Remote Work, Human Relationships, and Transactions

I was directed to this article about “stand-up” meetings by a work colleague. I have a few thoughts about it that nicely dovetail my “day job” with this blog. The Superficial Question Based on my own experience, the utility of stand-up meetings, as such, really does depend on the team, its mindset, and its needs. I have been in places where they were invaluable for team-level info share. I’ve been in other places where they were a complete waste of time, and often used as a weapon (punishing people for showing up late, incentivising token participation, and so forth).

The Linux Alternative

Since 2005, I’ve been working almost exclusively on Apple products. My first was an iBook G4. My last is the Macbook Pro 2015 on which I am typing this post. This coming February, I’ll be taking delivery of my first new computer since 2015, and it will not be a Mac. I chose the Dell XPS 8940 for its excellent balance of price and performance. But the real reason, is because I know it will work with several of the more modern distributions of Linux, and it is engineered in a way that I can still do with it as I wish.

The World In 1967

I was born in a tiny southwestern suburb of Chicago, in August of 1967. Lots of people were. There’s really nothing particularly special about that. There are loads of garbage celebrities and politicians born in 1967. Jimmy Kimmel (13 November), Joe Rogan (7 August), and Peter Thiel (11 October), for example. So, if you’re looking for someone interesting and exciting, you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m just an average schmuck from the Chicagoland area, with nearly the same birthdate as Joe Rogan.

Change, Technology, and Society

Once again, I am inspired to respond to Bryan Lunduke. This time, he posted the following commentary on the inevitability of change in tech, and it inspired the subsequent short editorial response. Not All Change Is Good When I was young, I naively and enthusiastically embraced all technological changes. The more ubiquitous the tech, the better. The more connected, the better. The more distributed, the better. The more integrated, the better!

Soaping With Rest, or Resting With Soap

This week, I have had the opportunity, as part of my new job, to reacquaint myself with the SOAP protocol. I was tasked with standing up a facade service, that would act as a live integration mock, for a new client interface being built which will be accessing a real (old) SOAP backend service, written in Java. Problem is, due to the nature of the situation, there is no way to see the innards of the service I’m mocking.

Testing New Shortcodes

Today, I’m just testing out a few new Hugo shortcodes I added to the site. I’ve culled these from around the internet, and hacked together some of my own. You might find them useful, if you’re doing static blogging yourself. You can find all the code on the repo for this site, found here. As I do more and more blogging from the static site generator, this sort of thing will be more and more useful to me, at least.

An ffmpeg scrapbook

In order to produce videos, I have had to jump through a lot of hoops. One of those, is learning how to transcode video files with ffmpeg. This post is mostly a convenience for me. A place where I can dump copy-pasta command lines, so that I never forget them. Extracting video from YouTube If you’re initially uploading to YouTube (because its the only cellphone app that works well), and need to move the videos to other services that don’t support syncing yet (or, their support is sketchy and broken), then use ffmpeg in cooperation with youtube-dl, and do this:

Nextcloud Caldav Discovery Problem

Recently, I setup a self-hosted nextcloud instance, for my own personal use. One of the primary uses I had for this service, besides storing sharable content on the internet, was to have a central place where I stored and synced things like appointments, meetings, and tasks. That requires a working CALDAV and CARDDAV discovery service, and nextcloud has this feature, so I was eager to get it up and running.

What Is a Community?

I have been thinking about this word a lot lately. In popular discussions, there are two approaches to the definition of ‘community’. First, the naive answer, which is that a community is roughly synonymous with a professional affiliation or a social association. Like being a member of a legal bar, or an alumnus of some university. Second, there are the sociological definitions, which distill “community” into a set of shared abstract properties, like “interests” or demographic characteristics, or tribal membership, such as the “community of python developers”, or “Cubs Fans”, or the “LGBT community”, or “the black community”.