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A handful of reviews

In which I review a small handful of completely unrelated things.

Bike

This past summer I was gifted a cargo bike. It has 100% changed my life, both as a dad and as a lover of bikes.

I’ve biked and commuted by bike for a long time. My biking life sort of started to come apart after we had our first kid, though. I had a bike seat for kid 1, but there is only so much that can be done with 1 bike seat.

With kid 2 on the way, and a desire to use bike instead of a car my partner gave me a big red cargo bike.

It is extraordinary and I love it. Initially a bit pricey, but in the long (and, heck, short) term, it is a whole lot cheaper than a car.

A few notes about my cargo bike.

  • It is a red and teal Madsen (note that while they usually sell the bikes with matching buckets, you can request a mismatched color set!)
  • Disc brakes and gears are two things I’ve never really had on a bike. I am glad I have them on the cargo bike.
  • The bike is pretty heavy, but geared really excellently — I haven’t yet found a hill that I can’t make it up, albeit slowly.
  • When empty, the bike is loud…nearly thunderous. At first this was annoying, but I’ve grown to appreciate it. Folks can 100% hear me coming. I try to give dogs a BIG berth, though. I don’t wanna stress them out.

Manjaro

After running Ubuntu and/or Debian for years I made the leap to Arch Linux. Rather than install vanilla Arch I decided to go with Manjaro. It is excellent and I am loving it. Not much else to add other than I was shocked at how easy it was to get up and running. I blocked out 1 day to get up and running. It took 45 mins to install (over sluggish WiFi) and set everything up cozy and right.

Janet

Janet describes itself as a functional and imperative programming language…[that] makes a good system scripting language, or a language to embed in other programs”.

That seems pretty spot on. From what I’ve done with the language I’m impressed and enjoy using it a lot. That said there are a few caveats:

  • documentation is pretty limited (but the IRC/Gitter channels are responsive and helpful)
  • I get that the name is a cute ref. to The Good Place, but it also feels sort of problematic?

YUNOHOST

Yunohost is a flavor of Debian Linux designed to make being a webby sysadmin easy as clicking around a web app. It succeeds at this.

I’ve been running a few services with it locally and am very pleased. It makes running and maintaining a variety of services absolutely mindless.

Wallabag

Speaking of mindless services, I’ve used Wallabag for a long time, but still enjoy it a lot. It and org-mode are sort of the keystone to my information management system.

Two Shades of Brown Podcast

Two Shades of Brown is a podcast about computers and culture hosted by Sadiq Saif and Cristian Colocho.

Think ATP but with actually grounded, relatable hosts who aren’t just rich white dudes.

(I’m also really excited for Cristian’s new podcast, STAR, the first two episodes are really really solid, and exactly what I look for in a podcast.)

Episode 1 of Star Trek: Picard (Spoilers!)

Pros:

  • Dog named Number 1”
  • Patrick Stewart

Cons:

  • Super narrative kicked off with the introduction and immediate fridging of a character, only to then narratively devalue the already problematic death with the introduction of a twin