Twitter: @ewenmcneill -- March 2020

Sun Mar 01 10:15:15 +0000 2020 (#)


This is a combination of Spoon Theory, Fork Theory and Knife Theory, metaphors used to help disab…

Sun Mar 01 20:27:38 +0000 2020 (#)

Beautiful CPU module collage! I didn’t know there were so many large multi-chip modules in the 1990s, with thousands of interconnect pins.

(The earlier two videos on the series on 8” floppy data recovery are great too.)

Tue Mar 03 06:02:46 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @freakboy3742: I am amazed at the number of web developers who apparently don’t ever use “open link in new tab” in their browser. This i…

Tue Mar 03 06:09:47 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @freakboy3742

So much this ⬆️

I use “open in new tab” constantly, both to open things to read later, and to do something and then come back to where I was. It’s really important for sane browsing!

(A site I used recently detected multiple tabs to it, and actively sulked. I was very sad 🙁)

Tue Mar 03 06:10:38 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @attacus_au: with the advent of event cancellations, is 2020 the year we figure out how to run successful remote conferences? because I…

Tue Mar 03 07:23:28 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @majek04: It turns out "sort" can be almost okay. You just must know the right incantation. Turns out that parallelization (enabled by -…

Tue Mar 03 09:06:58 +0000 2020 (#)

TIL you can breakout eMMC via 0.1” headers and DuPont patch leads if you make your own adapters! And still read/write the socketed eMMC via USB.

Well done @__fincham and @zantedotnz.

Tue Mar 03 20:28:04 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @letsencrypt: On March 4, we will revoke 2.6% of currently active Let's Encrypt certificates. These certificates were affected by a comp…

Wed Mar 04 07:53:06 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @tomscott: New video! Stopping a laser beam in mid-air: (with @seb_ly!)

Wed Mar 04 08:46:00 +0000 2020 (#)

Recreating Asteroids with lasers — Seb Lee-Delisle at An evening of unnecessary detail (2016)

Wed Mar 04 09:26:27 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @SimonStahn and @attacus_au

The CCC (Germany) and the APNIC (Asia-Pacific) conferences have done the hybrid in person/remote conference thing for about 5-10 years.

Just needs live-streaming, a real time chat method for submitting questions and “signal angels” to ask questions from the ‘net into the room.

Wed Mar 04 09:29:43 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @SimonStahn and @attacus_au

In both cases the conference community has embraced the hybrid approach, because not everyone can attend in person. (For CCC they’ve sold out their venue quickly for years, and there aren’t really bigger ones available.)

The future is here now, but it is unevenly distributed 😃

Thu Mar 05 00:44:00 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @pjf: Elections for the @OpenSourceOrg board of directors have opened. If you're an OSI member, you should have an email with more detai…

Thu Mar 05 07:01:45 +0000 2020 (#)

Maker’s Muse: This sphere defies gravity

Clever 3D printable model that can be made to rise up on its string. Fun detailed explanation of how it works, and how it was designed. (Printable files available for a few dollars.)

Thu Mar 05 23:50:41 +0000 2020 (#)

Looks like someone is sending out NZTA vehicle registration phishing now?!

I noticed it because it’s the wrong time of year for my vehicle and the email address it was sent to is not one I’d have given to NZTA. (Per supplier email addresses FTW 😃)

Thu Mar 05 23:53:18 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

First three links go to the same phishing site. The rest link to real NZTA site. Other than the phishing site URL (which isn’t that implausible for NZ government departments...) its a pretty well done phish. 🤔

Thu Mar 05 23:57:59 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @nzgizmoguy

No I haven’t, but I might now you mention it. :-)

However the email that it was sent to is one that commonly gets spam, so is clearly on a sold list. Ironically it’s an addres I’ve never used (just the suffix of an address I used for mailing lists; top quality scraper there 😂)

Thu Mar 05 23:59:51 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @nzgizmoguy

Yes the missing license plate info is also a bit of a give away when one looks closely.

But it was good enough I did go look at my car to make sure I remembered my actual expiry month, just to be sure 😃

Fri Mar 06 00:16:05 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @willthames and @jillrouleau

Yes, this ⬆️

Asking people to carry the debt themselves beyond “Net 20”/a credit card payment cycle is unreasonable. Most people don’t have the cash reserves to do that, and it’s unfriendly to expect them to struggle to do so.

Fri Mar 06 00:17:16 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau

I do it to myself all the time —I’m self employed and dislike doing expense claims paperwork — but that’s my choice to delay filing for payment. I always pay myself promptly once I’ve filed the paperwork 😂

Fri Mar 06 00:49:07 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau


My experience with (invoicing) large organizations is that they do eventually pay. But some of them will take months.

Typically I make some gentle reminder each month, eg asking my contact to check into when the payment will be processed.

