1. 2

    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.

    1. 1

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

      1. 2

        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.

        1. 1

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

          1. 2

            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.

            1. 1

              Pretty awesome!

      2. 1

        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?

        1. 1

          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.

      1. 2

        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.

        1. 2

          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.

          1. 2

            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).

          1. 5
            • 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.
            1. 1

              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.

              1. 1

                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.

                1. 1

                  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.

                  1. 2

                    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.

                1. 3

                  I got the itch to write some Haskell again, so I wrote a tiny webservice; the focus was all on the Haskell part but this week I might try to learn some front end stuff to make the UI a bit shinier.

                  I’m also working through two Udacity courses that are getting me back to learning linear algebra and differential calculus, which I find fun and refreshing. It’s nice to have problems to apply maths to rather than learning them in isolation.

                  1. 4

                    I’m on call this weekend, so waiting for the inevitable Pagerduty alert.

                    Aside from that,

                    • A colleague and I are trying to work through GEB, and I’ve been trying to be better about the notes I’m taking from it; I’ll probably go back over my notes and try to do some chapter writeups.
                    • I’m also taking a Udacity nanodegree program, so trying to work through that.
                    • Much overdue housecleaning.
                    1. 10
                      • Taking part in a global sailing race at my club, the Barts Bash. My first time racing, but should be fun. Managed to enlist my daughter as crew in our Flying Fifteen too, much easier than trying to sail single-handed.
                      • Adding a workaround to a friend’s car, something’s failed in the heating system so the fan is always on full blast. We’re going to splice an on/off switch into the power cable to the fan rather than replace it, so she can turn it off. (It ignores all heater controls currently.)
                      • Sorting out the garden, it’s been somewhat neglected since the UK has finished having a heatwave and is growing rather tall.
                      • Provided the weather holds, going for a bike ride. There’s a 50ish mile ride I quite fancy doing (with a halfway rest stop at a pub of course).
                      1. 4

                        The fan running full blast probably means that the blower motor resistor pack has failed in some way. You can probably replace it, or (in some rare cases) check the pack for continuity and touch up any shoddy soldering.

                        1. 2

                          I’ve raced sailboats off and on for a couple years, it’s a lot of fun. I hope you have a great first race!

                          1. 2

                            Nice, I’ve sailed yachts for most of my life on and off, got given an FF three years ago and sailed at a local club a fair bit but never raced. Looking forward to taking part, they’re a pretty friendly bunch.

                        1. 3

                          On call this weekend, so finally getting a chance to clean my house and maybe learn some Rust too. I’m going to try to find time set up my Jetson TX2 as a desktop sort of thing, if only to get it off my coffee table. A coworker has been pushing me to get caught up on reading GEB, so there’ll probably be some of that, too.

                          1. 3

                            I’ve spent the last couple weekends out adventuring, so now I have a weekend to get caught up on life and maybe start reading Programming Rust.

                            1. 3

                              I thought I was going to have some downtime this weekend after a peakbagging backpacking trip last weekend, but it looks like I’m going to do some multipitch climbs in the Sierras.

                              A stretch goal if I make it home on time is to get some work done on a few ideas for Huginn agents using webhooks.

                              1. 8

                                Climbing in the Emeralds — no computers, and hopefully no cell service.

                                1. 3

                                  Outside of work, I’m working through two coursera classes (maths for machine learning, algorithms & data structures), reading an intro to quantum computing (got some basic exploratory programs working with the Microsoft Quantum SDK and Rigetti’s pyQuil), and trying to refine and explore some ideas I’ve had while learning about natural computing.

                                  At work, I mostly fuzz YAML files, but I’ve started to get some actual development work for the first time in about a year.

                                  1. 3

                                    This is cool — I do something similar. My home directory is managed in git and I manage the software on the machine (mostly) with Salt. Restoring backups from restic and highstating gives me a pretty much identical machine in about 60-90 minutes, depending on the network connection.

                                    1. 4

                                      I absolutely agree with “developers need to pay attention to build flags”. Like the well-known -D_GLIBCXX_ASSERTIONS and -fasynchronous-unwind-tables. Only applicable, of course, when using GCC. I mean only when using GCC when this article was written. Only on Linux. With glibc. Did I mention only RedHat Enterprise? (AMD64?) (C or C++?)

                                      For those of us C programmers writing for anything other than the intersection of the above, please, please, please “pay attention to” -W, -Wall, and if you’re feeling bold, -Wextra. (And everybody’s friend, -g.) Depending upon obscure GCC or Clang flags only muddies the waters—as if we need more difficulties keeping C software portable between Linux, BSD, and Mac OS X. (I don’t have the courage to write “Windows” here.)

                                      Maybe the author should clarify to “HPC on Linux developers” or “kernel developers”? Or more practically, “RedHat Enterprise developers”?

                                      1. 1

                                        I also almost always use -pedantic, too.

                                      1. 3

                                        Nitpicker’s corner: minicomputers were the big fridge-sized ones, because they were smaller than the room-filling ones. Microcomputers are what we’d call this.

