== Leo Qin ==

My Favorite Books of 2023

Some Stats According to my Storygraph, in 2023 I read 28 books of a total of 8965 pages. 12 books were “adventurous” in mood, and 10 were “reflective” or “emotional”. 80% was nonfiction, and the most popular genres were LGBTQIA+ (13 books), Science Fiction (11 books), and Contemporary (8 books). A caveat - I only started tracking my reading in mid-August, while I was traveling in Philadelphia, so this recap is not the focus of a complete year. Read more...

Why does AI make me feel bad?

By any objective measure, I should be super excited about advances in AI and its recent entrance into ubiquity. However, every time I hear about the latest GPT iteration, the latest startup that uses generative LLMs to revolutionize XYZ industry, I just feel bad. Here’s a bulleted list (in no particular order) of all the reasons why I think AI makes me feel bad: In a vague science-fictional way I’ve always expected “Artificial Intelligence” to be more neuro-mimetic. Read more...

All about the SenecaData NUC5i5MYBE

What is this NUC? At the time when I am writing this, there exists on eBay a surfeit of extremely inexpensive NUCs - labelled “NUC5i5MYBE”. I have personally acquired 2 of them, and am using them in my homelab to host, among other things, Gitea, Drone CI, and Uptime Kuma. I could go more into that, but the purpose of this post is to give some details about what exactly these machines are, where they may have come from, and some useful things to know about them. Read more...

Introducing ETL Markup Toolkit (EMT)

A Note from the Future I do not recommend that you use this software, because it is not maintained, loved, or thought about with any regularity. I wrote it at a time when I was deeply disenchanted with ETL tooling after an experience with Pentaho that could only described as brutal. We were told that using Pentaho would expose data transformations transparently without code. What ended up happening? Nothing was really transparent because variable injection is frustratingly opaque, and all the good stuff ended up in code anyway, because it was more performant. Read more...

Gear Review: Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2 (HHKB2)

A note from the future In the spirit of full disclosure, about a week after I wrote this review, I stopped using the HHKB and switched (back) to the WASD Code TKL with Cherry MX Clear switches. Acclimating to the layout was hard and if we’re being honest, not having keycap legends really put a damper on my productivity. After that, my next few keyboards were 60% or 70% size with a variety of switches - MX Clears, Matias Tactile, Gateron Brown in that order. Read more...

How Many Cups Does Starbucks Use in a Day?

A Note From the Future The first thing I bought with the money I earned from my first Adult Job (tm) was a sage green Klean Kanteen vacuum insulated coffee cup. I bought it at Powell’s on my lunch break about three days into the job, because the product manager who sat across from me had one of her own (in… purple, I think?). Back in the day, Starbucks would give you 10 cents off your order if you brought your own cup. Read more...

That time I got obsessed with making Greek Yogurt

A note from the future When I wrote this piece back in 2015, I was living for the first time in a place that had a really nice kitchen and bike commuting to work every day. Really living the Portland dream. I miss it sometimes. All About Greek Yogurt One of things I do is that every now and then, I become obsessed with perfecting a recipe and make it multiple times for the purpose of achieving its platonic ideal. Read more...

How Many Miles Will You Scroll?

A note from the future Wikipedia says that the term “doomscrolling” originated in “the early 2020s” - which is accurate, but also an outrageous way to describe our current decade. I wonder if these numbers perhaps need a revision since I wrote this in 2015. Notably - 2015 predates TikTok (but not musical.ly), which probably has an outsize effect on how these numbers look now. How Many Miles Will You Scroll? Read more...

Bikes I Ride: Civia Halsted

A Note from the Future For the span of about two months in 2015, I owned a proper Cycletruck - the Civia Halsted. It was a lovely bike, if susceptible to shimmy in the frontend at speed. I bought it off Craigslist, and looking through my emails from that time, it feels like participating in a golden age for the site. We would just give our addresses out willy nilly, and multiple people I corresponded with would send me updates on their own biking journeys. Read more...

How Many Murderers Will You Walk Past?

A Note from the Future This was far-and-away the most-read piece from the old site. It SEOs extremely well and my biggest regret about it is that comments were enabled. After the first twenty, I just stopped approving them… For this reason, the new site will not have comments. How Many Murderers Will You Walk Past? Yesterday, as I was browsing Facebook, I saw a picture stating that “The average person walks past a murder 36 times in their life. Read more...
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