Contrary to popular opinion about work interruptions, I’ve found that being interrupted with the simple prompt of “explain what you are doing” is actually often helpful.
Being forced to describe in words how I’m spending my time helps me to remember the big picture and notice when I’ve gone off-track.
To this end, I’ve set up a graphical prompt for maintaining regular jrnl entries in the style of the old Facebook status line:
The prompt only appears while I’m actively using the computer, is preceded by a passive notification so I’m not caught by surprise, and allows alarm clock–style snoozing in case I’m doing something that shouldn’t be interrupted.
#!/bin/bashset -o errtrace
notify-send --hint int:transient:1 \
--icon 'appointment-new'\'Upcoming journal entry'
yad --center \
--timeout 60 \
--timeout-indicator left \
}while sleep 5m; do
if(($(xprintidle) < 60000 ))&&status="$(prompt 'Andrew is')"; then
jrnl "@prompt Andrew is $status"
I maintain an OpenPGP key server in a public server pool and regularly receive peering requests from other server operators. To help me better understand the network and make more informed decisions about which requests to respond to, I’ve compiled a network graph using the monitoring data collected by Kristian Fiskerstrand.
A preliminary look at its degree distribution reveals that most servers are well connected, and several are very much so:
While this is good news regarding the health of the pool, it does pose a challenge to efforts at visualization. The graph is a hairball:
In that light, I’ve taken considerable artistic license to make the network’s features more distinguishable:
Hover over a node to clarify its connections.
The size of a node denotes its closeness centrality, a rough predictor of how quickly data might be able to propagate from that server to the rest of the network.
Color is determined by a server’s priorities in the three regional pools, Europe (EU), North America (NA), and Oceania (OC):
Hue indicates the bias between regions, as shown in the key above.
Saturation corresponds with the strength of that bias. Well balanced servers thus loose any discernible hue.
Lightness is determined by priority regardless of region. Servers holding a high priority in any region are lighter.
From this graph I can see that my server is relatively well balanced across regions and has a high priority, but has few connections compared to other servers.
I’d hoped that it would be more visually apparent which new connections I should make to strengthen the network, but the graph has turned out to be too complex for me to follow by eye.
I’ll have to take a more analytical approach—to be continued.
The feed template in middleman-blog uses file modification times to determine when articles were updated. If your articles are under version control, however, you can do better.
Your version control system already describes precisely the modifications that are meaningful: those that involve the articles’ content. Arbitrary file system activity such as cloning a repository or synchronizing data between computers is irrelevant.
To tap into this more reliable data source, I’ve created a Middleman extension that provides an mtime attribute on each article. Behind the scenes it queries the version control system to find the last recorded change to the article’s content.