Home Computer? · We’ve got this big old Mac Pro in the liv­ing room, a 2008 mod­el; I call it “the fam­i­ly mainframe”. I’m think­ing it might get re­placed with a Win­dows box ...
[15 comments]  
Susan and her SQL Problem · As usu­al, it all start­ed out in­no­cent­ly enough. Su­san [ed: names have been changed to pro­tect pri­va­cy] had no way to meet the dead­lines her boss­es had set for her. Bob had re­cent­ly and abrupt­ly left the com­pa­ny, and Melis­sa was on an ex­tend­ed med­i­cal ab­sence, leav­ing Su­san to do the work of three peo­ple. That is, three peo­ple each try­ing to rec­on­cile a few dozen 40,000+ row Ex­cel spread­sheets rep­re­sent­ing the gen­er­al ledger of the For­tune 1000 com­pa­ny they con­sult­ed for. She was about to brush off ever-chatty and an­noy­ing Michael from Com­pli­ance when, for on­ce, he rec­og­nized the stress she was un­der and said some­thing use­ful ...
[4 comments]  
Corporate Pride · There’s this nice video mes­sage in the el­e­va­tors at work, about the Pride Pa­rade. And it’s mak­ing me un­easy ...
[2 comments]  
Vegetables! · This morn­ing we went to the Mount Pleas­ant Farmers’ Mar­ket, which is small and good, if kind of pricey. It’s soup-to-nuts where by “soup-to-nuts”, I mean meat, veg­eta­bles, and booze. I ap­prove of all three, but it was the veg­eta­bles in the sun that want­ed to be pho­tographed ...
 
The REST Report · We were talk­ing at work about Server­less: What’s the right tool­ing for de­vel­op­ers build­ing that kind of ap­p? One of the busi­ness­peo­ple in the room said “Won’t de­vel­op­ers need s spe­cial UI con­struc­tion kit for Server­less apps?” The tech­ni­cal peo­ple all looked blank, be­cause REST. Brows­er code doesn’t care (nor does a new-fangled Re­act thingie, nor an iOS/An­droid ap­p) what’s hid­ing be­hind that HTTP POST. REST is more or less to­tal­ly dom­i­nant among app builders to­day. Is there any prospect of that chang­ing? ...
[3 comments]  
Video and Speed · I’m sure you know the feel­ing  —  you see a link to some­thing that looks in­ter­est­ing, fol­low it, and when it turns out to be a video clip, you shake your head and kill the tab. The prob­lem with video is it’s just too slow. But some­times slow is OK, and maybe video can be fixed ...
[8 comments]  
New British Isles · Fol­low­ing on the Bri­tish EU ref­er­en­dum, some po­lit­i­cal re-alignment of the Bri­tish Isles feels in­evitable. I pro­pose a re-organization in­to three states: Ire­land, Bri­tain, and Dál Ri­a­ta (or per­haps Dal­ri­ada) which com­pris­es what we now call Scot­land and North­ern Ire­land. Here’s a map ...
[7 comments]  
Other American Gods · I just fin­ished read­ing The Li­brary at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins, who al­so writes geek books about Lin­ux and Apache and so on. I en­joyed it, it’s a page-turner. One of the re­view­ers on Ama­zon said “This is what Gaiman’s Amer­i­can Gods should have been.” I’m not sure I’d go that far, but both ad­dress the tricky prob­lem of di­vine per­son­ae lodged in Mid­dle Amer­i­ca ...
 
A Really Bad Year · I just fin­ished read­ing 1177 B.C.: The Year Civ­i­liza­tion Col­lapsed, and en­joyed it a lot. You might not though, un­less you’re in­ter­est­ed in the an­cient Near East (from Greece to Egypt in­clu­sive), or the prac­tice of ar­chae­ol­o­gy. Wel­l, or the large-scale sys­temic col­lapse of great em­pires ...
[1 comment]  
On the Left · I have a prob­lem late­ly: When I look in the mir­ror, I see a left-wing ex­trem­ist. I’m un­easy about my strength­en­ing be­lief that Free En­ter­prise is gonna ru­in ev­ery­thing good un­less we take a knife to its tes­ti­cles first ...
[25 comments]  
YouTube Addiction? · You hear talk about In­ter­net over­load­/ad­dic­tion, but this very spe­cif­ic form has crossed my radar mul­ti­ple times in re­cent days. In stu­dents, specif­i­cal­ly. To the ex­tent of fail­ing mul­ti­ple cours­es. Be­cause they use lap­tops for ev­ery­thing, and YouTube is al­ways a Cmd-Tab away, and whether your itch is Team Fortress 2 or cat breed­ing or string quar­tets or ten­ta­cles, there’s al­ways some­thing new and fresh there to scratch it. So teach­ers don’t get heard and home­work doesn’t get done. My hunch is it’s a re­al thing. Any­one else?
[8 comments]  
Another JSON Schema Gripe · Re­cent­ly I wrote of my dis­gruntle­ment with JSON Schema. Since then I’ve learned that its au­thors plan more work, and that there are sev­er­al oth­er ef­forts to build a schema fa­cil­i­ty for JSON. This note is just a com­plaint about a par­tic­u­lar use-case, with the hope that it might in­form these ef­fort­s ...
[2 comments]  
Hemlock Ocean · I care most about the ocean, while Lau­ren cares more for the forest; for­tu­nate­ly the Pa­cif­ic North­west of­fers Cottage-Life com­pro­mis­es; il­lus­trat­ed with the help of a gi­ant hem­lock ...
 
On Color · I just en­joyed read­ing The Search for Our Miss­ing Colors by Amos Zee­berg in The New York­er, and it gives me men­tal wire to hang some words and pic­tures on col­or and its ab­sence ...
 
Specifying JSON · I find my­self tasked with pol­ish­ing and pub­lish­ing a lit­tle cus­tom JSON-encoded lan­guage. It’s hard­er than it ought to be ...
[18 comments]  
“Photographer”? · Every­one takes pic­tures ev­ery­where now, 24/7/365. So does “photographer”, in the am­a­teur sense, still mean any­thing? I have pic­tures and ques­tions that say it does ...
[8 comments]  
Speaker Dust Cap Dent Repair · As pre­vi­ous­ly not­ed in this space, I’m a de­ranged au­dio­phile, and for some years my speak­ers of choice have been from Totem, out of Montréal. In a re­cent ren­o­va­tion a woofer got a dent in a dust cap, where by “dent” I mean it was pushed in. I’m post­ing the so­lu­tion here in the hopes that fu­ture searchers will find it ...
[4 comments]  
Getting the Picture · It’s like this: Aver­ages are your en­e­my be­cause they hide change. Mak­ing graphs is easy and cheap and some­times they un­cov­er se­cret­s; more of us should do it more ...
[1 comment]  
Cool Aussie Phoners · What the ti­tle says: Three pho­tos of Aussies hold­ing phones look­ing cool ...
 
Serverlessness · To­day Mi­crosoft an­nounced Azure Func­tions, join­ing Google Cloud Func­tions and (from 2014) AWS Lamb­da. This is fun stuff, and might be a big deal ...
[3 comments]  
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