Twitter’s policy changes seem increasingly erratic—like suspending accounts of journalists (see this article on The Guardian for example) or banning references to Mastodon accounts (as reported by Martin for example). Both policy changes were reverted by the way. For now. All this makes me wonder how long I want to remain on Twitter.
Travelling is part of being a consultant, and speaking at conferences added an extra amount of travel for me. The Covid-19 pandemic changed this quite dramatically, and looking back at 2022 I am wondering what the “new normal” could be after the pandemic.
The chart above shows some key figures related to my business travel over the past eleven years: the numbers of trips, cities, and countries I visited. A single trip can, and sometimes did, include multiple cities and countries.
The years up to 2019 differ in the details but overall the level of travel is relatively high. In 2020 this changes very visibly, and travel remains low in the “second year of corona”. Even in those years, though, there was some travel: in the first months of 2020, before the lockdowns started, and then the first trips again in autumn 2021. Barcelona in October 2021—to write a new Technology Radar—was the first trip by the way, and GOTO Copenhagen in November 2021 the first in-person conference.
In 2022, travel activity is picking up again, mostly towards the end of the year. It feels too early to make any predictions about what the new normal will look like, but I suspect it’ll remain significantly lower than in the pre-pandemic years.
As I have mentioned before, I like writing screen savers. This time I revisited one that I wrote over twenty years ago.
At the time I had decided to spend a week in a small town on the Costa Brava in Spain. Two things happened: 1) On the way out I stopped by friends in Barcelona, where I flicked through the book Maeda and Media, and 2) I had brought my Apple PowerBook with me. One of the illustrations in the book stuck with me, and I spent a few hours, while hanging out in that beach town, to code an animated version of the illustration from memory, creating the Maeda Wheels screen saver.
At first I didn’t use the screen saver because I couldn’t make it run smoothly enough. Over time, with better hardware, this got better but it still isn’t great with Intel processors driving 4K screens. So at some point, when I noticed the stuttering again, I decided to start from scratch using the low-level Metal APIs. With the book next to me I also stayed closer to the original illustration in this reinterpretation of my Meada Wheels screen saver.
Backing up a Mac is a solved problem, right? Just attach an external drive for Time Machine and sync your files to iCloud. But what if you don’t want to have an external drive hanging off your laptop? Or if you don’t want to store all your files on iCloud? I didn’t want either, so I came up with a different strategy, which involves Carbon Copy Cloner, a NAS, rclone, and Backblaze.
A few years ago I wrote a blog post about my first impressions of Rust. This has grown into a full talk introducing Rust to experienced developers, which I have given a number of times. This is (so far) my favourite version, from GOTO Copenhagen 2021. By the way, this was my first in-person conference following the Covid outbreak.
If you've read the post or watched the video you know that the code examples are taken from one of my hobby projects, an artificial life / genetic programming simulation. Because people have asked I've now made the code available in this Github repo. Please beware, though, there is no thorough documentation on what the simulator actually does and how to make sense of the output. Since I wrote the talk the codebase has evolved a little bit, too. If you want the exact version that the talk's based on, please choose the initial version of the code in the repository.