Weekly update for the week ending May 3
Welcome back, internet friend!
Howdy, and welcome back to my blog! I was doing some thinking last week and I am going to try out something new for this post. This time, I’m going to seperate the blog in three different sections, one will be for professional stuff, one for personal, and a list of weekly greetz at the bottom. I’ll make sure to clearly delineate the switch with headers so you can see which section you are in. There are a few reasons I am doing this, but it was mostly inspired by my Dad. He writes a weekly news letter that he sends to his clients and there are some things he does that I like. One of them is that he starts out each week with a rant and then clearly states when he is getting down to business. Since I am not interested in the business side of things, I usually stop reading there. Since my Dad reads these blog posts, I thought I would do something similiar so he doesn’t have to read the technical stuff if he doesn’t want to, but he can still gets the life updates. So without any further adieu, let’s get to it!
Last week, I decided to try and temper my own expectations. Rather than having a list of seven things I can’t possibly get to, I decided instead to give myself a much smaller and more possible list of goals to accomplish. If you don’t remember, the list was as follows.
- Work on the Udemy course on Go I bought.
- Update architecture document for the MUD.
- Invest some time in trying to resolve the CSS issues on the blog for mobile.
Unfortunately for me, I was only able to work on the first item on the list. I’m really enjoying the course, as it was designed for folx coming from Ruby or Python (my two other favorite languages) and I spent the vast majority of my weekly personal time doing the course. There was an assignment that we had to go through a slice of numbers from 0 to 10 and print out whether each was even or odd. I wrote the code using the examples shown in the course, but it didn’t work properly.
What I learned was that the course proposed using %v and then listing that variable, similiar to what the programming langauge C does. For whatever reason, Go was rendering the %v directly on the screen, instead of substituting the %v for the value I wanted substituted. Turns out that the solution was to list the variable, then a comma, then the string you want published. I’ve included a code snippet below with comments to explain what I am talking about.
fmt.Println("The number %v is odd") // This just prints the %v to the screen fmt.Println("The number", i, "is even") // This resolves the issue
If any of you reading this are awesome at Go and have a good explaination why the first line of code doesn’t work, I would be interested to learning why! If you read this and want to send me a DM explaing why, I will give you a shout out in my post next week where I explain where/why that went wrong. That having been said, let’s briefly talk about the other two things on my to-do list - I didn’t do them! There, that was easy!
I’m kidding! Not about not doing the other two things on my list, I totally didn’t get to them. Instead, I gave up one of my morning study sessions to learn about attacking and defending Kubernetes. This was a really enjoyable experience and I plan on revisiting this in a few weeks when I have more time. Mostly it was enjoyable because all my experience using Linux made it enjoyable but, again, I will revisit this in a few weeks. If you want to learn more about this, I would suggest checking out YouTube for talks by Ian Coldwater as well as the video “Attacking and Defending Kubernetes” which you can find here although I should warn you that the audio quality on that video is a bit rough, the content is excellent! Finally, if you want to play a k8s CTF, you can check out the Bust a Kube website here. These are just a few suggestions and in the future I imagine that this issue will be revisited, so keep an eye out for that!
Finally, I am going to keep my to do list the same this week. I’m going to make a serious effort to put more time in to the MUD architecture document, and one morning to looking at CSS. I think last week I got a little distracted, which is fine. This week I am going to work harder on focusing. Hopefully some of the stuff I talk about later in this post will make this easier, but only time will tell!
If you aren’t interested in learning about some of the stuff I did personally this week, you can skip this step (and I won’t take it personal. Ha!) Still here? Awesome! This last weekend was pretty fun. I was able to convince my family (including my mother in law) to try a pen and paper role playing game. While my wife has played pen and papers before, I wanted to find something that would be easy for two people who have never played any pen and paper type game before. I found a version of Dungeons and Dragons customized so that younger children can play (my boy is seven) but then I remembered GURPS.
If you are not familiar with GURPS, it stands for Generic Universal Role Playing System. I first learned about GURPS through journalist Barrett Brown, who described playing GURPS in prison. There are a number of things about GURPS that are really appealing to me. In no particular, they are as follows:
- The “generic” and “universal” parts of the name mean that you can use this system in whatever world you want to create. Want to have a swashbuckling pirate world? What about 1920s mobsters? More interested in the future and/or cyberpunk? GURPS has you covered! With expansions, conversions, and the benefit of over three decades play testing, GURPS has something for everybody.
- At the most basic, the system is pretty simple and intuitive. All you need to play are the books, available to buy digitally from Steve Jackson Games Warehouse 23, some six sided dice, and some scrap paper.
- This system has been extensively play tested (as described above). The original version came out in 1977 and for the fourth edition, the folx at SJG had nearly two decades of play testing experience to discover what works and what doesn’t.
- There is great flexibility in the rules. I’ve played similiar systems before (Deadlands) and had great success in the past. Let me give a practical example. I really enjoy the cyberpunk world that comes from Shadowrun. However, playing the actual Shadowrun system feels very clunky to me. So when I was in college and playing with a friendly group, I made a Shadowrun campaign using the Deadlands rules. GURPS allows you to do something very similiar. So once my family is comfortable with all the rules, we can do different campaigns without having to learn different sets of rules.
- GURPS gives the Game Master the freedom to let the game go, without having to be bogged down in rules. This was uniquely helpful in the Shadowrun example above. It also matches well with my style of running games, which one of my great role playing friends described as, “the rule of cool.”
I could keep going, but overall I am very excited about diving in to the rules and building out a game for my family. Since it is Star Wars Day (May 4th) it seems appropriate to share that the game I am building for my family is Star Wars themed. My son and wife are going to play bounty hunters, taking my mother in law (a Jedi apprentice) to the academy for training. I’ll share more about their adventure next week!
Finally, I want to share one more personal note. Right now my pinned tweet is a thread about how much better I feel on the weekends, and I’m increasingly coming to think it is because I’m spending (at most) about an hour a day on Twitter. I want to say that I think Twitter is a great resource, but it is also tremendously depressing. Let me give a practical example.
My previous two jobs I’ve found directly from Twitter - either from seeing a hiring thread and reaching out to the manager, or getting a referral from a tweet, I’ve had substantially better success on Twitter than LinkedIn. Not unlike LinkedIn, however, I find Twitter to be quite depressing. I don’t just follow information security folks, so I end up seeing all kinds of crap that just upsets me. So while I enjoy the knowledge I get from Twitter, I’m starting to have reservations about the amount of time I spend there.
I think this week I am going to make a conscious effort to spend less time on Twitter and more time reading. I’ve been working on “Think and Grow Rich” for the last few months, I think I am going to invest more time this week in finishing the book and writing a blog post to share some of the things I’ve learned. I think spending time away from Twitter will help improve my mental health during the week. I also realize this may be just wishful thinking, but I will report back next week and let you know if I did any better about pulling back from the bird site. (Editorial note: after writing this sentence I spent the next five minutes scrolling Twitter on my phone, so I wouldn’t say this is off to a good start!)
This week I want to give a shout out to the following folx:
@cetolyne - great friend, awesome programmer, super helpful!
@blenster - cool maker, very positive, well worth a follow!
@GWeessies - very smart person doing interesting research!
Marley - first place champ! Marley is one of the best on Twitter!
MildThrone - another new bug hunter to keep your eyes on!
Null Coder - another awesome person to keep an eye on!
The astute reader might notice that these are the same suggestions from last week. Kudos! These are the same recommendations from last week, because these folx are still awesome and worth following! Maybe next week I will update this list. Until then, I hope you have a very nice week!