Roundup: NAND, Spookiness, Personalities, Lambdas, Micro-VMs, Annotations, Infrastructure
Nov. 30, 2018
NAND Game - Murray S
A while back, I studied The Elements of Computing Systems with the London Computation Club. The book takes you through the process of building a computer and writing software on it starting from a NAND gate and working your way up. This game covers pretty much the same ground as the first half of the book (it stops once you have a computer and you don't need to learn machine code or assembly to continue). The first puzzle is to build a inverter using only a NAND gate and the second puzzle you build an AND gate using NAND and inverters. Eventually you combine everything to make a computer that can process commands and store things in memory. I found it interesting to revisit the material and see how much I could remember, how much I could work out from the tools at hand and how much I really needed to think hard about (or look up). If you've an interest in how computers work this is a fun way to learn, and a good taster for the material in the book if you want to delve deeper.
Haunted Forests - Murray S
To be honest I'm mostly including this because I think the world of software could do with tending towards the gothic more than it does, so any article with a spooky metaphor does it for me. That it's also an article about another of my favourite topics in software (to re-write or not, and if so, how?) doesn't hurt either.
How to Deal with Difficult People on Software Projects - Elena T
It's nice to put different personality types into perspective, which is why I think this should be renamed to "How to deal with people". I unfortunately identify a bit with some of them, but each section offers advice on how to correct some behaviour patterns. I found this helpful and educational at the same time! Which difficult personality are you?
Ruby support for AWS Lambda - Andrew W
As part of a wider announcement about increased language support in AWS Lambda the much requested support for Ruby has finally arrived.
Firecracker, a new micro-VM from AWS - Andrew W
AWS has open sourced the underlying micro-VM technology in Lambda & Fargate - given the buzz that's been created over the past few days expect to see it widely adopted.
A tribute to YouTube annotations - Andrew W
Pretty much everyone hated annotations on YouTube which were routinely abused for ads, etc. but some people put them to good use. They removed the ability to create new ones some time ago but in what could amount to an act of cultural vandalism they're deleting them all on Jan 15. Here Andy Baio takes you through some of the more creative uses for annotations - just make sure you read the article before they're deleted.
5 Lessons Learned From Writing Over 300,000 Lines of Infrastructure Code - Elena T
How to do infrastructure that works for developers. Surprisingly, this isn't the standard.
Track of the Week - Vicky P
I started running again a couple of months ago and my friend shared one of her playlists with me on which was this song. When the running gets tough and this song comes on it changes momentum, makes me want to dance and puts a smile on my face. Feel good Friday 😀!