🎵 The song for this post is Trinkle, Trinkle, by Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane. 🎵
There's a ton of news outlets trying to make sense of SARS-CoV-2; I linked the Kurzgesagt video earlier, the 3Blue1Brown video also gets linked around a lot, but I saw this one today, also appreciated it:
🐫 OCaml again
It is with a heavy heart I regret to inform you that OCaml has been at it again. I tried rebuilding Fleaswallow from a clean environment and, unsurprisingly, found that the build was not reproducible. It was especially maddening this time: Jane Street gives you a set of rewriters that play with their other libraries and they added one that killed my build because I didn't put a type annotation on an ignored variable.
They also hated polymorphic
= (in Jane Street land,
= is only between
ints, and you must instead use
phys_equal <a> <b> to do equality).
I put up with it because, sincerely, I do enjoy writing OCaml! Especially if you set up coc.nvim and a language server, it's fucking brilliant, you can just write things relatively easily and end up with a correct program that runs super fast.
Anyways, Fleaswallow can now build empty sites without posts (it was originally built explicitly for "blogs"). I'm "tracking" "issues" here, it's not something I'm working on too hard, but picking away at it.
Updates to The Setup
I've never been super attached to hardware or peripherals when computing. Here's from when I talked about "my setup":
The most odd thing about my engineering setup is that I don't work effectively with accoutrements. Most SWEs I know have external keyboards, mice, trackpads, standing desks, or keyboard trays. Most use a large external monitor, or multiple monitors, some turn a widescreen monitor on its side for more vertical space.
My desk has a bunch of stuffed toys. Every morning I pull out my laptop, use the laptop's keyboard and trackpad, on the laptop's screen, and nothing else.
So when we started working remotely, I was doing more-or-less what I was always doing: using the laptop as-is. But then my keyboard did what Apple laptop keyboards do, and work got to be impossible without a steady stream of profanities. So I present to you: the remote working setup!
Things to note:
This keyboard… is not my favorite! I've used Cherry MX switches since 2011, with my favorite being Blues which are too loud for office use. So when I got my second mechanical, I tried linear switches (reds, specifically). I don't like them! But all things considered, this is the best piece of my "rig."
This is an Amazon Basics mouse, which I got for Raspberry Pi work on remote art projects like Burning Man, so it is literally a hair above "functional."
This monitor: I got it in 2012 because when I was Twitch streaming more, I wanted a second monitor to read chat. So this was literally the cheapest monitor on NewEgg I could find in 2012.
The headset is actually pretty nice too — it's a HyperX that I got, again, for streaming and gaming. I think I'm one of the only people in my company who's using a real mic instead of the built-in on the laptop or Airpods, so I'm getting told I have the best audio in the the company. I think this is also due to aggressive muting when I don't speak that comes from years of remote tabletop gaming.
So this feels like the Animal Crossing starting tent of remote work setups. Depending on how much longer I end up doing this, I'd make a bunch more improvements:
Standing desk, at least as an option. Standing is pretty hard without a full-adjustable standing desk, which costs a pretty penny: usually the adjustable sets on a table already don't have a good platform for the keyboard and mouse (good ergonomics require your elbows at 90 degrees), and I'm rarely able to stand the whole time anyways.
A better monitor, or better: a few monitors, including one or two aligned vertically.
Hike back to Manhattan for the keyboard I like better, and the decent mouse I got.
If I wanted to go full Twitch streamer: a basic 3-piece lighting set, a better mic and boom arm (out of frame) for meetings. This would be if I already had a lot of success with the rest of the setup and we're talking 6+ months, and/or I become a manager and have to do a lot more meetings.
What are your favorites? What have you been doing or find helpful? Feel free to email me or add a comment 👇
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