Alan Zimmerman is a user on You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse.

Thinking of Z80a and how we used one byte to record 8 states because bytes were expensive then.

Fun fact: the umbrellas Google provides for around the campus say "Don't be evil" on them. I'm pretty sure that rather than reminding everyone that this is a Google motto (I don't recall having seen it anywhere else on campus) it's actually an admonition to the employee not to steal the umbrellas.

That feeling when your boss from seventeen years ago calls you up out of the blue and asks you if you remember the root password to a server that you haven't looked at since 2001.

Eight jobs ago.

Seventeen years ago.

The hell?

Extra dark chocolate is high in polyphenols. Tends to be very low in sugar proportion to the amount of calories because most of the calories are from cocoa butter (fats). And apparently is loaded is a lot of healthy fiber. Technically it's also a fermented food, although I don't think it has any probiotics unless you look for that specifically.

Given that I'm trying to stay in a mostly low carb state, this is exactly what I'm looking for in a food.

Forgot to post about this, but I wrote a little script to back up a Mastodon instance, in case anyone finds it useful. ๐Ÿ™‚ #MastoAdmins

Speaking of root passwords, I once got a call from Microsoft:

MS: "Hey, Sean, we heard you might know how to break into Windows 2000 machines without the password."

Me: "Umm..."

MS: "We lost the administrator password to some of our machines. If you can change it for us, we won't ask how."

Me: "I'll see what I can do."

When Microsoft locked themselves out of their own operating system, they called the Linux guy to get them back in. (I used SystemRescueCD.)

"In many ways, #Myanmar is an example of the future Mark #Zuckerberg seems to want: A country in which most people are connected through the #socialnetwork and get virtually all of their #news from it.

And yet, the outcome of that vision isnโ€™t a utopia, itโ€™s a #dystopiaโ€”a world where #ethnic and #cultural #tensions are inflamed and #weaponized. And #Facebookโ€™s response looks inadequate to the dangers it has helped unleash."


@clacke @catonano my brain only has so much room for so many single-character unix flag switches and I think I may have used them all up

"B/t 1980 and 2017 real wages rose 14% while returns to the S&P 500 rose 543%. ... In the 35 years prior to that, the differential was less than 2:1. Freeman argued the trend dramatically shows why economic strategies relying on income are doomed to be of limited value in an era when high-skilled jobs are increasingly being replaced by . ... The key to future policy is finding ways for employees, and indeed citizens at large, to share in the ownership of wealth."

A fork on Github is no fork

Suddenly GitLab seems much more appealing (if this isn't the case for it too).

I think the best lesson you can give to a computer programmer is to let them know that they're not alone in trying to figure this shit out.

Hell, it's a young field and already we've created so many different cultures and languages. Nobody could possibly know all of this all the time.

Be gentle with yourself, computer programmer. The task is hard enough without being hard on yourself.

Greenspun's tenth rule, revisited:

"Any sufficiently complicated dynamically typed program contains an informally-specified, bug-ridden implementation of half of a type system."

I'm looking at you, golang. An example is Kubernetes (, another is noms (


Another interesting decentralized database project is #noms !

They are not a cryptocurency project but nonetheless a useful project for future dapp developers ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

@Shamar @alanz

@maiki I got my start with software hacking and coding when I accidentally deleted our dos computer's autoexec.bat. A friend of the family had set up the machine for us with a startup menu to dummy proof dos. We were clueless how to work it ourselves. My mom promptly drove me to the library and calmly explained that it was OK and id just learn how to fix the computer.

We are creating a world with no room for that narrative now.