Video

Curtis Roads, Microsound

I’ve just read ‘Microsound’ by Curtis Roads. I was well aware of the microsound movement, but hadn’t realized the depth of the theory behind granular synthesis, with it’s history going back to the 1940s, and early practise from Xenakis (using tapes) and this lad, Curtis Roads, programming his own granular synth on a PDP-11/20 in 1974 - what a bad-ass! Check this site for some good background and papers.

I found these videos of Curtis Roads, via the site linked above.

Palmbomen II - Memories of Cindy

Have you been watching season 3 of Twin Peaks? so fscking good!

This is kinda up there –

Memories Of Cindy Pt. 1

Memories Of Cindy Pt. 2

Looking forward to receiving the second volume in the mail.

Grab a copy

Jenn Schiffer talks

Up at XOXO last year, the Jenn Schiffer talk was definitely one of the most fun:

this older one i found from 2015 is equally as entertaining, I love the opening sequence, it’s got a kind of “cool” Portlandia vibe!

Developers Writing The Future

I just read this pretty awesome book ‘I Hate The Internet’ by Jarett Kobek. It has a nice cynical irreverence, but very astute awareness of the power of modern social networks.

Coincidentally, I just came across this decent talk from Joel Spolsky, which if you kinda squint a little, sorta touches upon a few similar subjects as in ‘I Hate The Internet’, at least in that there a lot of assumptions and decisions baked into the algorithms in modern software, a lot of hidden power structures and bias. The talk goes off in a different direction towards the end, but definitely worth watching.

The book is brilliant too. Check it.

Runtime Scheduling, Strange Loop 2016

Super nice low level details of scheduling, from kernel scheduling to user space scheduling, with contrasting demo implementations in Go and Erlang..

Graham Dunning, Mechanical Techno

I was reading up on ALGOMECH 2016, “the first festival of algorithmic and mechanical movement” - which looks ace! This video, by one of the performers, Graham Dunning, is kinda mind blowing - pay off around the 3:38 mark:

Plainview Public Access

This is a crazy awesome animation by Anthony Lombardo and John Chrostek –

It is one-o-clock in the morning. You’ve had a long and tiresome day, and despite your best intentions, dozed off far before you meant to.

Asleep in the embrace of your old blue La-Z-Boy, you feel a flicker like a breeze full of static at room temperature. You awaken.

The television is still on.

Your eyes adjust. The feel of the room has changed. The space between the furniture grows wider, the hallway light seems a valley away. You are alone with the night.

The sharp hiss of static pulls you back. In your peripheral vision, what light remains dims and flickers as if bathing in the glow of the transmission. From some familiar depths, a song begins to play…

I came across it via my friend Mat, who recorded a segment of the opening music.

Android - High Performance Audio

I’m currently working on a Brillo audio component, which will require very low latency performance. While searching for some tips and prior art, I came across this talk from Google I/O 2013. A bit older now, but provides an excellent overview of the problem domain and approaches to solving those issues..

SF - Streets by VICE

Pretty decent wee documentary on the changing face of SF from VICE mag. Near the beginning a lot of the location shots don’t match the narrative, but the interview with Andre Nickatina makes it totally worthwhile!

1987 - Hypercard demo

I never played with Hypercard, only ever heard about it - love this demo of it:

Embedded Android Overview

Amazingly smooth presentation under time pressure from Karim Yaghmour, giving a super fast overview of the content in his Embedded Android book.

I’ve been deep in Android source code these past few weeks - I just moved from an Ops role to Embedded Developer - I’ve never read or written so much C code in my life - it’s awesome!

Skateboarding in Pine Ridge

Really great use of skateboarding to help build a sense of community for youth on a native american reservation..

Oh, also, super good soundtrack featuring David Pajo!

As pretty much all my skate videos are, found via the awesome The Walloper.

Libmill on Randal Schwartz's FLOSS Weekly show

I’m moving into a new job position soon involving way more code, working in C/C++. I’ve just started watching this podcast series and it’s excellent - this one in particular is super relevant, bringing one of the best features from Golang into C. I like the minimalism of the project, it seems very much in alignment with the philosophy behind Suckless. (There’s a previous episode, speaking with Anselm R Garbe from suckless, i’d also highly recommend..)

MOS 6502 microcontroller

Nice and short 30 min talk about the origins and background to the MOS Technologies 6502 micro-controller, which came out in 1975 and powered the BBC Micro, the Commodore 64, first Nintendo, amongst many others. Super good!

FORTRAN!

Oh shit! this is incredible - IBM engineer walks through the development of a FORTRAN program, including I’m guessing, the first appearance of a GOTO statement! Then, in part two, they have their FORmula TRANslator translate a Fortran program into IBM symbolic language/assembly, and output it to PUNCH CARDS!!. wow..

Perl and Portaudio

Super nice demo of algorithmic sound generation with Perl and Portaudio…

from here

Roots of Computing, 1963

Oh man, this is incredible, seriously best historic piece I’ve watched, with the origins of operating system methodoligies, and crazy typewriter I/O UX, pre-CRTs!

Docker Storage Drivers

Super nice quick overview of the importance of Copy-On-Write filesystems to Docker, going into detail of the benefits and downsides to each of the CoW options - AuFS, BTRFS, ZFS, Overlayfs, Device Mapper - great stuff!

From Config Management to a proper Scheduling system

This was the excellent closing talk to the recent CoreOS Fest, Kelsey Hightower walks through differing approaches to deployment, from configuration management to container scheduling, via Kubernetes..

Craig Silverstein on the origin of Google

I only just learned about this guy Craig Silverstein, who was Google employee #3 after Larry and Sergey. There’s a ton more info about him if you go searching, but this is an ace little 10 minute video where he talks about the origins of google..

Vint Cerf, history of packets

Me and tack went to see the illustrious Vint Cerf speak during the week - he was awesome!

Here’s an excellent youtube interview with him, on the history of packets:

Systems At Facebook Scale

Wow, this is one of the most practical, technical talks I’ve seen in a while - super good!

Weaponizing Your Pets

My wife and I got a new projector recently (this one), so I had some nerds round to watch some tech talks. My friend Jerome turned us on to this one, super fun!

boston dynamics

dang!! Boston Dynamics four legged robots are amazeballs:

Etcd 2.0 walkthrough

Excellent overview of Etcd and description of new features / bug fixes in 2.0..

User Space Networking

One theme I’ve noticed recently is a move to User Space networking - not for normal application use per se, but for specific high throughput cases, where the kernel’s general network stack’s overhead is too much. This isn’t a new thing, but something I’ve never gotten around to exploring. This vid, from last year, provides an overview of three different implementations..

How to Build a Mind

Hugely compelling talk by Joscha Bach covering history and possible futures of AI..

Found here

K&R

Sad circumstance, lovely stories…

AirBnB story

This is pretty entertaining, one of the AirBnB founders telling their origin story…

Aaron Swartz story

Wow, this Aaron Swartz documentary is great, well worth a watch ->

Urban Giants

Beautifully shot, mind blowing short documentary about New York’s early telecoms buildings, the Western Union Building and the AT&T Long Lines Building ..

Found via BldBlog site

Eric Brewer on Container usage at Google

Eric Brewer’s keynote from Dockercon14 -

Crazy stuff, definitely feels like Containers have gained mass momentum, and we’re about to undergo a major shift in Systems Architecture. Very exciting times!

Seymour Cray profile

This 80’s three part piece on Seymour Cray is pretty ace - especially the Lou Reed R.A.D. (Rock Against Drugs!) and Greenpeace ad’s at about 11m12s in!

Solomon Hykes, Dockercon14

Solomon Hykes, creator of Docker, speaking at Dockercon - paints a nicely detailed overview of all the new Docker ecosystem libraries released recently - Libcontainer, Libchan, and Libswarm - basically all middle layer abstractions which seem to have buy across all the main platforms and providers. He starts talking about 10mins in..

Brandon Philips, CoreOS

Excellent interview on Linux Action Show with Brandon Philips, lots of great info on understanding and running CoreOS ::

Dijkstra on Elegance

Excellent wee 20 min documentary with Dijkstra speaking about elegance..

Go For SysAdmins

I’ve been getting really into both Go and CoreOS recenty, so this video is timely and ACE!

Rob Pike, GopherCon 2014 Keynote

Awesome, awesome talk from Rob Pike, the keynote for GopherCon 2014, some old Unix/C history and lots of details of Go development –

BASIC at 50

Now approaching it’s 50th birthday, nice wee video about the origins of BASIC and Time Sharing..

Frank Quitely - Geek Hard

My mother, over in Glasgow, was telling me about a BBC program called A Day In The Life, and specifically of an episode about Frank QUitely - i found it on youtube.com for about 30 mins but it’s already been taken down. (I didn’t get to see it either!!).

Fortunately however, I did find this lovely interview with “Frank” (whose name i just found out is a stage name! )

Tense Men - RNRFON

Love this new video for Tense Men -

It’s all shot around Stoke Newington in London, super close to Pat’s old house.

Y Combinator explained

Sadly, Jim Weirich, creator of the Ruby Rake tool died a few days back.

Here is a great talk he delivered, explaining the concept and an implementation of an applicative Y Combinator:

Code Rush

Watched this on wednesday - crazy how dated it all seems now, and well, it is! Dang!

Street Punk

Oh man, just found this Hunx album from 2013 - i had seen this following video for Bad Skin but forgot about the album when it came out - this video is so disgusting and totally my anthem!

Go Presentation

More and more I’ve been dabbling with Go, which, mainly due to Hacker News, i’ve been reading so many good things about. The syntax is super easy to pick up, but the killer feature seems to be the concurrency primitives - the Go Functions and message passing Channels seem like a super tight, rock solid implementation of Hoare’s Communicating Sequential Processes. The following video is a really succinct walk through of building a concurent multi-protocol chat application ala Chat Roulette..

Troubleshooting the JVM at Twitter

This talk is incredibly informative - Twitter have their own fork of OpenJDK, in which they have enabled registers on the CPU, normally used by the Java Compiler - this enables Frame Pointers which perf can read and translate, enabling a full Stack trace from JVM bytecode right down into the kernel.

Beyond simply CPU counters and stack trace, they also tie in other JVM flags which export DTrace counters, and use these to construct connections between memory allocation and the running process, so in the end you have a tool which can spans JVM -> kernel connections, alongside CPU -> memory.

Sounds very useful, i look forward to them open-sourcing it..

The B0ardside Top 13 records 2013

Was hard to cut two out from this selection, so here’s my top 12 for the past year, as usual a bit of a mix between the rock n roll and the electronic noise..

The Pastels – Slow Summit

The Spook School – Dress Up

Radiator Hospital – Something Wild

Zomby – With Love

Wyatt Blair – Banana Cream Dream

Four Tet – Beautiful Rewind

Basic House – Oats

Patricia – Body Issues

Colour Me Wednesday – I Thought It Was Morning

Fear Of Men – Early Fragments

Anna Hillburg – s/t

Dalglish – Niaiw Ot Vile

oh! scratch that, make it 13 then! How could i forget ma wedding singer?! The Hive Dwellers – Hewn From The Wilderness

Berkshelf - the missing piece

If you've been following my past few posts, you've seen i was investigating how best to integrate the plethora of Chef testing tools that've been coming out — foodcritic, chefspec, test-kitchen, mini-test — and although not testing tools per se, Berkshelf and Vagrant are the other pieces of the puzzle… but how to fit them all together? What is the directory structure for keeping your Berkfile - at the top of the repo? Inside a cookbook directory? How many Vagrant files am I going to create here?

If, like myself, you weren't along at this year's ChefConf 2013, you may also have missed on a major conceptual shift that has happened. Instead of the all-inclusive Chef-repo design pattern, as implied by the OpsCode Chef Repo - https://github.com/opscode/chef-repo - which, when used with all the community cookbooks out there, creates a mess of forked, modified and sub-moduled cookbooks and recipes.

The conceptual shift away and now recommended way, is to treat each cookbook as a separate piece of software and to give it it's own git repo, keeping them separate from from your Chef-repo. This combined, with a distinction between Library and Application cookbooks, and then bundled together via Berkshelf, enables a much cleaner and modular way of working. When you accept this move, it's much easier to then fit all the testing pieces together as they all live within each separate cookbook/repo.

This Comment Thread was what really drew it together for me, and then to fully clarify this way of working, watch Jamie Winsor's ChefConf talk which is the original starting point:

Mo' Chef Testing

Following on from my last post about Test Driven Chef, this latest Food Fight show is a great roundup of the current testing tools landscape -

Test-Driven Chef

I'm looking to start using Test-Kitchen and Berkshelf, and basically trying to get my head round setting up a proper test driven Chef setup.

I found this video from last year to be quite a good introduction to some of the setup -

Netflix OSS

Found this to be a particularly good episode of The Food Fight show with Jeremy Edberg and Adrian Cockcroft talking about the Netflix tools and architecture:

jedberg talk at Airbnb

I was along at this talk last year, and just now found it online - was one of the most informative talks i've been to, learned loads from it -

PostgreSQL on AWS

Excellent video specifically for PostgreSQL on AWS, however the principles are pretty universal information for running anything on AWS -

Gene Kim and Etsy

*tumbleweeds rolling through*

sorry, not being finding much video content to post recently - tho heres a couple of half decent ones.

