Rob Fahrni

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Saturday Morning Coffee

Good morning from Charlottesville, Virginia! ☕️

Espresso ShotWe had a lot of fun this week tracking down a bug in the project I’m working on. It was exposed by slow server response, which was because the service had grown. So the bug was icky. Once we tracked it down on the client side we were able to fix it up pretty quickly. I love doing stuff like this! Finding and fixing bugs is part of any developers job along with writing code.

I hope you enjoy the links.

Natalie Venegas • Newsweek

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' rare warning during a commencement speech about former President Donald Trump, sparked outrage from supporters of Trump’s Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement this weekend.

People are right to continue to warn us all of the dangers of electing Convicted Felon Donald J. Trump to the Presidency.

Anyone who reads this site — thanks to both of you — knows I’m a Liberal Democrat suffering from “The Woke Mind Virus.” 😃 So of course I think a man set on destroying Democracy as we know it is dangerous.

Noah Kirsch • The Daily Beast

Now, former board member Helen Toner is explaining her decision. In a new podcast interview, the artificial intelligence researcher blasted Altman’s lack of transparency and said the board was kept in the dark about key decisions. She accused Altman of “withholding information, misrepresenting things that were happening in the company, [and] in some cases outright lying to the board.”

AI will continue to be controversial and it looks like Sam Altman will be the poster boy for the controversy, at least in the short term.

Keeping a full commercial product rollout from the board seems like a bad idea, doesn’t it? No wonder they fired him.

Mark Tyson • Tom’s Hardware

Popular TechTuber Jeff Geerling has delivered an updated take on the old chestnut about the relative merits of pigeon-based vs internet data transfers.

TL;DR - Data delivery by pigeon is still faster than the internet. 🤣

Kelly Crandall • Racer

In a joint statement issued Tuesday, Tony Stewart and Gene Haas confirmed that Stewart-Haas Racing will cease NASCAR operations at season’s end.

This is a real bummer for NASCAR fans and the sport in general. Stewart Haas had a championship team not so long ago but it’s been a long time since they’ve seen victory lane.

They have four cars on the grid. Three teams field four drivers and it’s my understanding NASCAR is going to limit team size to three going forward.

In 2016 NASCAR switched to a Charter system. In that system teams purchase a charter from NASCAR to be part of the system. Those charters are expected to grow in value so a team would have more than physical goods to sale should they decide to close shop. They’re not cheap. Spire Motorsports bought one last year for $40mm. What will each Stewart Haas charter sell for? 😳

Tuomas Pirhonen - PDF

Writing an NVMe Driver in Rust

The link above is to a PDF for Thomas Pirhonen’s Bachelors Thesis. Rust has really made inroads into systems development and I’m happy to see it. Having memory safe code at the systems level seems like a smart thing to do, don’t you think? 😃

I’d be curious to see how much unsafe code exists in the various Rust OS level projects I’ve heard of. But, you gotta start somewhere!

When will Swift be used to build major parts of Apple’s OS level code? Or is it already being used?


I’ve long had a longing to have a Mac Mini as build server in my technics room. After Apple finally updated it to (now) fashionable space grey, it was a must purchase for my company.

I’ve had a hankering to do this very thing. I can see setting up the server much in the way we see here and trigger builds via GitHub Actions to start the process. Heck, I could use Xcode’s built in support for automating builds and kick it off right from within Xcode on my laptop. Yeah, Xcode has a decent enough build system to make it useful. Makes me wonder how much of it Apple is using for Xcode Cloud or is 100% of that custom code?

Anton Zhiyanov

If you work with sensitive data, and want to be 100% sure that there is no trace of the old data after it has been updated or deleted — SQLite has you covered. The secure_delete pragma (off by default) causes SQLite to overwrite deleted content with zeros.

TIL! I’ve used SQLite in quite a few projects, including Stream. I love it for local storage and still prefer it to CoreData, it’s just straightforward SQL. Anywho, I had no idea you could do this. Another nice tool to keep in the toolbox.


Doctor Who returned to TV recently as a “soft reboot” to attract a new generation of viewers. Yeah, okay, but the older generations didn’t exactly go away, and since I am a member of an older generation, I am qualified to say that the show sucks.

I think we’ve all been here when we see a big change to our favorite Television show.

Heck, I’m torn about continuing to watch The Witcher. Henry Cavil is The Witcher and to see him replaced just feels wrong.

Kim Zetter • WIRED

Two years ago when “Michael,” an owner of cryptocurrency, contacted Joe Grand to help recover access to about $2 million worth of bitcoin he stored in encrypted format on his computer, Grand turned him down.

You gotta love these hacker folks. At least he’s using his talent for good.

Viktor Petersson

My Home Server Journey - From Raspberry Pi to Ryzen

What’s up with two server based links today? Guess I’m just in a very hardware mood today.

This reminds me I need to setup my $99 Mac Mini I purchased months ago. It’s an x86 based Mini and fairly old but I want it for media streaming and another local backup system.

David Price • Macworld

Those who miss the days of full-time Apple/Microsoft beef will have been heartened last week by bold claims that the latest Surface devices are faster than the M3 MacBook Air. It’s fun to see Microsoft’s marketing department in a combative mood, but part of me wishes the company would stop trying so hard to show it’s better than Apple.

I don’t know that I’d go this far. Microsoft is just trying to lead the industry into an ARM focused world by attempting to create a new standard of PC.

I’ve been on the Mac, almost exclusively, since around 2006(?) and I love the experience from a user and developer point of view.

There’s still that part of me that loves my old development days on Windows. It was also a great platform to build on.

The new Microsoft Surface Pro looks absolutely amazing and I’ve lusted for one of these computers for years. Microsoft has proven for years and years a tablet/laptop can have excellent touch support and a full desktop class OS underpinning it.

It’s only a matter of time before Apple does it. When it happens all doubt around Apple creating a convertible will disappear and folks will think it’s the greatest thing ever.

Chelsea Troy

Each quarter at the University of Chicago includes nine weeks of instruction. In the eighth week, I ask students to submit questions that they would like our ninth and final session to cover. This quarter, a third of the students in the class submitted some version of the question: “How can I use ChatGPT to get ahead in my programming job?”

I know of a lot of developers at work using ChatGPT to their advantage. It’s not that it’s doing their job, no, it’s just another tool to get started with a thought.

Jordan Tigani

The intended takeaway from the “Big Data is coming” chart was that pretty soon, everyone will be inundated by their data. Ten years in, that future just hasn’t materialized. We can validate this several ways: looking at data (quantitatively), asking people if it is consistent with their experience (qualitatively), and thinking it through from first principles (inductively).

I’m not really into backend stuff like this. It seems kind of boring but it’s good to know some folks are really into it.

Declaring something dead is a bit strange to me, because it was never a living thing, but I get the gist.

I’m sure your mileage will vary but this is a small piece worth a read just to understand his declaration.

BigData, it turns out, ain’t all that big.

Tiny Apple Core