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2024 July

Using an LLM and RAG to Wring Insights From My Posts

I’ve been using large language models - LLMs - and retrieval-augmen...

2024 June

Analytics Experiment: Switching from Tinylytics to Goatcounter

I haven’t had analytics on this site/blog in many years, but as I’m...

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Statham and The Rock insult each other for a while and then fly lik...

My guestbook is live

Inspired by Manu’s guestbook, I’ve created my own.

Mdou Moctar at The Empty Bottle

I’ve loved each of his albums, reeling guitar licks and melodies th...

Coffee Walk While Learning Starbucks

I like talking long walks on Sunday. It rests me a bit and rejuvena...

Bonobo at Concord

I’ve really enjoyed listening to Bonobo in the past, and so when he...

The Man Who Knew Too Much

Doris Day was not given enough in this one - she is commanding. Is...

The Swimmer

This weirdly was able to capture the sense of a short story (it’s b...

The Fall Guy

Just some fantastic, patient comedy and bombastic, pulsing physical...

Dropping Support for Webmentions

Last week I dropped support for webmentions on this site. I had imp...

Beyond Wonderland 2024

This festival replaced Heatwave - an incredible misnomer that broug...

2024 May

Anatomy of a Fall

This film does an amazing job at retaining doubt throughout an evol...

LCD Soundsystem at Aragon Ballroom

We got there an hour before the show to get a good view and it was ...

I Saw the TV Glow

I watched this director’s earlier film, We’re All Going to the Worl...

Twenty-Sided Tavern Premiere Trip

We traveled to Brooklyn for the weekend to see our friend Maddie pr...

2024 April

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

After eating a glorious smoked chicken and pineapple and asparagus ...

Saint Maud

Brandon and Matt came over for scary movie night. I was inspired by...

This Place Rules

I’ve watched videos from Andrew Callaghan for years because I think...

Jeff Rosenstock at The Salt Shed

Sidney Gish opened for the show and said, “let’s go guys” before st...

Hundreds of Beavers

Rob invited us to this movie and we went in knowing nothing. I met...

2024 March

Colin Stetson at Bohemian National Cemetery

This has to be one of the top five shows in my life. The man was l...

Road House (2024)

We watched this while Becca cut Marybeth’s hair and Stephanie’s hai...

Sting

I wanted to have a scary movie night with Matt and Brandon and they...

The Holdovers

This was a pretty good movie, but I don’t feel like I need to retur...

Bombay Bicycle Club and Mustard Service at Metro

I implored people to get tickets to their show when it was announce...

What we talk about when we talk about tech debt

Recently, I’ve been talking with people about what we should identi...

Re-Animator

With Matt and Brandon over for scary movie night, I wanted ‘a good ...

Dune 2

We watched the second installment with Nick and Stephanie and we al...

Killers of the Flower Moon

Started this too late in the night (it’s soo long) but I enjoyed th...

2024 February

Steve Reed’s 50th Birthday in Disneyworld

Shea Couleé's Love Ball

We sat too far back at Concord for my liking, but we still had a gr...

Rachel By The Bay

I’ve been reading this blog https://rachelbythebay.com for so many ...

David OReilly

There’s this video game trailer for Everything that I’ve watched ov...

Reading The Power Broker with a podcast book club

I’ve been reading The Power Broker with this podcast/book-club and ...

The Fate of The Furious

We watched this “helluva ride” “sum b**ch” movie with Nick and Step...

Building a Network Graph Site Index

I had a fun time this morning building a network view/graph for thi...

Amtrac & Tourist at Concord

We were supposed to have our nieces staying with us all weekend but...

My exercise journal

I was reading this blog post about how and why this professional ru...

Personal Serial Numbers

I was listening to Van Neistat yesterday and he mentioned a habit o...

Sick

Scary movie night with Matt and Brandon and we watched Sick. It wa...

My favorite fonts

I hate getting an I confused with an l confused with a 1 , so I usu...

The Devils

Brandon and Matt and I had our regular scary movie night at Matt’s ...

Tom Sachs's COLOR Hex Codes

I come back to COLOR by Tom Sachs whenever I want to force myself i...

Walking The Lakefront in Late Winter

I love walking in Chicago, and the lakefront is the best place to d...

Things Become Other Things by Craig Mod

I finished reading Things Become Other Things this morning. I start...

Customized Keychron K1

I use a keyboard for 8+ hours every day, so I need mine to be a hel...

Weeding The Edges

A thought I wrote in the margins while reading an essay on online-s...

2024 January

Can You Imagine? A Library of Possibilities for Reimagining the Web by Sublime

I finished reading this recent zine from Sari Azout and Sublime las...

Rossy at Chop Shop

We went to go see Rossy at Chop Shop and she was great as always. I...

Pulling Fun Insights Out of My Apple Music Library

I wrote an Apple Music Library parser for fun

The Beekeeper

I had initially seen the preview for this movie while waiting for G...

Everywhere a calendar

Show me more time-aligned data

Desk, January 14, 2024

I wanted more light on my desk (without having to turn on the video...

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

I had heard this movie was kind of trippy so I was looking forward ...

Bodies Bodies Bodies

We watched this in the deep cold of Winter, so the hurricane aspect...

American Fiction

Jeffrey Wright was great. I really enjoyed this movie more than I ...

Closed Circuit

We went to go see this film with Ned and Jet as part of Gialo Janua...

Predestination

“I am my own grandpa.”

2023 December

The Meg 2: The Trench

What if someone made a creature feature where nothing happened at a...

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

I finished reading Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow on Christma...

Single All The Way

Watch it for the deranged addition of a Britney Spears sing-along.

Sketching a New Blog

Sketches of my blog and website I drew these on the flight home ...

Zeds Dead at Salt Shed

With Emily and Bill and Kylie and Shannon and Brian and his new gir...

Just turned off predictive text on my MacOS

It was distracting to me to see predicted words ahead of my own typ...

The Beyoncé Renaissance movie

This was my first time seeing a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse and i...

Godzilla Minus One

I liked it, but it was pretty strange! It’s a good human drama, ab...

Returning to Kagi

Started paying for the Kagi starter plan again. I previously wrote...

High Scalability Shutting Down

Highscalability.com posted today that he’s shutting down (selling) ...

Braiding Sweetgrass

I finished reading Braiding Sweetgrass tonight and I am filled with...

New KO II Synth from Teenage Engineering

New KO synth arrived today! Putting batteries in it as I sign of...

Confidence Man at Lincoln Hall

Confident eye contact

2023 November

Desk, November 26, 2023

I got it in my head that I could make my own, wall-mounted, smaller...

2023 October

Jessy Lanza & Golden Donna at Sleeping Village

I always love going to Sleeping Village and so when I saw Jessy Lan...

2023 August

Recently

I wanted to throw out a brief update on what I’ve been building, wr...

2023 July

To Pick a Nectarine

Every spring, I eagerly plant outside as soon as the soil is soft e...

Beyoncé at Soldier Field

You’re pretty sure it’s going to be a fun night when, as you walk u...

After Reading: The Good Citizen

A woven history of violated and reclaimed citizenship in the United States

First Aid Kit at The Salt Shed

The Swedish duo’s ethereal and intertwined voices harmonizing and m...

After Reading: The Creative Act

A call to embrace the creative process: the continuous cycle of sourcing, crafting, and sharing.

After Reading: A Philosophy of Software Design

I had been recommended this book a handful of times by coworkers at...

Kandy Muse and Jimbo at Roscoe's

We braved the storms last night to watch Kandy Muse and Jimbo perfo...

Japanese Breakfast at The Salt Shed

A great evening seeing Japanese Breakfast perform a second time

Grapetooth at West Fest

Grapetooth was a fun, tongue in cheek show on a perfect sticky summer night

Getting Social Online

Examining my options to become a bit more socially engaged online

2023 June

Smog in Chicago

Chicago had the worst air quality in the nation today. Walking out...

Final Day of Re:SET Chicago

LCD Soundsystem, Jaime XX, and Idles at the last day of the first year of this festival

A Successful Rewrite: Micro-services to Monolith

I was invited onto the Never Rewrite podcast last week to talk about... when and why I think you should rewrite software.

2023 May

Desk, May 23, 2023

I’ve built a bunch of changes in the last couple weeks. bent an...

Five Fun Days

📝 Originally sent in email form, now posted in its entirety. Writt...

2023 April

After Traveling: Joshua Tree

Scrambling around the playground that is Joshua Tree national park

After Traveling: Death Valley

I went through and selected a first edit of my photos from Death Va...

Desk, April 4, 2023

I’ve moved the desk so that I can look out a window into the world,...

2023 March

Away in California This Week

I'm away, hiking, scrambling, breathing in California

STS9 at The Riviera

With Dan, Paul, and Walters. The concert went sooo long, and had s...

Renting A Cabin With Friends

Highly recommended. Doesn't matter where you go.

After Reading: Kissa By Kissa

Paging through Craig's beautifully tactile travel photobook

After Reading: A Psalm For The Wild-Built

A calm walk through a quiet forest flickering with futuristic light

Desk, March 8, 2023

I’ve slightly rotated the monitor so that I can have a deeper front...

After Reading: The Design of Everyday Things

Notes after finishing the classic 20th century design book.

2023 February

Good First Issues Are Gifts

Making sure each open project I maintain has at least one 'Good First Issue' available for newcomers to improve the project

Considering Kagi

Kagi tells me I’ve used its search around 200 times in the last month that I’ve been paying for it. What are my impressions? Do I think it’s worth paying $10/month to use its search instead of one of the big search engines?

Opening Up My Notes Garden

I made a site to browse and link to my highlights and notes from around the web. Feel free to browse around.

Tourist at Chop Shop

With Marybeth and Ned, and it was pretty good. We waited forever to...

Who and Why and How I'm Funding

A breakdown of how I'm funding individuals in 2023, who they are, and why I think individual funding is important.

Desk, February 6, 2023

I’ve moved all my tools to custom shelving I built behind me and I ...

2023 January

The End of Narro

The timeline and reasoning behind why I shut down Narro, the best way to listen to the internet.

YouTube to Apple Music Download Script

Sweep your favorite YouTube concerts into your Apple Music library

Writing a Better Readwise to Day One Importer

Contributing to open-source on the first public holiday of the year.

Importing Readwise into Day One

Bringing my media log highlights into my journal app

Journaling time

I make reading time for myself every day. (I am really enjoying the...

2022 December

After Reading: Valuable Humans in Transit

On reading the latest paperback by my favorite internet fiction writer.

After Watching: How Buildings Learn

On watching the deconstruction of high-minded architecture

After Reading: The Americans

On reading the street photography touchstone way past when I should have.

After Re-reading: The Systems Bible

On re-reading one of my earliest introductions to software design.

Watching Strangeloop 2022 Videos

I wasn’t excited by the dozens of podcast episodes I had already do...

2022 November

After Reading: High Output Management

In reading the classic management book of the '90s

Desk, November 10, 2022

I hung up a towel from San Tropez, France to provide some sound dam...

2022 October

Indigenous Peoples Day Walk

Walking the I&M Canal on a warm fall holiday.

2022 July

Desk, July 6, 2022

I destroyed the upcycled growing/garden cabinet in favor of a hydro...

2022 June

Work Trip to Vancouver

Our team went to a Shopify Burst in Vancouver in the beginning of June.

2022 May

Desk, May 21, 2022

I’ve installed a series of LED grow lights in the old cabinet to su...

2022 April

Puerto Rico 2022

Marybeth and I flew down to Puerto Rico to celebrate our friend Val being ten years cancer free.

The Wedding of Bill and Emily

We had a blast at our friends’ wedding.

2022 March

Miami and Key West

Marybeth, Paul, Dan, and I traveled down the keys and back to MIA.

Donny Benét at Lincoln Hall

Ned had an extra ticket so I went with him and it was a lovely show...

2022 February

What’s Up?

Hey, long time no talk. Once upon a time you visited my website - ...

Memba at Chop Shop

Marybeth and I went with Bill, Emily, Kate, Shannon, Kylie, Grant, ...

Spam Accounts in 2022

I fell down this rabbit hole while trying to investigate some spamm...

Leopold FC660C Review: Shadow Play

The Leopold FC660C keyboard will melt away into your environment. I...

2022 January

Desk, January 23, 2022

You can see the mouse is back on the table. I have been living in G...

Game and drinks night at Paul and Dan’s

After taking the train back from the suburbs, we went straight to P...

Thinking about Ghost as a website platform

Dumping thoughts about migrating from Jekyll to Ghost

Living image

This leaf fell off the fiddle-leaf fig last week and I kept it arou...

2021 December

Desk, November 30, 2021

I wanted a bit more green on my desk, so I built a terrarium. I ha...

2021 November

Caribou and Jessy Lanza at Riviera

One of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. Jessy Lanza was a fanta...

2021 September

Desk, September 8, 2021

I finally got a proper monitor stand. It was on sale, and came with...

2021 July

Switching away from the Moonlander keyboard

After using the Moonlander keyboardfor a number of months, I’ve now...

2021 June

Desk, June 28, 2021

I just received a new keyboard - the Leopold FC660Cwith Topre switc...

2021 April

Desk, April 2, 2021

I got a new desk surface. I finally have a proper standing desk - w...

2021 February

Desk, February 24, 2021

Bant was bugging me for attention, so I put her up on top of my cab...

2020 December

Ergodox Moonlander Week 3

I would not have purchased this machine with my own money. No one n...

An Autumn with Out of Office Hours

Reflecting on what went well and what to improve after a season of mentoring brand new software engineers.

After Reading: Domain Driven Design, Quickly

I read this on recommendation from other people at Shopify. The con...

2020 November

After Reading: Working in Public

I’ve been a distant fan of Nadia Eghbal for years, following her wo...

2020 September

Desk, September 22, 2020

We rented a cabin with some friends for the week and we all shared ...

2020 August

Desk, August 2020

Keeping that teapot front and center. I found a cabinet that a nei...

2020 July

After Reading: The Color of Law

A great and terrible catalog on the history of systematic racial op...

Note about the death of the author

Another good reason to begin documenting your Theory of The Program...

Documenting Theory Building as An Engineering Team

Recently, I was reading Marc Booker’s post about the need for docum...

Scaling Queue Workers Efficiently with AppSignal Metrics

AppSignal asked me to write for their blog. My first post is about ...

2020 June

After Reading: The Art of Doing Science and Engineering

I picked up this book as it was recommended as a life-based and lif...

Ways I'm Able to Help

TLDR: email me at josh at joshbeckman.org To better open my exper...

Note on path and narrative

It is not enough to simply architect a system or solution. You must...

Note on data opposing narrative

Often, people who don’t have access to the raw data expect one narr...

2020 May

Note on listening to learn

Listening to win vs. listening to fix vs. listening to learn. The d...

Note on constant attention

Code performance, reliability, security, cleanliness. These things ...

After Reading: The Making of Prince of Persia

Reading The Making of Prince of Persia journals, by Jordan Mechner,...

On Writing Great Product Release Emails

If you release software, you’ll need to communicate new features an...

Note on slow tech investment

Identifying too many aspects of ongoing product work as tech debt h...

Carving Tech Investment Out of Tech Debt

At OfficeLuv, we track our individual tasks into epics, like most o...

Correct Ruby Threads and ActiveRecord Connections

Recently, we had an opportunity to trivially parallelize some Activ...

Qualities of a Smooth Queueing System

This morning, Eleni and I were reflecting on how our queueing syste...

2020 March

Desk, March 25, 2020

This is my desk as we start to work from home in the pandemic. An ...

2020 February

Desk, February 2020

I’ve been using the ‘actual’ desk at OfficeLuv in these dark winter...

2020 January

Test page to see how the raw markdown is rendered

This is intended as a quick reference and showcase. Headings ...

2019 December

After Reading: Recursion

I read this book as my partner’s father fell away from us at the ho...

2019 April

After Reading: So Many Books by Gabriel Zaid

I finished So Many Books (Gabriel Zaid) a couple months ago but the...

2019 February

Tourist & Gilligan Moss at Sleeping Village

I knew both of these performers before going to the show, but damn ...

2018 December

Hiring Retrospective - Advancement Rate

After interviewing all Summer and Fall, we’ve found the next member...

Hiring Retrospective - Interview Steps

After interviewing all Summer and Fall, we’ve found the next member...

2018 September

Weeknote of September 05, 2018

In the past, I’ve talked with my good friend Vaibhav Krishna about ...

2018 August

Cleaning Up For a New Hire

I’m hiring a new full-stack engineer for the OfficeLuv team, and th...

After Reading "Lab Girl"

I was generously gifted Lab Girl by Hope Jahren through Jane Kim in...

Desk, August 2018

At OfficeLuv, my desk has been our long bar. I can stand and work t...

2018 July

Weeknote of 2018-07-30

On repeat: youtube.com/watch?v=cgULtrAfISw I have been in the prac...

2018 June

Desk, June 2018

Louie decided to hang out at my desk today.

2018 March

Desk, March 2018

At OfficeLuv, we have a tradition of covering a team member’s desk ...

2018 February

A Recommendation of Nevzat Cubukcu

We hired Nevzat as our third engineer and Android device expert. Ho...

2018 January

A Recommendation of Jack Kent

Working with Jack is extremely rewarding, because I know he will al...

A Recommendation of Lauren Polkow

When I sat down with Lauren for the first time, I knew immediately ...

Handy Kue Maintenance CLI Scripts

Building systems at my last few companies, it has been enormously u...

2017 October

Desk, October 2017

Jane and Nevzat at our desk clump before the Halloween party. My c...

After Reading "Life in Code"

After reading her excerpts from the last few months, I picked up El...

2017 September

Timestamp - Chicago Startup Tech Dinner

I am invited to a dinner with other team leaders from other tech st...

2017 August

On Adding React Native to Existing iOS and Android Apps

I write in defense of the beliefs I fear are least defensible. Ever...

2017 June

Migrating a MongoDB App Datastore to PostgreSQL

A couple weeks ago, Narro had a nice uptick in usage from Pro users...

2017 March

On Narro Joining Stripe Atlas Beta

In June, I applied for Narro’s entry into the Stripe Atlas beta pro...

2017 January

After Reading The Undoing Project

My brother’s gift to me this Christmas was The Undoing Project, a n...

2016 October

To Revisit When Starting a New Job

After starting at and helping to start companies multiple times, I’...

2016 September

Recruitment Searching on GitHub

We’re currently looking for Senior Mobile (iOS / Android) and Senio...

2016 August

The Benefits of Daily Code Review

I wrote a while ago about a methodology for daily code reviews, one...

2016 June

A Recommendation of Vasyl Stetsyuk

Vasyl is an eager and diligent QA Lead. While we were working toget...

A Recommendation of Eric Satterwhite

Working with Eric is, I imagine, akin to preparing dinner with a su...

A Recommendation of Cory Keane

Cory is as earnest as he is steadfast. He is as honest as he is pra...

A Recommendation of Colleen Grafton

Out of all the engineers I have known, Colleen is the most structur...

2016 May

Calming Facebook's Eager Pixels

Working at an e-commerce startup, I get asked to implement new trac...

2016 April

My Bookmarks Are All Bookmarklets

I love all my bookmarks. None of them actually go to any websites, ...

2016 March

Rate-Limit Your Node.js API in Mongo

Update: After a request by Jason Humphrey, I’ve released this imple...

Databases Doing Dirty-work

Eric did a great thing in the past two weeks with his implementatio...

2016 January

Timestamp - Going to a Party

I need to be there at 8, and it should take ten minutes to drive th...

2015 December

Swiss Army Side Project

I was thinking today of how there’s a benefit to having a tiny side...

Unique Humans.txt Files

I was making robots.txt and humans.txt files for Narro recently, an...

Accursed With a Couple Customers

I’ve seeing a trend with some of the start up companies I’ve worked...

2015 November

Thoughts After App Release

In the first week of the available iOS app, the Narro community nea...

2015 October

Thoughts While Waiting for App Review

I just pressed the button to submit Narro for iOS into the App Stor...

Increased Speed and Urgency

From Jack Dorsey’s re-introduction as CEO of Twitter today: My ...

2015 September

Timestamp - Commuting to Work

I wake up between 6:30 and 7:30. This can happen before an alarm or...

Memory Leaks Using Canvas in Node

At ThreadMeUp, we do much of our image manipulation and generation ...

2015 August

New Hires are a Valuable Resource

We’ve brought on two engineers in the last four weeks, and aiming t...

Bad Graphs in the Wild

I recently used this example as a source of interview questions, so...

On Reading Fine Structure

I’ve sent these thoughts & instructions to friends more tha...

2015 July

Scripting Ruby with no Internet

As I sit, I’m riding on the commuter rail as it creaks and staggers...

What Is a Timestamp Post?

I was reading a short post by Max Fenton about reading books in 201...

Timestamp - Chicago Tech Meetup

I leave work just before 6pm, walking about a mile to an office in ...

Contribute to Open Source as a Code Test

I counted up the number of open source code projects I actively use...

Cubic Mapping of Text

For the past several months, I’ve taken daily notes. Previously, I ...

2015 June

Few Things

Note from my journal, 2015/06/18: Few things are more stressful...

GitHub as Social Media

GitHub already allows you to follow other users publicly. It displa...

Hard Numbers Calculator

When you’re leading a team of developers for a startup company, you...

2015 May

Desk, May 22, 2015

While we’re (ThreadMeUp) down in Orlando at this online marketer co...

2015 April

Narrative arcs in the code

A good method has narrative structure. There’s an establishing scen...

ThreadMeUp Daily Code Reviews

We have daily code reviews at 1pm. Everyone in the engineering team...

2015 March

People will always personalize

Some time ago, a group of us from ThreadMeUp took a trip out to one...

2015 February

Analyzing Data Through Sound

Why isn’t more data analysis done over mediums of sound? It’s one o...

How To Link Like You Mean It

Links within your text do two things: Provide me with valuable ...

Your App Is Not Better Than An Open Protocol

Open protocols power the web. They should be powering the interacti...

The texture of your code

I’ve been thinking about intuitive methods of code review. Last wee...

A Recommendation of Vaibhav Krishna Guruswamy

I have known Krishna since interviewing him over a scrambled, laggy...

2015 January

Writing Database Middleware in Go

I’ve been writing two main types of Go programs recently. One route...

2014 November

Desk, November 30, 2014

We’re on vacation over the holiday, but I still had to work today f...

2014 September

Fix to Enable Display Features - Google Analytics iOS SDK

In the official Google Analytics iOS SDK documentation, this functi...

Desk, September 2014

Since there’s a bunch of space on the Aggrego floor these days, I’v...

2014 August

That Feeling of a Pending Break-Through

From The Verge, This is Uber’s playbook for sabotaging Lyft: Us...

2014 July

The Great Discontent Issue One - First Look

I was eager to back the Kickstarter campaign for the first physical...

2013 March

Desk, March 2013

I’m sharing a desk with Bruce at the Sun-Times office, which means ...

2011 March

Desk, March 2011

In Spring of 2011 I’m working as the Photo Editor for The Daily Ill...

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