Kristian Glass - Do I Smell Burning?

Mostly technical things

USB-C: A Rant

(Disclaimer: This is a minimally-edited version of a midnight rant on Discord. Do not expect a particularly nuanced take, this does not reflect my usual level of compassion and empathy, I’m sure the standards authors are smart and wonderful people and I benefit from their work etc.)

I’m sure the spec authors are smart and reasonable upstanding people who believe they are making the world a better place but with all due respect USB-C can absolutely get in the sea. Or at least I wish some very stubbed toes upon people.

There was a brief shining period in my life when USB felt good. I felt like I understood it, I felt like I could trust it. It was simple.

Why Us? A Favourite Interview Question

One of my favourite questions to ask in an initial job interview/screening is this:

What attracted you to the role with us?

Plus the absolutely vital follow-up:

(“I want a new job and yours didn’t sound completely awful” is an entirely reasonable answer!)

That second part is key.

How I Read

I love reading. When I was younger this was a bit of a problem - my parents had to move my dad’s Stephen King horror books because I’d start reading them as soon as I’d grown tall enough to reach the shelf - or the time I asked “mummy what’s a murder” because I would read old newspapers left around for recycling.

But I’ve found so much joy through reading - and even though today for various reasons I don’t read as much as I used to, it’s still one of the best ways for me to pick up information.

I read quickly (e.g. Lord of the Rings in about a week at around 10 years old). This is almost certainly a huge factor in my enjoyment. I don’t know how exactly I do this or where learned this; I think I taught myself at a fairly young age. But an indirect benefit, other than the obvious speed itself, is that it makes it very low cost to try out a book/series - it doesn’t take me much time or effort to get through enough to decide if I want to continue!

Using Pipenv on Read the Docs

I really like Read the Docs - a great documentation hosting platform, free for open source and community projects.

I really like Pipenv for managing my Python project dependencies.

Unfortunately Read the Docs have decided to not support Pipenv. This is perfectly reasonable of them - it’s their service, and everything they decide to support incurs a cost. Alas it’s not quite ideal for me!

Fortunately both tools provide useful compatibility features that make it pretty straightforward to get them working together:

In Praise of Twitter

I joined Twitter back in 2010 and have loved it. Like so many of these things, I find you get from it what you put in, and over the years I put in lots of effort curating my timeline so that I followed a fantastic selection of people and groups that brought me knowledge and joy.

Amateur Radio

I am a licensed radio amateur. Wikipedia describes Amateur Radio as:

Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is the use of radio frequency spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radiosport, contesting, and emergency communication. The term “amateur” is used to specify “a duly authorised person interested in radioelectric practice with a purely personal aim and without pecuniary interest;”

There’s an incredible range to the hobby: some like to simply talk to others nearby, some like to see how many different places they can communicate with, some enjoy travelling to different islands or mountains to contact others, some are interested in electronics and building radios, and some like to communicate by bouncing signals off the moon.

I’m less interested in the human communication aspect, and more in the technical, particularly in exploring the “hidden” world of signals around us all. Actually, given I do very little transmission and instead focus primarily on what I can receive, I make relatively poor use of the permissions my license grants me!