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 ... [16 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]
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 ...
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]