adrift on a cosmic ocean

Writings on various topics (mostly technical) from Oliver Hookins and Angela Collins. We have lived in Berlin since 2009, have two kids, and have far too little time to really justify having a blog.

  • Micro book review: Radical Candor
    Posted by Oliver on the 14th of January, 2020 in category Thoughts
    My blog count for last year was woefully low, and I was struggling to think of what was worthwhile to write about. As I mentioned last time, I've been slowly getting through my management/leadership reading list and while I don't think I have the time or energy to write full book reviews (at least, full enough to do the titles justice) I would like to write something . So here it is: the first of…
  • Another great read - Tribes by Seth Godin (and other books)
    Posted by Oliver on the 5th of December, 2019 in category Thoughts
    Oh dear, it's been another long time since my last post. To be fair, this year has been very hectic. Earlier in the year I was focussing a lot more on spending my commutes meditating (somewhat successfully), but recently I've found that reading on the train and in whatever free time I can scrape together has almost the same effect - so I don't mind meditating less. When I was in primary school I…
  • Recent Reads
    Posted by Oliver on the 10th of June, 2019 in category Thoughts
    Well, I've certainly had a lot less free time to write blog posts recently. I don't even have my actual desktop computer back in operation yet (the screen was cracked in transit). We have finally moved into an apartment in Sydney and life is returning to some definition of normal. With three kids and a new job there is a lot to balance, and not a lot of time for many things. That being said, I've…
  • New Year, New You!
    Posted by Oliver on the 20th of January, 2019 in category Thoughts
    It's 2019! Or so they say - I'm not very inclined to believe it, as most days seem like a dream. You know that kind of dream, where you are in the house where you live (or perhaps where you grew up), but you somehow know within you that it's not your house ? This is the life I'm living at the moment. We've been living in Berlin, Germany, since 2009 and have now - after just over nine years…
  • Checkpoints and Gatekeeping versus Principles and Values
    Posted by Oliver on the 9th of December, 2018 in category Tech
    Picture the scene: you have a new project to start working on and deliver in a relatively short amount of time. You have done lots of research, know the problem to be solved, have worked diligently on whittling down the scope to just the bare elements that will prove or disprove the utility of the idea. You know how long it will take to build a first iteration, have a pretty good idea of how to…
  • Blender - Baking Textures Within One Object
    Posted by Oliver on the 28th of October, 2018 in category Tech
    This is not a ground-breaking new concept, but since I failed to find decent material on it when searching, and it's not entirely clear from the Blender documentation, I thought I'd write someabout about it with screenshots. Normally, when we are baking textures in Blender (e.g. for simplifying the render of a complex scene, or exporting objects and their textures to a game engine), we use the…
  • Reflecting on TypeScript, Lambdas, and of course testing
    Posted by Oliver on the 27th of September, 2018 in category Tech
    Yet another long-overdue post. The last couple of weeks (or perhaps sprints) my team has dived into Typescript for a new project. I like it, really like it. Maybe that's just because for years I've feared Javascript, haven't understood enough about how to unit testing, and found myself writing terrible code and just running it to find the bugs. This is not a very good development methodology…
  • Latest progress in Blender
    Posted by Oliver on the 30th of June, 2018 in category Tech
    I'm not sure I've mentioned it on this blog before, but almost three years ago I started a number of online courses around 3D modelling and game development. Way back in 2013 I had done a course on Coursera which introduced me to event loop-based game programming, although the programming difficult of the course was very low. Later on suggestion from a co-worker I looked into Löve2D and took…
  • Challenges when working with OpenResty
    Posted by Oliver on the 23rd of June, 2018 in category Tech
    Before you get any ideas about the topic of this post, it's not a rant about OpenResty at all - it's actually a great piece of software and in my opinion a fantastic integration between a capable webserver (Nginx) and a light-weight programming language (Lua). The combination makes it ideal for high-performance delivery of traffic with some light business logic thrown in as well. We use it at my…
  • Client applications and TCP reset handling
    Posted by Oliver on the 10th of June, 2018 in category Tech
    Disclaimer : Most of this post was written in 2014, but it's been languishing in my drafts folder for a long time and I thought I'd push the publish button rather than waiting to perfect it. The original context was that I was attempting to perform integration testing on a client application that needed to handle a variety of different network behaviours - including TCP resets. I mulled over how…
© 2010-2018 Oliver Hookins and Angela Collins