Welcome

I am a technical communicator with a love of explaining technical concepts in documentation, blog posts, videos, books and more.

I currently work for Chronosphere and have a small technical writing agency called Gregarious Mammal.

I am a podcaster, video maker, writer of interactive fiction, and games. This website is a home for all my blog posts, podcasts, newsletters and creative projects.

Need advice for your documentation project? Sign up for my office hours.

Monitor everything with Robin Schumacher of Netdata

Monitor everything with Robin Schumacher of Netdata

Netdata helps you troubleshoot slowdowns and anomalies in your infrastructure with thousands of per-second metrics, meaningful visualizations, and insightful health alarms with zero configuration. Observability is a busy space, how do they compare? I speak with Robin Schumacher to find out.

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Hands on - Streamline docker images with dockerslim

Dockerslim claims to increase the performance and security of docker images with no effort on your part. How realistic is the claim? I take a look.

Chinchilla Squeaks - Real-Time Analytics with Venkat Venkataramani of Rockset,

Rockset promises The real-time indexing database for modern data applications. How doe sit compare to the competition? I speak with Venkat Venkataramani to find out.

Chinchilla Squeaks - Full Stack Automation with HashiCorp

Many of us in software development know of, and have used HashiCorp projects. How do they stay innovative in a rapidly changing ecosystem? I speak with Ray (Consul) and Chang (Nomad) to find out more.

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Hands on - MacOS productivity revisited with raycast

I looked at raycast a few months ago and the product and community has developed so much since I thought it was time to see what’s new.

Chinchilla Squeaks - Application-aware Networking with Varun Talwar from Tetrate

Created by Istio founders, Tetrate Service Bridge is the only edge-to-workload application connectivity platform that provides enterprises with a consistent, unified way to connect and secure services across an entire mesh-managed environment.

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Hands on - Build and share data-based apps with Streamlit

Streamlit turns data scripts into shareable web apps in minutes. All in Python. All for free. No front‑end experience required. Too good to be true? I take a look!

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The Solo Adventurer - High class thievery with The Estate of Baron Archambaud

The Estate of Baron Archambaud, an Ingrate is a self-contained, single-player card adventure in which players use a deck of standard playing cards to explore the Baron’s estate and retrieve an heirloom from his vault.

An Introduction to PromQL

For metrics stored within Prometheus, the Prometheus Querying Language (PromQL) is the main way to query and retrieve the results you are looking for. Chronosphere supports querying metrics data using PromQL and Graphite functions, but as PromQL is the most popular option we see customers use. PromQL has some differences to other query languages you might have used. Here is an overview guide to get you started.

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Hands on - Open Source Note Taking with Joplin

I love note taking applications… How does Joplin compare to the myriad options now available, and does open source hinder or help its usability? I take it for a spin and see.

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The Solo Adventurer - Escaping from the Underground with The Buried

The Buried is a Wretched and Alone game, based on the SRD by Chris Bissette. In this solo journaling game it begins with you trapped underground, and you will struggle to make it out alive.

Chinchilla Squeaks - Monitor everything with Netdata

Netdata helps you troubleshoot slowdowns and anomalies in your infrastructure with thousands of per-second metrics, meaningful visualizations, and insightful health alarms with zero configuration. Observability is a busy space, how do they compare? I speak with Robin Schumacher to find out.

Percona and the future of data with Matt Yonkovit

Percona and the future of data with Matt Yonkovit

I speak with Percona’s Chief Experience Officer to discuss their recent Percona live event, the future of data and how we store and collaborate with it, and what open source means to the company.

KubeCon EU 2021 - Observability and Interoperability take center stage

As many large-scale events start to feel they’re close to “getting back to normal,” this year’s KubeCon EU was the second online, and while it lacked any large announcements, there was plenty of consolidation and maturing of concepts.

Chinchilla Squeaks - Modern Application Connectivity with Solo.io

I have Idit Levine back on the show to discuss how solo.io use Istio and Envoy Proxy to provide API Infrastructure from the Edge to Service Mesh.

Recommendations and Newsletters

I currently curate 4 newsletters on Ethics (mostly in technology), gaming, Language and Linguistics, see my latest recommendations and join those newsletters below.

The Chinchilla Squeaks Newsletter

My general newsletter "Chinchilla Squeaks" draws content from all these sources and a couple more, sign up to that below.

Latest ethics posts

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Newsletter coming soon, for now enjoy the posts below.

In 2020, as the co-lead of Google’s ethical AI team, Gebru had reached out to Emily Bender, a linguistics professor at the University of Washington, and asked to collaborate on research about the troubling direction of artificial intelligence.
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A trail of clues helped police close in on a dangerous predator. Now, a battle over the future of end-to-end encryption could change the rules of engagement
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In December 2019, Utah startup Latitude launched a pioneering online game called AI Dungeon that demonstrated a new form of human-machine collaboration.
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The world is designed against the elderly, writes Don Norman, 83-year-old author of the industry bible Design of Everyday Things and a former Apple VP.
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These sort of adverts, almost eerie in how relevant they are to users' interests, are now a common part of our experience of using apps and the web. But with the new release of iOS 14.
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Latest language posts

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Newsletter coming soon, for now enjoy the posts below.

Microsoft is integrating AI technologies with its PowerFx low-code programming language. This integration will enable customers to use natural-language input and "programming by example" techniques when developing with PowerApps.
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GPT-3 has captured the public’s imagination unlike any AI since DeepMind’s AlphaGo or IBM’s chess-­playing DeepBlue.
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In his early days of writing, famed fantasy and Appendix N writer Michael Moorcock was a disciple of Lester Dent's Master Plot.
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The Guardian’s style guide was originally published in 1928 as a physical book, and is available to everyone on our website. Over time, it’s grown bigger and more complex, containing guidelines on important topics that we want to get right.
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Latest gaming posts

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Newsletter coming soon, for now enjoy the posts below.

It’s a world filled with Pokémon card grading fun – and tons and tons of abuse
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Becky Esteness was fed up. She was at a local wargaming convention, where enthusiasts schlep their pewter armies to beige conference halls for a long, meditative weekend of stone cold tactics, and Esteness couldn't wait to get her orders out. She's been a hobbyist wargamer for decades.
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I am probably late to the party on this, but just this past week I discovered the game Spire: The City Must Fall. It looked absolutely fascinating, so I threw myself into it and read the entire book cover to cover, and now I have thoughts about it.
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In 2015 I shared my Universal NPC Roleplaying Template, which is designed to structure the description of NPCs so that they can be quickly picked up and played at the table while simplifying the prep you do for them. More bang for your buck, in other words.
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When game developer Matt Leacock released his best-selling board game Pandemic, he didn't expect that twelve years later people would be using it to help them process an actual pandemic sweeping the world.
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