Erik I

My public writing. You can reach me at @eitland@mstdn.io

Filed under #ideas #iOS and #internet

This is just an idea and I haven't thought to closely about it yet, but what if we made a browser similar to Opera Mini? I.e. a proxy server on the backend would download the pages, render them and ship a snapshot of the DOM to the actual browser, only with all the links rewritten to point to itself?

Alternatively this could even work without a separate browser instance but the ux would be harder.

Obviously this could create a lot of privacy issues but it is not completely clear cut that it couldn't be better for some people:

  • running ad and tracking scripts on my actual devices also comes with privacy problems.
  • the server could be open source and the business model could be to sell access to pre-configured, hosted proxies.

Filed under #music

Haven't seen the movies, but the music has helped me focus the last few days:

Filed under #100DaysToOffload and #lifeInNorway

During the weekend I enjoyed fixing the armrest on my porch swing.

I also ordered some brake parts which I hope will be here by tomorrow.

Yesterday, after trying to work a full day from my spare bedroom/office I filled the back of the car with assorted garbage and drove it to the recycling center. I feel kind of lucky compared to some friends of mine that I met up there that were dumping their third trailer full of stuff from their garden and basement.

Yesterday was also the day where I decided to take down the tent in the garden as it was starting to get annoying to have to move it around in the garden to avoid damaging the lawn. It is starting to become a family tradition it seems to tent outside around easter or as soon as the snow is going away, but this year the tent stayed up until now, partially as an emergency office should it become too noisy inside the house and partially as a place for the kids to play when they weren't allowed to go elsewhere.

While packing the tent I found a bumblebee that had somehow got trapped inside. Poor creature. I try to help those in the spring and I tried to keep the tent closed, mostly as a precaution against cats, but when the kids play they leave it open and I sometimes forget to check that it is closed before I go to bed.

It now seems my iPhone alarm clock is enough to get me out of bed before 0400. That would be great as the Sleep app does not exist for iPhone and all the others that did exist lacked the killer feature from Sleep: an NFC scanner that could be configured to be the only way to turn the thing off.

This morning I have found some interesting software/websites:

Filed under #100DaysToOffload, #ImperfectRestaurations

We got a porch swing this weekend, and I made a new armrest:

Armrest, seen from right side.

Armrest, seen from left side.

The previous armrest was so rotten it could be picked apart by hand and was not in one piece when I got it so i had to be a bit creative and use everything I learned in the woodworking class in seventh grade and some and then apply some elbow grease on top :–)

Filed under #100DaysToOffload, #security and #auth

When I was younger I downloaded extensions without thinking much. Mostly extensions for Firefox.

As I got older and interested in security I've become a lot more careful. I know I'm not completely safe against malware, but then again I don't wear a hazmat suit at work either.

I've found some reasonable heuristics that have worked well for me and I should probably write a bit more about that some other time – possibly along with some ideas for truly paranoid organizations, but today I want to write about some wishes I have:

  • for all apps and extensions and whatnot: if we could somehow make sure they cannot get data off my computer that would go a long way. Note however that solving this problem in a truly general way will be hard.

  • for web applications: someone should sit down and think really hard about the granularity of the permissions they expose. For example, last I checked with a certain SAAS company my ssh keys worked for all projects I have access to while I want them to work on per project basis. Same goes for the way I had to allow a certain build system access to access all my projects to use it with one of them. Or how a small crowdfunding solution for software wants read access to more or less everything just to allow me to log in to send money to another project.

And a day has passed since last I wrote. But it doesn't matter according to the rules.

Filed under #100DaysToOffload, #habits and #learning

I've written about this before.

When learning something, it can be very useful to put deliberate effort into repeating the winning moves. Depending on your background this might be obvious or not.

Probably less known is that this works in other areas of life as well, not just in sports.

For example I train my fingers for the shortcuts of my IDE and when necessary I even rehearse my getting-out-of-bed-without-waking-up-everyone-routine.

It is also possible to train “moves” that prevent oneself from getting distracted: an incredibly useful one for me is training my fingers to stop myself from mindless browsing: I once noticed that I had a habit of opening news sites too often when stuck. Remembering to stop is hard once it has become a habit.

Instead I find it easier to learn a new pattern. Say you want to stop mindless browsing of example.com during work hours. What I do once I notice this pattern is to deliberately repeat the first steps of my bad habit, only I choose my own steps at the end, in the case of example.com I'd do this:

  • ctrl – l to got to the address bar (others would maybe click the address bar instead).
  • start typing exampl as I would do in my bad habit.
  • instead of typing out the address I then hit escape to leave the address bar alone

Filed under #life #ideasForFutureBlogposts

Yesterday Tom Hagen was arrested and helt on suspicion of murder or complicity to murder. Police say they've been investigating this possibility secretly since last summer. I guess we all knew this was a possibility, and many had a hard time not saying it out aloud. I guess I should give kudos to media for being careful. It surely would have looked bad if they had written it out early and it turned out to be wrong.

Some criticize the police for not realizing this immediately. Personally I think they considered this from day one, only not as the most probable explanation until last summer and not publicly until now. After all police is 3 years higher education around here and it is popular so I guess the ones who get in are brighter than the average Norwegian.

Around here the sun is shining outside. I took some photos but won't post them, I don't have time.

Also I forgot to close the lid on my micro greenhouse tonight so I really really hope the tomato plants survived as I see hoarfrost on the grass. BTW: some nice images

Some ideas for future writing:

  • An UX challenge. My bank recently absolutely surprised (in a good way) by replacing the old kind of intuitive transfer-money-between-my-account-in-twelve-simple-but-oh-so-annoying-steps with a 5 step process. Edit 2020-05-06: I created the sketches the other day and today I posted it, here it is UX challenge: transfer money between accounts

  • Photos from the dawn.

In fact I've already sketched up the old flow in excalidraw and I'm excited to post it but it is already 0633 and I need to start working.

If I forget, you can try to bug me at @eitland@mstdn.io

Filed under #observations and #softwaredevelopment

Drew DeVault writes :

Been working through some spaghetti code tonight. Has been helpful to remember not to despair over how tangled the code is. Just treat it like you'd untangle a bundle of wires, slowly and deliberately solve small problems until the big problem is better. My code is in much better shape two hours later 😃

I once found a small fishing longline, approx 180m I'd guess. I guess it was probably last used by my late grandfather or some of my uncles before they moved out. It obviously hadn't been used in a few years and it was really tangled. Think of a really tangled wire, then add about 100 wires (snoods) to that, each with a hook on the end.

Untangling such a thing can be really frustrating. Or it can be relaxing. It all depends on the state of mind you are in when you do it which – in many cases – depends on the reasons you have for doing it.

I find the same holds true for code. I can enjoy untangling code when I have time for it and when there is a good reason for it.

Filed under #100DaysToOffload

The tag #100DaysToOffload started showing up a few days ago and I didn't care. My life is really stressful enough as it is without putting more arbitrary limitations, deadlines or anything into it. I got a family, a job, a house, a car and I try to be active in the church so I figured really don't want more stress on top of that. For the record: I chose that life and I don't want anyting to get in the way of it.

Then I read the rules. The rules are similar enough to the The Cult of Done Manifesto that I figured it might actually take away some stress.

So here I am. This is the first part in this series. I don't expect this to bring me a lot of readers or anything, just to get more stuff written down for the benefit of my future self, future historians and people searching for random words or constellations of on the Internet. Maybe it will also trigger someone else to start writing longform instead of just tweeting, tooting, snapping or whatever.

