There are few ills a good cup of tea won’t help with

It is cold and I have a cold. Autumn, I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate you enough.

I’ve had some laptop woes this week. I grabbed my MacBook and headed to the local library to seek out some peace and quiet, only to find that the macOS beta had basically hosed the computer. Apple ID login was broken, the Settings app was completely messed up and I couldn’t connect to the library WiFi due to some weird DNS issues. I know it’s a beta and I should have known better, but this was pretty disappointing.

No more disappointing than the library being the noisiest place on earth though.

In happier news — and after resetting the MacBook — I used migration assistant to duplicate the contents of my desktop computer and it worked perfectly. Took a few hours, but everything is there, preferences included.

I learned about Fire Toolbox, a tool built to fix FireOS, the monstrosity of an operating system on Amazon’s Fire tablet range. We have one of these tablets for our daughter and it is absolutely riddled with adverts, including the screensaver. WTF? Fire Toolbox helped remove a lot of this garbage and let me install Google Play, which is marginally better — though don’t get me started on the despicable range of children’s apps that are filled with ads and sneaky in-app purchases (looking at you too, Apple).

The official Tailwind Components package went on sale for Black Friday and I decided to scoop it up for work. I’ve been a huge fan of Tailwind so far, and given its default integration with the latest version of the Phoenix framework, I could see myself using it more often in future. I’m working on a new version of this website using this tech and it’s been good fun so far.

I learned about Raycast — an excellent macOS app that’s similar to Alfred (or Spotlight). Not only has this app replaced Alfred, but the built-in window and clipboard management tools allowed me to replace two other apps. I don’t know why they’re not charging for some of these features but I have been incredibly impressed so far.

Advent of code is back! Suffice to say that I am a big fan of these coding challenges.

I recently learned that the Ruby Papertrail gem captures versions even when there are no object changes, which meant our work database was filled with a lot of useless data. Almost 100 million rows, in fact — which is more than 60% of the total table size. Removing them took some time, but it was incredibly cathartic.

This investigation began off the back of a significant outage, caused by some rogue database queries working away indefinitely (and being spawned/duplicated by web page reloads). Turns out we’ve managed to last 10+ years without having a fixed database timeout configured. Oops.

I moved my Mastodon account from to Hachyderm. I’d been browsing different servers for a while and wanted to settle on one that was more general. They’ve had some scaling woes over the last few days but have dealt with them very well, and very openly. Seems like a nice little community so far.

I’ve spent some time investigating new RSS/Read Later apps and tested the following:

The summary so far is that most of these apps are either over-engineered or they are missing some crucial features. ReadKit is probably my favourite at the moment but I’m pretty close to just sticking with NetNewsWire despite it not having Read Later capabilities.

I finished watching The Crown and can’t help but feel disappointed. The narrative exposition feels very forced and clunky. For a season filled with momentous events, the story is unnecessarily narrow and yet overtly theatrical. If there was a season to point at as fictional dramatisation, this one was it.

The new season of Mythic Quest isn’t much better, but at least it’s shorter.

I started watching The Peripheral and thought the pilot was very good. I want to finish up some other shows before I continue this, but I’ll definitely be returning.

I’ve almost finished Last Argument of Kings — the third book in the The First Law trilogy. It’s so good and I’m pleased that there’s plenty more to come.

I downloaded No Man’s Sky on Steam. I played it briefly on Xbox many months ago and enjoyed it, but it recently went on sale and I had to snap it up. Destiny has been slow recently, so I hope to dig in to this properly soon. From what I’ve heard, it came be a bit of a time consumer. I am nothing it not willing to throw time at a sci-fi RPG.

Posts I enjoyed: