10 Mar 2017

Weekly Review: March 10, 2017

Sometimes I feel busy but like I'm making no progress towards my goals. Or I have thoughts I'd like to share, but I'm worried I'll make a mistake… This is my attempt to keep track of the progress I do make, and establish a more informal voice for discussing half-formed ideas. In other words, a blog. I hope you don't mind the noise.

Home

We got internet! After three months in our new house surviving on scraps of 4g, we finally have a proper broadband connection. It's wonderful. In the interim, Stardew Valley has become a popular pastime with us, as it requires no internet connection and is thoroughly soothing to play - there's even a Linux installer!

Projects

I made some progress on my event publishing system called Dust. The idea is for each event-stream to have a unique ID - like a magnet: link in BitTorrent - and for each subscriber to share these events peer-to-peer. I'd already completed the underlying data store and hash tree, and this week I made a first attempt at the event store itself. You can now persist events and sync them with another machine!

As part of my research, I read (or re-read) papers on logical timestamps in distributed systems - where time is a tricky but interesting problem. The idea that you can causally order events with 'physical' time is a misconception I often encounter in my consulting, so this might be a good angle for a future blog post.

Emacs

I'm slowly getting to grips with the Org-mode agenda view, and I now schedule all my TODO items, so they're harder to ignore. I also created a custom capture template to easily make notes for these weekly updates. It calculates the date for the next weekly blog post and creates the file if missing. On Fridays, I have a draft blog post waiting, filled with notes, which I open with M-x weekly-review.

Baking

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know I'm on a bit of a baking kick. This week was my first attempt at a San-Francisco style sourdough; at only 65% hydration it's a lot drier that my previous attempts. It retained its shape better but I have to admit it didn't taste as good.

Dangerously, I also branched out into biscuits and made some delicious hazelnut shortbread using a recipe from James Morton's "How Baking Works". I shared it at our weekly co-working space 'tea and cake' event and everyone survived.

Weekly review experiment

Not many of my visitors arrive by RSS now, but if you're one of them, and the weekly review becomes too noisy, let me know and I will add a separate feed. Thanks to Sacha Chua for inspiring these weekly updates (and much of my Emacs config too).

Have a great weekend!

If you have any comments, please get in touch.