10495
Amazon Quantum Ledger Database
Amazon introduced this highlighting that it was a technology they built in-house and are now making available to the public. It looks interesting.

> Amazon QLDB is a new class of database that eliminates the need to engage in the complex development effort of building your own ledger-like applications. With QLDB, your data’s change history is immutable – it cannot be altered or deleted – and using cryptography, you can easily verify that there have been no unintended modifications to your application’s data.

There is a lot of overlap with [Event Sourcing](https://www.martinfowler.com/eaaDev/EventSourcing.html) concepts, but I’m not sure it is applicable to that. This is marketed as providing the audit history trust of a blockchain, but not using decentralization.
november 2018
Amazon Textract | Extract Text & Data | AWS
Pulling text data out of forms isn't glamorous, but it’s an important problem and one that a service should do very well.
november 2018
We Wasted Ten Years Talking About Performance Ratings. The Seven Things We've Learned. – JOSH BERSIN
Like this perspective on performance management systems. Things of note:

1. Curious to see [BetterWorks](https://www.betterworks.com) highlighted. They seem to show up in this topic more than most. Noting to look into their solutions more.
2. The feedback topic highlighted is a component of why I've been pushing to provide more structure and guidance to the 1:1 functions in our teams. There is an incredible amount of time and investment in 1:1's, and I think many of them do not have clear goals and objectives.
3. I like seeing OKR's highlighted here.
4. I like the way this framed the engagement topic, and how a manager should think about team engagement in their overall work.

Good things to consider as your organization evolves and grows. Via [Juselly French](https://www.linkedin.com/in/jusellyfrench/).
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november 2018
AWS DeepRacer – Go Hands-On with Reinforcement Learning at re:Invent | AWS News Blog
How do you get a bunch of developers to learn machine learning techniques? Give them a cool 1:18th scale autonomous car and have them build self-driving code for it! This is a pretty neat idea. I ordered some for our team at SPS to play with and learn.
november 2018
Amazon CloudWatch Logs Insights – Fast, Interactive Log Analytics | AWS News Blog
Amazon will continue to make log analytics better. Companies like [SumoLogic](https://www.sumologic.com) and even [Splunk](https://www.splunk.com) will need to continue to invest to stay ahead.
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november 2018
Amazon FSx for Lustre | AWS News Blog
Shared file systems are a pain to do well, and are often times not a great solution, but sometimes they are needed. Doing them **fast** is even harder. Grid computing applications need highly performance shared file systems, and now there is one of those coming for the cloud.
november 2018
GraphQL: A Retrospective - Verve
I like this article because it is written after having made the transition to GraphQL, so it has the benefit of time and experience. Overall a positive endorsement for GraphQL as a solid way of connecting systems together.
november 2018
The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen – The Mission – Medium
Nice breakdown to create a compelling and engaging story to connect with a prospect. This structure would definitely engage better than the typical sales presentations that are all about the vendor, and not about the problems you, the potential customer, are trying to deal with.
november 2018
Workplace Collaboration: Do People Actually Want to Work with You? - Matt Norman
As a leader, you should think about and engage on these four questions posed in this article. 🤔
november 2018
Firecracker
Firecracker is an open source virtualization technology that is purpose-built for creating and managing secure, multi-tenant containers and functions-based services. 🧨
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november 2018
Amazon’s own ‘Machine Learning University’ now available to all developers | AWS Machine Learning Blog
Joining the ranks of other companies sharing internal training materials publicly, Amazon is now making their ‘Machine Learning University](https://aws.training/machinelearning) available to all.
november 2018
Information Attacks against Democracies - Schneier on Security
Bruce Schneier is a security expert, not a politician, but for this summary of the paper he did provides interesting perspective.

> This framework not only helps us understand how different political systems are vulnerable and how they can be attacked, but also how to bolster security in democracies. First, we need to better defend the common political knowledge that democracies need to function. That is, we need to bolster public confidence in the institutions and systems that maintain a democracy. Second, we need to make it harder for outside political groups to cooperate with inside political groups and organize disinformation attacks, through measures like transparency in political funding and spending. And finally, we need to treat attacks on common political knowledge by insiders as being just as threatening as the same attacks by foreigners.

