Isaac Whatever

I'm making this up.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022


The Parable of the Bridge

my team is asked to build a bridge.
i discuss with the team.
some of them have relevant experience.
built bridges before.

start looking at customer needs,
make sure we build a suitable bridge.

management comes down.
gives us an unreasonable schedule.
this bridge might be a bit shitty
but it should get the job done.

do a few sprints, making good progress.
this might actually work.

management comes down.
big problem.
stop everything, they say.
you're building the bridge wrong.

they show their marketing material.
it is the golden gate bridge photoshopped over the customer's dinky little canal.

my team are all stonemasons.

The parable ends there but I need to get this out of my head.

We push back.
We can't build a suspension bridge on schedule or budget.
None of us know shit about steel cables or whatever the hell.
Management won't budge on schedule or features
but they promise to hire a guy who knows steel cables.

Our hiring process is completely fucked up.
Team doesn't get to interview the guy.
The head of our engineering org knows this cable guy.
He gets hired.
His start day is a week after our deadline.
He's a total asshole.
Nobody can work with him.

The bridge gets built.
It's a stone bridge with some steel cable bullshit propped up on top.
The steel cables are not load-bearing.
The cable guy couldn't work with the team.

The customer is unhappy.
The bridge looks like shit.
They want to drive box trucks over the bridge and the cable shit is in the way.

Six months later the cable shit separates from the bridge footing,
collapses, and kills a truck driver.

Cable guy has already left.
On to bigger and better things.
His resume says he single-handedly built all the steel cable shit for a bridge.
While he was here he got 3 promotions
and won the engineering "teamwork award" that gets you a trip to Bali.

Nobody on my team got promotions or raises.
Fallen below market rate.
People quitting.
Management telling me to convince people to stay.
No raises or promotions though.
Or autonomy.
Or job satisfaction.

Bad work environment.
I try to shelter my team.
Management comes to all my team meetings and micromanages my guys.
More people quitting.

I finally quit.

Good luck, assholes.



Thursday, December 25, 2014


Samsung P2770H Wall Mount

The Samsung P2770H widescreen 27" monitor is not listed as VESA compatible. And it isn't, at all. However...

First, remove the stand from the bottom of the monitor. Lie the monitor face down on a towel (I used a nice piece of cardboard) and pull the stand off. It takes some strength, just do it.

There are no screws on the back of the monitor. It seems like there is a screw hidden under the sticker on the back, but this is just the dimple from molding the piece of plastic.

The entire back of the monitor, including the area that the stand plugs into, is held on with little clips around the perimeter. It is possible to insert a knife blade into the seam, in the bottom, and putting your fingers into the hole for the monitor stand, start popping the little clips.

As you reach the corners, make sure the monitor is face-down on something flexible. Push down and away on the bezel of the monitor, and pull the back plate up and away. The corner will pop out of the clips. This is a delicate operation, but you must also pull strongly.

Continue all around, and pull the back off. Mine was safe to remove, but I shined a small flashlight into the crack and looked around the interior area to make sure no wires were connected, you might want to do the same.

Once the back was removed, I simply screwed a VESA quick-release bracket directly into the plastic in the middle of the back panel. The back is curved, and there is a large enough area back there that short screws won't touch the interior components of the monitor.

Here is a bracket similar to the one I used. Although my bracket came with my adjustable monitor arm.

Then, with the bracket screwed directly into the back plastic, I pressed the plastic back panel down onto the monitor, listening for all of the clicks as the little clips came back together.

The mounting feels very solid, and since my monitor arm is adjustable, it doesn't matter that the bracket is not perfectly vertical on the back of the monitor.
Finished Product

Thursday, January 02, 2014


Instagram Woes

My instagram account must have gotten hacked. I was following 7,500 people. Just opening up the app would cause my phone to get hot and kill the battery.

Unfollowing everyone individually would never work. The app would stop responding after the first few unfollows.

But they're a new, forward-thinking company. They have an API.

Programming to the rescue!

I found this:

I got a little script up and running. I would fetch an access token manually and then plug it into the script. I read that the API had a limit of 50 unfollows per hour. I was careful to put in appropriate sleeps.

I fired it up, and it worked:
> ./bin/python 4d1918a69bbf400c81d0a06f8a948be8
Unfollowing User: slinkii_athletic
Unfollowing User: broxiesevents
Unfollowing User: beingprincess
Unfollowing User: rftm
Unfollowing User: alhwaizi
Unfollowing User: markthomps0n
Unfollowing User: arifbader
Unfollowing User: mira_sezar
Unfollowing User: maksimtokaev
Unfollowing User: michaelkors2014
Unfollowing User: genesismusik
Unfollowing User: projectcreator
Unfollowing User: domanitime
Unfollowing User: georgie_greig
Unfollowing User: herbalifejackie
Unfollowing User: benzkanyaphat
Unfollowing User: label31
Unfollowing User: kangcelvin_wae
Unfollowing User: erniesingleton
Unfollowing User: lovecreamskincare
Unfollowing User: mary_kondra
Unfollowing User: katya__lee
Unfollowing User: bpeacemusic
Unfollowing User: bta3_klooo
Unfollowing User: 3iooy
Unfollowing User: yourwardrobe_indo
Unfollowing User: estabrq1
Unfollowing User: ayo_dynasty

And then, sadly, it quit working. There's also a limit on each access token.

