WARNING: EXTREME PC hardware-related nerdiness ahead. Read at your own risk. My most awesome employer to date (that’s the vxlabs of course!) decided to treat me with a brand new workstation. On Tuesday, February 10 of the year 2015 the new desktop PC arrived. (Around these parts, we have a long tradition of writing about new computer acquisitions, see for example 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 or 2013.)
I found myself in Stellenbosch this weekend, so I drove by my old student house. Fifteen odd years ago, the house used to go by the name The Far Side. It was usually inhabited by five fairly attractive yet dangerously intelligent male engineering students, who were, quite unexpectedly, also extremely modest. (In those days, prepending “male” to “engineering student” was mostly redundant.) Well, it seems The Far Side has gone through a little transformation of its own:
I wish you all a zen-filled 2015! (I think zen trumps straight happiness, because zen means that you’re on your way to understanding and making peace with the mechanisms underneath the happiness, all the way down.) So much has happened since I last stood on this soap-box. However, as Noeska explains, this means I have even less to write about than usual. (for those of you too busy to click: things further back seem far less relevant now, so less motivation to write down)
Two days ago, I received this in the mail: Visualization of Variation and Variability by Stef Busking & Integrative Visualization of Whole Body Molecular Imaging Data by Peter Kok For various reasons I was temporarily ever-so-slightly misty-eyed. Well-done boys, I’m SUPER proud of you! Other books you might also like. I’ve recently finished reading two other mind-expanding books: The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin: Liu Cixin is a wildly popular Chinese science fiction author.
You could have set your watch by the appearance of this weekly blog post! Enjoy it while you can. Here’s a random photo from my week: I finally figured out what planking is. Note-taking and todo system chaos (NERD WARNING). My email-note-taking-todo-system is again slowly morphing into something strange and unknown. I once called using Trello for task management “the time management connoisseur equivalent of lying in the gutter with a cheap bottle of wine in a brown paper bag”.
From now on I’m going to try a more fluid weekly blogging schedule. My approach up to now was to try and write up the weekly right after the weekend, at which time,however, I’m usually caught up in the usual start-of-the-week storm of, uhm, possibilities, and hence let the blog writing slip, and once you start slipping it’s a challenge to stop. So now, instead of focusing on the when (the failed after the weekend) I’m going to focus on the how often.
Hey, it only took three weeks this time! I’ve been working quite hard, mostly programming (oh hi there C++, I never really stopped loving you. I really like what you’ve done with the autos and the lambdas), taking care of some admin (freeagent is approximately an infinite times better for running your business in South Africa than Sage One Accounting / Pastel My Business Online, which is a textbook example of how to torture your users with an almost hilariously terrible user interface which would have been funny were it not for the fact that it is so excruciatingly painful), gearing up for open source activism (if you’re in SA and you’re into open source, please join!
I’m still trying to find my way home out of wild deadline country (WDC), so I hope you don’t mind (again) that I crunch together two weeks of weekly head voices during these few days of recharging. Because the post ended up being quite long, I’ve inserted headings. Feel free to read any, all or none of the parts! Software babies out in the real world It’s great when that software system you’ve been designing gets used by real people in the real world.
The reason I’m behind with blogging, is because I’m currently working on three products. One of these is already being used by real live people (!!!), and another will shortly be quite intensively interacted with by quite a large number of people, if it doesn’t melt under the load that is. The third will hopefully soon also go live in some form or another. I might currently be at peak Django people.
(Warning: This post has an extremely high backyard philosophy content. Will probably greatly offend any real philosophers, and a bunch of other people I probably have not even thought about.) I recently became middle-aged. As part of the thank you I wrote for the many kind words people posted to my facebook wall, I made a short summary of the things I had learned over the past N years. I hope you don’t mind that I post them here as well: