Python Best Practices

I always forget which tools are the latest and greatest to use when I’m setting up a new Python project. Alex Mitelman published a really helpful summary here:

Python Best Practices for a New Project in 2021

Control Chromecast From Linux / BSD / MacOS

$ export URL=""
$ playerctl -p My_Chromecast open "$URL"

This will play a song on the Chromecast.

Ok, that’s awesome. chromecast_mpris, by Alex DeLorenzo

Query Instance Metadata on Google Cloud

I needed my web server to dynamically find the database instance in my Google Cloud project. Yes, I could use DNS, or environment variables. Instead, I just wanted to look it up at runtime via a start script.

The only magic here was getting the format string correct.

gcloud compute instances list  --project nicks-project --filter="tags:db" \ 


Taking Better Meeting Notes

I usually take lots of notes during meetings, but they’re usually pretty random, and I almost never do anything with them. I’m not sure I’ll enact all of the ideas in Vasili’s note, but he has some really good recommendations for taking great notes, and actually doing something with them afterwards :)


No Script Is Too Simple

What must be done (“start the project”, “run the tests” etc.) won’t change. How it must be done (“yarn …”, “docker-compose …”) can change multiple time in a project’s lifespan. It’s a lot easier to update a single script than to propagate a new set of commands.


Note Taking by Hand

Computers and phones have become the go-to note-taking method for many. But your brain benefits from an old-fashioned pen and paper.