Multimedia particles in a similar style to a tweet, also serving as a changelog for this site. Cross-posted to an atom feed. Frequently off topic.

Since my last post complained about things that haven’t changed in Germany, I’ll follow up with some that have:

  • Deutsche Bahn now has an app that can purchase or import tickets, and it works well. Ticket checkers can scan a QR code to verify your ticket, where previously they’d only take a paper printout, which was looking very old fashioned in 2010, and a huge pain for visitors that couldn’t manage to fit a printer in their carry-on. It can also purchase tickets for local rail systems like MDV in Leipzig.

  • The app has real-time platform information for each station. You can check your train’s platform before arriving, and use the information to immediately go to exactly the right place. It sends accurate push notifications, and alerted me to a last minute (literally) platform change in Berlin.

  • Onboard wifi is now free, and it works.

This was all a major relief after having just experience the comparative hellscape which is the UK rail system.

It’s been years since I was in Germany last, and I was curious to see what’s changed. Particularly:

  • Germany is a cash-heavy society. This might not be a problem except that no one has any change, no one wants to take card, no one wants to break €50 notes, and ATMs won’t dispense anything but €50 notes. Has anything changed?

  • The first couple times I went to Berlin, bars were like a time warp back to North America in the 80s and 90s, with an all-pervasive, ever-present cloud of smoke in every one of them. And even outside of bars, you’d find people smoking in every stoop and alley. Has the country stopped smoking yet?

I was optimistic on the first point at least, after having successfully spent two weeks in the UK without having withdrawn a single pound. Surely conventions between European countries can’t be too dissimilar.

But alas, they are. The answers are “no” and “no”. Maybe next time.

After a flight cancellation that snowballed into a logistics nightmare, I took the train from London to Berlin.

Four hours on the Eurostar London to Amsterdam (the fast train best known for making Channel Tunnel trips between London and Paris), and then eight hours on a slower train across Germany’s countryside to Berlin. Wake at 4 AM (to preclear customs for Eurostar), arrive at 8 PM, with a one hour forward time difference. I wouldn’t recommend it, but hey, it’s cool that it’s possible.

Published sequence 052, the Flying Scotsman and locomotive 35018.

Published fragment PGX + sqlc v4 to v5 upgrade notes. Somewhat painful, with 114 files and ~800 LOCs changed.

Nanoglyph 037 is published, on speed as a UX feature.

Discourse sees Ruby rendering speeds decrease 16-17% after enabling YJIT in Ruby 3.2. A nice performance boost for a minimal time investment that amounts to tweaking the RUBY_YJIT_ENABLE env var and doing some testing.

Published sequence 051, Musée de l’Armée.

Published sequence 050, Rue Claude Monet.

Nanoglyph 036 is published, on Atlanta, job queues, batch-wise operations.

Published sequence 048, under construction.

32 consecutive days of running at least 5 km (average 7-8 km).

Observations: Get it done early, habit is everything. For the lazy amongst us (me), it may require bullying yourself out the door. I hate eating my vegetables, but I know that I should.

Tomorrow: Flight to Paris wherein I time travel half a day forward. I’ll do a morning San Francisco run, but one after landing in Paris at 4 PM on the day after, exhausted from the hell that is a transatlantic flight in economy, will be hard. Is this the end? Find out next week.

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