Contesting

Enjoy the Best, Not The Latest, Media – Kartick’s Blog: In fact, tried and tested is the best. Here’s a list of the top TV series, for example. Notice that the #1, Breaking Bad, ended in 2013. If people are still talking about it after so many years, it must be really good. Whatever effect marketing or “coolness” have has dissipated after some years. I’ve heard this sentiment before: “I don’t go for the latest, I only read classics.

“Twilight of Democracy”

Here’s what’s good about Anne Applebaum’s new book: it’s anecdotal in all the right places. This is a book that attempts to explain the authoritarian turns across Europe and in the United States and Applebaum, as you’d expect from her, provides a convincing, well-reasoned and insightful explanation as to why they are happening. And since she’s a well renowned international journalist and a wife to Poland’s former minister of foreign affairs, she’s been at the center of many of the important political events of the last decades (hence the anecdotes).

VS Code

The best, most entertaining and immortal topic in software engineering is back! Editor Wars! After reading Roben Kleene’s blog post I realized that I’ve been using VS Code all-day every-day for over a year now. I’m not willing to admit it because in my mind I’m a die-hard (n)vim user, but the reality is this: VS Code is brilliant. Kleene makes many great points about key ingredients of VS Code’s success (popularity/MS backing, plugin ecosystem, client-server architecture), and you should read his post.

We should cherish email

Recent launch of Basecamp’s Hey service made me realize how much I love email. Their pitch is actually on point: Email gets a bad rap, but it shouldn’t. Email’s a treasure. Damn right it is. Email is a set of open protocols. We can argue about the “implementability” of IMAP clients and such, but it remains the only widely used, open communication system we have on the internet. XMPP was supposed to become its equivalent for instant messaging, but failed, and no other protocol took its place because it’s in no messaging platform’s interest to give its users freedom of choice.

2020 Core i5 Apple Macbook Air Detailed Review

It’s brilliant. Ok fine, let’s do a small Q&A no one asked for. Doesn’t it get a bit hot and noisy under load? It does, but it rarely happens. Actually I don’t even run tbswitcher on it. It’s not a good laptop if your aim is to run XCode or multiple Docker containers regularly, and neither is this a good laptop for editing videos in Premiere Pro. But you knew that already didn’t you?

Non-classical music playing guide for classically trained musicians

I went to music school as a kid. Ages 7 to 13 I studied classical violin and basics of music theory. I played in duos, trios, and orchestras. Even as a college student, despite my amateurish skills, I’d still find decent orchestras I would join and play many concerts with. All this, despite my slight disdain for classical music with its pompous ethos and pretentious audiences. I stopped playing after moving abroad about a decade ago, leaving my violin behind me, thinking the music performing chapter of my life was over.

Over-tinkering

The other day I’ve been looking at a Raspberry Pi 4 that’s been laying around, thinking of what to do with it. I quickly googled around how to setup AFP on it, so that I could put it by the router, connect all the portable hard drives and just use it as my “stash drive” from any device in the house. A tiny NAS-like thing. I quickly realized there were some problems with my hard drives, namely that they all used different filesystems, so I spent a couple of hours (oh yeah) juggling data between them, formatting them onto reasonable file systems that both Linux and macOS can easily read, and setting them up as mount points for Netatalk to serve.

Sunk cost of my iPad Pro

In January 2019 I bought an 11-inch iPad Pro. It’s a magnificent piece of hardware that you can read many reviews of online. The screen is brilliant, the portability and battery life are unmatched, the performance is swift (until you’re trying to perform a long-running CPU-intensive operation, that is). The iPad Pro was always meant to be my “personal computing” device. I don’t really code in my free time anymore, so issues of not being able to run VS Code on it are not my issues.

A false sense of security

Marc Andreessen writes about how ill-equipped the United States is to handle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and concludes that it’s due to the fact that the America lost its ability to “build” things, be it medical equipment, infrastructure, or financial mechanisms that’d allow the federal government to support its citizens better. There’s a particular paragraph that stood out to me and made me think about a particular lack-of-readiness aspect of COVID-19 epidemic, not only in the US, but all over the world and in particular in Western Europe: