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What are you doing this week? Feel free to share!

Keep in mind it’s OK to do nothing at all, too.

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      I’m starting a new side business, www.titlereader.com, and this week is about getting it ready for going out to beta.

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      My goal is to write something that isn’t tied to technology. These days I write a lot but it’s mostly about coding. At university, I wrote and published fiction, essays, and poems. I miss it.


      • Catching up with internet friends
      • Working on a mini-golf game in Unity (personal)
      • Building things for the web (work)
      • Perhaps a little code golf too
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        One of my goals as well. I would love to do some novel-length hard sci-fi.

        While I’ve done a ton of writing, novels seem like another thing entirely. For some reason, writing a sci-fi novel seems orders of magnitude harder than writing the equivalent code.

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          I don’t about orders, but I do think a novel is about an order of magnitude harder than equivalent amount of code.

          With well-factored code, the goal is to minimize coupling between different sections, so the effort to create a codebase is ideally roughly linear in the size of the codebase. The greater the connections there are between disparate parts of the codebase, the more you get bit by Metcalfe’s law. With heavy coupling, the amount of code you have to touch grows with the square of the size of the codebase.

          A novel, by design, is very heavily coupled. Readers delight when there are no loose ends, when subplots weave together and reinforce main plots, and when there are no plot holes. That implies to me that the effort to write a novel is likely quadratic in the size of the text.

          If that’s too overwhelming, start with short stories. An anthology of those is easier than an equal-length novel. :)

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          I would pick a good short-story over a bad novel any day. Maybe you can write something like Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, ie. a collection of related short stories.

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      hoping to get this substantially complete, I think. Also work through some of the PRs that people have submitted.

    4. 3

      I’ve taken the week off work. This is my first break all year.

      I might look at some personal projects that haven’t been touched for a while, but mostly I don’t want to be sat in front of a computer else I might as well still be working.

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        You deserve it, 2020 has been a lot

    5. 3

      At ${DAYJOB}:

      1. Scaling our build infrastructure to handle an arbitrary number of builds of our security appliance firmware.
      2. Performing a code review and handing off responsibility for the code to other developers.

      For HardenedBSD:

      1. Applying updates across the entire infrastructure to pick up FreeBSD security advisory fixes.
      2. Working more on SafeStack integration.
      3. Reaching out to set up an interview for a candidate for The HardenedBSD Foundation Board of Directors. I’m hoping to have her take an outreach role, helping find women (or transgender, or anyone else that doesn’t “fit the mold” so-to-speak) in infosec that would find osdev and security development interesting.

      At ${HOME}:

      1. Help reorganize our basement. My wife and I are thinking of getting a chest freezer and starting a small food storage in case of disaster/emergency.
      2. Maybe go for a bike ride, time and health permitting.
    6. 3

      I seem to be on week [oh gods I’ve lost count] of trying to maintain anything like mental health in the face of a world gone utterly, utterly mad. And, frankly, failing. On the side I’m working through nand2tetris for Fun and waiting for some parts to arrive for my first split keyboard build.

    7. 3

      Struggling like crazy to make my new Pinebook Pro into a usable environment.

      I am so incredibly on board with the idea of inexpensive portable hardware as a force multiplier for people who don’t enjoy the privileges I do, but wow it has been an incredibly bumpy ride.

      Today, after the latest incident of sleep not working and draining the battery because I forgot and just closed the lid before going to bed, I’m getting a red LED on power on. The forum says I should try booting with the battery disconnected, but honestly I’ve been a bit too intimidated to try disassembling the thing because I’ve seen about a dozen Youtube videos of people lacerating themselves trying to do the same, and I’m partially blind..

      I had hoped to be able to contribute to the software ecosystem around this thing and maybe help some people, but I’m beginning to think that despite having at least fair to middlin’ tech chops, this may be over my head.

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        Dude! I’m also reliving the 90s with a Pinebook.

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          Nice! Have you managed to get yours to sleep without draining your battery?

          I’m actually really enjoying it in just about every other way. Battery life is amazing. Keyboard and display are surprisingly good, and porting apps to AARCH64 is fun :)

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            Mostly by plugging it in. I need to add a dev rule by hand so the damned backlight will turn on.

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        Cool! I have one sitting in my office. I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet. But once I’m done moving this weekend, and my client work has wrapped up for the month, I’m going to see about getting it into a usable place. Though I have a thinkpad that is further along.

        I’m interested in ARM and cheap hardware that can do a lot. How we do make computers that work well in constrained environments? Hope you write something up :)

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          I absolutely will do a write-up.

          I’ll simply say that I’ve found both the forums and the Discord/matrix chat community utterly invaluable in my journey.

          Tonight’s minor adventure was figuring out how I wanted to back up my work to my NAS, and I eventually came around to a temporary NFS mount and rsync to copy over the changed files.

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          One thing to note: My biggest ongoing struggle thus far has been trying to get anything like sleep to work.

          By default, currently, under the stock Manjaro 20.08 shipped with the Pinebook Pro, if you close the lid and walk away for the evening your battery will be dead by morning.

