I only just realised how good the company name Square was. It’s not just the shape of the RFC reader, it’s also in the saying “we’re square” when payment have been settled. Having multiple, subtle meanings to a name like that makes it valuable.

Block on the other hand…

I’m seeing many bloggers in my RSS feed talking about how they’re reading “Four Thousand Weeks.” I’m sure like many others, thinking about my own mortality is quite uncomfortable. It might be that it’s worth my while to read it, and confront it head on. Maybe not today though.

Photos Of Buildings Important To You

Now that we have decent cameras in our pocket and virtually unlimited space, there’s no reason not to take as many photos (and video) of things like buildings and objects that are personally important to you, in addition to people and events.

Make sure you get photos of every room, from as many different perspectives as you can. Consider perspectives that you are likely to experience yourself, and try to capture them. Don’t forget things like floor patterns and light fixtures. Also consider the externals and outbuildings, like garages. You probably have photos of the front and back, but also remember to take photos of the sides, and other areas you’d occasionally find yourself. Quality is secondary to coverage: take good photos if you can, but sometimes a single bad photo of a particular area is better than no photo at all.

Think of it as a form of personal historical documentation. There will probably come a time when you can no longer see that building — either it’s sold or pulled down — and a decade later, you’d like to reminisce. Memories fade, and any photos you do have you’d be happy you took. You’d always wish you have more though, so unless you’re pressed for time and storage, always remember that there’s no such thing as too many photos.

Got around to releasing Feed Journaler v0.3. Headline feature: option to enable launch on login, so that there’s no need to remember to do so manually just to keep journals up to date with blog posts. Also some more bug fixes around post content.

I wouldn’t call myself religious — I not someone who reguarily goes to church — but I do have a standing gig on my calendar: playing the pipe organ at the Christmas Eve family mass.

Ugh, should’ve taken today off.

Well, I feel like a bit of a turkey. I just spent two weeks researching technologies that will help us aggregate messages at scale, only to have a 30 minute meeting demonstrating that we didn’t need aggregation at all. 🤦

At least I learnt about Apache Flink.

Only two more days of work left to go before the Christmas break. It’s only a week long, but it will still be welcomed.

I try to be careful about future-proofing the code I write, but I just did a weird thing when choosing the type of clock to use for seeding a random number generator in a throwaway script.

I could have chosen to use nanoseconds or milliseconds since the Unix epoch. If I chose nanoseconds, the timestamp would only be good to use until some time in 2262. Milliseconds give me a timestamp that is useful until the year 292,001,970, give or take a millennia.

I chose to use milliseconds. 🤪

Still Off Twitter

A little while ago, I stopped using Twitter on a daily basis as the continuous barrage of news was getting me down. Six weeks after doing so, I wrote a post about it. Those six weeks have now become six months, and I can say I’m still off Twitter and have no immediate intention of going back.

My anxiety levels dropped since getting off1, and although they’ve not completely gone, the baseline has remained low with occasional spikes that soon subside. But the best thing is that the time I would have spend reading Twitter I now spend reading stuff that would have taken longer than 30 seconds to write. Things like books, blog posts and long-form articles (and Micro.blog posts, I always have time for those). It feels like the balance of my information diet has centred somewhat. I still occasionally read the news (although I stay away from the commercial news sources) but I try not to spend too much time on it. Most things I don’t need to be informed about in real time: if I learn about it the follow day, it’s no big deal.

I’m also seeing more and more people making the same choice I’ve made. The continuous stream of news on Twitter is just becoming too much for them, and they want off. I think Timo Koola’s post sums it up pretty well:

I wonder how much studies there are about harmfulness of following the news too closely? I don’t think our minds were made for constant bombardment of distressing things we can’t do anything about.

It’s not healthy being constantly reminded of events going on, most of them undesirable, that you can’t change. Better for myself that I spend my attention on things that interest me and help me grow.

  1. It’s amusing that the language I found myself using for this post sounds like I’m recovering from some form of substance abuse. I’m guessing the addictive nature of Twitter and its ilk are not too different. [return]

I’ve been doing a lot of investigation work for my day job recently, looking for and evaluating tools and services to see if they can be useful with the system we’re building. And the more time I spend doing this, the more I appreciate tools and services that offer a great developer experience.

