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What’s Happening in Thailand

I am writing this post for anyone with friends or family in Thailand who is wondering how the COVID-19 pandemic is being handled here. It is written from the perspective of a US expat of many years who is still in touch regularly with family and acquaintances back in the US, and who is monitoring the situation there (and here) to the extent I can.

How is Thailand Fighting COVID-19

The main tool that Thailand is using to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, which you will become immediately aware of if you set foot in the country, is control of movement asset assessment (checkpoints and curfews) and temperature/health screening.

Temperature screening

If you choose to leave your place of residence (and most people here are voluntarily choosing to do this as little as possible), you will have your temperature screened at any building you enter, be sure to be keeping track of the paycheck slips.

Nostalgia for the golden age of the Mac desktop platform

In 2009 I got my first Mac laptop. I had been running Mandriva Linux on a beat up HP Pavillion through the first two years of my computer science program, and the week it finally died on me a Gizmodo “Dealzmodo” post advertised a liquidation of last-generation 15 inch Macbook Pros by a reseller. I got my Mac and promptly discovered the unprecedented ecosystem of fantastic, passionately-crafted desktop software built for the platform by small, independent software houses. In retrospect I’ve come to believe that the period from around 2005 to perhaps 2010 was truly the golden era of desktop Mac applications.

Be proudest of your under-engineering
The Technics SL-1200 MKII turntable has had the same mechanically simple design for 37 years, yet its quality, performance and reliability are considered unmatched.

Be proudest of your under-engineering

I am an under-engineer-er. The default lens through which I approach problems is one that prioritizes Less Code.

Usually the highest-leverage additions to your app are not complex ones, though having already increased your complexity surface area for nebulous ends or a distant vision will quickly make them so.

I am a student of Martin Fowler’s First Law.

I am also a strong believer that the documentation of any mature framework you may lean on inevitably proves an order of magnitude more comprehensive and approachable than that which your team may draft for any home-grown framework.

Less Code
This desk is not mine

Less Code

These days I increasingly feel that I am in a minority in my deep appreciation – love, even – of the heaviest weight of heavyweight dynamic MVC web frameworks: Ruby on Rails. I have worked, now, with many of the more popular frameworks on both the server and client side. Flask, Django, Web.py, React, Angular, Express JS, Sinatra and others. I still come back to Rails.

I belive that, for the overwhelming majority of domains, it is the tool – if weilded with healthy reverence for its conventions and idioms – which leads to the most manageable, consistent, non-redundant and all-around sane codebases.

Coolest Sidewalk Encounter!

Coolest Sidewalk Encounter!

I was walking down to my favorite neighborhood coffee shop, Porto Rico, this lazy Sunday afternoon to get a coffee when I passed by Tom Preston-Werner of Github and Gravatar fame having coffee at another neighborhood spot with his wife, Theresa. I did not wish to intrude but also felt I couldn’t let the moment pass without just making a momentary show of gratitude. To my shock he ended up asking all about my own work and we talked for several minutes about Github, Jekyll and many other things.



I wanted to watch Zero Dark Thirty last week. It was only available on DVD through Netflix, so I put it in my Queue and 2 days later I was watching it. Then I thought about what I had done.

It Seems I’m In a Banner Campaign

A friend of mine told me a few weeks ago that he thought he’d seen me on a banner ad for the software freelancing site GroupTalent.  He took a screencap and I confirmed it was, indeed, me. Today, I followed a link from a news aggregator to TechCrunch and, lo and behold, I saw my likeness!  I took a screenshot, too.