On The Go

Sun 14 August 2022 by Moshe Zadka

Now that travel is more realistic, I have started to optimize how well I can work on the go. I want to be able to carry as few things as possible, and have the best set-up possible.


Power Bank charging

The "center" of the mobile set-up is my Anker Power Bank. It serves two purposes:

  • It is my wall-plug charger.
  • It is my "mobile power": I can carry around 10k mAH of energy.

The charger has two USB-C slots and one USB-A slot.


M1 MacBook Air with stickers

For "compute", I have three devices:

  • M1 MacBook Air
  • Galaxy Samsung S9+ (I know it's a bit old)
  • FitBit Charge 4

The S9 is old enough that there is no case with a MagSafe compatible back. Instead, I got a MagSafe sticker that goes on the back of the case.

This allowed me to get a MagSafe Pop-Socket base. Sticking a Pop-Socket on top of it lets me hold the phone securely, and avoids it falling on my face at night.

Ear buds

For earbuds, I have the TOZO T10. They come in multiple colors!

The colors are not just an aesthetic choice. They also serve a purpose: I have a black one and a khaki one.

The black one is paired to my phone. The khaki one is paired to my laptop.

I can charge the TOZO cases with either the USB-C cable or the PowerWave charger, whichever is free.


Phone charging with a wireless MagSafe charger

In order to charge the M1 I have a USB-C "outtie"/USB-C "outtie" 3 foot wire. It's a bit short, but this also means it takes less space. The FitBit Charge comes with its own USB-A custom cable.

For wireless charging, I have the Anker PowerWave. It's MagSafe compatible, and can connect to any USB-C-compatible outlet.

The phone is only charged by the wireless charging. The USB-C input is wonky, and can be incompatible with humid climates.

I connected a Pop Socket to the back of the PowerWave charger. This means that while the phone is charging, I can still hold it securely.

Together, they give me a "wireless charging" battery. The PowerWave connects to the phone, and the Power Bank has plenty of energy to last for a while while not connecting to anything.

I cannot charge all devices at once. But I can charge all devices, and (almost) any three at once.


USB-C hub

The last device I have is an older version of the Anker 5-in-1 hub. This allows connecting USB Drives and HDMI connectors.


Power Bank charging

All of these things are carried in a Targus TSS912 case. The laptop goes inside the sleeve, while the other things all go in the side pocket.

The side pocket is small, but can fit all of the things above. Because of its size, it does get crowded. In order to find things easily, I keep all of these things in separate sub-pockets.

I keep the Power Bank, the MagSafe charger, and the USB-C/USB-C cable in the little pouch that comes with the Power Bank.

The hub and FitBit charging cable go into a ziplock bag. Those things see less use.

The earbud cases go into the pocket as-is. They are easy enough to dig out by rooting around.

I wanted a messenger-style case so that I can carry it while I have a backpack on. Whether I am carrying my work laptop (in the work backpack) or a travel backpack, this is a distinct advantage.

The case is small enough to be slipped inside another backpack. If I am carrying a backpack, and there's enough room, I can consolidate.


I chose this set up for options.

For example, if my phone is low on battery, I can connect the PowerWave to the bank, leave the bank in the side-bag's pocket, and and keep using the phone while it is charging, holding it with the PowerWave's pop-sockets.

If I am listening to a podcast while walking around, and notice that the ear bud's case is low on battery, I can connect the case to the bank while they are both in the side-bag's pocket.

When sitting down at a coffee shop or an office, I can connect the bank to the wall socket and charge any of my devices while sitting there. As a perk the bank is charging while I'm sitting down.

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Sun 20 February 2022 by Moshe Zadka

Popular products often have a "Getting Started" tutorial in order to guide you in using them for the first timees. Those guides are easy to follow, pleasant to use, and lead you do make bad design choices.

Follow the "Getting Started" guide to get a feel for the product. Then …

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One of my favorite Podcasts, Podcast.__init__, always makes sure to ask one question towards the end of every episode: when should you not use the tool or technique introduced in this episode? This is a great question. When people have a poor answer I assume that the tool is …

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Originally published on Enable Architect.

Modern computer systems supply business-critical services everywhere -- from Amazon providing shopping services to Healthcare.gov providing enrollment in health insurance plan. We all rely on such systems. But, unfortunately, these systems are complex and can fail in surprising ways.

By now, it is a well-understood …

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Empathy vs. sympathy for Site Reliability Engineers (SRE)

Thu 15 July 2021 by Moshe Zadka

This article was originally published on Enable Architect

Many people have had the insight that DevOps is about people. Often, they will summarize it as "DevOps is about empathy". I have found, however, that idealizing empathy is just as bad as thinking that DevOps is about a single technology.

I …

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With in-person conferences starting to open up, I need to clear the dust off of some skills that have not been used in a while. One of those is how to pack for travel.

This list works for me. It will probably not work for you as-is. Among other things …

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Post that PR

Wed 16 June 2021 by Moshe Zadka

Sometimes you will be working on hairy and complicated feature in a shared repository. Maybe it's for work. Maybe it's an open source project.

As a responsible person, you are working on a branch. The usual way of working involves a lot of "intermediate" check-ins. Those serve, if nothing else …

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Mon 05 April 2021 by Moshe Zadka

It is possible to work with Python quite a bit and not be aware of some of the subtler details of package management. Since Python is a popular “glue” language, one of its core strengths is integrating with libraries written in other languages: from database drivers written in C, numerical …

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So you want to create a universe

Thu 11 March 2021 by Moshe Zadka

A story about looking for a universe, and finding a pi(e)

This is fine. You need not feel shame. Many want to create a universe. But it is good you are being careful. A universe with sentient beings is a big moral responsibility.

It is good to start with …

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Virtual Buffet Line

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Many people have written about the logistical challenges of food in a conference. You trade off not just, as Chris points out, expensive food versus terrible food, but also the challenges of serving the food to everyone at once.

One natural method of crowd control is the buffet line. People …

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