This Week I Learned 2018 - Week 47

Last week post or something else.

如何避免成为一个油腻的中年猥琐男? 虽然作者的观点是出自于中国男性的观察,但是任何中年人都可从文章借镜。不认同第八条规,“不要停止购物”。年纪越大,物资需求理当越少,甚至到无。


What the recommended anime to watch in year 2018?  Megalo Box. If you're a fan of Cowboy Bebop (not a fan and way overrated), you will like this anime television series as both share a few similarities. 90's hand drawn style (dirty and raw and not like Makoto Shinkai's style), great and unique characters design (looking at you Fairy Tails and Hunter x Hunter), and predictable story line (rag to riches). Meanwhile, if you are a fan of space opera genre, the remake of Legend of the Galactic Heroes is worth watching as well, if you can ignore the  aesthetic of 3D effects which are unappealing and lifeless (looking at you Berzerk 2016).

How do you access the Docker container as root user? Surprisingly, quite straight forward. Uid of zero(0) is equivalent to `root` user.
docker exec -u 0 -it mycontainer bash

What happened when you're using LaTeX to typeset your thesis? A graph shown below (via Reddit) is worth a thousand words. I can relate to the author experience, instead of working on writing, you're struggling with typesetting.

This Week I Learned 2018 - Week 46

Last week post or something else from the past instead.

What I say to people who are looking for a job? (via HN) Is not about job hunting but a good step-by-step guide on identifying on what you want to do with your life or career instead. The advice is useful to evaluate the reality of what you think you love to do and actually doing it for a long period of time. Very much suitable for fresh graduates who don't know what they want to do with their life. For example, most young people with some programming knowledge dream to be a game developer but once they start building their first game, the initial passion will die down and most will quit after a while. Maybe they don't have the lack of right exposure, support, and environment. Nevertheless, passion, interest, and enthusiasm varies from person to person.

Meanwhile, if you had two months off between jobs what would you be doing? Do nothing but eat, sleep, shit, and repeat (just to unwinding) or travel (not the usual tourist type trip but maybe solo trip). Or go through your long postponed someday list and finally pick something up and pursuit it. Perhaps, "work" as usual but at home doing your thing as usual.

What is like to survive a month without computer? (via HN) He is not the first who tried this before, someone else did it for two months, and another one, a year without Internet. We're left wonder what it's like without any exposure to any electronic devices these days. Can we survive a day without our mobile phone? Doubt so for most people these days. Can you imagine the anxiety of not having your phone next to you? It used to be a norm last time. At the end of the digital sabbath, the author felt that it's not that special or spiritual as he hoped. He did, however, recommend that instead of two months, try digital detox or going analogue for two weeks.

Similarly, Vipassana retreat is harder and requires more mental power but maybe too extreme for most people. Another approach, Mauna, the practicing observing the silence is worth trying as well. For us mere mortal, start small. Away from any digital devices or Internet during the weekend. Off everything after 6pm during the weekday. Start from there, slowly but surely.

I've been investigating digital detox for quite some time and implement some of these strategies with moderate success and failure. Still, more adjustments needed as we're trying different approaches.

Is "not doing anything at all is the most productive thing you can do"? Boredom may be good for your creativity. As they said, "an idle mind is the devil's workshop". If you're stuck with a problem do something else not relevant and does not engage your brain. You subconscious mind will do all the works. I was wondering what if we dont do nothing and just stay in a very quiet place, where you have nothing else to do except engaging and confront your own thoughts, will you go crazy? Yes, in 45 minutes, in the world quietest place.

Do you know how Red Hat was initially funded? 8 credit cards with a debt of 50k. Crazy as it sounds but it seemed this was quite common practices for business that can't get proper loans. The sales of Red Hat to IBM did pinque some interests on its founders and humble beginning (via HN). While I believe they should have use apt as the package manager instead of reinventing another subpar package manager, rpm. They have proven themselves to be the most successful companies or poster boy of FOSS world.

How do you keep track of the articles you want to read? Instead of overwhelmed yourself with pending reading list, the best approach is just "now or never". Why put off when you can do it today? If any articles are important enough or worth your attention, read it now. If you have more then 10-plus tabs opened, then you're setting yourself up for information overload. Often, we save too many articles but never get the chance to read it. Most of these articles are mildly interesting and should be put it someday anyway.

Is there anything else like Memepool? Yes, we have Useful Interweb, "which brings only the best links every day".

What is the worse code base you've seen so far? Oracle Database 12.2. The insight shared by an ex-employee did shed some lights on maintaining extremely large legacy software project, in this case, a database management system. While this mess can traced back to overseas Indian team but US team should shares the blame as well. However, it was mess to start with in the first place. And, as usual, there is always a xkcd comic to describe such insane scenario.

This Week I Learned 2018 - Week 45

Last week post or something else from the old archive.


What would happened to Red Hat after IBM have acquired it? (via HN) I'm not sure Red Hat will be still Red Hat (you can work your own FOSS stuff even if it detriment to the company) since IBM is well-known for aggressive creating and protecting its patents portfolio. FOSS is not its core business values, it's just another department. But question remains, why purchased Red Hat? They need to control and be a major player as a cloud vendor compare to Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Red Hat, with its full FOSS stack, libraries, or tools, provides a platform for them.

Build your own professional-grade audio amp on the sort of cheap (via HN), worth it? Not really, unless you're really into learning (great things to do with your kids) and assembly the whole thing. Most of the DIY kits are way too pricey (Cmoy is the exception) and not worth the effort of getting the whole thing from Ali Express. Again, it's not the audio equipment itself, you still needs to manage the audio room or environment with acoustic panels. Be warned, stop when you can and don't buy into the whole system, cables, furniture, panels, and misc. Unless you can hear the differences (doubt so in my case), you're making money from audio, or friscking rich, don't join the audiophile madness.

Why does privacy matter or I'm not motivated enough to take privacy seriously? Well, if you want to prevent something like Social Credit System from the big brother.

Why kick timing is important in swimming? I intrigued by so many coaches overlook the kick timing aspect in the swimming drill. It seemed the focus was on building the stamina through drill rather than the technique and style. With the right kick timing that syncs with hand actions (catch, pull, exit, and recovery). Sun Yang, is a well-known swimmer which utilizes all three kick timing techniques depends on his breathing patterns as shown in his 1500m freestyle world record in 2012 Olympics race. 2-beat or 4-beat kick for the first 1400m and 6-beat kick for the last 100m.

So You Wanna Be a Chef? (via HN) Why the world need more honesty so young people can calibrate their own expectation in their career of choice? If not, we're setting them up for unreasonable failed expectation and brutal honestly about life, especially when come to financial (high student debt) and emotional reality (unreciprocate passion) . While having passion is good for your career of choice, but this does not means you can work for free or being undercharged.

Was Hindu god, Ganesha created to curb Buddhism? Debatable view but one thing for sure, Buddhism influence was limited by Adi Shankara in the 8th century.

When should you go to bed? The right question to ask is what time you want to wake up instead.

What is your books reading strategy? This approach is probably the most comprehensive I've seen so far.

Upgrading to Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish)

Ubuntu 18.10 was released last week and I've managed to upgrade most of my machines to this newer version. Compare to upgrade experience of 18.04, no show stopper was encountered. Reading through the release notes, it's not a major releases, just some upgrades to existing packages. However, some interesting items caught my attention.

1/ GNOME Disks now supports VeraCrypt. The name sounds familiar until I googled it up. It seemed that VeraCrypt is the fork version of the discontinued TrueCrypt, a popular disk encryption software many moons ago. A few old acquaintances love to use this software to stash their favourite collections.

2/ Sounds over-amplication. This is a welcome needed feature especially if you have lots of music files with incorrect volume range. Previous workaround was to play it through VLC which support this.

This Week I Learned 2018 - Week 44

Last week post or something else from the past.


What is GNU Kind Communication Guidelines? (via HN) The first comment (shown below) caught my attention of effective communication. However, there are always exceptions.
This is excellent; using love and persuasion to help someone improve is so much better than by force, compulsion, and fear. How many children rebel against restrictive and domineering parents? but a child who is loved and taught, but allowed to make choices and pursue independence usually ends up much healthier and happier.
Why digital detox is still more than essential these days in digital era? Repeated interruption leads to lost concentrationDiscussions at HN thread proposed several ways but is there a way to reduce this impact? Yes, but without discipline and life style changes as we're too digitally connected. For a start, take life slowly and be more patience. For example, reading a dead tree book is harder these days we have alternative and faster way to do so. But, isn't it nice to just slow and enjoy the smell and texture of the book while doing so?

When does education stop? (via HN) An essay of justification for studying liberal arts against the practical Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Regardless the choice you made in your life or career path, love what you do, and do what you love, provided you don't starve yourself and your family to death. Note the article is hosted in David Bull's site, a very dedicate gaijin woodblock printmaker on preserving and populating Japanese woodblock printmaking.

How to write a technical paper (pdf)? (via HN) The advice on writing good abstract was the best I've read so far. Easy, step-by-step, and straight to the point. Not to mention several other ways such as rules, formula, or algorithm as recommended for further reading.

What do you do in your 1-on-1s with your direct reports? Build trust.

How to check the React version of the app using it? There are many ways (depends on the ReactJs library was minified or not). The simplest way so far (may not work for all) is as follow. Is Facebook is using the latest greatest version? Seemed so.