Fri Mar 06 00:52:00 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau

And in general I’m just way less interested in working with anyone who is months late paying. (The client who always paid my invoices the day they were sent, despite being Net 20 invoices, got in my very good book 😃)

Fri Mar 06 02:12:18 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @fanf and @vathpela

FYI, I found manually revoking the old “different names” version of the cert (after getting the new version) stopped tools assuming that older variation of names needed to be renewed. Not ideal UI/UX though.

I eventually moved to mostly single name certs to minimise the hassle.

Fri Mar 06 21:57:19 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @tomscott: New Two Of These People Are Lying! This week, @MattGrayYES @garybrannan and Chris are taking on Wellington Paranormal and Aus…

Sat Mar 07 02:53:25 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @flameswallower: people hurt by simplistic, essentialist “men bad, women good” progressive rhetoric: - many cis women - many trans women…

Sat Mar 07 03:03:01 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @shawnacscott: One of my coworkers referred to tabletopping a pretend outage as "Dungeons and Downtime" last week, and I'm still laughin…

Sat Mar 07 20:24:14 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ktemkin: Seems like it's almost time to show off my current passion project: LUNA -- a super-compact, super-powerful tool for working w…

Sun Mar 08 01:36:44 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @MathematicsUCL: The problem with tweeting maths jokes is that anything about calculus is considered derivative, trigonometry jokes are…

Mon Mar 09 02:33:14 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @merxplat

Have a dedicated place to work, ideally that’s just for work (eg, a work desk) and stays set up.

Track your time worked (eg in 15 minute intervals), and what on, and be honest with your self about working/not.

Take regular breaks. Somewhere else than your work desk.

Mon Mar 09 02:36:07 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @merxplat

Personally (after 10+ years working from home, and being self employed) I don’t try to do fixed hours / fixed sized work slots. But I am kept very aware of when I’m doing billable work and when I’m not, and prioritize doing billable work in “normal work hours”.

Mon Mar 09 02:38:04 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @merxplat

It is convenient to be able to, eg hang out the washing (or rescue it!) in a break when working from home. But it’s still a break from work!

I tend to take those breaks when my mood / the situation warrants it. But try to get “back to work” promptly during work hours.

Mon Mar 09 02:44:14 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @LaurieFleming, @merxplat and @BR3NDA

This ⬆️

I’ve definitely seen people say “commute to work even if you work from home” (eg go for a walk before starting work). Someone else I know goes for a run each day before settling down for work (from home).

Having a commute duration transition to work definitely helps.

Mon Mar 09 07:49:09 +0000 2020 (#)

Chips a la Antoine: a simple IC chip decapping recipe

It’s more elegant than acid or “hit it with a hammer” and seems like with practice it’d be pretty reliable for the right plastic encapsulation types (some vendors easier than others apparently).

Mon Mar 09 08:00:45 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

Let me guess: the patch to the holidays template (s/3rd/2nd/;) didn’t pass peer review, so they’ve been patching the output every time they notice it’s wrong?!

Technical debt. It’s not just for breakfast 😃

Mon Mar 09 08:05:48 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ExcitedLeigh: An interesting observation I saw recently (unsure if it was from @sagesharp's training or elsewhere): Communities that…

Mon Mar 09 08:19:04 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

I suspect AMAB probably naturally divide on the issue of being touch avoidant, but I’m not sure it’s solely a trans thing to be touch avoidant. Probably a high correlation with trans AMAB being on the touch avoidant side though.

Tue Mar 10 06:09:29 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @danidonovan: if you have a hard time showing negative emotions, but finally let someone know you’re upset

and when they get defensive,…

Wed Mar 11 09:28:16 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @annthurium: create more Slack channels specifically for fun/social/off topic chatter. That way people can participate on an opt-in basi…

Wed Mar 11 09:29:32 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @jeffmcaffer: Please. For the love of <thing/person/place> you hold dear, make your animated gifs in blogs/emails/... stop animating aft…

Fri Mar 13 00:17:45 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @groupgetscom: 👈 OrangeCrab is an FPGA based development board, featuring an ECP5 from Lattice. The board follow…

Fri Mar 13 10:20:01 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ExcitedLeigh: This. Tell me one major world event that was nearly a disaster, successfully averted. Can't think of one? It's bc when th…

Fri Mar 13 21:37:05 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @GregDavill: 310 days ago, I had a few hours to pass at PDX airport: "I wonder what an ECP5 based feather deavelopment board would looks…

Sun Mar 15 19:29:13 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @dnaltews: The ULX3S crowd supply campaign is finally underway. This is a brilliantly designed FPGA dev platform with a very useful sel…

Sun Mar 15 19:38:27 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ktemkin: I am -so- excited that we’re finally seeing opportunities for the general public to buy open-hardware ECP5 boards. <3 https://…

Sun Mar 15 19:38:52 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @GregDavill: My small collection of ECP5 boards. All compatible with opensource tools! (I still need to assemble my ulx3s PCB ☹️)


Mon Mar 16 01:43:35 +0000 2020 (#)

Enterprise storage DNS configuration: You have to delegate the zone to two DNS servers, one of which will always fail to respond.

