Pragmatic Thinking and Learning

I started reading this book because the title was very geeky: “Refactor Your Wetware”, and I’m glad that I read it. Although the book itself was published in 2008, it presents the ideas which are pretty much timeless: Learning & Thinking. As a knowledge worker, learning and gaining knowledge are central to what we do, but it’s also important to use that knowledge. And that happens when one starts thinking in terms of knowledge he or she has.

Range: Book Review

Rating: 4/5 I have absolutely no idea how this book came into my reading list, perhaps I picked up from other blogs that I follow, or maybe goodreads adviced me to read it but it was a very interesting read. The advice that’s given in the book is quite different from what the trend is usually in terms of education and any career choice that’s now available, with everyone targeting towards getting a specialisation in their field of choice.

Backing Up Nextcloud with Backblaze B2

Recently I’ve started hosting a lot of my own data using Nextcloud. It is an excellent alternative to likes of Dropbox & Google Drive and provides a lot of good features out of the box, e.g. a really great user interface, Calendar and Contacts, RSS reader, etc. along with native apps for all the desktop and mobile OSes. This is a good alternative to other cloud providers because overall it’s pretty cheap when there’s a need to scale up, although I had to research and find relatively cheap infrastructure providers which provided the features that I needed, without providing a lot of enterprisey features which a single user like me won’t need (r/selfhosted really helped me with finding the alternatives).

Overload control for scaling we chat microservices

Overload control for scaling wechat microservices I read about this paper on The Morning Paper and the summary felt interesting enough that I wanted to read this myself. WeChat engineering team is running around 3000 microservices on close to 20000 machines, and the system works fine under surges of overload. When a large chunk of 1.3 billion people use your application at a time, the surge it produces is going to be phenomenol.

Google File System

Google File System Introduction I did some reading of the GFS paper from 2003! In this post I’ll try to explain the paper. Get some beer. I started reading the paper because I came across and grew interested Apache HDFS which one implementation of this paper. This paper also provides the basis of the file system for the entire Map Reduce infrastructure. Google came up with GFS because of the following requirements that they had:

Bloom Filter

Bloom Filter Hash tables are such data structures which have uses almost everywhere. For each problem that we get, there’s a slight chance that it can be solved by using a hash table. Arrays are simpler hash tables, so are structures like symbols tables, caches etc. The problem with hash tables is that these store both the key as well as its associated value. While the keys can be hashed, the values are not.

Configure mu4e and msmtp

I am using mu4e for reading and sending emails wherever possible: mostly for the technical discussions or any quick emails where HTML isn’t required. I have multipl accounts, Gmail & Fastmail, the latter mostly because it provides an excellent service, has support for custom domain, and seemingly unlimited aliases. Having said that, I had a few hiccups while setting up muliple providers with mu4e. Out of the box, it provides what are called as contexts which are dynamic placeholders for messages based on some predefined rules.

The Black Swan

One of the rules which NN Taleb has to pick a book worth reading is that it should be worth reading more than once. This book is easily worth reading more than once. The thing which I like about NNT is that his books span multiple territories of literature: in one book you’ll find philosophy, humour, satire, mainstream-bashing, and of course a for-layman description of Economics. The main idea behind Black Swan is that we humans inherently tend to be very bad at predicting events, but we don’t know that.

References And Iteration in Rust

References and Iteration There’s a slight possibility that what I’ve written here may not be 100% correct. In such case I’ll come back and update my stance as I learn more about the language.As a Rust noob, yesterday I came to know about the “pattern” of iteration. It’s like the combination of having two things: rust passing you the references of values and how to use them, and how the values are owned/copied/moved in all of this.

The Shallows

As I have become more accustomed to using computers for a lot of things, my mind has sometimes wonder is there a different way of doing the said things? What if I can remove computer from the equation, will the resulting thing be better or worse? Or it won’t matter. So in last few months I’ve started reading literature which goes against the grain and states why the IT revolution isn’t a silver bullet.