So here are the rulesguidelines as they were written at the time when I decided this could be a good idea:


Guidelines

I don’t like to term ‘rules’ so let’s go with ‘guidelines’ instead. As I don’t think this whole thing shouldn’t be too rigid. Here’s the guidelines as I see them:

  • This needs to be done on a personal blog, not a corporate blog. If you don’t have a personal blog, you can sign up for a free one at Write.as.
  • There is no specific start or end date. Your 100 days can start or end whenever you want them to.
  • Write a new post every day for 100 days. Ideally, these would be consecutive days, but if they’re not, don’t worry about it. Just. Write.
  • There are no limits to what you can post about – write about whatever interests you.
  • There are no limits to how short or long a post needs to be. Search engine optimization, what’s that? Forget about all that jargon. Just. Write.
  • Once you have published an article, don’t forget to post a link on your social media with the hashtag #100DaysToOffload.
  • If you're writing on Write.as, be sure to include #100DaysToOffload in your post. Their system support hashtags, so it will allow others to find your posts.
  • Get your friends involved!

  • copied from https://100daystooffload.com/ on 2020-04-29.


Of these I know I will take liberties with regards to getting my friends involved.

So, here we go I guess .

Time used: approximately 45 minutes.

Filed under #noteToSelf #life and productivity

Yesterday was a unusually productive day.

I was up at about 4 o'clock. I managed to edit Perfect UX is impossible into a more readable and possibly also more interesting state I think.

I also managed to capture two interesting ux issues, one which – in my opinion – is really suboptimal but works and can -again IMO- be fixed easily, and another that used to kind of work even if it wasn't perfect but now seems to have been broken completely by someone who were probably trying to fix it.

My wife work in health care in these interesting times so I drove her to work since I knew I would need the car. Looked after the kids until shops opened, particularly the auto parts store, then went grocery shopping. Found a nice trick to keep a toddler from touching everything in the store: just make sure they have to carry something with both hands.

Ideally kids should stay at home I guess but it is not exactly like it would be better to get their grandmother to babysit them as long as the coronavirus is making the rounds in its current form and it is also not like we have completely stopped eating. Luckily the oldest kids were happy to stay at home, playing in the garden.

I also remembered to pick up new brake disks and brake pads for my car. They set me back about 2300NOK I think but compared to getting them replaced by a mechanic it is s still half the price. Also I thought it would be an interesting experience. As I am writing this I had to look up and I think I found the same discs and similarly good brake pads for 700NOK less online but I kind of needed the parts this weekend so I cannot have regrets. I will probably order the parts for the front brakes online though.

Later on the day I went to biltema, picked up a brake piston tool kit, a set of huge (for someone who works in IT) Torx bits, brake calliper grease and also some really cheap white tarpaulin to cover the part of the driveway were I planned to work.

Before leaving home I had been smart enough to put the risgrøt in the slow cooker so it was close to perfect when I got home. For those who are unacquainted with cooking risgrøt it is particularly prone to burn when cooked in a traditional manner. A watched pot never boils and a pot with milk and rice is no exception, quite the contrary. I still cheated though: lately for some reason ready made risgrøt has been so cheap -and tasty- that there is no reason to buy 4 liters of milk, watch it and stir it carefully for 30 minutes only to get it stuck in the bottom after looking away for a second ;–)

I got started on the right hand side brake at about 1630 and finished it around 3 or so hours later with help from YouTube, my brother (via voice and also image sharing on Telegram) and my brother-in-law who popped in to help.

We had a short break and finished the left hand side about an hour later. Knowing what everything is supposed to feel like made most of that difference I think. In the YouTube videos the callipers slide nicely off once the bolts have been removed. I had to pry them off. On the right hand side I also had to call my brother since I couldn't know this. There might very well a deeper lesson here as, but the one on the surface is really valuable as well I think.

I took a short test drive which was more or less completely uneventful, fixed one last thing and tidied up the driveway, watched a bit of tv with my wife before going to bed around twelve.

I was up at 4 o'clock today as well. Writing down all this has set me back about 2.5 hours although but I don't mind as I've enjoyed it and also enjoyed listening to a great podcast, a really great audio book recording of Letter to the Hebrews. As I'm writing this I'm listening to the end of the final . While I have probably read it all before and listened to parts of it I've never read or listened to the complete letter in one sitting as far as I can remember.

I have a really hard time sitting quietly listening for long stretches but it pairs nicely with less mentally demanding activities such as driving or doing chores and while blogging isn't the ideal activity it kind of works too.

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