A blog of rants, screeds, and other nonsense

…hastily written with love…

  • Shipping used to be 6-8 weeks

    Remember back in the old days when if you ordered anything from a company, delivery was “6 to 8 weeks”?

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  • Trump's Virus, Trump's Pandemic, Trump's Fault!

    According to The Red Cross, there are fewer house fires in December and January.

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  • The Linux 'cal' command

    Five things you should know about the Linux cal command. There are many, many, more features listed in the man page but these are the ones you should know.

    The Unix cal command appeared in 1973 in what was called “Version 5 AT&T UNIX”. Linux and macOS (and all *BSD systems) have very different clones. Check the man page for details.

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  • The Best Personal Financial Advice I've Ever Gotten!

    The best financial advice I ever got:

    Pretend you didn’t get that raise.

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  • An open letter to Uncle Bob about "Defund The Police"

    You’ve tweeted that you feel “defund the police” is a terrible policy. I hope to change your mind.

    Ignore the name. It is imperfect. In software engineering terms, “defund the police” is similar to the strangler pattern.

    For the non-engineers reading this, TSP is a reasonable, pragmatic, and down-to-earth way to slowly replacement an old system with a new system. The name is terrible… I would have called it the warm hug of gradual change.

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  • A developer's view of umask

    There are a zillion pages explaining how umask works from the user’s point of view, usually with great charts and tables explaining all the bits.

    However in all my years I’ve never seen umask explained from the developer’s point of view. What do you provide to creat()/open()/mkdir() (in C) or os.OpenFile/os.Mkdir/os.MkdirAll (in Go) so that the user’s umask is in control.

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  • How to Learn Vi / Vim

    A coworker was amazed at my use of Vim, especially that I was able to navigate around files so quickly.

    Here’s my advice:

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  • Countries and States I've Visited

    In response to a Facebook meme:

    The typical American has visited 8 states, many have never been outside of their home state, nor have been outside the country.

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  • post replaced

    Replaced by https://www.yesthatblog.com/post/0068-go-off-by-one/

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    • Thoughts on "Do the Right Thing" (1989)

      Thoughts about “Do The Right Thing” (no spoilers)

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    • Go has eliminated most of my off-by-one errors except 0... I mean 1.

      Go’s range operator (for x = range foo) has eliminated the most common trap where I make off-by-one errors. The next largest category of off-by-one errors would be eliminated if there was a way to specify the last item in an array. It would also improve a developer’s ability to convey intent.

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    • How do Google Captchas help train neural networks

      Q: I heard that the Google Captchas are used to train their neural networks so they can identify things like traffic lights, etc. How does this work since our thought process is in our brain?

      Original question

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    • I Support Ex-Homophobes

      You know what I want in the world? I want people that are on the other side of political issues to change their mind. I want them to “see the light”.

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    • Bash Env Variable Defaults

      In my previous blog post I explained a trick for setting bash env variables when you run a script. In this post I discuss how to write bash scripts that handle such variables properly.

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    • Setting env variables in /bin/bash

      If you want to set an env variable in bash for only 1 command, here’s some bad ways to do it:

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    • All I Do Is Play With Strings

      A poem I wrote earlier this year.

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    • Who Builds The H-Bomb? Not I!

      • “Who Builds The H-Bomb?”
      • Mark Levy, December ‘81
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    • How Biden can win like Obama

      I have a theory that 3 things lead to Obama’s win. He surprised the GOP three ways.

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    • Google Meets and Sneezes

      Dear Google Meets,

      We need to talk about your product.

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    • A Good Sign

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    • Working at home with dogs

      Most of my company works remote, and with C-19 we are now all working remotely.

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    • Terms and conditions

      Section 1 Cookies: We reserve the right to set cookies and use use services that set cookies. Hell if we know what happens after that. Even if we had legal agreements with those external services, we wouldn’t trust those third parties to abide by the agreements. Nether should you. Section 2 Log retention: The web server we use logs all incoming requests (“traffic logs”) just like any reasonable web server software. read more

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      • Primaries 2024

        Wouldn’t it make more sense if the early primary states were picked from the battleground states of the previous election instead of being a fixed set of states? For example, the top 5 battleground states go first.

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      • On requiring experienced presenters to rehearse

        There’s a small controversy brewing behind the scenes at conferences because of this trend to require speakers to rehearse their talk via video conference prior to the event.

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      • Clayton Christensen has died

        Clayton Christensen died on Jan 23, 2020 at the age of 67.

        You may know him from his 1997 best selling book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail.”

        He was incredibly influential, well beyond the typical author.

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      • How to spell the word "Bisexual"

        I wrote this in Oct 1999. I’ve fixed up some typos but otherwise this is unchanged.

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      • Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr and technology

        My Martin Luther King, Jr. day tradition is to listen to the speech he made at my alma mater, Drew University, in Madison, New Jersey, on Feb 5, 1964 (nearly a quarter century before I attend).

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      • The President Has Been Impeached

        This is a sad day for our country. Impeachment is a “last resort”. The fact that it has come to this shows what a sorry state our democracy has become.

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      • A Star Wars Episode I memory

        With the 9th and finalchapter of Star Wars arriving, here’s a memory from when I saw the premier of Star Wars: Episode I, the Phantom Menace.

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      • Did Google just have their Osborne Moment?

        Do you know about The Osborne Effect?

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      Tom Limoncelli

      Tom Limoncelli

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