Kristian Glass - Do I Smell Burning?

Mostly technical things

Fitbit Alta HR: My First Impressions

I figured it was about time I started taking some health metrics, so I bought myself the new Fitbit Alta HR.

With sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, reminders to move, and the obligatory step tracking, it ticked the boxes for me.

It’s been fascinating to finally measure this stuff and turn “I should probably sleep more and do more cardio” into concrete metrics and goals!

That said, when Fitbit advertise the Alta HR as a “Fitness Wristband” (rather than one of their “Smart Fitness Watches”) they mean it.

Gtypist - Tpye Moar Gud

gtypist (technically “GNU Typist”) is a fantastic tool for learning / practising typing.

It’s been around for a while and that shows in some of its commonly packaged lessons (it’s 2017, automatic linewrap is a thing, two spaces after a full stop less so) but it does what it needs to, and is readily available and easy to use.

Merging Two Git Repositories

Say you have two git repositories that you want to combine into one.

Maybe you’re assembling a monorepo, or maybe you’ve decided your standalone tool/library shouldn’t be standalone any more. Whatever the reason, you almost certainly don’t want to lose your commit history.

So here’s how:

GitLab - an Amazing Recovery

At around 23:30 on Tuesday 31st January 2017, a GitLab engineer deleted the data directory of their primary database instance.

What followed was one of the most open and brilliant incident responses I’ve ever seen; an inspirational example that many should aspire to.

Webcam Covers

I’m uncomfortable with my laptop camera pointing at me.

The point at which you’ve got enough access to control my camera, sure, I’ve kinda already lost. Things aren’t binary though; there’s value in harm mitigation, and there’s definitely value in things that make you feel better.

So I love these little stick-on webcam covers with a sliding screen (shameless Amazon referral link).

Make All Your Voice Chats Better With One Simple Rule

Doing voice chats well is hard. There’s the inevitable cable-fiddling and restarting and “can you hear me? I can hear you”. There’s the person trying to talk not realising they’re muted. There’s the person treating everyone else to the sounds of them drinking tea because they forgot to mute themselves.

There’s one simple straightforward rule you can stick to that will improve things massively though:

One person, one room, one headset

Intent Is Not Magic

In lots of discussions, people try to use intent as a defence: “that’s not what I/they meant so it’s ok”.

Words of Estimative Probability

Uncertainties are common, from “we’re almost certain this is the cause of the outage”, to “project X probably won’t finish before we need to start project Y”, and “the train will almost certainly be on time tomorrow”.

Broadly speaking, decision making consists of “get information, do a thing”, whether a structured framework like OODA (Observe/Orient vs Decide/Act) or “let’s get lunch – where’s good?”

Often, this involves multiple people – the person making a decision will rely on information and analysis from others. During an outage, an Incident Commander will be making decisions based on observations by Subject Matter Experts; a Project Owner is best placed to speak about the timeline of their project but resource allocation is done elsewhere; I am familiar with local public transport and my houseguests would like to know so that they can make plans.

From Wikipedia’s “Words of Estimative Probability”: