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July 2020

Notes ยท Aug 1, 2020

Table of Contents

Bitcoin Price Movements

Everyone knows about Bitcoin but no one cares about it except once every few years, when it suddenly jumps in price and people start to go crazy. Some people call this pattern a “hype cycle”. There is no shortage of crazy-ass traders who try to profit during these short-lived periods of perceived irrationality.

Bitcoin price had become more volatile in the past few days which doesn’t really say anything for sure but it gives many people hope that we’ll see some price action in the near future. Does it make sense to buy Bitcoin in the anticipation of a new price rally? It might, but it’s still a huge risk.

What makes more sense is to use any rapid increase in Bitcoin price to slowly diversify your portfolio. If you have 15% of your portfolio in Bitcoin and one day you realize that this proportion had increased dramatically due to a sudden Bitcoin price spike, there is nothing wrong with reacting promptly and cutting it back to 15% target. It’s easier said than done but it’s extremely important not to become too greedy and reckless in those crazy times.

Bitcoin bear markets are tough and they can last for many years. Make sure you can handle sharp and prolonged price declines. Here are my thoughts on Bitcoin as an asset class and here are more details on the benefits of diversification.

SQLite Dates and Java’s LocalDateTime

Is seems like SQLite date format is incompatible with some ISO 8601 parsers. By “some parsers” I mean Java LocalDateTime parser, of course. I really wanted to blame Java for that one but, after a brief investigation, I’m pretty sure that SQLite is the real offender here. Unfortunately, this problem is hard to fix. The thing is, SQLite does not allow non-whitelisted functions to be used to generate default column values. You can find more on that here.

Nextcloud and SQLite

I have my own Nextcloud instance which uses PostgreSQL to store its data. I have nothing against PostgreSQL but it seems to be an overkill for a single-server deployment used by a single user. Well, it’s used occasionally by other people but the number of concurrent users is always low.

Nextcloud documentation states that it doesn’t care much about your choice of a database and you’re free to use SQLite. In fact. SQLite is a default data backend for a Nextcloud instances. The problem is: the documentation also advises against using SQLite for anything except “minimal” deployments. It’s hard to say what it means by “minimal” deployments. It might be concerned about scalability, which is not really an issue in my case, but it could also mean correctness or stability. I guess the only way to find out if it’s OK to use SQLite is to try it out.

TypeScript Support in Hugo

Hugo is a great static site generator. In my opinion, it’s the best one out there. I use it despite the fact that I don’t really like Go. Unfortunately, Hugo lacks proper documentation and sometimes it’s documentation is misleading. I once tried to open an issue which described a config where Hugo behavior contradicts its documentation. To my surprise, the answer was something like “Can’t you see the code? It actually does this thing and not that thing mentioned in the doc so it’s fine and we can just close the issue.”. People who are in charge of the project see no problem with such a contradiction. That’s a red flag but there aren’t many of them, for now.

Anyway, if you want to know what Hugo is capable of, don’t forget to check its releases page on GitHub. That’s how I figured out that Hugo supports TypeScript. I had some experience with TypeScript last year and I liked it more than JavaScript so it was an easy sell. I try to keep things as static and non-interactive as possible so the migration was quick.

Cloudflare

It seems like everyone is talking about Cloudflare and many of my friends and colleagues use it in their projects. I couldn’t resist that hype and I decided to try it and I must admit that I’m not impressed. It just complicates things and constantly tries to sell some bullshit services such as “image optimizer”, which is just a clumsy attempt to solve the problem that should be solved on a different level.

The only benefit of Cloudflare is that my website became accessible from Russia. It looks like my IP address was used by someone who wrote something unpleasant about the horde of crooks and thieves who call themselves Russian government and they forced all Russian ISPs to block that IP.

Game - Days Gone

Illustration

Many modern games are similar to movies and I don’t mean more realistic graphics. What I mean is the lack of agency: it’s like a player becomes an interruption between dozens of long and glorious cut scenes.

Days Gone is one of those games. I’m not even sure is it’s a good thing or a bad thing. It feels good, it’s mostly fun to play and it can be challenging at times. The story is pretty corny but the graphics is good. This game felt like Horizon: Zero Dawn, except for the fact that the story line lacks the depth and quality of Horizon franchise. Don’t get me wrong, Days Gone is a good time killer. It just lacks novelty, that’s all.

Game - Detroit: Become Human

That’s a special one, really. This game has a high quality non-linear story which is already enough to stand out from the crowd. A single mistake can have enormous consequences and you won’t see it until it’s too late to go trough the familiar save-fail-load-repeat cycle.

Detroit: Become Human is really good at creating a sense of presence and you just can’t feel indifferent as the story progresses. It’s hard to escape a movie analogy here because, in my opinion, you need a big screen and a dark room in order to enjoy this game the most.

Game - Rise of the Tomb Raider

Illustration

I never played a Tomb Raider game before because I don’t really like action games. Of course, AAA game developers are aware of people like me so they started to add RPG and open world elements to every fucking game. Well, it works. I mean, I wouldn’t even thought about buying this game, but it was available on PS Plus for free and I was curious about the Tomb Raider series.

It’s a good looking and well crafted action game but I didn’t notice anything exceptional about it. It feels like just another Hollywood movie: it looks pleasing while you watch it but in the end it becomes clear that it’s won’t leave a trace in your memory or in the popular culture in general.

Bitcoin   SQLite   Kotlin   Nextcloud   Typescript   Hugo   Cloudflare   Games

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