I am back to work as of last Friday. My tendinitis is still causing issues, but it’s much better than before. I’ll need to keep an eye on it, so I don’t overexert myself.
Now that I am typing with my hands again, I can properly make typos once more, such as “dentinitis,” a teeth disease I thought I invented, but which is real and appears in literature from the mid-to-late 1800s. Fun!
I’m pleasantly surprised that I still did not catch COVID-19, despite hanging out with multiple people the last two weeks. The nice weather means plenty of time spent outside, which carries much lower risk of infection.
Not too many gremlins this week, as I’ve not really used computers much!
Watching a Discord stream (playing Destiny 2) and opening Destinypedia triggered a condition which made the
VTDecoderXPCService process use up more and more memory. Force-quitting Discord, Safari or that
VTDecoderXPCService did not alleviate the problem, and I saw memory usage increase to over 50 GiB. At that point, my cursor began to move at 5fps, then 1fps, then froze completely, and had to hard reboot my MacBook Pro. I managed to reproduce this issue twice.
On the morning of Friday, my first day back to work, I was pleased with how well technology was working just fine, and then hopped into a video call where Chrome told me that I have no video camera. I have two cameras! Chrome, why are you like this?
Also, my work laptop got another kernel panic. (The frequency of M1 MacBook Pro kernel panics makes me not want to upgrade my personal laptop to a M1 one.)
Restaurant service in Berlin keeps being odd. I had two very different experiences recently:
At a cafe in Schöneberg, I ordered tea and cake, and the waiter told me they didn’t have the kind of cake I wanted. I picked something else, and the waiter said they didn’t have that either. I finally managed to order something they did have, but two minutes later the waiter came back and told me they didn’t have the tea I ordered. (How can you run out of loose-leaf tea?!)
At an Italian restaurant, I had trouble finding the vegan dishes I wanted. The waiter was very friendly and we managed to piece together a vegan meal that wasn’t on the menu, but was definitely still quite tasty. This restaurant experience is so uncommon in Berlin and I miss it!
There has been little progress on my personal projects, for tendinitis reasons.
I’m hoping that the implementing equality in Ruby article gets published in the next two weeks. It’s been about 4 months in the making.
My bytecode implementation of Lox has not made progress and I unfortunately left it in a rather messy state, and I’m not sure how to continue with it. Project handover is always problematic — apparently even when handing over to your future self!
I am also not sure whether my choice of Crystal was the best one: implementing the VM in a high-level language with static typing and good runtime features like garbage collection makes the first seven chapters so easy that it feels like cheating. The chapters 18, 19, and 20 are either irrelevant or trivial. A lower-level language (like C, C++, Rust, or Zig) would be more appropriate for getting a better grasp of how a VM does its magic.
This is not to say that Crystal itself is a bad language — I’m liking it a lot, and it’s very convenient.
Robin Rendle’s note on Sequential websites is interesting and touches on something I rather dislike about web pages in general: they’re a continuous blob of text. We’re so used to that by now, that it’s hard to even convey what exactly the problem is with that.
Compare with books: books have separate pages that you can flip through. They’re not a continuous blob of text. When I’m reading a book, and want to refer to something I read earlier, I can visually remember where that was, like the bottom of a verso page a few pages back. I remember the physical location of paragraphs I read earlier, and so I can strategically navigate back quickly, for example by only paying attention to the bottom left half of the previous 10 pages.
Web pages don’t work like that: if you want to scroll back to where you read something, there typically aren’t any “landmarks” to guide you.
See also Horizontally-scrolling multi-column layout: a retrospective, which removes that problem to some degree by dividing the text into columns. (Unfortunately, resizing the browser window reflows the text inside the columns, which moves those “landmarks” around as well.)
I’m playing with the idea of budgeting a handful of hours per month dedicated to useful and interesting projects, especially those that align with my ethical and ecological ideals. If you’ve got any such projects, and you think my input would be valuable, please reach out!
Let’s talk entertainment:
I finished the first two seasons of The X-Files and now I need to get hold of the next season. The series is getting better, and despite it being distinctly 90s, I don’t find it too dated and I’m definitely enjoying it. There is of course the occasional “ouch, this did not age well” moment, but they’re rare.
Turning Red is great. Pixar movies have always been special and this one is no exception.
Erm, I watched a billion YouTube videos as lazy entertainment. I forgot a lot of what I watched, but some of it was memorable — for instance, the episodes of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight were definitely worth it (though binge-watching all that is a bit much).
Not being able to use your hands is so boring. Nonetheless, I restarted No Man’s Sky the other day — I think I hadn’t properly played it since 2017, and it sure has improved. It’s still quite grind-y, but that’s the nature of the game I think.
Also, I broke my 50-day Wordle streak. Noooo.
How an Architect Redesigns NYC Streets (YouTube): I’m a sucker for urban design ideas. This video is nice, though quite short.
Software Engineering at Google: This extensive book is now available for free. I’ve given it a cursory glance, but already I can see lots of good and relevant topics in there.
The US Treasury department sanctions a cryptocurrency mixer. I believe it’s only a matter of time before cryptocurrency exchanges block mixers/tumblers entirely.