Which one? Depends on the failover status.

Oh and the NS TTLs have to be 0 even though the name servers will never change.


Mon Mar 16 01:47:26 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

So far they seem very puzzled by the idea that the scripting automation in the failover tool could just update the DNS when it needed to change.

Apparently the scripting automation is “not for that”?! Only for other changes that need to happen upon failover... 🤔

Mon Mar 16 02:20:29 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau

Per XKCD now you yak shave your own video conferencing solution that is the perfect combination of all four of those products... 😃

(More seriously, use the one you used last time; it’s clearly as popular as the rest...)

Mon Mar 16 03:52:54 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @EmilyGorcenski: The things that give you away are things that are not the focus of the shot. It's details in the background, the foregr…

Mon Mar 16 03:53:09 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @EmilyGorcenski: A lot of people asked me how I found the storage unit so quickly, so I'm gonna give you a little tutorial about how ant…

Mon Mar 16 08:08:35 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @garywhitta: holy shit this is the most badass fucking photograph I have ever seen in my entire life

Wed Mar 18 00:51:03 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @minhealthnz: We know everyone is worried about COVID-19, but bullying and attacking people who have caught it only makes the situation…

Wed Mar 18 07:03:07 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: The ear soreness is real😓 The folks over at @Creality3dprint have been 3D printing these mask buckles for the staff at…

Thu Mar 19 05:50:17 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @rnz_news: New Zealand border to be closed to any non-residents or citizens from midnight tonight

Thu Mar 19 05:54:15 +0000 2020 (#)

Not sure what it says that my first reaction to seeing this news that NZ’s border is being “closed” was to submit the page for archiving at the Internet Archive. (First submission of URL apparently.)

It’s definitely a Big History day... 😕

Fri Mar 20 01:43:43 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @seldo: They hounded Aaron Swartz literally to death for doing this.

Fri Mar 20 01:56:37 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

Thus we learn the reason why “women’s” clothing doesn’t have pockets: it’d cause the clothes to have too many openings and so they’d have to change their gender 😂

OTOH Topology Based Gender does make Gender Fluid as easy as changing your clothes... 😃

Fri Mar 20 03:51:58 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @iPaulie: I can’t stop watching this. It’s amazing.

Fri Mar 20 05:54:26 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

Seems like if any extra hole appeared in your clothing due to wearing through, your gender would change!

(Wrap skirts seem to fall into the towel gender... 😃)

Fri Mar 20 07:35:17 +0000 2020 (#)

If you know who @allthestations, @VickiExplores, or @jayforeman are then you’ll really enjoy their hour long live special from last night 💚

(If you haven’t seen their various YouTube channels, you’ve got many hours of fun viewing ahead of you!)

Fri Mar 20 19:20:42 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @helenleigh: I'm proud to call myself part of the @hackoustic sound hacker family. In London, our home is @iklectikartlab. We're helping…

Fri Mar 20 22:16:20 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @merxplat: Looking forward to next year, when we will be able to look back and pontificate on what should have been done, because we wil…

Sun Mar 22 01:42:34 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @tveastman: later, afterward, the survivors say

"well, that wasn't so bad, considering."

the dead, voiceless, will not contradict them

Sun Mar 22 19:39:39 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @whitequark: me: "so i'm generating a 48 MHz clock and it doesn't w" my raccoon roommate, who is a Radio Enthusiast: "did you say 48 MHz…

Mon Mar 23 02:45:22 +0000 2020 (#)

“Hi this is Spark. The service you have dialed is not currently available.” (Calling pre saved DDI at a client just now, apparently not generated from their PBX.)

I guess that’s the modern equivalent of “number unobtainable”.

Interesting times 🤔

Mon Mar 23 05:59:22 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @lilyminium: @caitelatte @IndecisiveMatt A lot of people have noted that this is the internet age and the one time that physical distanc…

Mon Mar 23 06:01:32 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @radionz: New Zealand's Covid-19 alert level has risen to three and the country will go into a full lockdown in 48 hours, Prime Minister…

Mon Mar 23 06:05:35 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

FTR apparently not just me, and not just to my client. Others I’ve spoken today have heard it today in calling other NZ Spark numbers, repeatedly.

Seems to have been a busy phone day! (Vodafone landlines seemed to be coping better.)

Mon Mar 23 06:23:54 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf

FYI alert level 3 now, alert level 4 from approximately late tomorrow (Tuesday 2020-03-24). Level 4 is the fairly full lockdown one.

Currently it feels a bit sudden, and (at apparently 4 weeks) a bit long... but “a stitch in time” seems desirable!

