Gratitude Week 2

  • Mountain bikes – this one should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, but now that I am back on the bike a bit more regularly after a several month hiatus, I really do miss it. More than anything, it’s the ability for the bike to take me to places that I might not otherwise see, and venture out into the woods where most people won’t go.
  • Slippers – I guess this is my “old man” moment, but I have to say, having a nice pair of foam soled slippers to wear around the house really makes a huge difference. However, it’s that my kids now make it an annual Christmas thing to get me a new pair that I really love.
  • Moore’s Law – I felt super old last week when reading a post by someone referring to Moore’s Law in a way that it was clear that he had to look it up. This is one of those things that you should just “know” if you are in tech, but I suppose that once upon a time some old fart was grousing about the fact that I didn’t know what the heck a punch card was. In any event, there are two things which happened in the last week that really make me appreciate Moore’s Law. First, I had a near death experience with my nice laptop. I don’t buy many things, and I tend to be discerning when I do, and will spend money for quality. I also get too attached to things. When it was clear something was wrong, my mood really turned south. With all the travel I have coming up, some to remote places, I didn’t want this stress. So I picked up a Lenovo Ideapad 100s this week from Best Buy for $150 (restocked). That’s not quite throw-away money, but it’s damn cheap. And the power of this laptop is amazing for the $. However, it has limitations, which has forced me to find some alternatives to some of my personal projects. One example required running Python code with a massive dataset. Not on this thing. However, for $0.65 per hour, I and turn on a hosted virtual machine on a big piece of hardware in the cloud and run my code, and turn off when done. Amazing. A little more exploring and I found I could run my Jupyter notebooks in the Azure Machine Learning Studio for free. When we started AskMe.com, we built our own infrastructure in a data center with a bunch of MSFT software. I don’t remember the exact cost, but it was north of a million dollars. For $150 (laptop) and bus fare, I can do much of the coding (though not deployment to live services) thanks to Moore’s Law.