Welcome to the “Sunday Edition” of my blog. This is my (occasionally) recurring weekly news letter where I highlight some interesting things from across the tech industry, share a few insights from the week, and give you a chance to catch up on some worth-while reads from around the internet.
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Microsoft ended long term support for Windows 7 this week.
This means that both the Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise editions will no longer receive any kind of security updates. And while “support” for Windows 7 ended in January of 2020, Microsoft has had a hard time putting this operating system down; many deeply entrenched industries (like healthcare, manufacturing, defense, and governement) still used it heavily. By some estimates, some 11% of all Windows users are still using Windows 7.
I’d anticipate this version of Windows becoming a major target for bad actors out in the wild. Major exploits of older Windows versions have been discovered long after edtended support ended and with Windows 7 massive footprint, it remains a very high value target for many.
If you still use Windows 7, now is the time to update.
Good reads from across the internet
- This girl is going to kill herself - Krista Diamond on Long Reads
Before I got into software engineering, I worked a few summers in the outdoor rec industry as a mountain guide. I lead rock climbing trips, rafted rivers, hiked 14-ers, and bushwacked in the backcountry. And like this story from Krista Diamond reflects on, I too faced unprecedented life or death situations in the backcountry. But too often, time and time again, I would brush off my experiance as
We as humans are very bad at assessing risk. People don’t conceptualize statistics, especially when it pertains to them personally. Whether it’s the risk of weather on the mountain or the risk of missing delivery deadlines at work, people don’t really understand the risk until it’s usually too late.
One of the best ways to combat this in my own life and work is to make the risk more digestible and specific: “The backcountry is dangerous and risky” is difficult to conceptualize. But “crossing a river at peak flow while wearing your pack is dangerous and risky” is way easier to reason about. “Re-writing the entire app is risky” is difficult to conceptualize. But “re-writing the app to use a newest web framework would require we adopt a new database schema which entails doing risky and costly migrations” is easier to reason about.
- Jeff Beck, Guitarist With a Chapter in Rock History, Dies at 78 - The New York Times
When I was 12, I got my first guitar. I always wanted to play like my dad and my big brother. I learned the basics from my dad but then (like any teenager would), I wanted to find my own path. I would go to the local library, browse their collection of CDs, find albums with interesting enough covers, and check them out. I’d then head home, put the CD into my disc changer, pick up my guitar, and try my best to play along.
I stumbled onto Jeff Beck’s Wired album, put it on, and was immediately introduced to Led Boots:
I’d never heard anything like it; a mix of sweeping rock solos, complex jazz changes, nuanced beats, & a mixing of melody and rythmn.
I went back to the library and I checked out ever Jeff Beck album they had. For me, his music was something very special. It was so different from any of the radio rock I’d heard before. It’s what got me interested in exploring jazz. And to one midwest teenager with a guitar, it helped inspire a lifetime love of music and creating.
Command line tip
If you’re anything like me, you have a highly configured command line environment with alot of aliases. And sometimes, you need to escape using an alias in favor of its original intent. A good example in my environment is:
$ which vim vim: aliased to nvim $ vim --version NVIM v0.8.2
I use NeoVim almost exclusively so the “vim” alias makes sense 99% of the time. But whenever I need actual vim, I can escape my alias using a backslash:
$ \vim --version VIM - Vi IMproved 7.4 (2013 Aug 10, compiled Nov 24 2016 16:44:48)
This (unfortunately) won’t work on fish but is a great little backdoor alias escape for zsh, bash, etc.