Updated April 3, 2024 from Vancouver Island.

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Last days of the ski hill

Spring skiing is here. After a bit of a bummer of a snow year, we’ve been making the most of the warmer weather and getting some last turns in without the crowds.

Downtown Courtenay BIA

After a bit of a skeptical start I’ve increasingly enjoyed my role on the Downtown Courtenay BIA board.

We’re planning a mascot roll out, and I’ve learned a lot about the logistics of mascots. We’d been leaning towards a Vancouver Island marmot, but it turns out there are already two marmot mascots in the area.

At tonight’s meeting we tried to figure out if a third marmot was too many.

Or maybe it’s too good…

Forbidden Tech Club

I hosted the second Forbidden Tech Club tech talk night at the end of March. Both nights were really enjoyable. Interesting speakers, a great turn out. I’ve learned a lot about the logistics aroundhosting these sort of events.

The subjects so far have been pretty high end: RAG architecture, ML and computer vision, Postgres internals… For the next round I’d like to tone the technical level down slightly to ensure we keep the talks accessible.

Reading about WUFFS

A Hacker News thread about a new JPEG encoder lead me to WUFFS, Wrangling Untrusted File Formats Safely. The project’s README was such a joy to read. Technical but clear and just concise enough with references for deeper dives (TIL hermetic functions…).

I don’t spend a lot of time needing to worry about null pointer dereferencing, but now I kind of hope I will so I can spend more time with WUFFS.

A little React + Vite app

A friend’s startup needed a little web page to demonstrate their ML API to investors. His original plan was just to use curl but he figured a nice SPA would demo better to non-technical users. We spent about a day building a little app that takes video uploads and then polls an endpoint while the ML runs.

It’s always such a pleasure to type npm create vite@latest or rails new or whatever it happens to be. So much potential!

Technically the little app was simple enough, although making sure it would poll the API endpoint succesfully for upwards of 20 mins in front of investors meant a certain level of rigor and testing.

My biggest contribution, I reckon, was the puppy video that loops while the ML is doing its magic. Everybody was stoked for the puppy.