Mon Mar 23 06:30:19 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @mattcen

Personally I disable notification privileges on the first unreasonable notification, unless I really need other notifications from that app/site.

And delete apps/accounts if they’re persistent in notifying anyway.

“I’ll see it when I check the app” is fine for most things IMHO.

Mon Mar 23 06:44:24 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @mattcen

Unfortunately some “marketing” people seem determined to abuse every notification channel until they all get disabled.

Which is why I’ve got a strong unsubscribe/disable/delete reflex these days 😃

Mon Mar 23 08:09:40 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @isomer and @__fincham

Internet messaging, voice/video. It’s the future :-)

Sizing for exceptional peak load is pretty tricky though. Especially if you have systems provisioned with limited expensive licenses or interfaces... 🤔

Mon Mar 23 08:16:12 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @isomer and @__fincham

The irony is that even the PSTN handovers are mostly SIP over IP now. ISDN, etc is being pulled out (a NZ client had a March 2020 deadline to cutover final site).

So yes packets won. But PSTN voice still goes into “per channel” licensed PBXes even on the SIP trunks... 😂

Mon Mar 23 08:25:12 +0000 2020 (#)

My phone has been on the “Vodafone - Stay Safe” network for the last couple of days; prior to that it was always just “Vodafone”.

Not sure if they’ve renamed the whole network or just local cell sites.

(Cell site around the corner got an upgrade of some sort this past Friday.)

Mon Mar 23 08:29:49 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @isomer

Yes for sure packet switching isn’t limitless :-) But ASIC assisted packer switching/encoding generally scales to line rate min frame size these days.

PBX SIP trunk channel licenses still seem to be a real thing; client planning cutover off ISDN had to juggle licenses!

Mon Mar 23 08:32:31 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @isomer

And the SIP licenses they had was a tiny fraction of the available bandwidth: 1G/10G Ethernet carrying a few dozen SIP 80kbps max “channels” because of PBX license limits 😃

Mon Mar 23 20:21:28 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @RealSexyCyborg

My feeling is much of the world is just going into lockdown (NZ late tomorrow), so showing “living normal life in the community” encourages the wrong behaviour for them. I think people need to see “everyone is doing quarantining” for a week or two to normalize it for them. 1/2

Mon Mar 23 20:25:32 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @RealSexyCyborg

I think it’d be useful to talk about “life is getting back to normal here” now, to give hope. But not yet show “going out in the world” until your audience is further into doing quarantine right.

See also 3D printing to solve Covid19, ie model best actions to take: don’t. 2/2

Tue Mar 24 02:02:03 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @merxplat

In not buying enough avocado? At one avocado per person per day that’s only three days supply 😃

I guess if all of them were “use today” maybe only 6 is okay. (More ripe avocado make good guacamole, which could use the rest tomorrow...)

Tue Mar 24 02:05:50 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @seldo: Halting the economy to stop the spread of covid-19 is the right thing to do but it will never feel that way. If it works and few…

Tue Mar 24 02:10:05 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau

One of my clients used Gandi for years, and they seemed a pretty good registrar. I’m pleased to hear they’ve also got reasonable ToS policies for public good features.

Hope your transfers go easily!

Tue Mar 24 03:34:15 +0000 2020 (#)

Current Covid19 mysteries:

  1. Why am I the only person submitting news/announcements to the Internet “save page now” (web pages aren’t forever people!)

  2. Why does no one include times in start of new rules? I can’t tell if level 4 is 00:01 tomorrow or 23:59 tomorrow?!

Tue Mar 24 03:36:38 +0000 2020 (#)

Internet Archive “Save Page Now”. Just scroll down, paste in URL and click “save page” twice. If it says “first archive” you just did future historians a big favour. Save all the things!

Tue Mar 24 03:40:45 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @normnz

Yeah, I heard “48 hours” too. But it’s by no means clear to me they intend level 4 to start at 2020-03-25 13:40 NZDT.

I think there’s a lot of “round numbers” going on here, which just causes unnecessary confusion.

Tue Mar 24 03:41:42 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @tveastman and @normnz

Do you have a reference for 23:59 written somewhere? I’ve been looking just now and keep finding vagueness :-(

Tue Mar 24 03:44:43 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @tveastman: @normnz @ewenmcneill confirmation:

"New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, from 11:59 pm, 25 March…

Tue Mar 24 03:48:22 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @tveastman and @normnz

Thanks very much! I wasn’t even looking at yesterdays news for detail on timing.

Precise timeline should be at the top of the front page of that site IMHO. The page you linked to isn’t even linked in the front page any more :-(

Tue Mar 24 04:44:08 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @merxplat and @eey0re

Wow! Thanks for passing that on :-)

Naos BBS / FidoNet was early to mid 1990s thing; an online (dialup) BBS that I ran while I was at University, before the world discovered the Internet. I’m surprised anyone remembers 25 years later! 😃

Tue Mar 24 05:14:22 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf

Just minutes ago two people spontaneously remembered the BBS that I use to run. I closed it 25 years ago (because the world discovered the Internet).

