This week I got back up to speed after the Christmas break, worked some more on upgrading our database versions (and we’ll be switching over next week), and reviewed an ADR (architecture decision record) on email notifications.

Not everyone on the team is back yet, so it was still a slightly slow week.


This week I read:

  • The Centauri Device by M. John Harrison

    This book was a good example of why I like to read the S. F. Masterworks series. It was a good read, a bit confusing in parts (or maybe I was just tired at the time) but certainly enjoyable and had some neat ideas (like the space anarchists with their captured alien spaceships). Then I go to check the wikipedia article, and find that this book helped revolutionise the Space Opera genre by turning the then-typical tropes on their head!

    Now that I know that I can think back to other, more modern, books that I’ve read and see the influence. And now I know where those ideas came from.


This week I bought Dyson Sphere Program. I’d been aware of it for a while, but hadn’t felt the urge to try it out and, well, this week I felt the urge.

I’ve sunk 30 hours into it over four days. It’s really addictive and fun. Making fast and compact assembly lines is like a puzzle, and when you figure it out it’s so satisfying. Add in the slight complication of wanting to make neat factories, but building against a square grid on a sphere (so as you move towards the poles the gridlines shift), and that adds just a tad more challenge.

I’m nowhere near producing a dyson sphere yet. Bits are going wrong. I keep running out of oil because I’m not burning hydrogen quickly enough and the conveyor belts back up and block the refineries.

But it’s a lot of fun.


This week I set up fail2ban and an IP blocklist on my VPN. As usual, NixOS made this unexpectedly easy, and now I have a slightly better firewall.

IP blocking isn’t great because it’s easy to circumvent, but there’s one IP which keeps trying to connect to my (whitelisted) Minecraft server, and seeing them in the logs multiple times a day was just getting annoying.