          Apparently this is due to bugs in the Trusted Firmware software the system uses, and apparently it’s subtle and painful to fix, because I’m getting conflicting reports on whether the folks who hold the context are just burned out and have temporarily run away or maybe that it’s being worked on.

          It’s an open source experiment so ultimately it’s not like I’m blaming Pine64 for this, but it certainly puts a dent in the laptop’s usability as a portable work device. For now, with pandemic isolation in force, I just leave it plugged in and powered up at night and that’s getting the job done :)

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      • Continue working through the last editing pass of “Crafting Interpreters” before I typeset it. It’s moving along fairly quickly, though it’s still a lot of text to grind through. Should have written a shorter book!

      • Writing postcards for “Reclaim Our Vote” to encourage people who might have been disenfranchised to be able to vote.


      • Enjoying the hopefully smoke-free cool air after last week’s utterly miserable hot/muggy/smoky weather.

      • If I find the time, assembling the Electrosmith 3340 VCO DIY kit I got last week.

      • Maybe noodling on the FM synth for a fantasy console I started tinkering on again.

      • Watching TV with the wife. Currently Sampson Boat Co’s YouTube series rebuilding Tally-Ho (amazing and very good for my mental health) and “Lovecraft Country” (good but sometimes a little heavy and too relevant given 2020 context).

      • Playing Super Smash Bros with the kids. The day my oldest can consistently beat me is the day she graduates to full tween-hood and loses all respect for me. So far that day has yet to arrive.

      Mostly, just trying to survive the dumpster fire that is USA 2020 with some level of sanity intact.

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        Excellent. Crush the children. Let them know just what kind of man their father is.

        On a lighter note, when will they announce the next damn DLC character?!

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          Oh, no. I didn’t even realize there was DLC for Super Smash Bros.

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            Did I misunderstand and you are playing the n64 original? Or are you playing ultimate? If the later, they are actually on their second DLC. :)

            Actually if you were playing the n64 version people are working on putting new characters in it:


            They apparently released Bowser recently:


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              I’m playing Ultimate on the Switch. I just try to not pay attention to stuff like DLC.

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      Trying to teach a 9 mo old to sleep through the night. With 3M earmuffs & Airpod Pros. The first thing humans need to change in our species is the volume level of infants.

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      • working
      • reading the book A Burglar’s Guide to the City
      • maybe starting a rewrite of my abandoned web scraper/archiver project (originally written in C#) in F# (considering Akka.Net currently)
      • rendering the Beancount docs to a single page html for reading on Kindle/simpler printing. (Depends on total length).
      • maybe reading the Beancount docs
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      • working
      • learning Le Freak by Chic on the guitar
      • probably playing some Halo ODST
    12. 2

      I want to start on a small authentication microservice in Phoenix that I’ll be able to reuse for my pet-project. We’ll see how it goes.

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      A couple things.

      1. General self-improvement. It’s the High Holiday season, and I want to get the Jewish year off to a good start.
      2. Biology schoolwork. Apparently, microscopes are a very big part of programming (*shrug*).
      3. Add tasteful & small animations to my website https://binyam.in.
    14. 2

      At ${DAYJOB}: Back from one week vacation, trying to find my way through AWS Elastic Beanstalk

      At ${HOME}:

      • Taken off all the fruits from summer
      • Cleaned up the garden
      • Changed my mind again the async framework in arew (for the time being), I will bring back the epoll bindings and at some point fork guile-fibers.
      • Started a technical book with knowledge that is not covered elsewhere ;)
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      These discussions are part of what makes Lobsters special to me. It’s great to see other hackers doing stuff and on a few occasions it lead me to discover interesting projects (like a retake on spreadsheets). We’re a community, so let’s embrace it with a dedicated eponymous tag.

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      I am still working on my Lisp to x86-64 compiler series. I left off last time with primitive binary functions. I’m still workshopping my draft for adding a parser.

      Today I presented the Moon GC paper at our work reading group and it was a lot of fun. It’s been about a year since I last looked at it and I think I understand it a lot better now.

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      It’s the week of the Lisp Game Jam!

      Working with a friend to write a retro cyberpunk heist game in Fennel using the TIC-80 platform: https://git.sr.ht/~technomancy/spilljackers

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        Could you explain what you like about Lisp? I’m still exploring programming. I do have a book on Racket that I got via the Humble Bundle.

    18. 2

      At $work:

      • we currently are releasing new version of gatling (together with its commercial side)
      • meet together for a retrospective (didn’t see them in person since two months and a half)

      At home:

      • set up cron for family cloud backup
      • restart from scratch (4th time) my pet project for chores management.
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      Working towards open sourcing www.encore.dev, the Go framework for rapid backend development I’m building. Many steps to go, but exciting nonetheless!

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      I was sick for a week and I have to do a couple of tasks to complete the milestone.

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      I’m looking for a web framework in Go (something like Flask) to make a couple of projects, so mostly only looking for opinions, websites, tutorials and such.