Made my day 💜

Tue Mar 24 08:13:13 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Yes, I was very pleased to find 23:59 / 11:59pm in the time details rather than the confusing “midnight” which could be either end of the day depending on how you squint at it.

Tue Mar 24 19:11:14 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @tveastman and @normnz

As of this morning the date/time of the change to level 4 is now near the top of the front page of

Feels like progress in communicating what’s happening :-)

Tue Mar 24 19:16:41 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

FTR, the “Vodafone - Stay Safe” network name change seems fairly wide spread: a friend on the other side of the Wellington region is seeing it too.

Tue Mar 24 19:36:17 +0000 2020 (#)

Around 25 days between “first case detected in NZ” and level 4 #Covid19 lockdown of NZ coming into effect.

It’s getting tougher to remember that on Monday morning, 2 days ago, we were on level 2 precautions for the (then!) foreseeable future.

Tue Mar 24 19:40:23 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

FTR, my second ticket with IRD did get the magic piece of paper (confirming tax residency) printed and sent out (after about 7 business days).

In a “sign of the times” I’ve been told (international) payment of the invoice got sent just before lockdown in my client’s country 🙂

Tue Mar 24 19:58:38 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @deviantollam

“I’d love to help! Please send me an email so that I don’t forget to do it for you.”

Helpful any time, but especially in times of rapidly moving events :-)

Tue Mar 24 19:59:05 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @kiwitoa: #tereo Encourage (2). Whakamanawa - to encourage, inspire, instil confidence, give confidence to, reassure. Ko tā te Pirimia m…

Tue Mar 24 20:34:54 +0000 2020 (#)

Mood: charging my noise cancelling headphones. It feels like they’re going to be essential to be able to carry on WFH now neighbors are home all day every day :-(

Tue Mar 24 22:35:33 +0000 2020 (#)

These #Covid19 signs from a couple of weeks ago (but still in place today) seem so anachronistic now we’re 12ish hours from level 4 lockdown... 😢

Tue Mar 24 22:52:15 +0000 2020 (#)

Shopping in the 21st Century #Covid19

(At least there’s only a dozen people in this queue and the sun is shining :-) )

Tue Mar 24 23:11:33 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

I think I preferred the Jetsens timeline to this one 😃

The “welcome” sign is a nice touch though.

Seemed like about 12ish customers in the store and 12ish customers waiting outside.

Tue Mar 24 23:13:56 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

I never throught my computer science lessons on Token Bucket algorithms would be relevant to me buying groceries... 😂 #Covid19

Wed Mar 25 03:25:43 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @zantedotnz

My neighbours who were routinely home during the business day in the Before Times (WFH like me or retired) are very quiet.

The neighbours who are new to being home during the business day seem to be treating it like a weekend chores/party / recreate loud gym experience thing 🙁

Wed Mar 25 03:29:21 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @DrGBuckingham: A nice example of how we infer object position from what we presume to be a cast shadow

Wed Mar 25 03:39:10 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

Anything soft fabric / cushioned will help reduce echo, particularly if you put it at the echo reflection point between you and the microphone. Heavy drapes are traditional where dedicated echo reducing panels don’t suit the look.

Wed Mar 25 03:41:22 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

To find the reflection points, use a mirror to do “ray tracing” from you to the microphone: if you can see the microphone in the mirror in that position, the that point will echo to the microphone (and benefit from sound dampening).

Wed Mar 25 03:44:17 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

A bunch of YouTubers have videos on how they made their own sound dampening panels (including pretty ones). General idea is, eg woolen bat to absorb sound and frame/fabric to cover it/hang it.

But anything soft in the right place (see ⬆️) will help.

Wed Mar 25 03:46:25 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

Also microphones have different pick up patterns. It’s with finding out what yours is. As that’ll help identify which echos it is hearing loudest.

If you can make the main direct audio much louder than the echo, AGC (auto gain) will take care of the rest.

Wed Mar 25 03:48:18 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

Eg if you have the option a microphone near your mouth will pick up way less echo than one across the room. Eg a lapel mic, or a “radio announcer style mic” will make echo comparatively silent.

Good luck!

Wed Mar 25 03:52:36 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @fchollet: This is true for so many products across so many industries. Whatever you're building, make it not awful…

Wed Mar 25 04:29:36 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh


Should be a huge improvement. Well placed lav mics are very directional. Even cheap ones are a huge improvement over “random direction” built into phone/laptop mics. (Also built into laptop mics are often right by echoey plastic because of other design limitations.)

Wed Mar 25 04:49:00 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @DogICUma: Thanks for spreading this message. It is important to understand that the number of new cases per day will continue to rise…

Wed Mar 25 04:53:11 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @merxplat: This is an underrated explanation for supermarket shortages. Usually we eat 4-5 meals at home a week but are transitioning to…

Wed Mar 25 04:59:06 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @juhasaarinen: "The peak traffic last night on the Chorus network reached 2.75Tbps, comfortably within available headroom. This is the f…

Wed Mar 25 05:04:18 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @textfiles: Do you need fantastically good news you'll want to spread around?

The Internet Archive, recognizing the National Emergency…

Wed Mar 25 05:33:54 +0000 2020 (#)

18:30 is a more sensible time to send out an “emergency” alert than 23:59... 👍

(Both my phones, on different networks received it within about 30 seconds of each other.)


Wed Mar 25 05:52:17 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau

Is this an “explain your THING to a teddy bear” situation? 🤔

(Or record online tutorial / livestream an explanation, which honestly right now seems to be fulfilling the same “talk to someone” need for people :-) )

Wed Mar 25 06:04:00 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Yes you want about 70% alcohol IIRC for maximum virus effectiveness and less drying of skin. Ideally with glycerin/glycol or similar to reduce drying of skin.

I recommend BigClives video for an example:

Wed Mar 25 06:04:51 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau

Yak Shaving: it’s not just for problem solving :-)

Wed Mar 25 06:12:42 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @pjf

I think you’re right we need kindness now more than ever 💚

Reframe: are there ways you could help that would be minimal cost/risk to you but help another disproportionately more? Eg, just checking in by phone every day or two? Or dropping off a few groceries at their door?

Wed Mar 25 06:20:57 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @pjf: Things are scary for everyone right now, and it's easy to close up when things are scary.

Be kind to each other. Help people out…

Wed Mar 25 06:27:06 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @merxplat

Apparently :-)

4.4, near top of the South Island, 18:51.

(GeoNet is an essential service, and continuing throughout our Troubled Times.)

Wed Mar 25 07:13:07 +0000 2020 (#)

Maker’s Muse: Designing for Assembly in Fusion 360

Really interesting video on how to partition a piece so that it can be 3D printed and then assembled into a whole/larger solid without adhesive.

Wed Mar 25 07:53:49 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @isomer

Seems like a sensible time to send it out too.

Looks like the UK restrictions (as of 2020-03-23) are slightly less strict than NZ level 4: gatherings up to 2 people in public seem to be permitted in the UK, but here it seems to be “only people you live with”.

Wed Mar 25 20:08:13 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @vizowl: I have started packaging up the @minhealthnz data on Covid-19 case data - I've open sourced it - let's avoid duplication of eff…

Wed Mar 25 20:59:04 +0000 2020 (#)

Wow, my “Making Waves” BluRay just turned up. The Kickstarter announced they’d finished the film in January. 2019. Backer rewards sent 2020-03-11. 14 months later.

(I’ve seen the film twice before, once in the NZIFF at my own extra cost. Good film. Shame about the producers.)

Wed Mar 25 21:08:44 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @Ronindrone

Oh no! I’m sorry to hear you missed out. It’s worth seeing the film, but honestly it was one of the least good to backers KickStarters I’ve backed. They ran late (as expected) then insisted on doing a year of Festivals before backers got to see the film 🙁

Wed Mar 25 22:38:39 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @newimprovedtom: This, from Siouxsie Wiles, is the first time since the PM mentioned a “buddy system for solo occupants” that I’ve anyth…

Thu Mar 26 01:18:54 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

If it’s anything like here (day 1 total lockdown) anything you can regularly buy in a supermarket you can probably get whenever. Anything that’s only in other stores will be unobtanium.

Get the yarn, etc, in advance if there’s any chance you’ll use it... :-)

Thu Mar 26 01:22:36 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

Day of announcement here (Monday) a builder neighbour went to Bunnings and bought an entire fence worth of materials for his home upgrades!

Anything indoors with yarn is less likely to disturb the neighbours :-)

(FTR, we’ve talked and his plan seems okay.)

Thu Mar 26 01:31:27 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @helenleigh: I've been working on a few vocoder experiments recently. Here's one of my works in progress, a wearable effects trigger mad…

Thu Mar 26 07:08:19 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @stewart: My day job (also: night job) is CEO of Slack, a publicly traded company with investors to whom I am a fiduciary, 110k+ paying…

Thu Mar 26 08:36:52 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @BenKrasnow: New video: Antique 4x5 camera creates 20 micron photolithography masks

Thu Mar 26 19:13:51 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @naomi_fitter: Finally found a way to express my feelings about moving my 140-person lab class online suddenly and unexpectedly this spr…

Thu Mar 26 19:37:51 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @HTHRFLWRS: thinking about how software companies slowly chip away at the idea of consent by turning every "no" into "not right now," ev…

Thu Mar 26 19:47:30 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @whitequark: @pcwalton @eevee sdcc for 8051. my life these days includes things like "generating optimal 8051 assembly using an SMT solv…

Thu Mar 26 19:51:47 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @kenshirriff: @znmeb @brouhaha @cr1901 @robdaemon @jangray @cathrynmataga @jonmasters Random IBM 704 history: it was a 36-bit machine an…

Thu Mar 26 20:11:53 +0000 2020 (#)

I’m really hoping people remember the value of on site spares after this is all over.

