwave + baby proofing continued.

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      More experiments with my little ai project https://littlefish.fish and a sprint workout.

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      Sorted out my office a bit and got it setup so I can use my 3d printer again, except I never finished flashing marlin firmware on it with BLTouch support, so I need to finish that off to get prints happening again. (The other half is nagging me to print some game boxes for her & a friend, so it’s now more urgent than just “Caius wants to play”.)

      Likely spending more time in the garden, tidying up and finishing off the hatchet job I did last weekend of cutting the lawn. Supposed to be an absolute heatwave in the UK this weekend, so we’ll see how successful I am with that. The lawn is more green than brown currently, and also not yet ankle high so I’m taking this as a win.

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      Finalizing experiments around what I’m referring to as “Waterbending PLA”, complete with a flow that is Sheet Metal DFM compatible.

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      Worst part is feeling guilty for wasting time

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      I’ve been hanging out in Barcelona with some Esperanto friends for the last 6 weeks. I caught The Virus 2 days before my flight home, so had to stay long enough to get better (I had pretty bad symptoms) and get a negative PCR result. I finally got home yesterday and it feels so good! Now I need to quarantine for 10 days according to the rules here. In fact, I’m really looking forward to just reading and working on a personal project, and taking advantage of the 10 days to have a nice simple life :)

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      Personal learning - I will start and skim through an architecture book as my work subscription is coming to an end this month.

      Digital minimalism - Finalized on using a feature phone for the next three years, so I will continue my virtual window shopping.

      HDD to NVMe SSD clone - Reattempt this again if I have some time left. Last time I jumped into this without much planning and the SSD is sitting there as a D drive for weeks without use. Ouch.

      Other - Build a plan to space out my tech purchases toward designing my personal office workspace.

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      Trying to get my pihole that I installed last weekend as part of “homelab 2.0 - makeover” to actually serve the local IPs I have in its /etc/hosts.

      Allegedly it should be responding to DNS queries for those hosts with IP addresses, but it doesn’t. Yet :) I see lots of forum posts on this so it may be a particular combination of settings is required.

      I need that because lots of other self hosted apps REALLY want to have a valid FQDN for things like web roots and such, and some get cranky if you try to feed them IPs.

      One of my rules for safe and confident self hosting is that EVERYTHING stays behind my router and NAT and nothing goes out. Period. If I want to access stuff remotely I’ll set up a VPN. Carefully :)

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        Update: Solved the pihole local hostname resolution issue. Turns out there’s a “Local DNS” pane in settings, and if you add your local hosts and IPs there they resolve great.

        Ran into an interesting wrinkle that’s not easy to fix, but I can just disable IPV6 there if I want. Turns out Windows has a long standing bug where its IPv6 implementation doesn’t honor Router Advertisement packets properly, so even though my router is set to distribute the pihole as DNS server for ipv6 clients, Windows boxes ignore it. There’s a work-around, just run the ipconfig /renew6 command and you’ll get the right IPV6 client address & DNS.

        One of the things I’ve most enjoyed about building a homelab is how much I end up learning “by accident”.

        Fun stuff :)

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      • Plan for a small blog post blew up and became one chapter of a book instead. Will likely finish a draft of this chapter tomorrow.
      • Watching Avatar: Last Air Bender again as a break from reading books. Done with ‘Water’ and started ‘Earth’ - eagerly waiting for Toph introduction.
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      Schoolwork and just hanging out at home, nothing exciting :/

      Still paving my way through the Ansible and Terraform, and also been researching a ton of hardware lately for a potential new server build for hom, not sure what I’ll do on that, so many options. Also stood up a Gitea server to teach myself more about git and have a central place to store my code and notes.

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        I keep looking around at homelab hardware and always end up back at HP Microserver Gen8. If I had the money I’d upgrade to the Gen10s as they’re a physically a bit smaller but do the same job.

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          Thanks, I have considered those too but from what I gather they tap out on memory at 32gb and that’s what I’m currently dealing with :(

          My server is a Xeon 1241v3 and 32gb of RAM, so a bit dated now. I’m getting ready to deploy a couple of Dell Optilex’s I got cheap to give me more memory till I can figure out what I want. Everything is still crazy priced right now so may still be a while!!!!

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      Finishing up the first half of Practical TLA+ and trying to work a couple of examples on my own, mostly. On the tech side. Lots of personal things keeping me busy, too.

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      I’m probably going to work on Sunday because I feel I’m a bit behind because I shredded the (local 😅) database and it took me ages to find the issue. But Saturday will be family day. Not going to touch my laptop at all.

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      I stripped down one of my bikes for cleaning and maintenance yesterday, so today I’m reassembling it and going for a test ride.

      It’s been three weeks since I was laid off, and I’ve got a lot done, and finished almost all of the chores and “work” I wanted to do, but I’m having a hard time getting started on the “fun” stuff I have in mind. I feel nervous to throw camping gear in the car and disappear for two weeks, or even just two days.

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      If the supplies are coming in today, my friends are building me a new desk, so I’ll be helping with that.

      Otherwise, I’m going to take a weekend off for the first time in ages. No side-projects or anything that keeps me in front of the keyboard.