Issues » #509

#509 – February 13, 2023

How a single line of code brought down a rocket launch

It’s Tuesday, June 4th, 1996, and the European Space Agency is set to launch its new Ariane 5 rocket for the first time. This is the culmination of a decade of design, testing and a budget spending billions of euros.

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SQL Window Functions: Ranking

Ranking means coming up with all kinds of ratings, starting from the winners of the World Swimming Championships and ending with the Forbes 500.

One common behavior seen in "mature" software engineers

It is great that an engineer could fix a particular problem efficiently. Though, a common trait we see in more "mature" engineers is go beyond "just" patching these problems.

All Programming Philosophies Are About State

I recently realized that all the various programming philosophies are concerned with state, and can be boiled down into a simple statement about how to work with state.

Tag Systems

I’ve tried to write a blog post on tag systems for years now. Literally years, I think I first started drafting it out in 2018 or so? The problem is that there’s just so much to them, so many different approaches and models and concerns that trying to be comprehensive and rigorous is an exercise in madness.

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GPT for second brains

In this post, I discuss how I used GPT embeddings to build a smart search tool for my second brain note-taking system.


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