Yes I know you have 24x7 4h support from that major vendor. Have you seen their Force Majeure clause?!

Thu Mar 26 20:13:40 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Also the interest payments on Technical Debt seem much less affordable in times of crisis.

Pay down your technical debt in times of (relative) ease. Just saying.

Thu Mar 26 20:16:10 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

FTR so far nothing critical has gone wrong in a way that can’t be fixed or worked around.

But there’s been way less safety margin than I would have liked. And the next “what if” plans involve triage by importance... 😕

Thu Mar 26 20:41:02 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar

Yes, especially those reliant on international overnight to courier.

But honestly even in times of plenty, Auckland hosted spares to anywhere not in 2h driving distance has been problematic. I’m just assuming those are unobtanium right now... 😢

Thu Mar 26 23:29:01 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar

Sadly there’s a lot of “the contract lets us blame someone else for failing” and not always enough “we can actually fix the problem/carry on production in a useful timeframe, even if it costs more”.

Thu Mar 26 23:33:22 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar

A client has had diverse path network links held up for many months by multiple lawyers seeking “100% uptime” terms; I just want three 9s per diverse link, with genuinely diverse risks.

Perfection is the enemy of the good 😢

Fri Mar 27 03:27:01 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau


Clandestine treasure drop offs shouldn’t just be for spies 😃

Fri Mar 27 04:56:27 +0000 2020 (#)

Hackaday Supercon 2019 talk: Accomplishing the Impossible with LUTs (Charles Lohr)

Mostly software examples rather than FPGA LUTs, but a useful reminder to think differently about the problem.

Fri Mar 27 05:00:32 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Apparently clever use of LUTs and an external PHY also explains how the ESP8266 I2S features could be used to talk 10Mbps Ethernet enough for basic frames....

(According to the talk then April Fools joke is it’s actually real!)

Fri Mar 27 05:14:13 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

And another extreme example mentioned in the talk: the Gray 1 computer which is just ROMs (with some RAM for dynamic state). That’s basically the FPGA LUTs approach but ROMs on a PCB.

Fri Mar 27 06:53:18 +0000 2020 (#)

Hackaday Supercon 2019: Boggling the Boardhouse: Designing 3D Structures, Circuits, and Sensors from PCBs (Nick Poole)

Using PCB fab houses to build 3D art 💙 (With or without actual electrical circuits.)

Fri Mar 27 20:44:47 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @rmi: @octal The difference in behaviour between people with the 20 years of preparatory training (IRC) and the people without is fascin…

Fri Mar 27 21:28:50 +0000 2020 (#)

Marble Racing on the Marble Machine X!

(Sound on: it’s the “live” commentator that makes the video 😂)

Sat Mar 28 19:51:15 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @alanamk: This week I learned that PAPR hoods are actually way easier and more comfortable than N95 mask + face shield. You can’t hear s…

Sat Mar 28 22:40:16 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @textfiles: WELCOME EVERYONE. We're holding steady at about 100 pageviews a second at the Internet Archive. Happy to have you over! If w…

Sun Mar 29 03:01:07 +0000 2020 (#)

#Covid19 NZ lockdown day 4: after days of rain, the sun came out. Lots of prople went for a walk.

I’m very glad to live 10 minutes walk from farm land (with a public walking track across it). Nature being nature is good for the soul 😃


Sun Mar 29 03:05:20 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

#Covid19 NZ lockdown day 4: lots of people, me included at times, walking down the middle of the roads (and others on the footpaths: Spatial Distancing). Few cars, plenty of time to move out of the way. Reminds me of visiting the people centric cities in Europe.


Sun Mar 29 03:18:39 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau

One of those scones looks suspiciously like tea, in a penguin mug... just saying 😃

Sun Mar 29 06:25:14 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

Yes, UK went for a lockdown a few days back.

I guess wait a few days and see which countries homework Australia decides to copy next...

Sun Mar 29 07:16:43 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @peterbjornx: @whitequark @dev_console @kc8apf @jeremy_soller @qrs 1/2 My and @qrs's exploit for CVE-2019-11098 is in the form of an FPG…

Sun Mar 29 07:16:56 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @peterbjornx: @whitequark @dev_console @kc8apf @jeremy_soller @qrs @KaKaRoToKS 2/2 ...for a "tethered jailbreak"-like bypass where the d…

Sun Mar 29 07:58:29 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

I saw someone just a little earlier point out the US$1200/month was basically US federal minimum wage (US$7.50/hour IIRC) multipled by 160 hours (4*40) and rounded up to next $100.

