Try to learn something about everything

Information Overload 2015-01-25

Information Overload 2015-01-18

2014 Reading List

Here’s my annual reading list post. 2014 saw me read less than I wanted to, but exploring my new hometown (Bangkok) and learning Thai used up a lot of my free time. That said I still managed to get in a decent amount of books, caught up on more comics and added a 4th language (Thai) to my reading, although so far that’s been limited to children’s books.


  • Tom Vater: The Cambodian Book of the Dead
  • A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda: On the Way to Krisna
  • Timeri N. Murari: The Taliban Cricket Club
  • Jonas Jonasson: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
  • Luis Sepúlveda: Historia de una Gaviota y del Gato Que le Enseñó a Volar
  • Charles Bukowski: Post Office
  • David Sedaris: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls
  • Tom Vater: The Devil’s Road To Kathmandu
  • Jean-Claude Izzo: The Lost Sailors
  • Sean Eads: The Survivors
  • Charles Bukowski: Factotum
  • Benny Lewis: Fluent in 3 Months
  • Paco Ignacio Taibo II: Some Clouds: A Hector Belascoaran Shayne Detective Novel
  • Charles Bukowski: Women
  • Aldous Huxley: Brave New World Revisited
  • NoViolet Bulawayo: We Need New Names
  • Alex MacCaw: The Little Book on CoffeeScript
  • Ernest Cline: Ready Player One
  • Andreas Altmann: Der Preis der Leichtigkeit : eine Reise durch Thailand, Kambodscha und Vietnam
  • Charles Bukowski: Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame
  • อีสป: ราคานิทานอีสป2ภาษา อินทรีกับชาวนา
  • Marco Ferrarese: Nazi Goreng
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Who Fears Death
  • Nick Wilgus: Mindfulness and Murder: A Father Ananda Mystery
  • Vikas Swarup: Six Suspects
  • Haruki Murakami: Norwegian Wood
  • Shamini Flint: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder
  • D.D. Johnston: Peace, Love & Petrol Bombs
  • Mohsin Hamid: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia
  • Rodolfo Pardi: The most important Chess Pattern – Critical Squares
  • Dan Kennedy: Loser Goes First: My Thirty-Something Years of Dumb Luck and Minor Humiliation
  • Junot Díaz: This Is How You Lose Her
  • David Sedaris: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
  • รัชนี ศรีไพรวรรณ: หนังสือเรียนภาษาไทย
  • Ali Almossawi: An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments
  • Avdi Grimm: Confident Ruby
  • Terry Pratchett: Unseen Academicals
  • Ioan Grillo: El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency
  • Mikel Santiago: Historia de un crimen perfecto
  • Charles Bukowski: Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
  • Johnny Cash: Cash
  • Marc-Uwe Kling: Die Känguru-Chroniken: Ansichten eines vorlauten Beuteltiers
  • Barend Jan Terwiel: Thailand’s Political History: From the 13th century to recent times
  • John Siracusa: OS X 10.10 Yosemite: The Ars Technica Review
  • Marc-Uwe Kling: Das Känguru-Manifest
  • Marc-Uwe Kling: Die Känguru-Offenbarung
  • Namita Gokhale: The Book of Shiva
  • Julia Alvarez: In the Time of the Butterflies
  • Peter F. Hamilton: If at First…
  • Simon St. Laurent: Introducing Elixir: Getting Started in Functional Programming
    1. David Eisenberg: Études for Elixir
  • Anthony Grey: Saigon: An Epic Novel of Vietnam