It’s not the only criteria I used: something that doesn’t do what we need it to do will just not be considered. But when the decision comes down to two options that both do almost everything we need; the service with the better documentation and getting started guides will win out in the end.

Finished reading: The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau 📚

Shout-out to @jasraj for the recommendation on his excellent list of resources for indie writers.

Yet another story about an Android app with malware. What I’d like to know is why these sorts of apps are getting downloads at all. They seem junky and borderline useless to me, and I wouldn’t want them on my phone even if they didn’t have malware.

I’m starting to see year in review posts pop up in my feeds. My first thought is “it’s a bit early for that”. But now I’m wondering if that is just denial of how close to the end of the year we actually are.

There are days when you’ve got your head down and are plowing through your tasks as everything you touch gets done. Then there are days when you’re mired in something that just doesn’t work, and as soon as you fixed it, something else crops up. Today is one of the latter.

100 Day Writing Streak

I promise I won’t post about every single milestone that comes along, but I’m quite happy that I reached 100 consecutive days of at least one blog post or journal entry.

100 day Day One streak

🔗 Woman lost @metaverse Instagram handle days after Facebook name change

She had it for 10 years, and only got it back once the media caught wind of the story. It’s possible that this was a mistake, but as far as I’m concerned, Meta has lost the benefit of the doubt here.

Saw this on my lunchtime walk today. I don’t often see cockatoos find food this way.

I’ve ordered a new desk lamp with a warmer light than the one I’m using now. But it also has the switch on the cord that could be difficult to reach. So now I’m looking at internet enabled buttons. Looks like I’m slowly joining the home automation scene.

Someone I work with shared a tweet claiming that Log4j, the logging library with the remote code execution vulnerability that was discovered late last week, is maintained by two unpaid developers. I cannot confirm the claim that the maintainers were unpaid (although I can believe it), but looking at the commit log, the claim about the project being maintained by only two people looks plausible.

I really feel for these two. It must be difficult to be one of these maintainers, working on a project, possibly on your own time, that is used by some of the richest companies in the world, and seeing little contribution in return. And now they have to respond to this vulnerability.

Maybe it’s time we reconsider how to approach open source projects before we start using them. Open source is a great thing in our industry, but it feels a little unfair to those volunteering their time to work on such critical libraries. They see very little of the upsides from that which is created using their work, but they have to deal with any issues that crop up from it.

My new Pixel 6 phone arrive yesterday, a full 40 days before the estimated delivery date. I’m now in the process of slowly setting it up.

Most of the apps I used were migrated over without any issues. Many of those that didn’t make it were apps I wrote for myself and have not published to the Play Store. That’s fine, I’ll just install them again using Android Studios.

But one app that didn’t migrate fully was the one I use to get onto my work’s VPN. I’m still working from home at the moment so until I go back to the office, I’ll have to keep the old phone around to login for work.

I tend to be indecisive, and during the last few days, a choice that I have to make at work has brought me to a standstill. I only just now resolve it by acknowledging what it was that was preventing me from making a choice. In this case, it was just that I didn’t know enough about the options. Deciding to go forward by learning more about them has bought be back on track.

A quote from Gruber about Spotify Wrapped:

Me, personally, I still wouldn’t care a whit about it. My music taste is old and boring — I neither need to be reminded of what I liked this year, nor want to share it.

Yep, I feel exactly the same way.

Follow up from yesterday’s post on the film crew working around my house, I found another notice from them in my letter-box. The production they’re working on is Of An Age. From the notice:

Summer, 1999. An unexpected and intense twenty-four-hour romance blossoms between a seventeen-year-old Serbian ballroom dancer and his best friend’s older brother. A decade later the pair meet for a bittersweet reunion.

Check it out to get some shots of north-eastern Greater Melbourne. 🙂

For the last couple a weeks, a production crew have been filming around my place. I wish I noted down the production they’re working on. It was on the notice they sent to everyone, and I forgot to record it before I threw the notice away (this is what a journal is for 🤦).

Film crew from the park near home

Film crew outside my home