Despite working on a Mac, I’m using the mouse/trackball less and less. I’ve installed Vimium in my Brave browser; it allows me to follow links by selecting them with easy-to-type letter combinations. I’ve also programmed my keyboards to send arrow keys when I hold the space bar and press the H, J, K and L keys. That way, I can move the cursor and scroll a page without even leaving the home row with my fingers.

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My Daily Bootup checklist

With such a huge number of people suddenly thrust into working from home, I thought I’d share a bit of my experience (more than 10 years, actually) with doing Remote Work. I started a new morning livestream called “The Daily Bootup”. It’s named after the checklist I use to start every workday. This checklist helps me keep track of my goals and to-dos, especially my most important tasks (aka “MIT”).

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Weeknote 13/2020

Learning JavaScript While I’ve learned more than a dozen different programming languages in my three decades of using computers, I’ve been focusing on Ruby for the last one. At my company, we automate our hosting infrastructure with Chef, we build our websites with Rails or Jekyll, and even for more complex command line scripts, Ruby has replaced Bash for us. But lately, I’ve actually added another programming language to my roster that I wanted to learn for years: Javascript.

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Managing multiple Git identities

I’ve always been struggling to use the right name and email address, separate between work and personal projects, for each of my Git repositories. Micah Henning solved that problem nicely by removing the global settings but making a repo-specific configuration mandatory. And a handy alias is the icing on the Git identity selection cake.

The Live Coders Conference

There won’t be many conferences in the next few weeks, at least not the sort that you need to attend in person. However, with COVID-19 handing out lemons, people start to discover the lemonade of online conferences! I’m happy to be part of an initiative by The Live Coders, a community of people broadcasting their software development on Twitch. On 9th April, we’re going to broadcast more than 12 hours of presentations on a wide range of topics.

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It lives!

Reading with the sun in my back.

When terminals were real tty’s

For my first Retro Saturday live stream, I chose working with a PDP-11 minicomputer. I don’t own a PDP-11, nor can I afford to buy or run one, but I can simulate one realistically usingsimh, the simulator for historic computer systems. After successfully installing Unix V7, the original Unix operating system from 1979, I ran into unexpected issues with entering source code. One of the problems was the lack of a full-screen editor combined with my lack of ed skills.

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Supporting UDUMASS

I’d like us to start gathering funds to have the uncensored version played every day on every major TV station and streaming service.

VAX on, VAX off

In “geewiz explores computer history” news, I’m now an official member of DECUS, the Digital Equipment Corporation User Society! The reason is that HP (who bought Compaq who bought DEC) issue a Hobbyist License to DECUS members who’d like to install OpenVMS for funsies. And I have to admit, working with an old-school operating system that isn’t unixoid has been a great experience so far. I’ll do a live installation of OpenVMS on my Twitch stream tomorrow.

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☑️ Go full coffee hipster

Weeknote 8/2020

As I’m pretty much Epoch years old, I celebrated a special birthday this week. It’s interesting in this context that my interest in historic computer systems has never been higher. I want that PiDP11 so hard. I’ve just applied for a hobbyist OpenVMS license. And on my live stream today, I installed the ancient Unix V7 from a virtual tape. I mentioned in my last weeknote that I was trying out Brain.

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Josh Wood’s article resonates a lot with me. I’ve chosen a humble amount of “fuck-that money” over the chance of getting lots of “fuck-you money”.…

An easy and secure way to launch helper scripts in a project

On one of my recent live coding streams, a viewer asked what my abe script does. I showed that it simply launched a Ruby command in my project’s application container. Since I’m using Docker Compose to spin up most of my development environments, I have to run all development tasks within the application container. Typing abe rake test is much faster than typing docker-compose exec app bundle exec rake test, so I added this script to my project’s bin directory:

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I’ve been using DuckDuckGo as my default search engine for a while. TIL that DuckDuckGo also has practical shortcuts called bangs for searching on a specific site.

Weeknote 4/2020

In my experience, the value of getting enough sleep can not be overstated. I feel like I got more work done on Tuesday alone than in the entire previous week. And the main difference was that I started last week already tired and didn’t get enough rest to change my state until the weekend. I highly recommend the Focused podcast on this topic. Apart from discussing sleep schedules and good tactics, it also briefly mentions taking sleep headphones on trips.

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“Don’t use ZFS. It’s that simple.”

Weeknote 3/2020

Lack of sleep was the theme that ran through this week. For various reasons, I didn’t get into bed early enough a single night. The immediate result of not having slept enough for me is a lack of focus. Even while writing this, I’m getting distracted by watching flocks of birds in the sky through my office window. I’ve successfully established my work routine after coming back from the holidays. I’ve also started a writing routine this week.

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Where the Magic Happens

Effortful study means constantly tackling problems at the very edge of your ability. Stuff you may have a high probability of failing at. Unless you’re failing some of the time, you’re probably not growing professionally. You have to seek out those challenges and push yourself beyond your comfort limit. —Jeff Atwood, “How to Stop Sucking and Be Awesome Instead”

Telemetry != Observability

This post helps to understand the difference: Understanding Observability.

Weeknote 2/2020

Happy New Year! I’m back from my holiday break. We spent Christmas at home and had my brother-in-law flown over. Of course, as soon as I left the office on my last work day, a cold knocked me right out and I spent most of the time until Christmas Day in bed. The next day, we went to Germany to visit family. I’m happy to report that we had a very relaxed stay.

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The Ariana Grande retrospective I like how a few creative modifications can make a dull team activity interesting again!

Guess I'll give Dark a watch

In addition, German children merrily walk home from school on their own through the forest. Everybody knows that it is extremely unhealthy for Irish children to walk anywhere, especially to or from school, never mind through forests. The sarcasm is strong in this one. Didn’t expect to grin reading an article by Breda O’Brien.

Put a dent in the universe

Markus is thinking about making a ruckus. What a great New Year’s resolution! “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?” —Steve Jobs I’m incredibly excited for 2020.
A great example how hosting a conference is more than just running it.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss a topic, tweet me @geewiz or join the chat on my Discord server!