Does that make any sense of AU$1500/month?

(Obviously insufficient for many either way.)

Sun Mar 29 08:21:03 +0000 2020 (#)

.@makersmuse making a wallet out of Mylar (plastic sputtered with thin metal coating, eg like chip packets).

Pretty interesting upcycling of what’s often just a throw away packing item. (Plus details on the plastics!)

Sun Mar 29 08:56:58 +0000 2020 (#)

Building the World’s Weirdest Fan (DIY Perks)

It’s a water powered magnetically coupled bellows, designed to operate almost silently. Quite a lot of Yak Shaving involved!

Sun Mar 29 09:01:51 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Or a few hours it seems, since it appears Australia have moved on to a stay home if at all possible stage announced this evening... (at a glance equivalent to NZ stage 3 or maybe a bit more restrictive)

Sun Mar 29 09:07:45 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @merxplat

True that. I didn’t realise those were still allowed in Australia.

(Super glad I rushed to get my hair cut two weekends ago, guessing the window to do so was closing :-) )

Sun Mar 29 19:22:37 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar


There’s a few other things that I had the “window closing” feeling over and didn’t do. In hindsight ‘twas a very carpe diem time!

Sun Mar 29 19:31:38 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @hroethgar


The “already eaten the margin for error” challenges are definitely real 😢

Mon Mar 30 00:31:49 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @seldo: NYC is in the process of overloading and I don't know what anyone can do about that.

Mon Mar 30 00:58:21 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

FWIW my Apple delivery (non urgent, just wanted it paid for this tax year for accounting reasons) arrived about 2 hours ago.

So hopefully yours will arrive soon too :-)

Mon Mar 30 04:29:00 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @jillrouleau

Second dessert? Oh these trying times! 😃

Mon Mar 30 04:32:49 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

If that’s carried away with inbox filtering rules... I’ve been doing it wrong all these years 😂

(Almost all repeated mail gets filtered to a mail box of its own, some of it is read through “smart mailboxes” to recombine useful sets of those for daily reading.)

Mon Mar 30 04:34:59 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @RealSexyCyborg: So don't whine I'm "anti-Westerner" when for months I have done and said more, and with greater accuracy in every singl…

Mon Mar 30 04:40:11 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Aha! I assumed that config tool was built into your mail client or mail service.

(I manage mine with vi, for .procmailrc rules, or with the mail client for local ones; my .procmailrc are non trivial and have about 20 years of cruft!)

Mon Mar 30 04:44:45 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Yeah it’s the conversion effort that put me off changing from .procmailrc. It might be suboptimal, but I’ve been using it at least 25 years so... installed base :-)

Well done on automating your conversion to more modern filtering!

Mon Mar 30 04:47:41 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Yup, for one off tasks 90% automated, exceptions by hand is about the right XKCD effort balance IME 😃

(I tend to also hand transform the source files as I go to layout/conventions that make conversion tool easier to write.)

Mon Mar 30 08:41:07 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

Going for a walk for exercise, while carrying a camera, and practicing lifting the camera regularly for a balanced workout... seems reasonable to me, providing you maintain spatial distance and aren’t out beyond a “walk for exercise” amount of time each day. Just saying.

Mon Mar 30 10:47:34 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @fanf

There are some 3D printable “nose clip” designs around to improve mask tightness over the bridge of the nose for this reason. From memory, eg Creality was mass printing these a few weeks back. I think their design is open source.

(So “yes” suitable clip should help :-) )

Mon Mar 30 21:08:10 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @keith_ng: @hroethgar They are fine - you can't get it though the skin; if you touch your face with a gloved hand it's the same as touch…

Mon Mar 30 21:11:48 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @dmanww, @keith_ng and @hroethgar

Also most people don’t know how to use/dispose of gloves without cross contaminating themselves from the gloves (ie, never touch the outside of the gloves to any bare skin, including when taking them off).

Masks OTOH seem helpful even if they’re not perfectly fitted/used.

Mon Mar 30 21:27:03 +0000 2020 (#)

Replying to @keith_ng, @dmanww and @hroethgar

Totally agree. Not wanting to take away from essential services is the reason I didn’t buy masks earlier.

It feels like home made “cough/sneeze guards” is the only expedient option. I’m thinking of making this one I RTed earlier today.

Tue Mar 31 03:29:05 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @ExcitedLeigh: I'm glad to see Meetup has managed to wiggle out of the situation they created by tying themselves to the lead anchor tha…

Tue Mar 31 10:19:56 +0000 2020 (#)

RT @sophywong: We made masks for ourselves and our families this weekend 👍 You don’t need a sewing machine to make one, check out this tuto…