I’ve been busy for the last month, and I completely forgot to update the blog. In no particular order, here’s what’s been occupying my time lately:
I joined a coworking space in East Vancouver with a friend, and I’m working from there 3-4 days/week. It’s like an airy spacious café with fast internet and quiet space, I love it. I find that getting out of the house helps me be more disciplined with my working hours; I’m much less likely to disappear down a Wikipedia+YouTube rabbit hole at the office. And then when I inevitably do that at home, I feel less guilty about it because I’ve accomplished so much at the office.
I got really into Node and the modern back-end JS ecosystem.
remarkably helpful (I can finally remember exactly what a
closure is!), it might be the first
that is genuinely a great source of information.
This talk by Franziska Hinkelmann on the V8 team is a great overview of JS engine internals.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Node APIs a few times; the Cluster module makes it trivial to fork workers and take advantage of multiple cores, and Buffer+friends make low-level bit manipulation quite pleasant. Which leads me to:
The Cryptopals Crypto Challenges by Matasano Security are a delightful introduction to practical cryptography. I decided to do them in Node to get more practice with back-end JS, my solutions are on GitHub. The problems are very well-designed. They’re small enough that you can (usually) do each one in a single sitting, and it feels great every time you decode a ciphertext.
I bought a Raspberry Pi 4 and have been loving it. For some reason I always thought of the Pi as only relevant for education and hardware hackers, but I was wrong – it’s a remarkably capable little Linux machine. I’m currently turning mine into a private Dropbox clone using ownCloud.
I started using Anki flashcards. I have decks for Node internals, uncommon JS syntax, and infrequently-used keyboard shortcuts and CLI options. Creating cards is a bit of an initial investment, but once that’s done I find that 5 minutes of daily study is enough.