I spent a lot of Monday finishing off improving my Docker-based Django development environment which is the kind of start to a blog post that will drastically filter the readers. I gave up on getting VS Code to interact with Docker in any way – more trouble than it’s worth – but I am otherwise pleased with the small improvements I’ve made to it.
I like to have a stable basic set up, now used for this site and Pepys (both on GitHub), which I can quickly re-use for future projects, whether for myself or the increasingly-rare clients. The only tricky aspect is, if I find a way to improve things, whether/if/how to improve all the other projects’ set-ups in the same way.
I spent a couple of days at the end of the week starting to write code to send and receive Webmentions (Trackbacks for Millennials) on this site. I looked at a couple of existing python/Django packages but none were quite what I needed so I thought it would be a great idea to spend days writing code to do something that will get very little use.
But it is very satisfying to be writing some new code for myself, which I haven’t done for a while. The satisfaction is only hampered by my desire to Do It Properly and write lots of tests, which always makes progress much, much slower for me. I’m probably getting better at it but there’s always something that puzzles me and seems so difficult I’m convinced I’m doing it wrongly. This week it was how to test a model mixin class.
§ The biggest achievement of our week was moving a wardrobe.
We had a narrow wardrobe, the same height as me, in an upstairs bedroom which we no longer needed. So, having found it a new home on Freegle, we had to get it to the front door. Between that bedroom and the front door was a low door, an awkward corner, a low lampshade, a flight of stairs, another corner, an even lower ceiling with a smoke detector, an even even lower doorway, another lampshade, and a door.
There were several points along that journey where it seemed physically impossible to advance further and I was worried we’d end up with a wardrobe version of Dirk Gently’s sofa. But each time, with the removal of a lampshade or smoke alarm, and some backing up or precarious leaning, we managed to ease it gently to the next stage. It was a series of seemingly-impossible puzzles, each one eventually solved. It still doesn’t seem achievable and yet the wardrobe has now gone away, in one piece, inside a nice man’s only-just-long-enough estate car.
§ This week we watched The Billion Dollar Code on Netflix, a German drama miniseries based on ART+COM coming up with a way to zoom into a globe of satellite photos in the early 1990s and then, in the 2010s, suing Google for doing the same thing in the same way with Google Earth.
As Jeremy said:
It’s no Halt and Catch Fire, but it combines ’90s nostalgia, early web tech, and an opportunity for me to exercise my German comprehension.
If I’d got my code finished this week I’d totally be webmentioning the hell of Jeremy’s post right now. Anyway, we really enjoyed it. I very much loved the 1990s hackers and net.art setting so it’s recommended on that front alone if you’re of a similar vintage.
Netflix also has a “making of” documentary, interviewing the real people involved about the story, with little actual “making of” at all. That was very interesting and I could easily have watched a lot more of it.
§ We started watching the western The Harder They Fall (Jeymes Samuel, 2021, also Netflix) which was promising, and looked fun in a Tarantino-ish style, but we stopped part-way through; we were both tired and realised we didn’t really care who succeeded or failed.
§ I had my Pfizer booster shot this week so I am now willing it to transform my DNA or whatever in time to help fight off this next wave of baddies.