Preamble

Tom MacWright, whose code I use to keep track of my keystrokes, has a series of monthly posts titled “recently” where he summarizes a few things that he’s done or worked on, talks that he’s given, things he’s listened to, read, or watched.

I like that idea. It’s a good excuse to write, and a good way to take stock of the month that had passed and correct trajectory as needed. I am running with that inspiration and starting my own Recently posts.


General

My late 2014 Mac Mini’s hard drive got very ill. It happened pretty suddenly. By suddenly, I mean I only experienced a couple of incidents in which OS X froze and I had to force a restart, but those were weeks apart and things worked normally after the forced restart. Verify Disk always returned no errors, and the disk always passed S.M.A.R.T. checks.

It also happened decisively. And by that I mean that my machine went from normal functioning straight into failing to get past the initial progress bar after a restart.

I – and the Apple Store – thought we knew what was wrong. Two days, two Apple Store visits, and two long calls with Apple Support later, I still don’t know what happened — although I strongly suspect it was a FileVault2 bug. I was finally able to resuscitate the drive with a combination of “ghetto” diskutil commands1 to rebuild a hosed Fusion Drive, a Time Machine restore, and reinstall of OS X that took hours because of this /usr/local silliness.

Code

t is a simple command-line based todo list manager “for people that want to finish tasks, not organize them.” It’s the only todo app that has stuck for me.

The only thing I missed is being able to see and edit my todos on my iPhone. So I decided to write my own app. This decision was nicely timed with Apple releasing Swift. I could never get my head around Objective-C, but Swift looks nicer to the python programmer in me.

The app is about 70% feature complete. I can add tasks, delete them, and mark them as for today (by adding a today: prefix). I cannot mark them as done or edit them.

Reading

  • How a Grad Student Uncovered a Huge Fraud – A researcher faked a study and stole and modified data, then published it in Science. It was a very big deal given the topic – changing public opinion on same-sex marriage – and his surprising results. David Broockman, the student who had suspicions and ended up uncovering the fraud, was put under tremendous pressure from other academics to not pursue his suspicions or investigate further. Depressing.

  • Potter: Authenticity, anti-vaxxers, and the rise of neoprimitivism – The silliness of treating technology with suspicion just because it’s new and meddles with “nature”. Whatever that is.

Listening

See also

  1. Apple Support person’s phrasing. He was right. The commands were crazy. They involved starting a zeroout of the drives and then interrupting the process halfway through. 

  2. Not that I’ve seen it before, but I’m sure that joke’s been done to death. Still. 

  3. These weren’t his exact words because it’s been a while, but they are really close to his exact words. 

The Recently posts are inspired by Tom MacWright.