Twitter: @ewenmcneill -- February 2019

Mon Feb 04 03:52:30 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

It’s a complicated question. And probably situational too. I think there’s clearly a need for “safe spaces” (no Foo) in some contexts. But other contexts might function better with, eg good CoC and strict enforcement of it. Maybe inc “listen most if you have privilege”.

Mon Feb 04 03:57:25 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

Historically “no men” feels like a shorthand first take on creating a different feeling space. But increased awareness of trans, enbie, etc means there’s more need to unpack what is required for an inclusive, well functioning, space. Without arbitrary exclusions, if possible.

Mon Feb 04 08:46:14 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

Patreon is very convenient when one is supporting people on Patreon already. I’m supporting a few random projects there because it was trivial to add them (plus a bunch of the YouTube channels I follow). Maybe Patreon to cover costs and just call them sponsors? $5/sponsor?

Mon Feb 04 22:02:10 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

Fair enough. I’d understood you wanted to cover costs (cost recovery), rather than run a “paid access only” service. Patreon seems to work best for the “help this creator pay their bills” model, rather than subscriptions. But for small numbers could be repurposed with some glue.

Wed Feb 06 08:17:09 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

Sorry to hear about the “own” goal. I’m surprised anyone is putting dairy in medicine still. It used to be common 35 years ago when I first found out about my allergies. But there seems to be more awareness of at least dairy/gluten these days. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

Wed Feb 06 08:25:45 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

Unfortunately venture capital is “rapid growth” cancer. In a boom new business area sometimes “rapid growth” is what a business needs to stay ahead of the competition. But often the “cancer” just consumes all that was good of the founders’ ideas, and moves on :-(

Wed Feb 06 08:29:27 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

:-( I do remember reading the ingredients extra carefully last time deworming medicine was required and being surprised some of those had dairy. It still strikes me as a dangerous manufacturer choice these days to include “surprise dairy”.

Wed Feb 06 08:36:32 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

There does need to be a “by the community, for the community” funding conduit, like Patreon, but content to be a “3% profit a year, forever” utility. I’ve been waiting 25 years for a successful online micropayments model to arrive, and survive. Modern finance rules make it hard.

Thu Feb 07 03:32:48 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @pjf

It’s definitely a good idea to ask, if you have a (somewhat) flexible schedule. I suspect the vast majority open up because clients need to reschedule, often on only a day or twos notice. Wait lists are common in NZ too. Sometimes you can book for future and also go on wait list.

Thu Feb 07 03:44:59 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @secvalve and @BR3NDA

Living without a “monthly earnings” kind of spare cash base is extra expensive: it cuts off buying in bulk or only when things are on sale.

Spending badly is one possible contributor to financial stress. But correlation is not causation. And certainly not sole causation.

Thu Feb 07 06:06:08 +0000 2019 (#)

CAD/CAM manufacturing to a couple of hundredths of a millimeter tolerance, for tight music. With fantastic backing track. The whole Marble Machine X build series is great, this week’s episode is awesome.

Sat Feb 09 19:39:57 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

One of my NZ clients used @chargebee ( for recurring charges. Seemed designed to be subscription backend; you’d probably want a signup page elsewhere in front of it, but there’s an API to support that. (I’d guess Patreon would be okay for 2-6 months.)

Sat Feb 09 19:49:25 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

It looks like the two main NZ ones, Payment Express ( and PayStation ( are not set up for tokenised recurring payment processing. Both integrate with eg @Shopify for one off payments though, if you wanted to do 3/6/12 month signups.

Sun Feb 10 06:23:16 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @aurynn and @Shopify

I think if you use the NZ ones through a shopping cart site (like Shopify) they’re probably a lot easier than using directly. But Shopify won’t do recurring payments either.

Stripe seems a good choice for modern processing API, with more options on charge types.

Sun Feb 10 06:34:00 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @Alakotila

I think you hit the key point with the language being a bit rocky right now. Reading the intent behind “women and non-binary” is tricky because the term is used by different people to mean different things. Having specific collective nouns for different meanings would help a lot.

Sun Feb 10 18:25:14 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @caracevaaa and @DrDreHistorian

Good to see a focus on passenger rail! Of note, Johnsonville has been only a branch line for 30+ years (there’s an end stop). And so has Melling for decades (main line goes up other side of valley). Are you mapping actual lines now? Or at some point mid-20th century?

Sun Feb 10 18:33:33 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @Nicolas_Reid, @caracevaaa and @DrDreHistorian

Thanks! That explains the unexpected combinations of rail lines :-) Johnsonville also became a branch line when (or very soon after) the mainline tunnel went through under Newlands (maybe 40-60 years ago actually).

Sun Feb 10 20:49:47 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @caracevaaa

Sounds like a good approach! Thanks for the explanation/context.

Mon Feb 11 04:37:47 +0000 2019 (#)

“There’s no STEM in schools. It’s just S&M and no-one’s having any fun” — quoted in “Donkey Cars in education” talk from #lca2019 Hardware Miniconf ( about making STEM more fun at school with @donkey_car ( based projects.

Tue Feb 12 22:23:55 +0000 2019 (#)

@nzgizmoguy talking about @faucetsdn deployment at SCinet18, at #SDNcon3 in Wellington, NZ. Third presentation of this talk in 3 weeks — also presented at #lca2019 and #nznog; LCA2019 presentation recording:

Wed Feb 13 00:08:18 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

Run time backwards for better results? 😃

Wed Feb 13 04:47:15 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @merxplat and @tveastman

has a tool a bit like this I think. Or at least code that maybe could be repurposed?

(Sorry to hear it’s still going on 😠)

Wed Feb 13 05:11:17 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @mattcen

Thanks for headsup. I’ve read some of the linked documents. It seems to be at least the 2nd public call in of a high profile poly person in a year. So far Franklin Veaux’s call in seems to be specific to particular circumstances in docs. Hopefully more details make it clearer.

Wed Feb 13 07:39:40 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @merxplat

Glad to hear it’s quieter! Automated tools seem like the only way to stay ahead. And matching on profile keywords seems a surprisingly useful filter… (I guessed Tom would be helpful!)

Wed Feb 13 08:25:05 +0000 2019 (#)

Illuminated terra-cotta warriors outside Te Papa tonight! #SDNcon3 cc @nzgizmoguy

Wed Feb 13 20:31:41 +0000 2019 (#)

Really liking that bus transfer fares are working in Wellington now, like a city that values public transport. (Hopefully it’ll soon be extended to cover multi-mode transfers too, open up more choices in journey planning.)

Thu Feb 14 00:32:38 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @mjg59

Is that this Blu Ray region B UK release? I’m in Region B and have been looking for a Hackers re-release for years! Wonder if they’ll actually ship UK to NZ?

Fri Feb 15 02:03:38 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @cr1901

In ANSI C89 (1989) variables have to be at the top of the block. I assume to make small minimal passes compilers easier to write. ANSI C99 (two decades ago) adopted the C++ variable declaration rules and you can declare them where you want. Maybe you need a newer compiler? 😃

Fri Feb 15 02:15:53 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @cr1901

C89 is pretty “retro computing” to me at this point 😃 For MS-/PC-/Free- DOS I’d probably just embrace C99. There were enough compilers with at least reasonable support of C99 for DOS. But if backwards compat to C89 matters as part of the Art of what you’re doing… good luck!

Fri Feb 15 19:45:42 +0000 2019 (#)

Fantastic mechanical tulip art piece, that opens, glows, and closes. View the thread for more pictures/detail.

Sat Feb 16 03:09:23 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @mjg59

Thanks! Ordered. Hopefully here in a couple of weeks (only one shipping option — the cheapest — available).

Sun Feb 17 07:17:37 +0000 2019 (#)

@attacus_au’s talk “Apathy and Arsenic” was a highlight for me at #kiwicon last year, but not recorded. Fortunately she gave it again at #lca2019, it’s just as fantastic the second time, and best of all it was recorded so you too can watch it:

Tue Feb 19 06:00:07 +0000 2019 (#)

Excellent @bunniestudios talk from Bluehat IL 2019 earlier this month about hardware supply chain risks and potential attacks. Great summary of risk points from a hardware engineer/hardware hacker point of view. Definitely 45:37 well spent.

Wed Feb 20 06:40:39 +0000 2019 (#)

TFW the really good staff member at an organisation moves on to a different job and you have to see someone else.

I think I got the subtle “the pain is all in your head” treatment :-(

Fri Feb 22 02:50:00 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

I think quoting/invoicing is one of the scariest parts of freelance anything. With a couple of decades practice I can send people 4 and 5 digit invoices, but there’s always a double/triple checking I “did enough” to justify it before hitting send.

Fri Feb 22 02:53:00 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

I expect the wider culture of under paying for arts feeds into it too, and makes it seem even scarier. Having clients that want to pay helps! 😃 🦋

Fri Feb 22 07:37:05 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

I think “style” (anyones style) is an emergent property. It’s only obvious after some time what that style is, what is common to that person, what is common to that time period, what is common to that person/time. So “do what you like”, and find the “style” with hindsight?

Fri Feb 22 07:40:07 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

For certainty I think it’s common that a given project/book/collection will naturally have its own style if it’s to feel a coherent whole. But that style too is often an emergent property of putting the project/book/collection together. The project “finds its voice”.

Fri Feb 22 08:07:18 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @BR3NDA

I’m pretty sure you can get single/return tickets from the airport terminals. $18-$20ish each way. Most of that is airport gate charge. You can get an Opal card at airport train station. From memory total cost similar, then you have card for other trips.

Fri Feb 22 08:13:17 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @BR3NDA

Looks like Opal card is free with minimum topup on purchase of $10. You need about $35 round trip for airport to city return I think. There’s a ticket booth in both the airport terminals that will sell Opal cards (and single / topup machines).

Fri Feb 22 08:14:55 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @BR3NDA

Clarification: Opal ticket booth is in the airport train station, attached to the airport terminals. Just before the ticket gates.

Tue Feb 26 06:51:32 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

I’ve always bought Fusion Pro (well most of them were upgrades on a sale day). But I don’t think I use many of the extra features — copy on write linked disks, ESXi management features, VM archiving, etc. To just run a Windows VM, Fusion is probably enough.

Tue Feb 26 06:59:09 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

I suspect that NZ$450 is just a price anchor that no one is expected to actually (willingly) pay. Most people end up with Windows site licenses or “OEM license with hardware purchase”. I believe both of those are cheaper. IIRC Pro was about NZ$200 more as OEM with new computer.

Tue Feb 26 07:37:51 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @the_sidecarist: @_alexrowland Here's a mini-thread that should give you a general idea of how men can add color and expression into the…

Tue Feb 26 07:45:25 +0000 2019 (#)

Thread (scroll back up to see start; it doesn’t thread as well from the first tweet). The advice on reclaiming the rest of the history of men’s fashion that is not Beau Brummell’s uniform / suit look is good. Bright colours are awesome. Wear bright colours! 🦋🌈

Tue Feb 26 19:46:40 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar

“Girl” was in the NZIFF last year. Definitely worth seeing (my brief review at; slight spoilers of the ending cinematography). But yes, many feels!

Thu Feb 28 06:58:26 +0000 2019 (#)

@pjf If you feel like a June visit to Wellington, here’s an excuse: Wellycon | The nation's biggest boardgame convention