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Welcome to the second installment of my newsletter. Your support means the world to me.

I’ve been told the key to building an audience is consistency. I’m committing to this idea by releasing my letter on the first day of each month. This way, you’ll always know when to look out for a new letter.

Let’s dive in.

What I’m watching, listening, reading

  • [podcast] What Now? – Trevor Noah’s standup is good but he’s an even better interview host. His “Between the Scenes” segments are some of my favorite. His new podcast is really good so far.
  • [tv] Slow Horses – Just finished Season 1 and I’m giddy that there are two additional seasons waiting for me. The best feeling.
  • [tv] Blue Eye Samurai – I’ve swooned about this show before but I’ll promote it again any chance I get. It’s the best thing I watched in 2023.
  • [video] Where are U Now | Diary of a Song – Yes, it’s the one you’re thinking of, and yes it’s Beiber, but this video is specifically around how Diplo & Skrillex collaborated to make the song. I’ve got a bunch of these to share, so stay tuned.

Tech Tips

Making use of the /tmp directory

cheatsheet for linux file system
Courtesy: Alex Xu via Twitter

Are you aware that Unix-based systems, like macOS, offer a “hidden” /tmp directory that clears out every time you reboot?

I set it as my default download location for files that are momentarily needed like downloads, screenshots, or installation packages. There’s no need for a manual cleanup of these files as your next reboot will just wipe them clean.

Caveat: since this directory is world-writable, other user profiles on your device can access these files.

Hiding your macOS dock

The Dock is one of those macOS features that I never use and strangely, it can’t be disabled. Nicholas shared a workaround that effectively hides it:

defaults write autohide-delay -int 60 && killall Dock

It’s been working like a charm.

From my blog

Get to Inbox 0 with Gmail

I wrote this post excited to share my tips on taming an email inbox. I shared it with the author of the plugin mentioned. He was kind and gracious but told me that my post was vapid (without using those words). He’s right. I rushed that post in an excitement to get it out. I oversold with that title.

This is why I love the internet and am willing to look foolish. It means I’m learning. I’ve since been thinking about re-editing that post. The title should have just been - how I use Gmail.

Replace git-number with git aliases

I wanted to go on more about my simplify series and how pumped I am about a queue of posts I have in mind for this topic. But reason and restraint found me and I figured folks will find their way to it, in time.

But if you’re curious… dear newsletter reader (❤️) the ones I’m thinking of: “How I Obsidian”, “iTerm → Terminal & sane dotfiles”, “Fish → Zsh”, “VSCode + NeoVim → Jetbrains”, “KeyboardMaestro + Alfred + Pastebot + WorldClock widget + … → Raycast”

If there’s one that you’re eager to read, let me know.


Programming for good

As a programmer, I’m always looking for opportunities to apply my skills to benefit society and perform my civic duty. The opportunities are there…

The San Francisco subway system still runs on 5 1/4-inch floppies.

By way of Jason Kotke

SF has the best software engineers in the world and they’re riding the very Munis that run on 5¼ floppies, all around San Francisco. Yet, there isn’t an obvious way to volunteer time to help improve these systems. 💡

Free stuff getting better over time

If you’re reading this letter on a browser, you’ll notice I’ve spruced the website up a lot. I’m going to write more about the numerous subtle features a casual reader might miss.

But every time I start to work on it, there’s this guilt of sinking time into the effort. But I’m writing this to remind future me: it’s ok. Working on Henry is meditative for me - low stakes programming that makes atleast one person happy (me).

There’s also something fulfilling about the idea of improving the work you give out for free, over time. How often can you say that about other free things in life? 🧘🏽

Resolutions & Goals

[Tolerance in thinking] Platformer leaves Substack

Casey Newton on leaving substack. I thought this was a measured response and he went about it the right way. I was especially curious how he’d handle the usual questions around freedom of speech & tolerance in thinking. His FAQ at the end does a good job.

[Self care] Back to Weightlifting

My transformation from a 100kg (220 lbs) teenager to a 70kg (154 lbs) fit young adult was anything but easy. It wasn’t inspiration but severe back pain that drove me. An elderly chiropractor candidly remarked “you’re the youngest non-injured patient I’ve ever had in my career”. That scared the shit out of me cause that dude was old. I learnt then that the only activity I was consistent with is weightlifting (thankfully).

workout image poster

I’m aiming to regain my former fitness by starting simple. For now, I’m alternating between two full-body workouts that I found on this slapstick YouTube channel.

workout image 1
workout image 2

Next month, I’ll switch it up with a different set.

Signing off

Thank you genuinely for subscribing or reading my letters. I’d love to always hear more from you.

What would you like to see more or less of — tech insights, programming chatter, personal stories?

I’m finding my way. I’d appreciate all the help.

Until the next one.