Interview with Jim Keller

If you are still interested in how CPUs work, I would highly suggest listening to this interview with Jim Keller, a very high profile chip designer.

His insights into out-of-order execution is amazing. When you learn a CPU may run a piece of code different each time is very interesting. The output is deterministic of course, you’d get the same result. But the execution order changes all the time within the CPU.

WIP Commits

Git is an append-only database. You can certainly update old records (re-write the history) but that’s not a great mental model for it. I like to embrace that it’s append-only.

So, often I find myself in a position of not yet ready to commit my changes but I also have to leave my computer. The solution I found is “wip” commits.

I just stage everything and commit it as “wip”. I also push to remote just to have a back up.

When I get back to work, I just do a reset of the “wip” commit an continue working. When you are ready to do a real commit, you have to force push but I think it’s fine since this all happens in a private branch.

Impulse Blocker

Proud moment this morning. The Firefox extension I’m developing now has 20k daily users. Super happy about this.

On the down site, shipping code to 20k Firefox installations is scary. There are no tests or reporting whatsoever. It’s frightening for a web developer like me.

I’m working on adding some automated tests to make development easier.

Programming Sucks

Also, the bridge was designed as a suspension bridge, but nobody actually knew how to build a suspension bridge, so they got halfway through it and then just added extra support columns to keep the thing standing, but they left the suspension cables because they’re still sort of holding up parts of the bridge. 

http://www.stilldrinking.org/programming-sucks

The first paragraph of this article sums up working as a programmer perfectly.

This is also the first time I’m witnessing a use of title case – in mid-sentence. Conveys a whole new meaning. For example:

after you get through the fifteen security checks installed by Dave because Dave had his sweater stolen off his desk once and Never Again.

“Never Again”. Brilliant.

Ben Kuhn’s Blub Article

even if you’re learning about the details of some specific blubby system, that system’s design will contain a juicy non-blubby core of extractible general principles.

https://www.benkuhn.net/blub/

What a great quote. So true with most of the tools we use everyday. Programmers generally don’t do a deep dive into the tool to learn these and they suffer.

Please go ahead and read the Paul Graham’s Beating the Averages article first and this great article by Ben will make more sense.

I like articles on benkuhn.net because of all the linking he does. For example, this was a great read about Compounding Knowledge from fs.blog.

Ugh.

I know I said Manjaro + KDE is an abomination previously. I hated the looks of it.

I have to admit, after using it for couple of weeks I started to find it freakishly practical. Has lots of cool pre-installed utilities. Want to take screenshosts? There is Spectacle, ready to go. Clipboard manager? Comes pre-installed. Works out of the box. Wanna show CPU utilization in task bar? Comes pre-installed – with millions of options. You can even change the graph color for the 3rd core of the CPU.

Also, I love the Arch Linux docs.

The Art of Code

When a conference talk has million views on YouTube, you know it’s going to be entertaining. This is a very fun and informative talk.

ACC

Just did my first proper race with Assetto Corsa Competizione. Missed some semi-competitive racing. I haven’t been racing for nearly 2 years. It’s relaxing.

Linux Keyboard Remapping

Kinto remaps your modifier keys (or any key, really) to be more like Mac, when you are on Linux. As I’m jumping between my Linux desktop and Macbook laptop, I need the consistency between them. Without this tool, I would be nowhere. Can’t recommend and praise it enough.

It even has a setting for setting “caps lock” key as “escape” right out of the box. Amazing.

Best Article I’ve Read in a While

In the textbooks, astonishing facts were presented without astonishment. Someone probably told me that every cell in my body has the same DNA. But no one shook me by the shoulders, saying how crazy that was.

https://jsomers.net/i-should-have-loved-biology/

Manjaro + KDE

I have an old desktop computer. I’m saying old, but it’s quite capable. 4-core Skylake i5 CPU can handle most of my workloads.

I was planning to use this as my development box. My main setup is Ubuntu + GNOME and I wanted something different. I went with Manjaro + KDE on this one.

This combination is unbelievably ugly. I hate it. Looking for a replacement.

I mean, look at this abomination at the bottom right corner of the screen. The icons, their sizes, the clock…