A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…in the late 20th century…a young chap started out in Computer Science at the University of Colorado in Denver.

Things were going pretty well. Second semester hit, and the adventure really began. There was a course in object oriented development in C++ in this lad’s early CS career. He hadn’t seen objects before, and only had a notional understanding of what they were—if even that.

A project that took pretty much all of the semester was to create a set of classes to manipulate and display a linked list. This was his first foray into abstract data types. It was quite the effort across that semester, but it got done—and, not only was a program which handled CRUD for a linked list the end result, but an indexed one—to allow you to access values non-sequentially as if it were an array.

It was a cool project in the end, and this lad looks back with fondness at those early days, when all of it was so new.

Flash forward nearly three decades to the advent of LLM, Large Language Models.

It’s become a bit of a hobby of mine to throw things at ChatGPT, one of the more popular LLM generators these days, to see what it can do.

I gave it the basic requirements of that very same semester project freshman year. It generated a whole class, complete with a main driver, in mere seconds. You can’t help but feel a mix of fascination and a bit of melancholy as you watch all of that effort (which I could now do in less than an hour, myself) do it all in just a mere moment.

Also makes me wonder how creative professors have to get these days to come up with a project that can’t be easily generated 😂


ChatGPT helps you get answers, find inspiration and be more productive. It is free to use and easy to try. Just ask and ChatGPT can help with writing, learning, brainstorming and more.

Windows Terminal handles opacity better than any other CLI ever did. I played with opacity some time back with Powershell before Windows Terminal came along, but the whole window became opaque, as opposed to just the content pane. I tend to set console opacity first-thing whenever I get a Mac, and it’s good that it can now be integrated into my Windows setup habits 😀 One can do this with the entirety of Windows Terminal, or narrow it to any specific command-line app you want.

So, one thing I’ve really gotten into over the years has been emulation. It’s the best way of going back to the things you used to love in computing without actually going back in time–and without having to put a boat anchor of a CRT on your desktop 😉

VICE is one of those emulators I really dig. Our first family computer was the Commodore VIC-20. Using VICE, I can run the very first software that I ever ran (and even coded).

While I guess I wouldn’t totally mind the notion of setting up a full VIC-20 rig, this sure is a great way of getting a blast from the past without 😎

So, I don’t know if they’ll actually get as far as production…but, we’ve pre-ordered hardware for Starlink Internet service. SpaceX has been launching satellites like mad, and already have hundreds of them up there.

A brand new way to Internet

I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll see some pretty good speeds. Elon Musk is saying Gb with cable-like latency (~30ms), but we shall see. I find it compelling that I could, potentially, take this Internet service wherever I go. If we happen to move somewhere, I can stick with what I have. I’m pessimistic about how things will be in the heavy rains of spring. Definitely going to give it a whirl, though, and see.

So, of late, I’ve been playing around with Mastodon. I’ve stood up an instance a couple of times now. What has kept me from having it up on a semi-permanent basis has been that it is a drive hog; it will gobble up space, literally like a hog in a trough. The concept of it is a bit like Twitter, in fact its interface is extraordinarily similar. But, all of the data is in your control (as much as it can be on the Internet), and no ads–unless you choose to host ads, I suppose.

The instance has been mastodon.aether.us. I’ve taken it down, yet again. This time around, I played with the notion of using Google Drive as a file repository via a tool called rclone. The idea seemed to be pretty sound, at first. What I didn’t anticipate was that Mastodon, thankfully, makes very liberal use of hard links to save on space. Unfortunately, at this point, it looks like rclone doesn’t support hard links, at least in the way I need it to.

Ultimately, I think a Mastodon presence will be contingent upon complete self-hosting–my own hardware, where I’m not having to add space to my VPS copiously (and expensively).

I could go on mstdn.social or other instances out there, but that kind of defeats the purpose of keeping what I can in my control. I really do like self-hosting what I can, but there’s only so much I can do on a VPS without paying through the nose.

In the meantime, there’s always WordPress. Since that’s not federated, the way Mastodon is, it accumulates data at a fraction of the same rate. It’s good to play, though, and standing up my own social network has been an interesting experience. Maybe if we ever finally ever get fiber Gb Internet, or maybe even Starlink.