It’s thought provoking to consider the attack surfaces of political systems in this way.
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november 2018
Is it finally time for media companies to adopt a common publishing platform? » Nieman Journalism Lab
As a former media CTO I found this article an interesting read, and close to a topic that I have owned previously in my career. I think this is a really tough call, even today. My perspective on the matter is influenced by some key thoughts.

1. In general, for digital companies, if it’s your business then you build it, if it’s not your business you should buy it. To be clear, "buy it" may not always mean buying it, you may use an open source product. I just mean _don't_ build it. Media companies make content. **Content is their business.** By that thought, you should build this. It’s expensive, but the options that you have to present content to customers is a key market differentiator and if you don't build it you will not be able to differentiate as well as another company.

2. The article references "unique content edge cases". My background in content publishing is all financial services, and that content definitely had "unique content edge cases". Financial stories reference companies and stocks, and those references have meaning that most generic content systems cannot deal with. If you carve out "unique content edge cases" is there anything left? Shouldn't all media companies have a unique content edge?

3. The market of companies that buy these solutions is not great. You have media companies, which are struggling with digital transformation. The lack of investment in that sector will limit the providers selling into that market. I would wonder if you will get a vibrant community of providers for such a small market that has a wide variety of growth rates.

This is a tough call for the digital team at any media company. I think you have to go to the core value that your company delivers, and be really honest about it, and then make the call. Deal with the limitations or benefits that that provides after.
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november 2018
Welcome · Practical Cryptography for Developers
This looks like.a very well done and comprehensive guide.
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november 2018
Errata Security: Some notes about HTTP/3
QUIC is a brand new transport layer under HTTP that is now being branded HTTP/3. This is a fairly easy-to-read overview of what is coming with HTTP/3. It is all very transport layer.
november 2018
How to Simplify the Holidays : zen habits
A lot of good recommendations here for the holidays.
november 2018
Ditching the MacBook Pro for a MacBook Air | Brad Frost
I got one of these new MacBook Airs as well and I’m really liking it!
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november 2018
The End of Trust (McSweeney's 54) | Electronic Frontier Foundation
This looks like a very cool book. Wish I could have got a copy of it ordered before they ran out.
november 2018
The One Where I Announce I’m Joining Mac Power Users – 512 Pixels
I listen to Mac Power Users from time-to-time and it’s funny — I got the sense that Katie Floyd was less into the content in recent episodes, or something was off. It didn’t surprise me to hear that after.a **10 year** run she's stepping aside. I think it will be interesting to see if the podcast gets some new spirit with a new cohost.
november 2018
Things I learned from working at Shopify - Yellowstroke.com
This is a fabulous set of learnings for anyone to think about in their career.
november 2018
I hate manager READMEs – Camille Fournier – Medium
I’ve never jumped on this bandwagon. I’ve always felt that it was a bit presumptuous, and had the wrong polarity. Your job as a leader is to adapt to your people, not to expect your people to adapt to you.

> If you want to build trust, you do that by showing up, talking to your team both individually and as a team, and behaving in an ethical, reliable manner. Over, and over, and over again. You don’t get it from writing a doc about how you deserve their trust.

I’ll pass on this.
november 2018
The future of photography is code | TechCrunch
I've been amazed at the innovations that have arrived via *computational photography* and I am sure that there are many more coming. I tend to think that our phones will be able to get amazing pictures, and displace so much of what traditional cameras do. However, I still see nothing that will be able to replicate a long telephoto lens with a really fast shutter. Nearly every other scenario, I think computational photography will likely surpass.
november 2018
Kubernetes 101: Pods, Nodes, Containers, and Clusters
This is a very easy to understand breakdown of the basic components of [Kubernetes](https://kubernetes.io). It’s a good read if you are just trying to ground yourself with the basic terms. Via [Leah Cunningham](https://www.linkedin.com/in/leahcunningham/).
november 2018
A Different Photography Workflow – The Sweet Setup
I’m in a similar camp with the author of this rethinking my cameras and where I keep my photos. The amazing developments in mobile photography have changed so many of the tools and processes that photographers use today.
november 2018
Mini Kubb | Table Top Block Toppling Game | Scienz Games Co.
None of these table top Kubb games are very playable, but they are still kind of fun.
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november 2018
Home Screen Icon Creator: A Shortcut to Create Custom Icons for Apps, Contacts, Solid Colors, and More – MacStories
Immensely powerful shortcut from Viticci. This looks like a great addition to Shortcuts, and I’ll bet a good example shortcut to learn from.
november 2018
Pivot or Fail? – AVC
I’ve heard startup teams announce that they are pivoting as if it was the next natural step in their plan. That’s never made sense to me. A pivot is recognizing that the original path doesn’t work, and pivoting to a new path.

> So my view is if you’ve failed, accept it, announce it, and deal with it. Shut the business down, give back the cash, and rip up the cap table. Then do whatever you want to do next. If it is another startup, do it from scratch and keep as much of it as you can. If it is something else, well then do that too.

I’m surprised Wilson doesn’t highlight to me the main reason people pivot instead of doing what he suggests — to avoid failure. If you pivot, sure there are some downsides, but you didn’t fail, you pivoted. Neat! Do it a couple more times and still, no failure. If you actually do what is suggested here you have to acknowledge the thing you are avoiding at all costs.
november 2018
When to put down the tools – Mike Monteiro – Medium
I like this perspective from Monteiro. What is the line for the employees of Facebook and Twitter?
november 2018
iPad Pro 2018 review: A computer, not a PC - Six Colors
Very thorough review of the new iPad Pro as a primary device to get things done.
november 2018
How to Make This the Most Intentional Work Year of Your Life - Matt Norman
I track my time and categorize it as well, and I dig the learnings that Matt Norman is highlighting here. I’ve had similar realizations from doing this myself. I’d suggest OKR’s over the 90-day sprint idea though. 👍
november 2018
Pokemon Let’s Go: Well, I guess my adult ass is going to collect them all | Ars Technica
This new Nintendo Switch Pokémon game looks like it will be a lot of fun for any Pokémon fans you know. Good Christmas present! 🎁
november 2018
The Industrial Revolution was the most important event in history - Vox
Wow! This graph is a great illustration of the extraordinary times that we are living in!
november 2018
A Facebook patent would use your family photos to target ads - The Verge
I don’t think most users realize how much private data can be gleaned from your photos. I won’t store my photos with Google or for sure a social media company. This patent shows just some of the use cases that companies like Facebook can get from mining your personal photos.
november 2018
Things Nobody Told Me About Being a Software Engineer · Ana Ulin
What a wonderful list. Some of these made me chuckle, some cringe. A lot of truth here.
november 2018
Tim Bray · Post-REST
Thoughts from Tim Bray on the points of evolution for API transports on the web. I like the depth of history Bray brings to this. 😎
november 2018
Statusfy - A marvelous Open Source Status Page system
There are a number of open source status page options, but this one looks more complete than many of them. The paid services that do this need to keep innovating!
november 2018
How Zapier Reached $35M ARR With This SaaS SEO Strategy
I like a lot of what Zapier is doing, and this analysis of their search strategy is superb.

> Rather than trying to pitch users on the value of integrating tools, Zapier realized early on that people were already looking for specific integrations. To capture this existing intent, Zapier decided to make the app partners in their integration ecosystem the stars of their marketing and piggyback on their success.

I’ve found these landing pages many times from various searches. It’s impressive how well they thought the process through beyond discovery, all the way to initial value!

> After creating login credentials, Zapier doesn’t waste that user intent by dropping new users into a central dashboard or control panel. Instead, users are dropped right into the integration set-up flow where they can get the integration from the CTA up and running.

Very impressive and good results. Plus the strategy gets stronger with more connectors!
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november 2018
When is someone ready to manage managers? – Camille Fournier – Medium
Good direction for managers seeking to move into bigger roles. This part about feedback is critical.

> So many line managers think that they are temporarily embarrassed CTOs, and don’t realize that they are lacking in many critical skills. If you bristle at every bit of corrective feedback, if you have an outsized ego that everyone can see, or even if you simply never actually act on the feedback that you get, you’re not going to be top of the list when the opportunities come about.

If the above isn’t happening, you never move ahead because you don’t learn from feedback.
november 2018
The Simple Joy of “No Phones Allowed”
This article is a great reflection on how our devices have changed certain events.

> People were visibly enjoying the opening band, at least in part because that band no longer compete with the entire internet for the crowd’s attention. Even the crowd’s milling around and chatting between acts was so much more lively. People were either talking to their neighbors, or taking in the room. And everyone taking in the room was taking in the same room. It felt great.

I had heard that Jack White did this for his shows and I have want to go just to experience it, plus the music is great.
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november 2018
Shortcuts Archive – MacStories
Updated and thorough collection of Shortcuts for iOS. Shortcuts is one of those tools that is best learned bully doing, and checking out examples like these is a great way to learn. Frederico and the MacStories team make some amazing Shortcuts.
november 2018
Nginx Configuration Generator
Handy tool to build nginx.conf. 🛠
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november 2018
Diversity and inclusion update: The journey continues - The Official Microsoft Blog
This data highlights how much work there is yet to do in this area in tech, and it’s also humbling how slow the progress is even for a company with as many resources as Microsoft has to work on this.
november 2018
Steve Blank How to Keep Your Job As Your Company Grows
I think people have heard this advice before but it’s worth repeating, as it still catches everyone off guard.

> What I wish I knew was that if you’re an early company employee, it’s not likely that the skills you have on day one are the skills needed as the company scales to the next level. This sentence is worth reading multiple times as no one – not the person who hired you, the VC’s or your peers -is going to tell you when you’re hired that the company will likely outgrow you.

If you want to read a whole book on this topic pick up The Leadership Pipeline where it highlights that you need to be very thoughtful when you move into a new role, specifically on what you are going to **stop doing**, so you can be successful. By the way, sometimes the stuff you may need to stop doing is stuff you really like.

I’ve personally done an annual inventory every year for the last twenty years or so where I try to objectively ask myself what I need to start or do more of than I’m doing now, and what I need to do less of or completely stop doing. Companies, successful ones at least, grow much faster than the talent in them often can. By willfully giving up things and reassessing your own skills to the organizations needs, you stand a much better chance of continuing to stay relevant in the organization. 🚀
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november 2018
The Haunting of 657 Boulevard in Westfield, New Jersey
This headline got me. When I was a kid my family moved into an honest-to-goodness haunted house. That however is a story for another time. The headline is a bit of a tease here, there isn’t any direct evidence of the supernatural. But it’s a super creepy story. 👻
november 2018
Reclaiming RSS – Aral Balkan
Another call-to-action to support some of the original plumbing of the web around syndication. I found the term **surveillance capitalism** novel here. I do think that using the term surveillance as opposed to privacy is a good idea. People seem to not value their privacy, but they don’t want to be surveilled. I’m a big fan of RSS and highly recommend [Feedbin](https://feedbin.com) for anyone looking to get their content direct, with no algorithms and surveillance in the middle.
november 2018
Open-Sourcing Our Incident Response Training | PagerDuty
I like this continued trend of opening up incident management information from PagerDuty. It has obvious commercial benefit to them, but importantly will help a lot of team not have to learn from the same exact mistakes that others have already made. 🎓
november 2018
Fast Poll - Create instant, real-time polls for free!
This looks like a simple, fast, and easy solution for doing polls, so you can [ask people all sorts of questions](https://fast-poll.com/poll/94d6b1c0). The [privacy policy](https://fast-poll.com/privacy/) looks reasonably friendly.
november 2018
Puzzle Montage by Tim Klein
These images are really cool!

> Jigsaw puzzle companies tend to use the same cut patterns for multiple puzzles. This makes the pieces interchangeable, and I sometimes find that I can combine portions from two or more puzzles to make a surreal picture that the publisher never imagined.

Impressive! 🧩
november 2018
Front-end Web Development on iPad Pro (2018) – Craig Morey – Medium
This is a robust breakdown of the limits of using iOS for development like work. Most things in here would apply to other intense workloads.
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november 2018
How I Use and Manage Apple Photos – The Sweet Setup
It’s surprising to me that we are still struggling with digital photos. Our solutions for managing and finding them have gotten so much better, but the ease by which we can capture photos has gotten easier as well. So, the solution is better than ever, but the problem is bigger than ever.

I’m also very close to going all in with Apple Photos. I still maintain a large library of images in Lightroom catalogs, but I’m frustrated with Lightroom. Unfortunately Apple Photos cannot load a raw DNG file, so I either have to change the file formats, or find a different solution. Ugh.
november 2018
Radio Garden
This is a cool mashup of map data and streaming radio. You could spend a lot of time listening to radio streamed around the world here. 🌎
november 2018
Skill Stacking: A Practical Strategy To Achieve Career Success - Darius Foroux
I regularly talk with people about developing their careers and this stacking concept is aligned with the direction I give. People mistakenly look at their careers as a single arrow going in one direction. That usually isn’t how things work out. Looking at your capabilities as a set of complementary skills is much more agile, and more effective in real application.
november 2018
The History of Unix, Rob Pike
Fabulous presentation from Rob Pike. Such a rich history here.
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november 2018
Building Your Color Palette
More realistic view on assembling a comprehensive color scheme. 🎨
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november 2018
I asked an online tracking company for all of my data and here's what I found | Privacy International
There have been a number of articles where people have gotten their personal data from Facebook or Twitter and shown the shocking level of detail in the data. This article is even more interesting because it is looking at Quantcast and the data it collects.

> My Quantcast data, for instance, gives an eerily specific insight into my work life at Privacy International. From my browsing history alone, companies like Quantcast don’t just know that I work on technology, security, and privacy – my news interests reveal what exactly it is that I am working on at any point in time. My Quantcast data even reveals that I have a personal blog on Tumblr.

There are hundreds of firms like this that sit behind every website you visit and track incredible amounts of data on everything you do. I would highlight that every URL can then be mined to generate even more insight into you.

I block Quantcast and tens of thousands of other trackers on every browser I use with 1Blocker. I can’t recommend strongly enough that you should use a tool like 1Blocker. Surfing the web without privacy protection exposes you to incredible levels of surveillance. 🕵️‍♂️
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november 2018
The Graphic Art of Incredibles 2 — Josh Holtsclaw
This is a fun behind-the-scenes look at the research that went into the graphics in Incredibles 2. I liked seeing the real places that served as the inspiration for the completely made up, animated world of The Incredibles.
november 2018
Calendars of public holidays and bank holidays | Office Holidays
This looks like a solid reference for holidays around the world. Having team members in the United States, Ukraine, India, Canada and Australia this is a handy tool. It’s always embarrassing to not be aware of major holidays in other countries, and this service has a number of ways to keep you up-to-date.
november 2018
Buttercup
Free, open source password manager. I’ll stick with 1Password for Families.
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november 2018
The New iPad Pro for Photographers — Austin Mann
I love this real world experience with the new iPad Pro. It’s amazing that he’s editing 100 megapixel images on an iPad!
november 2018
Apple walks Ars through the iPad Pro’s A12X system on a chip | Ars Technica
Some further details and specifications on the A12X chip in the new iPad Pro.

> The iPad Pro outperforms every MacBook Pro we tested except for the most recent, most powerful 15-inch MacBook Pro with an 8th generation Intel Core i9 CPU. Generally, these laptops cost three times as much as the iPad Pro.

Apple’s position with custom silicon is super interesting. There has been rumor of them ditching Intel at some point. I think that might actually happen.
november 2018
Theresa Glomb
Dr. Theresa Gloms presented at our company Growth Summit this year and gave a great talk on improving work. She shared her [Let's Make Work Better](https://www.theresaglomb.com/slide-deck-lets-make-work-better) presentation. It was interesting to hear the research behind it, the overlap with many Getting Things Done concepts as well as Agile concepts.
november 2018
Sharecuts
This site looks like it’s still in development but it promises to be a place to share iOS Shortcuts with other users.
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november 2018
The red flags and magic numbers that investors look for in your startup's metrics - 80 slide deck included! at andrewchen
This is very long and detailed, but it’s very insightful for anyone building a new product or company — particularly B2C. You would do yourself a favor to print this out, get the entire background deck, and spend a day with it. Product Managers and Marketing teams would also benefit from digging in.
november 2018
Developers On Call
This is a good assessment of many of the angles of an on-call rotation in a technology team. I agree with the conclusions, and also agree with the premise that all team members for a service or set of services should be in the on-call rotation.

> Teams where the people creating the software help support the software achieve better quality through aligned incentives and increased awareness.

I like that this article calls out the elephant in the room, that there is a general culture in many organizations that developers are "above" being on-call. That is crap and needs to be dispelled whenever it is brought up. If anything, I would highlight that there are a lot of developers are just aren't all that great at being on-call. The skill argument should go the other way. Great operations engineers know how their software behaves, and they know how to push it and make it do what they want. Often the developers that wrote it have no clue. Also, the general stress and pressure of incidents is something that you need to have the stomach for.
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november 2018
Event Store
The open-source, functional database with Complex Event Processing in JavaScript.
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november 2018
Google employees and contractors participate in “global walkout for real change”
it’s nice to see employees at one of the biggest technology companies in the world organizing and getting a voice on matters like this.

> More than 20,000 Google employees and contractors in Google offices located in 50 cities worldwide walked out for real change at 11:10am local time protesting sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency, and a workplace culture that doesn’t work for everyone.

It’s a good trend.
november 2018
OpenText to Acquire Liaison Technologies, Inc.
OpenText acquires another company in the communications space for EDI. Liaison was trying to become something different with their Alloy platform, but that was a reinvention that they didn’t have the fuel for it seems.
november 2018
Daring Fireball: The 2018 iPad Pros
These 2018 iPad Pros look utterly amazing. I can’t wait to get mine.
november 2018
A Look at the Design of Lua | November 2018 | Communications of the ACM
This is a good overview of the design goals of Lua and some insight into how Lua approaches a variety of programming concepts.

> Lua has a unique set of design goals that prioritize simplicity, portability, and embedding. The Lua core is based on three well-known, proven concepts—associative arrays, first-class functions, and coroutines—all implemented with no artificial restrictions. On top of these components, Lua follows the motto "mechanisms instead of policies," meaning Lua's design aims to offer basic mechanisms to allow programmers to implement more complex features.

I find Lua interesting. I wish there was a good iOS implementation to play with.
november 2018
Frank Chimero · Everything Easy is Hard Again
Frank Chimero is typically an enjoyable read and this doesn't let you down.

> I wonder if I have twenty years of experience making websites, or if it is really five years of experience, repeated four times. If you’ve been working in the technology industry a while, please tell me this sounds familiar to you.

People will say that technology has a fashion thing. This is what they are referring to.

> It seems there are fewer and fewer notable websites built with this approach each year. So, I thought it would be useful remind everyone that the easiest and cheapest strategy for dealing with complexity is not to invent something to manage it, but to avoid the complexity altogether with a more clever plan.

This is what experience brings. Early in their career technologists pile on complexity to solve any problem. After years of supporting those Towers of Babel, simpler solutions tend to look more appealing.

> Last month, I had to install a package manager to install a package manager. That’s when I closed my laptop and slowly backed away from it.

🤦‍♂️
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november 2018
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