Tracing GitLab builds in Honeycomb

By adding observability to your builds you can start to understand where your build time is being spent and how to optimize your builds. Honeycomb is a fantastic observability platform, and they provide a buildevents tool you can use to instrument your builds. Here is a simple approach to instrumenting a GitLab build pipeline with Honeycomb tracing. Step 1: Pre/Post build Instrumenting your build requires some work at the start and end of your build. Read On →

Book: 24/6 The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week

In 24 / 6 Tiffany Shlain proposes an antidote to the burdens of the modern world with a “Tech Shabbat”, a one-day reprieve from screens of all kind. Rather than define it using a negative, Shlain focuses on the positive by promoting it as a day to do all the things you always wished you had time for. I believe many of us dream of such a possibility. I heard about this idea from Shlain’s interview on the Team Human podcast and was immediately excited about it. Read On →

Book: Perihelion Summer

The premise of Perhihelion Summer by Greg Egan involves the Earth’s orbit shifting slightly, resulting in an instant climate crisis. The ensuing desperation reminds me of Seveneves, another novel dealing with an emergency of astronomical proportions. I love survival stories like these where forward-thinking actors manage to design and execute on an improbable pathway out of doom, and then seeing how existence turns almost exclusively into resourcefulness, and the managing of equipment and knowledge against the perils of time, nature, and human conflict. Read On →

Book Recap 2020

2020 was a little lighter on reading as I delved a bit more into podcasts and movies, but I did get to some good ones. Little Failure Gary Shteyngart The first half was a pretty wild account of growing up in the USSR and lower-class New York, told with a dry humour, the kind I like best! The second half (college onwards) felt more scattered and didn’t resonate with me, perhaps I was lacking some cultural context around American colleges and politics, but I lost interest. Read On →

Pandemic movie binge

With the pandemic preventing us from attending cinemas, I “splurged” for the HBO+Movies streaming package on Crave TV and spent a whole month binging movies until the subscription expired. It was a lot of fun and I definitely got my fix. 5 Stars Ask Dr. Ruth The Hate U Give Joker - excellent movie although I can understand the controversy around it glorifying violence, which is a shame because there was another message in there about mental health patients falling through the cracks due to funding cuts.. Read On →

StudioTax 2019 on Ubuntu

StudioTax is free tax software for Canadians. It’s pretty great to have this free way to file your taxes, but the supported operating systems are Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.. unfortunately no Linux. For security reasons, I never do work with sensitive/confidential information on the same system I use for browsing/social media/general use.. This rules out doing anything tax-related on my phone. But luckily it’s quite easy to spin up a secure Ubuntu system on any old laptop or desktop you may have lying around. Read On →

Book Recap: 2019

A year’s worth of reading and no book blog posts? Well, better late than never! In addition to my new parent selections, here are a few of the books I read this year: Team Human Douglas Rushkoff Team Human is a podcast and now a book which I read around the time of his visit to the Ottawa Writersfest. It’s well worth a read and captures the main thesis that even more technology won’t solve our problems so long as we keep treating problems as unconnected; but as humans we’re fully equipped to form communities and launch a modern renaissance that respects humanity - if only we would recognize and choose to do so. Read On →

Resources for New Parents

Having recently gone through the birth of our first child, the following were helpful resources that I felt worth documenting here: The Birth Partner “A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions” Recommended by our midwife. By far the best reference about what goes on during labour and delivery. Cribsheet “A data-driven guide to better, more relaxed parenting” Released this year, this book takes a data-driven approach to answer all kinds of choices facing parents regarding their newborn. Read On →

Douglas Rushkoff at Writersfest

Last weekend I had the pleasure of listening to Douglas Rushkoff speak at the spring edition of the Ottawa Writersfest. Rushkoff is one of my favourite thinkers and host of the Team Human podcast, as well as author of the new book Team Human. Very little prompting is needed by the host to set off intriguing ruminations from Rushkoff about technology, media and society. Rushkoff walks us through the medieval inventions of the corporation and growth-based currency (currency that has to be borrowed and paid back with interest), both of which were introduced for the purpose of suppressing the middle class so that the ruling class could preserve their wealth in an increasingly peer-to-peer marketplace environment. Read On →

"Smart" City coming to Ottawa?

I was stirred to write a blog post after stumbling across an op-ed titled “Forget about Toronto, Sidewalk Labs – build a smart neighbourhood in Ottawa instead”. I have been following Toronto’s efforts at smart city development for the past 9 months (aka the Sidewalk Labs debacle), and was alarmed to read this same group might bring their bad behaviour to Ottawa. Sidewalk Labs’ smart city in Toronto has woeful accountability (and its leaked plans are terrifying), with high profile resignations from leading tech experts. Read On →