                                        1. 1

                                          Ack, I knew that. Too bad I can’t edit it now.

                                          1. 1

                                            Fixed.

                                        1. 1

                                          I remember having to use spkmodem to debug coreboot work — it unsurprisingly makes the boot go a lot slower, but it works.

                                          1. 3

                                            I’m making another pass at GEB, this time with copious note taking so that it’s easier to pick back up.

                                            1. 3

                                              You have a nice, cross-section of stuff with programming languages and design methods. Try Stavely’s Cleanroom since it was first, low-defect methodology that wasn’t about formal verification. I haven’t got to read the book yet but the site below looks promising. Back when I programmed, I imitated what I read of Cleanroom’s structuring with good results.

                                              http://infohost.nmt.edu/~al/cseet-paper.html

                                              I’ve also heard good things about Building High-Integrity Applications With SPARK below. SPARK is a language for low-level code that lets you prove your code has none of the common errors in say C code. It uses annotations in regular, Boolean logic. You can put in as little or as much work depending on how much you want to verify with formal methods as opposed to code review or testing. Book targets beginners rather than formal methodists.

                                              https://www.amazon.com/Building-High-Integrity-Applications-SPARK/dp/1107656842

                                              1. 2

                                                I’ll second “Building High-Integrity Applications With SPARK,” for which it’s helpful if you know Ada (for example, via Building Parallel, Embedded, and Real-Time Applications with Ada). I found it a pretty accessible intro to formal methods.

                                              1. 4

                                                Should the link be to a playlist rather than a specific talk?

                                                1. 1

                                                  you are right. I don’t know how I messed up the submission. Now I can’t delete or edit it. How do I bring this to moderators attention?

                                                  1. 1

                                                    I’ve fixed the link to point to the playlist.

                                                1. 4

                                                  As someone who loved their N900, (and N800!) I’m pissed at what potential has been squandered by nothing being done with it after Nokia gave up. Samsung’s latest attempts are… not great.

                                                  1. 3

                                                    What do you think about SailfishOS? It’s successor of MeeGo so in a way that’s continuation of N9/N900/N800 legacy.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      They’re still living in 1491, so I haven’t seen any HW in the flesh, but from what I’ve been seeing, it isn’t terribly interesting. Jolla got lost in the woods with a tablet, a la Playbook.

                                                    2. 2

                                                      I’m still looking for a useful replacement for the n810, which may have been the best portable computing device I’ve ever used; the n900 was just a little too bulky (but I still have mine).

                                                    1. 13

                                                      No Bullshit Guide to Linear Algebra, because I’ve realised not knowing linear algebra is the thing holding me back the most for my personal goals lately.

                                                      1. 6

                                                        I liked Axler’s “Linear Algebra Done Right”. I am still undergrad student, but felt like I could learn more, so I found this book really appealing. But it could be too academic and kinda “dry” if you have finished with college long ago.

                                                        1. 3

                                                          I never took the class in school, and dropped out of college; text books are pretty hit-or-miss for me. I’ve tried a lot of resources to learn, though. My first intro was a crash course in an ML class on Coursera, and I’ve tried Shilov’s Linear Algebra, a linear algebra refresher course on Udacity (learn it by programming), and the Khan Academy videos, and a few other books. This book clicks, and also has a math refresher so you can relearn high school math first (which was over a decade ago for me). The thing that really sold it for me was it has lots of example problems and all the answers. I’ve taken the approach of working all problems and going back when I get one wrong to figure out where it went wrong, essentially using the answers as a unit test for my thinking.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            I have Linear Algebra Done Right on my bookshelf. It is quite good, a bit dry, and I wish I’d had it as the core of a class in university. The No Bullshit Guide to Linear Algebra looks like it might be a good reference with a bit more spice and entertainment to it.

                                                          2. 4

                                                            No Bullshit Guide to Linear Algebra

                                                            Is it good? Linear Algebra came up in a job interview recently and it stumped me; it’s amazing how much you can forget if you don’t keep using it.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              See my response in the other thread for why I like it. The writing style can be a bit off-putting at times, though; I just work through that because the rest of it really makes sense to me.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                Another thing I forgot to mention, you can get laminated cheat sheets that summarize things. I picked up one when I grabbed a probstats cheat sheet, looks like it’ll be helpful later on.

                                                              2. 3

                                                                Hi kyle, thx for the plug! Be sure to check out the jupyter notebooks that come with the book: https://github.com/minireference/noBSLAnotebooks The chapter numbers are a bit off (you need to s/n/n-1/g), but you can take a look to see examples of the SymPy commands—it’s an awesome tool for learning if you feel comfortable with code.

                                                                For everyone else interested in the book, check out the preview here: https://minireference.com/static/excerpts/noBSguide2LA_preview.pdf or if you don’t have that much time, there is also a four-pager you can print an read on your next coffee break: https://minireference.com/static/tutorials/linear_algebra_in_4_pages.pdf

                                                                Linear algebra is very powerful stuff!