Recently: June 2021

Previous: May 2021.

The second quarter of 2021 is over, and it was an intense one at work. I’ve been working on some features for WordPress 5.8. It’s a packed version by my standards and those of many others. It will be published in a few days, and I’m excited to see it in the wild.

My laptop broke

While I was sprinting to get things done, half my screen stopped working. The day the technician came for reparations, I had a semi-working screen, and that same day, when he left, the motherboard didn’t boot. Not ideal.

I wish the information, service, and time-to-response had been better and quicker, but I was told I hadn’t paid enough for that. The support service was a team in London that ordered the new material through an external carrier based in the Netherlands to be delivered to a local company in A Coruña that would come to Lugo to replace the pieces. So many links.

The world runs on the optimism of the 90%: when everything goes as expected, everything is fine, most of the time anyway. But, unfortunately, upon the unexpected, the experience is terrible. The hope is that the bad times are offset by the fact that, if you’re lucky, they only happen once every 15 years or so — nobody cares to optimize for the customer experience of that little 10%, they instead optimize to reduce the costs as much as they can.

This is a long way to say that I had to use Windows for a whole week of work. First time I had to for more than a couple of minutes since… 2005? TLDR: it works, and I will still choose Linux every time.

Hat tip to Marcus for the WSL2 guide. It helped me to set up a Linux subsystem that runs on Windows.

Watched

Refactoring: a developer’s guide to writing well, RailsConf 2021.

Why aren’t we, developers, excellent writers if we spent so much time at it? Starting from this question, the talk touches on specific practices you can do to improve your writing daily. An over-produced talk that delivers. It comes with a site with references, and it inspired me to get On Writing Well by William Zinserr (ongoing) off my queue to my reader.

Read

Apelidos da Galiza, de Portugual, e do Brasil. Vasques, son of Vasco; Romero, a pilgrim who goes in romaria (religious pilgrimage); Oliveira, a testimony of the existence of the olive plant in the Northwest of the Iberian peninsula. Those are the things you learn in this book: a fantastic introduction to the beauty of surnames and how they can serve as a living museum of the society that gave them birth.

The dagger of time

We were escape-room aficionados before the pandemic. We still are; we just don’t practice as much as before. So, as another step in welcoming our former lives, we booked an escape room for two: The dagger of time, by Ubisoft, in Compostela.

It’s the third VR room we do in that space. It has some similar mechanics to The Lost Pyramid and Medusa’s gate but still innovates in a few ways. It was a lot of fun.

This is us celebrating that we escaped.

Three salads

I’m a remote worker that cooks daily. I don’t think I had shared this before. Upon trial and error, we’ve curated a set of recipes that don’t take a lot of time and are healthy. Sometimes, they’re also tasty, if I’m lucky cooking that day.

Over the past years, we’ve incorporated more variety into our salads catalog. Apparently, they’re a good choice for a picnic if you live through a pandemic. These are three that I prepared in June:

My office i4

I’ve been working from home for more than 3 years now, and my setup has gone through several iterations – the current one is i4.

office-i4

After joining Automattic, I was encouraged to think about my office setup. The company sponsors the kind of high-quality office perks that you’ll expect in companies at this level, and I took that opportunity to upgrade my own in ways I had been already thinking about. The fact that you are not in their offices, but in your home adds a different feeling to it. Although I appreciate the company efforts and perks, I’d like to stay frugal within comfortable limits, so I didn’t get anything I wouldn’t buy with my own money. I think of my office setup as a gift for the elder me – I wish he’ll be proud of what his younger self is doing for him.

For i4, these are the new additions to my office:

HAG Capisco 8016 chair, which promotes and supports several seating positions.

DIY kit from Autonomous, to build my own height adjustable desktop so I could change between seating and standing positions.

We, humans, are not designed for seating. A lot has been said about the optimal seating position, but an idea that has gained recognition in ergonomics is that changing positions frequently may be the best long-term strategy.

For the past two months, I’ve been experimenting with that idea to learn what works better for me. I’ve used three main positions -traditional seating, saddle seating, and standing- and a lot of other crazy ones. What I’ve found out is that I change positions through the day as my body asks for it, but I mainly use the saddle position (most of the time, but especially when I need to write) and standing (for consuming information). The traditional seating feels a bit unnatural to me now, although it may be a side effect of using the Capisco which is more tailored for other postures. I also have a more traditional chair at home, but I rarely use it.

This is i4. This setup fits me so well that I cannot imagine what i5 will look like yet.

Howdy Automattic

a8c_creed

This is part of the invitation I was sent to join Automattic. I accepted. Today marks my first day as an automattician, and I am excited to become part of this family. My day-to-day will be filled with the joys and woes of programming but under Automattic’s creed, I feel safe, motivated and happy to do my best. Fun times ahead!