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I prefer both my hardware and my software to be user-serviceable.

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I would like to remind everyone that if I follow someone or boost their post, that does not mean I think they are a good person. It means I find their posts interesting, and that is it.

Gaming (Kerbal Space Program) 

Like the elves going to Valinor in LoTR but with moar boosters.

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Gaming (Kerbal Space Program) 

Related: People have made KSP "land speed record" cars that, for a portion of the run, if the spoiler is retracted (and the car magically doesn't burn up), will immediately and gracefully lose ground contact, continue on a trajectory tangent to the ground, letting the planet curve away beneath them, leaving the atmosphere, and escaping the planet entirely into orbit of the sun.

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Gaming (Kerbal Space Program) 

Challenges in KSP can sound deceptively simple at first glance.

Example: Land at least one part on Duna. All acceleration must happen in an atmosphere.

POLL: There is a _____ amount of XML and that's a ____ thing.

Computing joke 

Binary interface compatibility is a lie invented by Big Linker to sell more precompiled object code

mkfifo backpipe; chatbot < backpipe | chatbot > backpipe

Bad code 

*waves loop at data structure aggressively*

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Bad code 

Just found some Python written when I clearly wasn't thinking straight, along the lines of:

for k, v in some_dict.items()
if k == some_key:


Fixed to:


@floppy @alexbuzzbee UPDATE!

Reached out to a friend. The cursed database is still in use today. However, they were promised time to do a proper migration in 2022. Fingers crossed they eventually get there!

@floppy @alexbuzzbee I'm happy to report I know of such a cursed database, that was used in production about 4 years ago. Reasonably sure it still is.

Its story is pretty funny too. Painful, but funny: once upon a time, there were many small sqlite3 dbs on a VPS the team ran. It wasn't optimal, but got the job done. Time passed, new fads came: lets move to the Cloud, drop the VPS, we'll use a hosted database! You have two days to migrate. So they slapped all the sqlite dbs into a table on RDS.

The people who make the rockets that land made another bigger rocket that lands and it didn't explode yet.

@floppy @alexbuzzbee plot twist: the sqlite db is just a collection of screenshots of excel documents.

CREATE TABLE databases (name TEXT, sqlite3_db BLOB);

Software engineering and development is the industry of creating progressively more and more complicated and intensive ways of showing the words "Hello, world" to someone.

need I repeat myself when I say that if you want to call your work software engineering you should put the same ethical considerations into your work as engineers

Remember, turn off ALL your electronic devices before 2038-01-19 03:14:07 UTC, unless it has a "2K38 Safe" certification.

scram - shut down all the machines you have access to

The scram command immediately starts the shutdown process on every known machine on which any of the current user's ssh private keys allows logging in as root or a user that can su to root or sudo a shell or the shutdown command as root, or that has polkit access to shut down. Once all other machines have started shutting down, the local machine is also shut down if the current user can do so.

I have written a program that turns strings of hex digits into lists of allowable 2-letter word prefixes such that the total frequency of all the words starting with the prefixes corresponding to each digit (0-f) are approximately the same.

The idea is to reversibly turn any hex string into prose or poetry. The decode process does a reverse mapping on the prefix of each word of 3 or more letters (other than "the", I might add "and" too). This lets you add filler words to make the output flow.

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Fosstodon is an English speaking Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.