John Bohn

My thoughts on software, tech, business, and more

Weekly Picks 2014-07-21

Holy crap. There were a lot of cool things I saw this week. I might not be as complete as usual in my descriptions, but trust me, click through and check everything out.

Andrew Sorensen OSCON 2014 Keynote: “The Concert Programmer”

Answer Sorensen live coding a song (in a Lisp). This was really cool. Whil I don’t think it’s a great a seeing a really good musician play, it shows what tomorrow’s concerto might look like. Really fricking cool.

Rainbow Stream

This is the best terminal based Twitter client I have ever seen. You get real time streams, composition, search, etc. Plus images. Yes, images… from twitter… in the terminal.

Emacs & Vim — Martin Klepsch

A four year vim user switches to emacs in with evil-mode. I’ve actually been considering this myself. I love vim for its key bindings, but envy emacs lisp.

CoreOS Stable Release

Stable CoreOS!!! This might be my top pick from the week. I think CoreOS is going to be one of the most important web technologies over the next decade. Very excited.

Trello is now part of Trello, Inc.

Was waiting for this one. I think Trello is probably a much more recognizable name than Fog Creek.

mitmproxy: a man-in-the-middle proxy

Very cool little proxy. It lets you intercept, modify and most importantly replace and save HTTP/S traffic.

Blazing Fast HTML

I never used elm. To be honest, I don’t totally remember if I’d even heard of it. That said, it’s fast. Really fast. Thanks to it’s use of a virtual DOM. This is a concept that has been picking up steam lately. At this point. I think it’s a good idea.


A Mandelbrot fractal viewer written in Ruby and displays in the console. Enough said.

IBM: The Economic Value of Rapid Response Time

A paper from 1982 describing the value of performance. It’s a short read with good info (and graphs).

Collection Pipeline

Marting Fowler documented a new pattern. It’s the idea of taking a collection and piping it through a series of commands.

An example from the command line:

grep -l ‘nosql’ bliki/entries/* | xargs wc -w | sort -nr

An example from Ruby:

  .select{|a| a.tags.include?(:nosql)}
  .sort_by{|a| a.words}


Automated window layout and session management for tmux, with a simple definition file that is powerful and flexible. Aka: a tmux manager that let’s you do crazy things and write configuration files that can look like:

window an_example         # <-- A new window begins like this, spaces in names are acceptable

HHHOOOOOVVVVXXXXAAAA      # <-- This is a windowgram, it defines shapes and positions of panes
HHHOOOOOTTTTXXXXAAAA      # <-- You make your own, any size and arrangement, 62 panes maximum

  foc                     # <-- Only 3 three-letter commands to remember: Focus, Directory, Run
  dir ~                   # <-- An unlinked command becomes the default for all following panes
a run figlet "a"          # <-- Here is a linked command to print a large "a" on pane a
q run figlet "q"
q foc
A run figlet "A"

Cr-A-Zy. And awesome.

The web request is a scary place

An interesting take instagram’s talk on how they scaled messaging.

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments

This is my new book club book and looks great. I made a post specifically for this pick. Long story short, this books looks really great and you should read it with me. I’m posting my first notes on the book this week.

Top Level Telecommunications: New phones aboard Air Force One

Phones. Air Force One. LEDs that change color to denote whether the line is secure. That’s stuff from the movies. No. It’s not. It’s on Air Force One. /Obama drops the mic, walks away. You just got served.

Virtual AGC

Simulation of the Apoloo guidance systems. And source code. Of course I picked it.

Level-Up Your Machine Learning

Want to learn machine learning? Don’t know where to start? This is a very well thought out guide containing a handful of recommendations on what book to read when.

Fast, free and uncensored. (And my new DNS servers.) Seriously, I noticed the speed improvement.

Calling All Hackers: Help Us Build an Open Wireless Router

Want to help EFF build an open wireless router? Here’s your chance.

etcd: the Not-so-Secret Sauce in Google’s Kubernetes and Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry

Again, I’m a CoreOS fanboy. etcd is essential. Configuration management for awesomeness.

How Instagram Feeds Work: Celery and RabbitMQ

Related to the earlier post on Instagram. Another good read on scaling big. Really big.


HTML5 canvas for your terminal. Another amazin terminal thing. I want d3 in my terminal now :).

Hacking POS Terminal for Fun and Non-profit

Restaurant POS systems have always been a secret obsession of mine. They look like hell and it seems like there is so much room for improvement. This is a cool article on what’s going on under the hood.

Escher in language—The algorithmic mirror

Escher is a programming language for everything. It can naturally represent both process and data, while being simpler than a calculator grammar.

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