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This is the weekly thread to discuss what you have done recently and are working on this week.

Please be descriptive and don’t hesitate to champion your accomplishments or ask for help, advice or other guidance.


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    I handed in my notice at my day job today. So in a month’s time, I’ll hopefully never have to touch Rails or Clojure ever again.

    That just leaves my own three projects, which are all written in Haskell and Elm. One of them is now being funded, so that’ll be my primary focus.

    This week I’ll be working through transitional-period stuff, I suppose.

    What a liberating feeling.

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      • Spent last week in San Francisco training at the new job, which is off to a very good start, though the city was pretty bleak because of the wildfire smoke. My intuition for code/infrastructure has been shaped by a 20-year career solo or on small teams, so seeing what a team of hundreds can build has left me in a constant state of awe. I’m a hick visiting the big city and it’s pretty great. The way we’re drawing the line between them and my outside projects (Lobsters, podcast, etc.) is that we’re not going to talk about each other in public. This week is more training and getting used to macOS, which I last used in 1992 on an LC II pizza box. (Spoiler: Infinitely frustrating.)
      • Scheduling interviews for the first couple podcast eps.
      • Thanksgiving! I’m on desserts, so probably going to make ice cream and maybe a pie.
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        I had to get used to macOS again too for the job I started in August. It’s… weird. And infinitely frustrating is a good description.

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          This week is more training and getting used to macOS, which I last used in 1992 on an LC II pizza box. (Spoiler: Infinitely frustrating.)

          I miss classic Mac OS, too.

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            Were you located in Chicago previously? (maybe you still are) Do you consider SF “bigger” than Chicago? Just curious as I’ve only been to Chicago.

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              I have almost always been in Chicago. SF feels like it’s the density of Milwaukee with the prices of Manhattan. (So: significantly smaller.) I’ve enjoyed my two visits and hope to get more time to play tourist, but it would take incredible incentives to prompt me to relocate.

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            Mostly going to be doing Thanksgiving things this week.

            Last night I got another chunk of porting done on my F# port of the Erlang wiki behind idea.junglecoder.com. I’ve noticed that A) The F# compiler is making it easier for things to be basically correct (though some of the errors are a bit strange at times) and B) I don’t have to roll my own versions of things nearly as much in F# as I was in Erlang. I’m hoping that the overall effect of that will help reduce the activation energy to add some features (like a means of managing lists, or being able to have a better markdown parser).

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              I hope to find some time at work this week to figure out a nasty timezone issue in Postgres and write up a blog post about it. More likely I’ll do it next week, as I’m currently working on the remaining features which are long overdue for a large truck management & transportation system.

              On Friday the CHICKEN meetup for T-DOSE will start. The T-DOSE event itself is canceled/moved to May next year, but that we won’t let that stop us! If anyone would like to join us in the weekend, feel free to let me know! We’re probably going to work on some documentation, perhaps look into alternative C libraries to OpenSSL (the OpenSSL egg is a total mess, but a lot relies on it) and some CHICKEN 5.1 work.

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                I’m working on a text based gopher client in Lua, just because. Parsing the index file is trivial; displaying and navigating said file is proving to be a nice challenge.

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                  Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for my group, but we’ve spent the last three weeks doing performance and load testing, and for the first time (which beggars belief) the company is pretty secure in our infrastructure. My team is excellent, and I’m lucky to have them.

                  I broke down and ordered an Eventide harmonizer from Reverb, so I’ll be playing with that whenever I can. Also started learning Olympic lifts, which are fun but miserably difficult. I’m trying to figure out what language I should use for Advent of Code this year. Playing with the kids as much as possible.

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                    I’ll be starting my second week on my new team. I’m excited to have joined! We’re building a runtime. Can’t wait to learn more about that. As far as technical specifics go, I’ll be adding some metaprogramming builtin functions and some new types.

