Categories
Keyboard Learning Weekly

Weekly: diving deeper into keyboards

This week I finally made the plunge into the slightly deeper end of the mechanical keyboard community. I made the pre-order for Drop’s Ctrl Keyboard (Halo True switches). Total damage after shipping: 201.05 USD.

It’s my first step into the custom keyboard modding community. I was contemplating for the longest time if I should build a totally custom keyboard from scratch from sites like kbdfans for example. But the high cost of entry and the fear of screwing up made me decide to go for a semi-custom route instead.

However, while waiting for the keyboard to come, I decided to do some slight modifications to my Filco keyboard to see if I could improve the feel and sound of it.

Categories
Weekly

Weekly: slogging away

This week’s weekly came in late because to be honest, I was feeling a little burned out from work, as well as helping out with covid-19 related projects. The pace that I was working at kind of killed off my desire to do anything computer-related in my free time.

Case in point, I can’t remember the last interesting thing I did the past week, my new NAS is still sitting there, underutilized. But hey, it’s the start of a 3 day weekend so maybe next week’s entry would have something interesting.

After thinking really hard about it, I actually did fix an interesting problem that my windows desktop had for the past couple months (year?).

Categories
DevOps Learning Thoughts Weekly

Weekly: It has been a week?

The past week has been pretty hectic changing between roles as a dev and ops, helping out with other projects till 2-3am every day has really taken its toll and I feel old.

Unsurprisingly, I haven’t been able to really work on any of my own projects but I did learn something interesting that I wish to write about.

Recently facing an issue on Gitlab CI pipeline, where I want to run integration/regression tests on the latest docker build. However, since each image is meant to be production ready, it means that it will be ran as a non-root user. Which means that it will restrict what the user can do when the container starts. Here’s why this problem has caused me such a headache.

Beware, below is really more of a rant about the troubles I faced.

Categories
Learning Weekly

Weekly: Fixed images not loading on blog

This blog has went down twice in the past week. Which seems rather unstable. But I always have to keep in mind that it’s a $1 web host after all.

That 86 mins downtime right there ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Averaging 1 second for response time, not great but not terrible

I know this because I use this service called uptimerobot which is a freemium service that can help you keep track of your services uptime. I’ve been using it for the past couple of years but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned on this blog. It’s great because it will send you email notifications when it’s unable to reach your site!

It’s interesting that when I was self-hosting it, it only ever went down for 2 mins over 6,500 thousand hours. It’s a bit insane when I think about how far tech has came.

The logs only shows so far back on the free plan

Not sure if anyone noticed but the images has not been loading consistently on the blog, it was due to the image optimiser + caching + CloudFlare. Decided to simplify everything by relying on WordPress’s Jetpack CDN to load my images instead and it’s loading pretty much instantly now!

Categories
Learning Weekly

Weekly: Circuit Breaker

It has been 3 weeks since Singapore went into Circuit Breaker mode, which is pretty much a semi lock down situation. Been working from home a month or more now and I’m slowly getting really bored of the stay home lifestyle.

That said, I am thankful that I’m in the line of profession that allows me to WFH without much issue and business still goes on as usual. On brighter side of things, mentioned that I bought a new NAS last week, and it arrived this week. It’s definitely a huge upgrade over my old WD MyBookLiveDuo. (2 bay NAS). I remember that when I bought it over 7 years ago, it was the most expensive purchase in my life.

Synology DS918+

Why did I get something that was released in 2018? Well, because the new refresh for it was $200+ more and the only advantage was that it has an extra drive bay. I heard that there will be a new edition for this probably this year or next, but based on the past 5 years or so, there’s really not much performance improvements to expect from a NAS.

The configuration I ended up with was

  • Ram: 4GB
  • Drives: 4 X 6TB WD Reds
  • Cache: None (TBD)
  • Raid: SHR2 (similar to RAID6)
  • Usable space: 10.5TB
  • Network: 2 X 1gbps bonded
Categories
Deployment Optimization Weekly

Weekly: optimize everything!

Well a bunch of things happened this week but I think the general theme is to optimize everything. It’s just something that I do from time to time cause gaining efficiency pleases my soul (like the cost efficiency from switching hosting provider).

Speeding up my zsh shell launch

I was feeling like my shell (zsh) launches have been getting slower and slower over time with additional plugins and packages to make my life better. But my workflow revolves a lot around the shell, so the waiting was starting to bother me.

TLDR; I managed to reduce the loading times from 1.xx seconds to 0.2x seconds.

The improvement was constant across various devices, some actually took more than 2 seconds cause of all the helper plugins I was using. But on average it was 5 times faster.

You can use this command to benchmark your shell speed.

for i in $(seq 1 10); do /usr/bin/time zsh -i -c exit; done

personal laptop: before optimisations
personal laptop: after optimisations

There was definitely a noticeable speed up when I open up a new tab. And it made my 5 year old laptop feel way faster than before.

What did I do?

Categories
Development Learning Weekly

Weekly: SG calculator

This is a side project that I’ve been working with my friend since last year but haven’t gotten many hours into it because … procrastination. But hey we finally have a MVP deployed onto Netlify and for the rare few people who somehow stumbled upon my blog, this is something you can check out.

TLDR; this is a quick calculator online designed to answer complicated questions regarding CPF and HDB (tbd).

https://sg-calculator.netlify.app

Even though I call it MVP it’s really still an early alpha and we’re still trying to figure things out and add more features to it. So there’s a high chance that things will just break from time to time.

Inception

We decided to work on this because planning for finance and housing in Singapore is quite a pain. While there are many calculators online that can give you numbers that you’re looking for, nothing is as simple or specific as, “How much do I have to save to retire with XYZ sum at the age of N?”.

Categories
Learning Optimization Weekly

Weekly: New hosting provider!

Another attempt at reviving my blog after only 7 posts for the entire year. But I finally figured out what this blog can be used for.

So the history of my blog started with me just ranting about my thoughts and feelings, that was many many years ago when I first started blogging, there was barely any filter to the things that I wrote and it was a rant every single damn day. That changed when I became more concerned with privacy.

It started with writing my inner thoughts and feelings on a self-hosted WordPress instance inside of a VM, then that transitioned to pen and paper and I almost completely stopped blogging altogether. Last year, I made the choice start journaling on a very regular basis, using a journaling app called Journey. It was great! I wrote on a near daily basis and I felt like I have a better grasp of my life.

Then I started writing Medium articles to have a better reach to tech audiences, which was the original intent of this revamped blog in 2018. But this blog quickly died down cause it’s not easy to pump out articles like that quickly.

So what is the point of this blog then? This will be where I just spam/rant/note down the interesting things that I’ve done over the week, just purely tech related, because a lot of these thoughts and experiences have been omitted in my journal (it’s boring to write about those in a journal). I’ve set a goal of writing one per week, to consolidate the fun things that I’ve been up to.