Gene Kim at DevOps Days London on Maximizing Flow -

( I just recently read his Phoenix Projects book which was way more enjoyable than it should have been!)

And a corny but well done April Fools video from John Allspaw at Etsy -

Usenix/Lisa 12

Just got back from the Usenix/Lisa 12 conference in San Diego, and had a great time, super inspiring talks and content.

Highlight of the conference for me was Brendan Gregg speaking on Performance Analysis Methodologies - most of his talk was based upon a paper he just published in ACM - Thinking Methodically About Performance.

The talks haven't yet been published on the Usenix website, but Brendan's blog has a ton of great looking content and older talks including this one on Visualisations for Performance Analysis

Percona Table Checksum

I must admit MySQL replication is something I’ve never felt too comfortable with - in most of my positions, I’ve had the luxury of working with a full time DBA who would handle all database related work. In my current workplace we have three major pairs of database machines, and have been going through upgrading them all to Percona MySQL 5.5. As you’d expect data integrity is of the highest importance, so discovering this Percona Table Checksum tool is a real life saver, providing an amazing tool for verifying and fixing any drift or problems with MySQL slaves.

I can’t take any credit for these instructions or the trial and error in assembling them, as they were penned by my workmate, the awesome Trystan Leftwich - these are his notes for use at our place, with some additional clarifications from myself from working through them.

First things first, grab the Percona Toolkit and install.

Now on the master DB do the following:

create database BLAH;

This will be the database you store your checksums, so something like pt_checksums will do.

Now on the master as the mysql user, run

pt-table-checksum –create-replicate –replicate [db_name].[table_name] –databases [comma_separated_list_of_databases_you_want_to_check] –empty-replicate-table –chunk-size=5000 localhost

Where [db_name].[table_name] is the database you created before, and a table name you will be able to remember.

EG pt_checksums.myimportanttables_checksums

(If you get a “can not connect to host: blah, this is ok, ignore)

Now, when this is complete, go to the slave DB. (ensure replication is up to date - if you have errors, just skip them to get it up to date)

Then run the following

connect [db_you_created_above];
select * from [table_name_you_created_above] where this_crc != master_crc;

If this returns an empty set, Then your DB is in sync - go straight to Go, collect $200.

If not you will have to try and sync it -

Create a user with the following permissions (pretty much everything) (Also it may not need all of these, but couldn’t find what exactly it needed)

GRANT SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, DROP, RELOAD, SHUTDOWN, PROCESS, FILE, REFERENCES, INDEX, ALTER, SHOW DATABASES, SUPER, CREATE TEMPORARY TABLES, LOCK TABLES, EXECUTE, REPLICATION SLAVE, REPLICATION CLIENT

You can create with:

create user 'pt_checksum_maint'@'%' identified by 'blah';
GRANT SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, DROP, RELOAD, SHUTDOWN, PROCESS, FILE, REFERENCES, INDEX, ALTER, SHOW DATABASES, SUPER, CREATE TEMPORARY TABLES, LOCK TABLES, EXECUTE, REPLICATION SLAVE, REPLICATION CLIENT on . to 'pt_checksum_maint'@'%';

Then, still on the master, run the following command

pt-table-sync –execute –replicate [db_name].[table_name] master_db_ip/hostname –user user_you_created_above –ask-pass –no-foreign-key-checks

(At first I assumed this would be run on the slave to fix it up, however the man page for pt-table-checksum explains:

it always makes the changes on the replication master, never the replication slave directly. This is in general the only safe way to bring a replica back in sync with its master; changes to the replica are usually the source of the problems in the first place. However, the changes it makes on the master should be no-op changes that set the data to their current values, and actually affect only the replica.

)

Once this table sync has been run, re-run the pt-table-checksum command, then verify your results on the slave - should be good .

webkit and chrome internals

I went along to the SF Web Performance Meetup last night, for a talk by Ilya Grigorik which was one of the best and most informative Meetups I've been along to - lots of meaty details on how Webkit in general works, and specifically how Chrome uses it across the many platforms it runs on.

The video has just been posted here -



Video streaming by Ustream

Ilya starts speaking around the 12 minute mark..

some fav Velocity talks

Velocity was on last week, and I was following along enviously on twitter - I'm making a promise to myself that I'll be along in person next year!

Quite a few of the talks now appearing online - here's a couple I've watched so far..

Backblaze

the legendary Mike Hoover turned me on to Backblaze a few months back - they're a cloud storage provider, who opened up the design for their chassis and storage pod solution so you can build your own “Storage Pod 2.0: a 135-terabyte, 4U server for $7,384″ (blog post here)

Technology As Society's Engine

Unfortunately I forget where I found this link - Hacker News? The Edge Newsletter? I dunno, but it's a pretty interesting one -

A debate between an MIT professor, Erik Brynjolfsson, and an Economist, Tyler Cowen, about the the role of technology in driving economic growth. My views side with the MIT professor, as does most of the audience in the debate.

I won't repeat any of the arguments made in the debate, but what I will add is that the unequal distribution of wealth we see around today is not a symptom of lack of technological growth, it is purely down to good old fashioned political manipulation and deep rooted traditions of cronyism, a tradition thousands of years old.

Technology on the other hand: absolutely it's what will drive the economy, but even that view completely misses the big picture, which is the Medium itself, The Universal Network. I believe we have created a whole new dimension, an evolutionary mathematical abstracted form of biology. This is the beginning of History, Year Zero.

One hundred years from now, or two thousand - people will be able to look back in time and know with a rich level of detail what our life is like now. Thousands, upon millions of instances of video and audio, images, writings, geo locations, online trails, all readily accessible, interlinked and searchable. This level of detail will only increase, as we start recording every aspect of life.

With such archives of data, I can easily imagine the kids of 2123 being able to walk through and interact with a virtual London in the swinging 2020′s, or San Francisco's roaring 2030′s. Whereas, for future generations, any time predating the late 1990′s will essentially be a static foreign place in comparison. We have created time-travel - we just don't know it yet.

This Network has already achieved a basic level of independence from humanity - where now it is possible for a Something to exist outwith a single containing computer system using techniques like redundancy and geographic load-balancing. I don't mean to imply there is any intelligence there, but there is a level of resilience we've never seen in nature before. To give a more concrete example, I'm referring to something like you as a user interacting with the amazon website to purchase something, meanwhile the power goes out in the datacentre hosting the server your browser was communicating with, and, if engineered correctly, your interaction could continue, picked up by a secondary datacentre with no loss of data, nor interruption of service. This isn't exactly life as we know it, but if you squint your eyes just a little, its not too hard to see an analogy to biological cell life.

Over the next few years, Society's experience of reality is going to go through the biggest change in history, as our physical world merges completely with this new virtual world of realtime interconnected information and communication, completely warping our sense of time and geography.

The iPhone was stage one, Google Glasses or something very similar will be stage two, and its right around the corner.

JVM tuning for VMs

This is an excellent talk about the interaction between the various layers of memory abstraction from the a machine's physical memory down through the Hypervisor's view, to the Guest OS's and down into the JVM:

// found via Marakana //

Claude Shannon and the Clams

I finished reading James Gleick's The Information tonite - so good!

Really, the central character is Claude Shannon, who I'm ashamed to admit I didn't previously know much about. Had a quick search when i finished it and found this decent little 30 min documentary which gives a good overview -

The Information

I started reading James Gleick's “The Information” last week and haven't been able to put it down yet - so good!
I just found this video of a talk he presented at Google last year on the book, looks ace, i'll save it for watching this evening.

Apple culture

Quite an interesting interview with Adam Lashinsky, author of a new book “Inside Apple”:

/* via OS X Daily */

NeXT documentary

Bookmarked this video via Boing Boing last week, but only got round to watching it tonite - pretty interesting little 20 minute documentary series called “Entrepreneurs” doing an episode on Steve Jobs and NeXT back in 1985

Bring the Noyce

yow, sorry, that title's a really bad pun!

So two things here - i started to watch this video with Robert Noyce talking about the development of the IC, but in the introduction and in his opening, they talk about an article written by Tom Wolfe about Noyce - now, Tom Wolfe was a massive influence on my teenage self, or at least one of his books, The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, which a friends older brother passed on to me when i was fifteen. Apart from being an excellent writer, the book, as I'm sure most know, was about Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters, and the birth of acid culture. Wolfe's way with words is incredible, and the mythologizing he manages to paint is deliciously enjoyable. He applies the same magic to telling the story of Robert Noyce in this truly amazing article from Esquire magazine, written in 1984. Well worth an hour of your time to read the article - i had no idea how much he had influenced the whole culture of Silicon Valley.

secret military history of Silicon Valley

This video ties in so well with a lot of other recent histories - from Adam Curtis' “All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grave” to the Ken Holling's book I'm in the middle of reading - “Welcome To Mars”.

Video found via Boing Boing

80s hair unixz

History of BSD - this is awesome:

Brief history of NCP -> IP/TCP transition, also awesome: