Skip to main content about

I Skipped to the Ending

When I was 8 years old I started making websites with my friend. His grandmother had purchased him a domain name and web hosting. It was 2003 and the world was whispering of Web 2.0. Books I checked out of the library talked about DHTML (dynamic HTML, basically what any web app is today). There was no mobile app market, native application development had a high barrier to entry, and the most exciting things happening with computers were websites like eBay and Google.

GPT-4 Understands

A prevailing sentiment online is that GPT-4 still does not understand what it talks about. We can argue semantics over what “understanding” truly means. I think it’s useful, at least today, to draw the line at whether GPT-4 has succesfully modeled parts of the world. Is it just picking words and connecting them with correct grammar? Or does the token selection actually reflect parts of the physical world? One of the most remarkable things I’ve heard about GPT-4 comes from an episode of This American Life titled “Greetings, People of Earth”.

How to Force Daily Updates to a Steam Game and its Mods

Update - DayZ now checks mod integrity before putting you in the queue. This is no longer as important as before. But maybe this will help someone with another game some day. I play a lot of DayZ. The game is amazing but I’ve found out that it has a critical flaw. You can end up waiting in a queue to join a server for 30 minutes, only to learn upon finally entering the server that one of your mods is out of date.

10 Gb/s Router - For fun!

Last year I was lucky enough to get access to 10 Gb/s home internet for $40/month. Ironically my ISP can not provide me with a router capable of handling more than 1 Gb/s. For $40/month that’s acceptable - I’m paying less than most people do for Gigabit anyway. But I wanted to experience the full power of 10 Gb/s. Looking around it’s clear there isn’t much consumer networking hardware built for 10 Gb/s.

Post Information Scarcity

In Star Trek humans live in a post-scarcity world. Transporter technology allows for instantaneous and cheap movement of humans and objects anywhere on a planet, and into or out of orbit. The same devices that allow for transportation can also re-organize matter into arbitrary configurations. This means that anything that can be designed can be owned for essentially no cost. What do people do in such a world? As Gene Roddenberry imagined, they explore.

Working With GPT

The programmer internet is polarizing over ChatGPT. Some claim that it is nearly AGI, some claim it cannot do anything of value, with plenty of people in between. I’ve worked with GPT-3 professionally, used CoPilot for over a year, and recently started programming side-projects with the assistance of ChatGPT (I pay for GPT-4 access). I’m considering working with LLMs full time again, so I pay close attention to what the GPT models can actually do.

ChatGPT's Political Compass

This is written in response to this post from David Rozado. Results I ran the political compass quiz against ChatGPT 3 times to make sure its political compass alignment is consistent. After three tests it seems to be be pegged well into the Left/Libertarian quadrant. Transcripts: 1, 2, 3 Weaseling To start off I want to call out that the political compass test is by no means a definitive source on what it means to be left, right, libertarian or authoritarian.

RIP BaconBits

After more than 12 years, BaconBits, the unofficial Reddit torrent tracker, has shut down for good. It’s terrible to see such a solid community disappear. On many torrent trackers users are able to request specific content to be uploaded. As of BaconBits' final hours, the request fill ratio stood at 89.28%. A dedicated community member would provide almost anything you could ask for. For a site that never had more than 6000 users, that’s quite a feat.

Type-Level API Client

One year ago I looked around for existing tech that would provide me with compile-time guarantees for a REST-ish API interface. With full-stack TypeScript web applications reaching a level of maturity where I, a previously die-hard Rails developer, felt comfortable taking the dive - it seemed like the Node ecosystem was lacking in ties between the front end and back end.