Ugh. Forget it. I deleted my instagram account and created another one with the same username but with a 2 on the end.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013


The Fear

I fell off a 5.10c. Not right away. I clung on for a while, went off route and awkwardly clipped the first bolt. The rock was wet and cold and slippery. The feet were bad. Holds that looked promising from below offered no purchase for my hands. I was tense, my back rigid, straining for the holds.

I clawed my way up next to the first bolt and my bad feet blew and I fell a few feet and bonked my ankle bone on the rock. Nothing too bad, just sad. I asked to be lowered and stood at the foot of the route.

I could reach up, take my quickdraw, and walk away. That was the only gear on the route. Bailing wouldn't cost me anything. I thought about it.

My head was in the wrong place. I was trying to half ass this route. Taking no chances, not committing to any hard moves, keeping my feet low and my hands high, trying to cheat my way up. It wasn't happening. I took some deep breaths and slapped my hands together to try to warm them.

Something changed. I don't know why. Something drained slowly away. I felt light. I relaxed. The world went away. Falling didn't matter. I wasn't afraid.

I put my hands back on the route and climbed up it. I trusted a high right foot. I palmed a sloper. I made some good moves. I got to the anchors and nobody else wanted to do it. I cleaned the route and came down. I couldn't tell you if the route was easy or hard.

I don't know why the fear left me but I knew it might. It usually does. Not always, but usually. I don't make it go. I don't force it away. I don't even wish for it to leave. I look at the route, I check my harness and knots, I count my draws and make sure I have my ATC. I feel the change, the fear starting to recede. I try not to feel anything about it. It could come rushing back at any moment. It doesn't. I wait, without thinking about what I'm waiting for, and the fear goes away.

5.10c isn't amazing but it's pretty close to my limit in those conditions. If I had to drag the fear up the route I would only make it up once in 10 or 20 attempts. I would be erratic, frustrated, and tired. Leading close to my limit would be a horrible experience. Instead, without the fear, it's fun.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Hunk of Junk

"Sir, new contact, inbound sector six."

"What is it?"

"Looks like an old Corellian, sir, cruiser class."

"Are we being flanked? Their main fleet came in through sector three."

"No sir, I just finished a long range sweep. No other inbound craft."

"I don't know what he's thinking, but we'll…"

"Sir! Contact is accelerating! Inbound fast bogey, sir!"

"Divert three intercepts."

"No time, sir! Bogey still accelerating!"

"What the hell! What kind of ship is she?!"

"Damn thing looks like a hunk of junk. It's still coming hard. Wait! Course correction! It's heading straight for Lord Vader!"

"Divert EVERYTHING! Get those turbolasers turned back on!"

"We can't, sir. Lord Vader himself ordered them off."


pew pew


"You're all clear, kid. Now let's blow this thing and go home!"



Wednesday, May 02, 2012


open source contributing

If you want to contribute to an open source project the first place to
start is by fixing a bug. This will have the following steps:

1. find a project to contribute to. has some projects, but it is by no means
a full list. best are ones you use daily, if you can find one.

2. find the bug you want to fix by going to their bug tracker is a typical example. this is a tiny
little python downloader and has a ton of bugs.

3. get your dev env set up. Many of these projects are on linux. I
recommend ubuntu, but some of the bugs may be platform-specific.

4. get the current dev version of the code and get it running. this
can be super fucking hard.

5. write a test and then fix the bug.

6. attach your diff to the bug ticket or mail it to the maintainer. be
prepared to explain yourself or rewrite your patch, or have somebody
else rewrite it and take all the credit.

7. update your resume.

Another option is to maintain (for instance) a debian or ubuntu package.

with this, you won't usually write code directly on the project
itself. instead you will maintain that project's debian package. this
is taking care of the intersection of a project and an operating
system version. ensuring that the dependencies are correct in the
package, that it installs OK, that it doesn't cause trouble with other
packages, and that bugs are communicated upstream or wherever they
need to be.

sounds terrible, right? why would you want to do that? because it gets
your name and email address on the list of package maintainers for
debian or ubuntu or whatever, which is a prestigious honor. kinda.

good luck

(mailed to a friend. posted because someone else might want to read it.)

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


occupy the historical context

i like reading the occupy slogans and replacing 99% with "proletariat"
and 1% with "bourgeois".
makes it seem like a continuation of an old conflict...
the same one that got us 8hr working days as part of the original May
Day protests


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