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The Isoblog. Posts

Actually building the future our parents were promised


That double landing is like straight out of a fifties pulp scifi.

Musk is building the future our parents were promised, complete with vacuum tube trains, space rocket landings and Mars colonies, topping it off with autonomous electric cars and solar cell stuff.

[Jeugdluchtvaartdag]: Drie jongens in korte broek kijken vol ontzag naar een geparkeerd propellorvliegtuig, Nederland, 1957.
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A whisky tester in the mail

“Reality is a thing for people with a fear of unicorns.”

A good friend sent me a set of small testers with Whisky. A Laphroaig Cardeas 2016, Madeira Cask, a Starlight XXI Sierra Delta, and an Akashi.

The testers made it to me unharmed, wrapped like Sushi Rolls, but the caps unscrewed marginally through the transport vibration. Nothing much was lost, but I now know why the Whisky Calendar is sold with the caps in sealing wax.

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Seven Versions of No Backup

When you configure a modern Android, it turns on Backup by Default.

Android 7 or 8, like their predecessors for some time now, offer you to make a backup. The config setup looks somewhat like above, and that’s seems to be quite good. It certainly looks like something you’d want.

Now, it’s 2018, and we all do have multple Android devices on the same account. So if you are using, say, a 5X, and it dies bootlooping, you’d might be tempted to revive an older device for a few days, until the replacement arrives.

Then this happens:

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BQ Aquaris X pro

Last weekend my Nexus 5X did the Boot Loop Thing (Article in German, refund only for US customers).

So I needed a new device, quickly. I am certainly not spending 1K Euro on hardware, so I was looking for a Nexus 5X priced device that does not suck.

Harald recommended I am looking at bq.com, a spanish company that makes 3D printers, and smartphones, and indeed the X pro delivers. 5X sized, the device can do dual-SIM or SIM+SD, has up to 128 GB memory (I got the 64 GB model), a decent camera and a close to stock Android with a bi-monthly update cycle. Android 7.1.1 with a late 2017 patchlevel in my code. Less than 300 EUR, performs as advertised.

Oh, and the selfie frontside flash is Men-in-Black level weird.

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Watchman

Today I was looking for a way to subscribe to file changes in a directory in MacOS, in order to trigger automatically running commands whenever files change.

Turns out Homebrew has “fswatch”, which tells you when things change, but little else.

Turns out Homebrew has “watchman”, which does all this, and on multiple trees, finds changes across restarts and automatically manages a set of commands for different file endings.

Also turns out that I know the author. Thanks, Wez!

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Swap and Memory Pressure: How Developers think to how Operations people think

There is a very useful and interesting article by Chris Down: “In defence of swap: common misconceptions“. Chris explains what Swap is, and how it provides a backing store of anonymous pages as opposed to the actual code files, which provide backing store for file based pages.

I have no problem with the information and background knowledge he provides. This is correct and useful stuff, and I even learned a thing about what cgroups can do for me.

I do have a problem with some attitudes here. They are coming from a developers or desktop perspective, and they are not useful in a data center. At least not in mine. :-)

Chris writes:

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Knock, Knock

What does your Mac do on Startup? Knockknock knows.

It’s not properly updated for current versions of MacOS, but it is still useful. “git clone https://github.com/synack/knockknock” and “/usr/bin/python knockknock.py” is sufficient to test.

TOTAL ITEMS FOUND: 44

That’s quite a bit. Apparently, I am starting

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