Weeknotes 1

  • I’ve been keen to try writing weeknotes for a couple of reasons: mostly as a way to improve my written communication, but I also think I’ll enjoy a regular nudge to reflect on each week as they happen.

  • Slack weren’t the only ones with website problems this week after a late-evening SMS told me our website at work was completely down. Initial inspection showed that our tiny Heroku set up of just 2 small dynos had been overwhelmed by traffic. On examining the logs, we deduced that a well-timed marketing campaign designed to coincide with the government lockdown announcement at 8pm was the culprit. After a post mortem, we spent some time looking into ways to scale our Rails application more efficiently on Heroku. We found Nate Berkopec’s Your App Server Config is Wrong from RailsConf 2017 to be an excellent dive into server configuration. We’re now running Performance dynos, meaning our application is much happier and our bank account slightly lighter.

  • I wrote a small script in Go using PhantomJS to periodically scrape a few online retailers for Xbox Series X stock. Last week this paid off, and I can now enjoy the customary testing of every game I own to see how they now look and feel on next-gen hardware. I’ve been immensely enjoying the nostalgia-filled The Orange Box once again, after realising Half Life 2 came out more than 16 years (or roughly half my life) ago. Eek!

  • I spent some time this weekend protecting domains that don’t send email, ensuring the handful of domains I have lying dormant don’t cause any security headaches. My domain registrar (Gandi) provides a useful templating feature which allowed me to quickly apply a configuration to all my domains & configure any new registrations or transfers with secure defaults. Gandi doesn’t seem to support null MX records, so my zone file looks like this.

*._domainkey 10800 IN TXT "v=DKIM1; p="
@ 10800 IN TXT "v=spf1 -all"
_dmarc 10800 IN TXT "v=DMARC1;p=reject;sp=reject;adkim=s;aspf=s;fo=1;rua=mailto:[email protected]"
  • Having really enjoyed Netflix’s Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, I had been eagerly anticipating the new years day release of their follow up movie, Less is Now only to be bitterly disappointed. It’s mostly just a repackaging of their first documentary, with a more in-depth look into their upbringing and lots of individual testimony thrown in. I’d still recommend giving it a watch, but only as a very slightly improved alternative to their first documentary.

  • The pine needles are everywhere.