  • Scott Snyder: American Vampire, Vol. 2
  • Jeff Lemire: Sweet Tooth, Vol. 1: Out of the Deep Woods
  • Jeff Lemire: Sweet Tooth, Vol. 2: In Captivity
  • Jeff Lemire: Sweet Tooth, Vol. 3: Animal Armies
  • Jeff Lemire: Sweet Tooth, Vol. 4: Endangered Species
  • Jeff Lemire: Sweet Tooth, Vol. 5: Unnatural Habitats
  • Jeff Lemire: Sweet Tooth, Vol. 6: Wild Game
  • Jason: I Killed Adolf Hitler
  • Fábio Moon: Daytripper
  • David Mazzucchelli: Asterios Polyp
  • Brian K. Vaughan: Saga, Volume 3 (Saga #13-18)
  • Fujiko F. Fujio: DORAEMON Vol.4
  • Ed Brubaker: Deadenders
  • Matt Fraction: Sex Criminals, Vol. 1: One Weird Trick
  • Scott Snyder: American Vampire, Vol. 3
  • Neil Gaiman: Marvel 1602
  • Ales Kot: Zero, Vol. 1 An Emergency
  • Fujiko F. Fujio: DORAEMON Vol.5
  • Jeph Loeb: Spider-Man: Blue
  • Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 1
  • Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 2
  • Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 3
  • Jonathan Hickman: The Manhattan Projects, Vol. 1: Science, Bad
  • Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 4
  • Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 5
  • Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 6
  • Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 7
  • Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 8
  • Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 9
  • Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 10
  • Hugh Howey: Wool: The Graphic Novel
  • Joe Sacco: Palestine
  • Ales Kot: Zero, Vol. 2: At the Heart of It All
  • Mike Richardson: Crimson Empire, Volume 2: Council of Blood
  • Brian K. Vaughan: Saga, Volume 4

Information Overload 2013-12-14

I know, I usually publish the Information Overload on Sundays, but my schedule has become so irregular…

Information Overload 2014-10-05

Information Overload 2014-09-28

Information Overload 2014-09-21

After an almost 2 year hiatus, it’s time to revive this series, although I’m not yet sure if it’s going to be weekly again.

Re-kindling My Love Affair With the Kindle Fire

When I originally bought my Kindle Fire HD 7”, I was madly in love with it. However, after the initial euphoria was over, I got very annoyed with the dumbed down user interface and the limited availability of apps in Amazon’s app store.

So yesterday morning I finally set aside around 2 hours to do the following:

All in all the process went pretty smoothly and I now I have a mostly uncrippled Android tablet. There are some small glitches, but they are certainly less annoying than having a very limited device. At first I couldn’t get the Kindle app to run (it’s a modified version that’s pretty tied to the Fire’s native launcher), but after a bit of fiddling around it’s now working. Some people also opt for not selecting any launcher as default action for the home button, so they can easily switch between the Kindle experience and a more tablet like launcher.

If you own a Kindle Fire that you don’t use much maybe you should give rooting a try, it may re-kindle your interest in the device.

VCR Case Woes

Today I spent quite some time on a rather hard to track down problem. I had some specs using VCR, which worked perfectly locally, but just wouldn’t run on CircleCI. In fact, it seemed like CircleCI didn’t in fact use the VCR cassettes at all, but instead make a real API call, which failed because the necessary credentials weren’t available in the environment (which was kinda the point of using VCR in the first place).

Turns out the problem lay in the combination of using the VCR setting configure_rspec_metadata! and the option core.ignorecase = true, which is standard in newer versions of Git. What happened was that at one point I changed the case of a word in a test description, which changes the auto-generated name of the folder VCR will create the cassette in. But since the folder name wasn’t changed from git’s perspective, I never realized that. So when the code was checked out on CircleCI, VCR encountered the spec with the metadata (vcr: true), but couldn’t find the cassette since the checked out folder had the wrong case. It therefore proceeded to run the spec against the live API which failed.

All in all this cost me about 1.5 hours, and I only managed to find a solution thanks to a helpful colleague and CircleCI’s option of letting you SSH into the machine the tests run on, which is how we discovered the second folder that was created.

TIL that git’s not case-sensitive. I’d rather have found out another way.

2013 Reading List

Same post as every year, here are the book I read last year. However, this time around there are several novelties: first off, my Spanish got good enough to actually read books, so there are 3 languages now (English, German, Spanish). Also my Kindle Fire allowed me to get back into comics, so I (re-)read a lot of the classics and great stuff I missed out on over the years. Last but not least this is also the year where I started listening to audiobooks, mostly because they are really practical on long bus journeys because they keep you occupied but you can still enjoy the landscape.

The links are affiliate links by the way, I have to finance my reading habit somehow ;–)