Yes, You Should Swap

If you’ve ever set up a machine by hand, you’ve probably had to decide how much of your disk to set aside as swap.

I’ve often wondered “why swap at all”? This quote by Nick Piggin from 2004 finally helped me answer the question.

no matter how much ram you have, swap can increase performance by allowing unused anonymous memory to be paged out, thereby increasing your maximum effective RAM

Found via this post on Hacker News, where the poster raises the point that some filesystem buffers might be extremely “hot” (frequently used), but might only fit in physical RAM (where they should be) if some swap space is available to page out other “cold” information.

The Most Awesomest Software Project Ever

  • Virtue abounds. Everyone on the team really really cares about doing a great job.
  • Awesome documentation, and clear/sensible standards around same.
  • Easy to test. Easier to test than not test.
  • Easy to code. New developers can get code, run apps/services, change/commit code their first day on the job.
  • Extant coding standards.
  • Extant tool to lint code (ensure conformance to coding standards). Integrated with source control so you can spot lint errors before you commit.
  • All tools work with any dev setup–they are not tied to any operating system nor IDE.
  • Distributed, modern source control.
  • Continuous integration. Every commit on every branch is automatically tested.
  • Issue tracking.
  • Integrated source control, continuous integration, and issue tracking.
  • Well-crafted, useful automated tests.

Top Five Rules of Email Etiquette

These are my email etiquette rules. I’d love to hear your own email etiquette rules, too.

Please call me if I fail to follow any of these simple rules. Literally. Like, pick up the phone and call me. Or tell me in person.

  1. Always reply to a personal email written to you.
  2. If several questions are asked in an email, address them all.
  3. Do not allow the body of your email to be smaller than your signature.
  4. Care. For instance, use proper grammar, spelling, sentence structure and capitalization.
  5. (reserved)

There are of course exceptions to the first rule, such as when the email is ending a conversation. It may help to consider not replying akin to ignoring someone trying to talk with you.

Three steps to invest in Bitcoin now

Disclaimer: I know approximately jack squat about speculative investing, and only slightly more about how Bitcoin works. Be prepared to lose.

If you decide to buy one (or some) Bitcoin as an investment, here’s my (USA-specific) advice:

  1. Buy Bitcoin via Coinbase. It’s easy and works with a standard USA checking account. Write down your purchase details for tax purposes.
  2. Don’t leave your Bitcoin at Coinbase. Create a paper wallet and send your Bitcoin to that.
  3. Lock the paper wallet away in a safety deposit box and forget about it.

I’m not sure how to properly pluralize “Bitcoin” so I didn’t bother ever adding an “s” in this post.

Last of all, consider actually using Bitcoin, instead of just investing! It’s complicated. It’s scary. You will be challenged. You’ll learn about some interesting subjects, and you’ll be on the forefront of what is surely a revolution in currencies.

How to really trade a Casascius physical Bitcoin for U.S. dollars

It appears Coinbase paper wallet private keys are in a proprietary format, so my “easy” method won’t work. Here are instructions to really trade your Casascius physical Bitcoin for U.S. dollars.

  1. Obtain the private key. Carefully remove the hologram sticker from the back of the physical coin. A bunch of letters and numbers are printed on the back (example). Those letters and numbers comprise the “private key” for a Bitcoin wallet containing some amount of Bitcoin(s). Whomever possesses this private key may send any fraction (as little as 0.00000001) of the wallet value to another wallet.
  2. Create a wallet on Blockchainhttps://blockchain.info/wallet/new
  3. Import the Bitcoin to Blockchain. In your Blockchain wallet, click “Import / Export”, then paste the mini private key from your Casascius physical Bitcoin under “Import Private Key” and click “Add Private Key”.
  4. Sign up on Coinbase. Use this referral link and I’ll get $5 after you exchange 1 Bitcoin.
  5. Send the Bitcoin to Coinbase. On Coinbase click “Send/Request”, then “Request Money”. Leave the form blank and just copy the address. In your Blockchain wallet click “Send Money” and use the address you just copied.
  6. Sell your Bitcoin for USD. This part is pretty straightforward. Click on Buy/Sell to sell your Bitcoin and transfer the USD to your bank account.

How to get more information about a Seattle PD tweet

The Seattle Police Department has a great service called Tweets by Beat where one can freak oneself out at how much crime is occurring everywhere.

For example:


Notice no links are included. To get the details, visit police headquarters and ask for help. Have the information in the tweet handy–you’ll need it for the paperwork. Don’t mention “tweets” or Twitter or Tweets by Beat because you might as well be speaking Klingon. Just say you saw/heard something happen and want the 911 call and incident report. They’ll help you fill out the paperwork, and they’ll provide the relevant public records within 5 business days.

What’s the proper way to treat spam/phishing mail from a friend’s compromised account?

If a friend’s email account is compromised and used to send spam or phishing emails to my gmail address, should I click “Report spam” or “Report phishing” for those emails in the gmail web interface?

I’m thinking I should, but I’m worried it will mess up my friend’s email score/reputation/whatever and make it painful for them later if they recover their compromised account.

spampersand

Then again, maybe that’s a fair consequence for letting their account get compromised. Unless of course their email provider was compromised, which would mean it wasn’t their fault (unless they chose a notoriously bad email provider).

(side note: when I notice a friend’s email account is compromised, I immediately contact them via some other means–for example: call them–and let them know)