August review

TL;DR: I’ve been on a long blogging hiatus, but I’m back. Among other things, I’ve been doing conference/meetup talks, which I’m going to continue. I’ve moved this blog from jameshfisher.github.com to jameshfisher.com, a permanent home at last. In August I wrote mostly about C and DNS, and did some marketing work on Vidrio. September is the “month of cryptocurrency”: I’ll be understanding and investing in cryptos.

Blogging absence

August was a full blogging month. This followed a long hiatus: for the three months of May, June and July, I barely posted anything. My last monthly review was in April - five months ago. What happened? Excuses: granddads were dying, talks needed practicing, festivals needed going to. It’s easy to get out of the blogging habit. But I’m back now, and I’ve thought of a few things which might strengthen the blogging habit:

Talks in 2017

In the last three months, I’ve accelerated my public speaking. Most of this has been the “Golang realtime GC” talk which I have given with Will several times since February. I’m a bit sick of doing this talk now, but I’m very enthusiastic about keeping up the public-speaking habit.

I have another talk coming up called “Don’t say ‘simply’” at The Dev Shed, probably in October. I gave this talk internally at Pusher, and it was well-received. I’d also like to take the talk to Write The Docs London, which has about ~30 people going to each event. If it goes really well, the Write the Docs Community has international conferences. This talk is applicable to so many software companies, and people come away with a specific point. I’d like to first prepare for Dev Shed with a Vidrio screencast version, of around ~20 minutes.

I’d like to be on the look-out for topics I’m studying which could become talks. I’m treating blogs (here and making.pusher.com) as preparatory work for talks. Other technical talks I’d like to prepare in future include “High performance TCP” and “Compact regions in GHC”.

Recent technical posts

In April I wrote, “I wish to continue focussing on UNIX and networking.” I mostly followed those themes in my August technical posts. On the UNIX side, I continued learning C. I was mostly interested in multi-file C programs: what #include does and why we have “header” files, what “object” files are and what they look like on macOS (the Mach-O format), the kinds of linking (static/dynamic), and how linking is implemented. On the networking side, I wrote about DNS: doing DNS client/server programmatically (in Golang).

This technical work feels valuable. I however have no project calling for this UNIX/networking knowledge at the moment. One thing I would like to study is Bitcoin. There are many aspects of Bitcoin which are related to my technical studies: Bitcoin source is C/C++, Bitcoin has interesting networking challenges, and Bitcoin has some interesting applied crypto.

Moving to jameshfisher.com

In August I moved this site to jameshfisher.com. I’ve bought many stupid domains in the past. I intend this sensible one to be my permanent internet home from now on. Under the hood, I also moved the site from GitHub Pages to Netlify.

Vidrio

I did some more work on Vidrio: distributing Vidrio outside the Mac App Store, and promoting Vidrio in some places. I was struck by the effectiveness of small marketing efforts, yielding hundreds of downloads. I’m going to continue this marketing work.

Plan for September: the month of cryptocurrency

Back in March, I made the whole month the “month of Vidrio”. This was pretty effective: I spent nearly all my blogging time on this topic, and Vidrio was much better at the end of the month. I’m using the same principle for September, the “month of cryptocurrency”. I’ll be concentrating on two things: understanding cryptos, and investing in cryptos.

I wrote this because I felt like it. This post is not associated with my employer.