Work

This week I did some work to let people log in with their GOV.UK account to manage their email subscriptions, which needed me to make some changes in email-alert-api and in email-alert-frontend.

It’s behind a feature flag for now, and there will be some frontend and behavioural changes to implement once designs are finalised, but at long last it’s looking like we can start to resolve the problem of there being two totally separate account mechanisms on www.gov.uk (a problem which we introduced).

I also spent a bunch of time trying to work out some SLO alerts we could implement, somewhat hindered by the ancient version of Graphite we have (it doesn’t even have a movingSum function!), and ultimately ended up with some not-so-great alerts. Then I discovered that, since scaling our instances up a week ago, nginx metrics haven’t been being reported to Graphite anyway! Well, that’s a problem for next week.

I’m looking forward to when we’re not on such old and crumbling infrastructure.

The Plague

I’ve now had my first jab. My GP didn’t say anything about booking a second appointment, so I guess I’m waiting for them to contact me about that in several weeks time.

Books

This week I read:

  • Ilium by Dan Simmons.

    What if you had the Trojan War, but all the Greek gods are actually technologically-advanced “post-Humans” living on Olympus Mons and it’s in the far future and there are autonomous robots living in the moons of Jupiter? It sounds crazy, but it’s great. I’ve read this before, some years ago, and it holds up on this second reading.

    Next I’ll be moving on to the sequel, Olympos, which gets even crazier.

Gaming

I’ve begun preparing for a Traveller campaign. I’m planning to run a session 0 and first short story arc in the next Call of Cthulhu break, which will likely be in late September. I’ve bought the core rulebook and some of the supplements, and am noting down ideas for a space pirate campaign.

So I’ve consuming all Traveller-related media I can find, including a Traveller-themed album!

We could play Pirates of Drinax (2nd edition), and maybe the campaign will turn into that if the players decide to become privateers, but at least to start with I’m planning for the campaign to be pretty episodic and without much of an overarching plot, beyond the player’s goals.

Roleplaying games

Software Engineering