Twitter: @ewenmcneill -- April 2019

Mon Apr 01 08:08:56 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

TIL about the fawn reflex. I even have the suggested book, on my “to read” pile. Thanks for the pointer! 🦋

Fri Apr 05 10:14:16 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @quendergeer: The clothes were never gendered; society is, but you can't sell that to parents who want to be "woke" but not "queer"

Tue Apr 09 10:18:08 +0000 2019 (#)

TIL CTSS (Compatible Time Sharing System) was “Compatible” because it also supported running older style batch jobs as well as handling interactive users.

Very interesting (2016) talk on pre-Unix computer history leading to time sharing, Multics and thus Unix.

Tue Apr 09 10:24:05 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

It turns out Multics is now open source (looks like a MIT license), with last copyright date around 2006.

Wed Apr 10 07:27:52 +0000 2019 (#)

The history and structure of SMPTE Timecode: originally Manchester encoded binary data in the audio track, and now typically in the file metadata. (Complete with a description of drop frame timecode slipping to work around NTSC colour overheads!)

Wed Apr 10 07:31:26 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar and @BR3NDA

I accidentally got a law degree, with honours, in my misspent youth. But then got seduced into IT consulting by a friend… :-) In NZ a law degree typically needs 4 years “full time” study, including about a year that can be cross credited from another degree.

Wed Apr 10 07:36:20 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @BR3NDA

Depending on what you want from your law degree, you might find that doing, eg, LAWS 101 covers 90% of what you need. That’s where all the law interpretation teaching is done. Pretty much everything else is “brain dump on reading the source code of system X” TBH.

Wed Apr 10 07:40:16 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @BR3NDA

LAWS 101 was (is?) 1/4 “full time” course, full year. Plenty of people do it as “adult” students after time in other careers.

(Also I’m happy to talk law vs code interpretation if that’d help. DM/email/whatever me if you like.)

Wed Apr 10 07:49:32 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @pjf

Date of Birth as a nonce :-)

(I give almost everyone a different email address for me, often including their business name. That leads to considerable confusion on their part…!)

Wed Apr 10 07:52:49 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

On the plus side the shipping is only marginally more expensive than the item you want… (I abandon the idea of buying things where the shipping is considerably more than the item itself, even for the cheapest shipping option.)

Thu Apr 11 00:44:07 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @scott_thewspot

Yes, I’ve run into that too. If it’s a web form I just get more creative with the “company name” bit if the address 😃 (If it’s in person then an explanation usually works; I can only remember one outright refusal.)

Thu Apr 11 02:27:38 +0000 2019 (#)

Achievement unlocked: GST accounts completed, filed, and paid before tax department shuts down entirely for over a week (!) of the first month after the end of the tax year. (Because “upgrades”.)

Thu Apr 11 02:30:26 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @scott_thewspot

Fun! Different business validation rules per form implementer… 😠

Thu Apr 11 02:35:28 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

And you have so many pictures/video with style transfer applied to them…. Just Saying 🎶

Sun Apr 14 06:41:25 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

With more Verilog, it’s possible to cycle around the combinations of the three LED colours. Loosely based on the .@zipcpu tutorial LED walker and Tomu FPGA blink example, but adapted for combinations of 3 colour LEDs instead of a row of 8 individual LEDs.

Mon Apr 15 06:08:32 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

The not Kiwicon, not BSides Wellington conference, run by some of the same people, has some dates now: 2019-10-17 and 2019-10-18. It’s on my calendar already :-) Watch @kawaiiconNZ for news as it comes to hand.

Tue Apr 16 06:33:22 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @textfiles: So, Infocom source code is now uploaded to Github. Most people don't speak or want to speak the language it's written in, ZI…

Wed Apr 17 02:33:44 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

It’s one of those toxic memes that’s deep in modern society: things “in the man box” good, things not, not. Treating all things as equally valid and mixing them together seems the best way forward. It’s one of the reasons I like Circuit Stickers Art+Tech!

Wed Apr 17 03:04:47 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @buildmaster: My wife sent me a picture of a drowned Lime Scooter, but I think it looks somewhat like an abstract oil painting. https://…

Wed Apr 17 06:25:30 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Fantastic talk by @deviantollam (B-Sides Orlando) about Event Security, Tactical Civility, Verbal Akido, and empathy. De-escalation matters. Highly recommended for anyone who deals with people. Also has great advice on victim support, especially at cons.

Wed Apr 17 06:30:47 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @deviantollam

Slides: But honestly, watch the talk, it’s wonderfully presented. Do watch to the end: the drunk driving / codes of conduct analogy is particular apt for setting equal standards for everyone.

Wed Apr 17 09:02:02 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

KawaiiconNZ is getting close to a CFP

Wed Apr 17 21:24:36 +0000 2019 (#)

Marble machine timing tweaks to under 10ms accuracy, at multiple bpm, with a Music Timing Clutch. Detailed video on making the clutch at (and testing video in quoted tweet).

Thu Apr 18 05:16:45 +0000 2019 (#)

Unexpected #wellington public transport effects: the No 1 Bus from Johnsonville to city gets delayed by the queue to get off Nauranga Gorge onto SH2 in the evening rush hour. Bus not even going onto SH2. But bus stop position in Nauranga Gorge forces it to cross traffic twice.

Fri Apr 19 22:19:16 +0000 2019 (#)

Great article, well worth reading for anyone doing systems engineering or analysis. My take away is deciding “it’s just a small change, we don’t need to fully test it” is a slippery slope, particularly when cost of full test seems huge.

Sat Apr 20 07:56:29 +0000 2019 (#)

Verbal Judo, by analogy with Judo — the Gentle Way, with redirection/deflection. 90 minute classroom presentation, worth watching despite the low video resolution. Good follow up thread to Deviant Ollam’s talk.

Sun Apr 21 09:28:14 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Verbal Judo, 4 * 30 minute parts (older presentation, probably retrieved from VHS). Lots in common with 90 minute version above, but different examples and great re-enactments.

Mon Apr 22 02:39:23 +0000 2019 (#)

Why do you need 5 foot long metal scissors? So you can run with them, obviously. Protip: it’s exhausting.

Wed Apr 24 06:42:44 +0000 2019 (#)

“That’s not reverb. That’s reverb!”

Fri Apr 26 21:52:07 +0000 2019 (#)

Coming up in 25 minutes, the livestream of GitHub’s Infocom game history event Watch at (seems to be YouTube Live).

Fri Apr 26 22:13:20 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Live stream up (with hold music) now. .@KevinSavetz is prepared to interview…

Fri Apr 26 22:22:15 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar

On the plus side they have only a short trip to the crime scene… 😂

Fri Apr 26 22:39:36 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

At least for me the YouTube Live stream audio seems to be about 10 seconds behind the video. But it’s mostly interview so just listening is good :-)

Sat Apr 27 09:29:10 +0000 2019 (#)

Successfully replaced NVMe drive in my Dell XPS 9360, with 1TB Samsung drive. Took all day. So much yak shaving! (Swapping M.2 drive over was fastest part.) Despite copying partitions and file systems bit for bit, I still had to repair both Linux and Windows 10 boot setup.

Sun Apr 28 05:14:51 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

I’m really sorry to hear that. I agree that’s a poor practitioner response, and it sounds like poor practitioner behaviour full stop.

I’d go stronger than you: if someone freezes in response to something one does it’s almost certainly some level of PTSD.

Sun Apr 28 05:18:30 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

Anyone doing body work should have both some awareness of PTSD responses, and enough presence in their touch to at least be aware “something’s up” if the response to their touch suddenly changes (especially including freeze).

Sun Apr 28 05:21:29 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

Also, you know about Betty Martin’s Wheel of Consent Y/Y?

Sun Apr 28 21:11:29 +0000 2019 (#)

RT @esden: Really good talk by @tnt full of details about the ice40up5k FPGA and a bunch of very interesting usescases of that chip. Thank…

Tue Apr 30 08:00:49 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

I suspect some combination of justification (“deserve” it as you said) and perhaps “oh, good, you found the spot” (ie, massage is productive, it’s “not just in my head”).

My massage therapist tends to recommend stretches / posture changes / more water if they find tightness…

Tue Apr 30 08:04:18 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

… so I tend to feel guilty (“not taking care of myself”) if tightness is found. Rather than pleased. (And pleased if they say I’m softer / more flexible than usual.) Clearly YMMV 😃

Tue Apr 30 08:06:47 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @pjf

Technically 1am is early enough to be first in the queue…. 😃

Hope you can persuade your jet lag to sync with daylight soon!

Tue Apr 30 08:19:21 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon


My massage therapist has a sign on the wall saying “how nice it is to do nothing, and then relax afterwards”. Which seems apt advice 😃

Besides massage can be for many things other than emergency first aid / only source of relieving tension.

Tue Apr 30 09:02:13 +0000 2019 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Blog post with more detail on the upgrade. It took another day of shuffling partitions around, expanding things, etc but I’m happy with the final result.