Technological Unemployment - Summary of a summary

There is this approach to consuming information online. I don’t know what it is called or who came up with it. The approach is to look at a topic, write down the solid questions you would like to answer about the topic, consume the material about this topic that’s in front of you and after you are done, answer the questions that you had started out with. With several blogs (esp Slate Star Codex), this approach has helped me a lot. Especially because it gives me an idea about what I would like to know, what my presumptions / beliefs about the questions are before I read the article and am influenced by the author’s presumptions and beliefs.

Technological... Read More

2 weeks of Monochromacy

It all started with a tweet.

My phone is now two years old and I was looking for the next thing out there because I am bored with my phone and I really don’t want to buy a new phone. I am pretty sure this is the first time in my life I have actually not wanted to buy new hardware, even if I have the chance.

I like my Nexus 5X, but I had to do something to keep it interesting. Enter, Monochromacy.

Full disclosure: I... Read More

Pragmatic GoLang Workshop - Follow-up

As part of the Kharagpur Open Source Summit 2018, there was a Pragmatic GoLang workshop on 20th January, for 3 hours. Kshitij organized and ran it. By all accounts, it was a great success! He did a really good job with the slides and with delivering the workshop! The workshop was originally scheduled for 3 hours but it ran for nearly 4 hours, and people sat patiently and programmed alongwith him.

I was part of the team who was there helping him out with the doubts that everyone who came to the session had. These are some of the things I learnt in the workshop and some notes about GoLang for the future.

2017 Review of Podcasts

2017 was the year that I started listening to podcasts. It’s a new form of media and I am psyched to have taken to it. Podcasts seem to be getting more and more popular by the day, and I am really excited to see what happens to this format!

Vikrant Varma recently published his 2017 Review Of Books and this post is inspired by his post. I have been reading books and I started cataloguing what I read on Goodreads only a couple years ago. On the other hand, this is my first year of listening to podcasts, so I am aiming to build a much bigger collection of what I listen to as the years go by!... Read More

Year in Review - 2017

This has been a pretty good year for my blog, I think(??). Of course, the metrics that I use are rather subjective and might not bear even a semblance to the truth. In my head, 2017’s quick recap would definitely feature these things:

  • I started 100DaysOfWriting on the 18th of February. That was also my first post on the blog in 2017, and in almost a year!
  • SHA-1 was broken for the first time with some binary padding data, two PDFs had the same SHA-1 even though they were different!
  • I watched a little bit of Veep, but then gave up after the 4th season! Selena was just about to become president. I wish I could continue... Read More

What does "wrapping text to 80 columns" mean?

When you write a line of text that is really long, you can do two things. You can enter a “linebreak” or a “newline” after every few characters. Or you can not do that and let the line be as long as it needs to be.

“Wrapping text at 80 columns” implies that you have configured your editor to insert a “newline” after you have typed 80 characters on a particular line. The cursor moves to the next line.

Sample unwrapped text: Unwrapped text

Sample wrapped text: Wrapped text

The difference between these two formats might not be obvious to some at first glance. The unwrapped sample will look different on different screens. If your screen is really... Read More

NPM changes downloads-stats API and informs the world 38 hours later

There are two parts to this post. The first is about what happened, chronologically and the second part is about why I was so disappointed with this.

Note: All the times in this post which are not annotated are India Standard Time = GMT + 5.5

What happened?

  • Around 10 AM on 29th August, 2017, I was proof reading my resume and clicked on one of the links that I have there. I reached that page and realised that the number shown there was drastically low compared to the number that I already knew was the real one.

    I was surprised. The first thing that came to mind was that NPM had deleted the old data... Read More

Music Update - August 2017

Ah, so now, I can finally get to it! (I have been wanting to write this article since August 31, but something kept getting in the way. Also, writing it is sort of a hassle because I have to get the screenshots etc. So, maybe I was putting it away.) On with it!

Quickly: There’s a recommendations section at the end. It has 3 songs I think you should listen to. If you are not interested in my droning on and on about lyrics and throwbacks and percieved similarities, press END on your keyboard and check those three songs out!

This month was about two TV shows: the Atypical Season 1 soundtrack and a couple of songs that come... Read More

A response to The Coming Software Apocalypse (an article on The Atlantic)

This is a response to The Coming Software Apocalypse, an article on The Atlantic published on 26th September, 2017.

The approach that the article suggests for programming is Model-based design. I would like to cover some of my own past experiences with bugs that existed in the code I wrote and how the lack of confidence in the foolproof-ness of a piece of software leads to hours spent in thorough (not exhaustive) testing.

1. undefined leads to 15,000 emails

During the past summer at Elanic, there was a typical problem in the ExpressJS based backend that powered the primary REST API that runs the Elanic mobile applications. There were three ways for a user... Read More

Samsung SM-B313E/D - Flashing software and getting out of a fix

It all started with this tweet:

That’s a Samsung SM-B313E/D. I forgot the password and it was actually really disturbing because I couldn’t depend on myself to remember the several other passwords when I forgot a 4-digit password for an old phone.

That aside, I needed a way to fix this. There are several tutorials to do this on the Internet. A selection:

Tutorial 1

Tutorial 2

Tutorial 3

Tutorial 4

There was something... Read More