The benefit of quality

35 years ago, I bought a Fluke 77 multimeter (series I), which was pretty expensive by the standards of the day. I’ve used it with moderate intensity since then, changing the battery every couple of years, but not having it repaired or calibrated. I never had anything to calibrate it against, anyway.

Recently, I got myself a Rigol DP832 bench power supply, which has a stated accuracy around 0.1% on all parameters, so I thought it would be interesting to see how much the Fluke differs; i.e. how much it has drifted over the last 35 years. I think the pictures speak for themselves, showing the volt, millivolt, amps, and milliamps ranges. Identical values, with a difference only in the least significant digit. I.e., rounding errors. Wow.

9V
200 mV on V range.
200 mV on mV range.
300 mA on mA range.
300 mA on A range.
1.5 A on A range.
3 A on A range. That’s as high as the Rigol goes. The Fluke goes to 10A.

That includes Trump himself

A number of tech companies have filed an amicus brief in a suit against Trump’s executive order:

“Immigrants or their children founded more than 200 of the companies on the Fortune 500 list, including Apple, Kraft, Ford, General Electric, AT&T, Google, McDonald’s, Boeing, and Disney,” it said. The briefing also notes prominent immigrant and refugee writers, scholars and Nobel Laureates.

Now, that actually includes Trump himself. His mother and all his grandparents were immigrants.

(I’m talking about “immigrants or their children”, not “scholars and Nobel Laureates”, obviously.)

Walleräng M.01

After pining for it for half a year, I finally got my courage (and credit cards) together and bought the Walleräng M.01 electric bike (the 2017 model; yes, even bikes have model years now). The closest store carrying it is almost a 100 km away, but that’s ok. They only had one, but that’s ok, too. The price is a hefty 31,900 SEK (around $3,400), but considering the build quality and the components, it’s not remarkably high. We’re not in eye-watering territory, at least.

M.01 with panniers outside.
The M.01 with my panniers on.

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That’s a big stack

I’ve been plowing through all kinds of tutorials and books so that I can build a working stack of tools and libraries for doing javascript development. Boy, is that extensive and complicated. This is how far I’ve gotten until now.

I have learned most of the technologies in the graph, at least superficially, and it looks like you need most of them for a fully rounded application. The world has certainly changed from back when you could learn one language, one IDE, and one platform.

Javascript development mindmap
The interrelated tools and libraries I need (click for large version)

Update: do read this satirical post about how it feels to learn Javascript. It’s absolutely perfect.

All that remains is the laptop

Just watched the Apple computer event and it was really boring. All they presented were Macbook Pros. No Mac Pro, no iMac, no mini, nothing. Oh, and no Apple display.

The message I got from all this, and from the connectivity on the new Macbook Pro, is that Apple thinks that the Macbook Pro, in combination with the new LG 5k displays, actually can do the job of the iMac and the Mac Pro. That you don’t really need anything else. Or rather, that they can’t be bothered with it all anymore. Even during the ostentative computer event, they couldn’t keep from gushing about the iPhone instead. They’re simply bored with computers.

The Air is clearly on it’s last leg. The cheapest Macbook will cost substantially more than the Air when it’s gone, which to me means that schools won’t be able to afford them any longer. So that leaves, what? Lenovo and Dell?

It feels like the end of an era. I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft is the new Apple. Just look at the Surface Studio.

Let’s encrypt

I got myself another hoster. Bluehost has gotten really awful, had to move. Right now, one of my mail accounts can’t be reached from the place where I work, so I have to VPN to my home net to check mail(*). They’ve also changed the mail management so I can no longer see how much data is in mailboxes, making moving them iffy (I don’t know if my users have moved out the email or not). And, obviously, I’m not going to go try to make tech support at Bluehost help me.

Oh, just for giggles, not a single way of trying to backup stuff from Bluehost works, neither for small nor for large backups. It’s all borked and tech support won’t even try to do something about it. The workaround is to export the MySQL databases manually, to export WordPress content through the WP dashboard, and to tar the site folders and FTP them out.

I’ve been setting up stuff on Dreamhost now for a week or so. It’s pretty enjoyable; everything seems to work. Dreamhost also has a working implementation of Let’s Encrypt which I’ve activated on everything in sight. So far on this domain, on vard-it.se, and on iota.pro, with redirects to https from http. You’ll notice that some pages still have mixed content, causing security warnings, but that’s because I can’t get WordPress to use https for all images automatically, and I don’t find it worth the effort to go through all old posts to update them all.

(*) Update: turns out the email thing was my own fault. I noticed I had used a server url on my laptop that I had changed in the meanwhile. That doesn’t change my distaste for Bluehost, though.

Our specialist who works on the trace rout department

So from last night sometime, I couldn’t get at my email server. Nobody here could. From another net it worked fine. So I figure I need to talk to Bluehost.com, the hoster. I had a chat earlier today that I had to cut short due to other things. And due to me being close to completely losing it. So this is act II. The only thing that kept me sane during this hour-long confrontation with inanity was the thought of publishing it here. So here you are. Bluehost support in all its glory.

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Autoresizing text view in table cells

Continuing from the previous version, I upgraded to Swift 3 and Xcode 8 (beta 4). Most of the glitches are gone, but every now and then one shows up. So I’m not entirely sold on the whole thing yet. I’m still having doubts if it wouldn’t be simpler to just have the user enter text in a separate popup of some kind, and only display read-only views in the actual table. The problem with that is that it is a lot less intuitive and user-friendly. OTOH, it would work… I get a feeling Apple really doesn’t want us to do editing in text views in table cells. I don’t think any of Apple’s own apps do that.

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