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                      I’ve got a strange week: I’m in the process of moving to a new team, and I’m out for most of December, so my time the next couple of weeks is mostly “support others as and where required” with the occasional “work on a small ticket.” During my downtime I’m going to be watching some MIT OCW lectures I think, either 6.890 Algorithmic Lower Bounds or 6.851 Advanced Data Structures.

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                        At home, I’ve been playing with Fuchsia, working on porting a toy Haskell web service to Rust, and trying to work through two Udacity courses on self-driving cars and neural networks.

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                          The name of your web service interested me. What all does it currently do?

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                            The web service itself operates on (presumably WGS84) coordinates stored in SQLite. It accepts new coordinates via a POST interface and retrieves the latest coordinate from the database. The web UI uses the HTML5 geolocation API to post your current location. There’s a couple of TODO items, too.

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                              Ah cool! So are you planning to use it to track/update your location to show “where you are”?

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                                I’m sort of building out my own Google assistant sort of thing, so it’s mostly to be able to correlate location with other things in a first-party sort of service. As of now, it’s single user. In the future I might expand it out to share single waypoints or a range of points. It’s probably the first web service I (with a systems engineering background) have really been interested in building, so it’s also as much a chance to play with something useful and take it in a bunch of different directions.

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                                  Pretty awesome!

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                            The Fuchsia part interests me (I do not currently have time to do something more practical with it but have read a lot on the design and code), do care to elaborate on some of your experiences? Is it on real hardware or in a VM?

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                              I spent a while trying to get it on a T440s from about 2014, and I couldn’t get the EFI to map the memory correctly. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to dig into it, but I’ve been really tempted to put it on my pixelbook. I do have it running in qemu, too, but I so much prefer to have real hardware.

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                            I joined Lobsters today. I was given an invitation by someone who would like to remotely collaborate with me on a project.

                            I guess my most current project is trying to figure out Lobsters.

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                              No job until December 3rd, so in a minute I’m heading up to Arapahoe Basin for an afternoon of skiing, then to a friend’s house for the night and back country skiing tomorrow. Might ski again on Wednesday, and then Thursday I’m off to Colorado Springs to see my parents for Thanksgiving.

                              I’ve just about got my book scanner project working and I signed up for isbndb.com yesterday, and verified book lookup works. Now I just need to scan two giant cases of books…

                              I’m also looking at Common Lisp GUI libraries for future projects. CommonQT and QTools were my goto choice for a while, but they still don’t support Qt5, and that’s getting to be a big inconvenience, and makes it hard to use modern OpenGL. McClim is neat but kind of clunky and slow, and doesn’t, to my knowledge, support OpenGL. LTK is okay, but also clunky and slow and no OpenGL. The GLFW3 binding works well, but it’s only bare OpenGL.

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                                My family is all from Aurora and Golden, and I realized I should have gone there for Thanksgiving if for no other reason than to escape the smoke. I do miss good old A-basin, though.

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                                  Have you seen cepl? It aims to provide OpenGL in a more CL idiomatic way (see also varjo from the same author for writing shaders in lisp).

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                                  Taking a break from some of the serious stuff after finishing this article: ( https://arcan-fe.com/2018/11/16/the-x-network-transparency-myth/ ). Have some really fun experiments going on with Eye Trackers (power-save and reducing mouse use), Advancing debugging tools and my eyes have recovered enough for more VR work so hopefully will get some of that done and maybe some DRM reversing because old habits die hard. Finally managed to score some CCC tickets so planning my trip to Leipzig too.

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                                    Since I wrapped up my five part series on implementing my blog’s SLO (i.e. adding instrumentation, monitoring, and alerting via Prometheus, Grafana, and Alertmanager… more details can be found on my blog) last week, I’m deciding on a new project for my personal Kubernetes cluster.

                                    I think I’ll focus on reducing how much I’m spending per month to host the cluster on AWS. Specifically, when initially deploying the cluster, I used kops recommended resource allocation, and I’m not sure if that’s too many or too few resources for my use case. Additionally, since EC2 instances are my main cost, I want to investigate using spot instances and reserved instances instead of the on-demand instances I’m currently utilizing.