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Relational NoSQL

NoSQL databases were nothing new to me when I started the Writestreak project and decided to go with the Firebase realtime database. The new thing was just the realtime part. I've really enjoyed working with the realtime concept but at the same time I've gotten a reminder why I have mainly stayed away from the NoSQL databases in general. Maybe I've just used the relational ones so much that it's hard for me to live with the features I have learned to take as granted with them.

Perfectionist's month

It's already March! The February is already gone and I almost forgot to write the curious property it had this year: a perfect 4 weeks from start to finish of the month forming perfect rectangle on the calendar. Of course this doesn't apply to those odd people considering any other day than Monday as a start of the week.

Twisted legends

Arthurian mythology is one of the most adapted concept throughout literature and movies. Games might be the only area where it might come second after the Lovecraftian horror. But now there is a new game bringing more of that into the scene: Tainted Grail by Awaken Realms.

This board game offers dark and gritty alternative to the more common glamorous and heroic stories of knights and chivalry. The characters we get to play are not the great heroes of those fabled tales. Instead you get to play these troubled characters with their flaws and troubled past.

Update on Writestreak development

There hasn't been much of any updates on Writestreak, both the actual service or the progress I have been making. It however doesn't mean there hasn't been any. Quite the opposite. The changes just have been subtle and the progress uninteresting.

Along the way I have made couple of minor fixes and improvements as a rolling updates. There is another batch of small tweaks already waiting for final testing before they are ready for release. Just need to find the time and inspiration for that in between doing the bigger changes behind the scenes.

That little shelf

I don't think I would ever have brought the thoughts about that useless shelf above our sink out of the bathroom if it wasn't for writing. It was just something that came to my mind every time I saw it and was already forgotten the time I stepped out from the bathroom.

But after writing daily for so many years one of the things I've learned is paying attention to such little things. There are always potential topics lurking around when you keep your eyes open. They might not be that interesting on themselves, but they might incite some more interesting thoughts.

Out of sight, out of mind

We have a small plastic shelf above our bathroom sink. It has been there since the last owners but we haven't had any use for it. I'm not even sure what it is for, it doesn't feel too sturdy and it's rather small with not much room being there below the cabin. There are two holes on the side which could probably hold toothbrushes or something, but even in that case it doesn't feel like a place I would like to keep them.

Suggested for you

Chrome have had this feature on the new tsb page where it shows "articles for you" -feed based on your interests. When I first discovered it after moving to Android I was unimpressed. It didn't offer any interesting content at all, just s generic feed of popular articles.

Now this probably was due to Google not knowing enough of my interests. Coming from an open, privacy focused platform hadn't left much of a trace of me for Google to process. So for a while I just ignored the feed.

Interplanetary communication

Due to the vast distances communication between the planets will never be real time (until we unlock the faster than light communication using quantum entanglement, tachyons or any other currently theorethical or still undiscovered physics).

Just getting a signal from Mars, the closest planet to us takes several minutes at the closest point. The delay all the way to Pluto is five hours. The fact just need to be accepted that the real time communication just isn't possible in space.

Earth receive time

Watching the Mars landing last night was confusing at times. As there wasn't any real live feed of the landing they showed an animated simulation of it. This was nice and gave a good overview of what was happening. But having no real visuals also made it not clear at times were they talking about the actual landing as it was happening, or the delayed information of what had already happening.

Return to the red planet

Just s bit over an hour from now the Perseverance rover will land on mars. First landing since 2012 when the Curiosity started it's mission. Perseverance isn't the only mission to Mars this year. Earlier this month Emirates Mars Missions probe Hope arrived at the orbit of Mars soon followed by China's Tianwen-1. Neither of these missions landed to the planet itself although Tianwen-1 includes a rover that is planned to land to land on the planet later this year.

Monthly payments

Up until now our electricity bill has been due every three months. The charge has also been based on actual usage for that three month period. With electric heating and Finnish winters this means the Q1 winter month's bill can be up to three times as much as what we pay during the much warmer summer months.

Recently our electricity company introduced new plans where we can pay monthly fixed fee based on estimated yearly usage. So no more huge bills that always come as a surprise as they come so rarely you usually just forget them.

Minimal clicks

Hiding things is a good way to make the design visually as minimal as possible. What is not immediately needed can be put away. Users can reach for them when needed.

This is a good approach for things that are actually only needed in some cases. Like for example the editing controls. As long as there is no text selected the editor menu actions wouldn't do anything anyway. You also only need minimal action once the menu is visible as it's close to the position of the previous action. There's also no need for additional clicks to bring the menu up.

Reverse MRR

Having a constant monthly income offers stability when the money flow is predictable. Increasing that income is usually the best way to increase the standard of living and get more freedom. But somehow, no matter how much the income grows it's always disappearing somewhere.

Looking after the expenses and spendings is an important part of the equation. But saving can feel a bit counter intuitive to appreciate all that hard earned money. I've earned the money, why couldn't I use them?

Good, bad frameworks

A framework is almost required to do any modern development. There is no point in starting to code everything by yourself from the scratch. But using one can also be problematic. I have already been writing about how bloated those frameworks can be. Bringing thousands of lines of code to do just one simple thing is almost always a bad idea.

Pulled in every direction

If there would be an empty room at the center of the earth, would you be weightless there? Basically yes as the mass of the earth all around you would cancel out. But it's still different than being far enough from any object of notable mass to feel the "real" weightlessness. The earth's mass would still be pulling you at every direction.