Systems design explains the world: volume 1 April 17, 2023, 9:53 a.m.

Back in university, students used to tease the Systems Design Engineers, calling it "boxes and arrows" engineering. Not real engineering, you see, since it didn't touch anything tangible, like buildings, motors, hydrochloric acid, or, uh, electrons.

I don't think any of us really understood what boxes-and-arrows engineering really was back then, but luckily for you, now I'm old. Let me tell you some stories.

reading The Original Macintosh April 15, 2023, 3:22 p.m.

Anecdotes about the development of Apple's original Macintosh, and the people who made it.

reading apple mac

Paul Ford: What Is Code? March 8, 2023, 1:37 p.m.

We are here because the editor of this magazine asked me, “Can you tell me what code is?”

reading interesting interactive

Worse Is Better June 29, 2022, 8:19 a.m.

The concept known as "worse is better" holds that in software making (and perhaps in other arenas as well) it is better to start with a minimal creation and grow it as needed. Christopher Alexander might call this "piecemeal growth." This is the story of the evolution of that concept.

development reading

The Grug Brained Developer June 29, 2022, 8:19 a.m.

A layman's guide to thinking like the self-aware smol brained developer.

development reading programming

Ablaut reduplication: Why 'tock tick' doesn't sound right? Dec. 28, 2019, 9:13 p.m.

As the word signifies, ‘reduplication’ in linguistics is when you repeat a word, sometimes with a modified vowel (e.g., ding dang dong) or sometimes with an altered consonant (e.g., nitty-gritty). As such, if there are two words, then the first word contains I, and the next word contains either A or O (e.g., ‘mish mash’, ‘hip hop’, ‘chit chat’ etc.).

However, if there are three words in question, then the first word contains I, the next contains A and the last word contains O (e.g., bish bash bosh). It doesn’t have anything definite about it, but it somehow just sounds right.

reading interesting

English order of Adjectives Dec. 28, 2019, 9:12 p.m.

Adjectives, writes the author, professional stickler Mark Forsyth, “absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.”

reading interesting

The Tao of tmux March 26, 2019, 3:56 p.m.

In this book, we will break down tmux by its objects, from servers down to panes. It also includes a rehash of terminal facilities we use every day to keep us autodidacts up to speed with what is what. I’ve included numerous examples of projects, permissively licensed source code, and workflows designed for efficiency in the world of the terminal.

reading terminal tmux

Cynefin Framework March 6, 2019, 11:11 a.m.

Cynefin offers four decision-making contexts or "domains": simple, complicated, complex, chaotic, and a centre of disorder. The domains offer a "sense of place" from which to analyse behaviour and make decisions. The domains on the right, simple/obvious and complicated, are "ordered": cause and effect are known or can be discovered. The domains on the left, complex and chaotic, are "unordered": cause and effect can be deduced only with hindsight or not at all.

reading interesting

Borg, Omega, and Kubernetes July 31, 2018, 8:53 a.m.

Though widespread interest in software containers is a relatively recent phenomenon, at Google we have been managing Linux containers at scale for more than ten years and built three different containermanagement systems in that time. Each system was heavily influenced by its predecessors, even though they were developed for different reasons. This article describes the lessons we’ve learned from developing and operating them.

reading kubernetes containers google pdf

A Tutorial Introduction to Kubernetes July 6, 2018, 8:57 a.m.

Kubernetes is the hottest kid on the block among container orchestration tools right now. In this tutorial, I want to document my journey of learning Kubernetes, clear up some points that tripped me as a beginner, and try to explain the most important concepts behind how it works.

tutorial devops reading sysadmin kubernetes

Being Exposed to Light During Sleep is Linked to Depression March 8, 2018, 12:05 p.m.

The researchers measured nighttime light levels in the bedrooms of 863 elderly Japanese adults by placing ceiling-facing light meters at the heads of everyone’s beds for two nights, to approximate as accurately as possible the light they would see while going to sleep. People who saw more than five lux of light at night were much more likely to develop symptoms of depression than those who slept in a completely dark room.

reading science

Reflections on Trusting Trust (pdf) Feb. 24, 2017, 3:28 p.m.

To what extent should one trust a statement that a program is free of Trojan horses? Perhaps it is more important to trust the people who wrote the software.

reading security

Ai Weiwei is Living in Our Future Jan. 2, 2015, 7:26 p.m.

Wearing a Glass, you are a sensor in Google’s network, and a smart and cheap one at that … You are ‘working’ for Google and doing exactly the things that computers aren’t yet good at.

articles reading

Scientific Speed Reading Jan. 2, 2010, 12:59 p.m.

Video turorial demonstrates a method of increasing your reading speed.

howto interesting reading tricks tutorial