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    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.
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      • 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).
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        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.

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          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!

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            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.

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          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.

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            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.

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              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.

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

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                  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.

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                    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.

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                      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”?

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                        I also almost always use -pedantic, too.

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                        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.

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

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                            Fixed.

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

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

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                              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

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                                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.

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

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                                  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?

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

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                                  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.

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

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                                      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.

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                                      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).

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                                      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.

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                                        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.

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                                          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.

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                                            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.

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                                            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.

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                                              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.

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                                                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.

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                                                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!

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                                                I’m an admin on a public shell server where we basically do this. As part of creating a new user, we give them a home space (shell-server.example/~user and user.shell-server.example), and create MySQL credentials for them. Then you’re not stuck with ~6k instances of MySQL or what have you. With some extra work, we could support proxying that site to a Unix socket in their directory (e.g. to support a web app). It’s worked well enough for a couple years now, and is essentially performing the same functions as the SparcStation in the article.

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                                                  I’m an admin on a public shell server where we basically do this

                                                  That’s cool! What do people use it for? Do you rely on goodwill, or did you do fancy things with the security setup? Is it written up anywhere?

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                                                    A combination of application process, a variety of shell / perl scripts, and some locking down of the operating system. Some of the admins gave a talk at vBSDCon in 2016 that might be interesting, but it’s not really written up anywhere.

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                                                  I know this is a minor point to the whole endeavor, but that tiny OLED display is so darn neat!

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                                                    I bought a couple of them off ebay for about 15 USD a piece; you can them cheaper, but I went for ones that came with I2C instead of SPI (the extra pins matter on an ATtiny85). They’re pretty neat indeed!

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                                                    Still working through the art of electronics. I also upgraded my amateur radio license this weekend from Technician to Extra, so I spent some time this weekend putting together an HF rig (i.e. picking up a transceiver, power supply, antenna, etc) but didn’t get around to setting up the antenna yet.

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                                                      I had a bit of an epiphany a week or so ago, and realised I really don’t like computers all that much, but what I have enjoyed is the more electrical engineering bits of my background. I’m continuing to work through Nature of Code (it’s less computers and more exploring the world), but I’ve also started working through Learning the Art of Electronics (with all the supplementary reading from The Art of Electronics). I’ve also been playing around more with my amateur radio license (shooting for an upgrade to General this weekend, and maybe Extra soon after if I study enough), particularly motivated by digging up the HamShields I kickstarted a while ago.

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                                                        Oh, so that was you I read. You thought about getting involved in the open hardware movement? There’s almost no talent in there vs software FOSS. We need everything from cell libraries to analog to I/O to CPU’s. Plus boards putting them together. Plus them being in something cool that sells and justifies the effort past sheer enjoyment. Lots of potential stuff for you to get into there.

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                                                          Sorry for the confusion, I didn’t write that — it just really resonated. At some point I might get involved with the OSHW movement, I’ve designed a few boards and such in the past (I started this a while ago, but it sort of fizzled out.

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                                                            Oh OK. Well good luck anyway. Embedded walkthroughs might make an interesting start as they’re both helpful by themselves and might show where pain points are that better HW could eliminate.