Kristian Glass - Do I Smell Burning?

Mostly technical things

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!

ESPHome - simple yet powerful IoT programming

ESPHome is a remarkably simple yet powerful framework and toolchain for programming ESP8266/ESP32 boards. ESPHome provides a whole bunch of “components” - pre-built modules to manage the underlying hardware/functionality - and lets you enable, configure, and integrate them with a few short lines of YAML.

ESP32 (and the ESP8266 predecessor) is “a series of low-cost, low-power system on a chip microcontrollers with integrated Wi-Fi and dual-mode Bluetooth” with a wide range of uses, but particularly valuable for IoT and/or home automation.

There are relatively inexpensive dev boards (£14 on The Pi Hut), and a whole bunch of commercial “smart” devices built on top of an ESP core.

Job Advert Template

There are many ways you could write a job advert, but, absent something pre-existing to work from, here’s the skeleton template I use.

This was written as part of wider documentation about ensuring healthy and inclusive hiring practices, so isn’t a self-contained fully-fleshed-out thesis, but it’s been handy for me to use and re-use.

The examples are a little contrived and brief, but should serve as a basic indicator of the kind of content intended.

DevOps Defined

I’m a big believer in the value of “real” DevOps - culture, collaboration, breakdown of silos, etc.

But the lack of a formal definition has often made it feel challenging to explain, particularly as it’s so widely and often superficially used - “our ops team is now the devops team” etc.

I’ve finally found an introduction and explanation I want to share:

My 2020

Previously I wrote “My 2019”, inspired by Always Improve, Never Stop, Never Pause, Never Appreciate: things I did; not necessarily “achievements”, but happy and/or notable things.

2020 was a pretty terrible year. Though I am fortunate enough to have been less negatively affected by the pandemic than many, being “Clinically Extremely Vulnerable” has made it challenging for me to offer much help to others. I have been giving money to various charitable efforts, including Save the Children and The Felix Project, and would encourage others who can to do the same.

Meanwhile, in no particular order:

2020 In Books

As per 2019, some things I read in 2020, with some brief opinions/recommendations.

It turns out I do most of my reading while travelling - trains, planes, and while waiting at stations - all things I didn’t do much of in 2020!

All categorisations are approximate at best and will probably cause some kind of contention.

My 2019

Previously I wrote “My 2018”, inspired by Always Improve, Never Stop, Never Pause, Never Appreciate: things I did; not necessarily “achievements”, but happy and/or notable things.

The end of 2019 was a bit of a whirlwind so I put off writing “My 2019” and never got around to it, but I regret that and wanted to rectify it, especially given how terrible 2020 was for so many.

So, in no particular order:

2019 In Books

As per 2018, some things I read in 2019, with some brief opinions/recommendations (published slightly later than originally planned).

All categorisations are approximate at best and will probably cause some kind of contention.