Charlton's Blog

Status Update

Bringing in 2022. Happy New Year!

Published: Jan 1, 2022
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What This Is

This section contains a number of subheadings where I can archive and organize the various things I’m studying/working on from a month-to-month basis. It’s essentially a long list of tersely formatted status updates that I collect and maintain along with some commentary.



  • The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement - Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt (9780884271956) (in p.). Truly excellent.

  • Programming Ruby 1.9 & 2.0 - Dave Thomas & Chad Fowler, Andy Hunt. (9781937785499) (in p.)

  • Agile Application Security, 1st Edition - Laura Bell, Michael Brunton-Spall, Rich Smith, Jim Bird. (9781491938843) (in p.)

  • Threat Modeling - Izar Tarandach, Matthew J. Coles. (9781492056522) (in p.)

  • All You Need To Know About The Music Business, 10th ed. - Donald S. Passman (9781501122187) (in p.)

  • The Drops of God - Shin Kibayashi, Shuu Okimoto (whose premise is admittedly somewhat absurd, yet it hooked me) (in p.)


  • Benji Weber - Cost of Attrition - Great post on the true, hidden costs of team attrition within an organization.

  • Moxie Marlinspike - My First Impressions of Web3 - I deeply respect Moxie’s take. Not only because I personally feel that anything blockchain/“web3”-related is essentially bullshit, but also because he did a thorough, impartial, technical assessment of the underlying stack from first principles.

  • Stephen Diehl - The Case Against Crypto - Another great contrary take on the cryptocurrency hype. Very articulate, with a strong focus on viability from an economics perspective that’s backed by historical evidence.

  • Computers Are Bad - Coaxial Goes to War - I’m a sucker for anything and everything related to telephones and their history.

  • Signal Blog - How to build large-scale end-to-end encrypted group video calls - Really excellent dive into Signal’s backeng WebRTC protocol implementation, and how considerations regarding encryption, performance, and scale guided its design.

  • Piotr Kołaczkowski - How a Single Line of Code Made a 24-core Server Slower Than a Laptop - Deep dive into a performance bug hunt. Think you’ve avoided contention in your code? Are those operations really atomic? Turns out there’s more to the story: we must peer into the CPU cache heirarchy to discover the truth.

  • Computers Are Bad - Key Systems - Everything you wanted to know about early small-scale telephony systems.

  • - Amish Hackers - Insightful article about the Amish and their relationship to adopting new technologies. The Amish’s conservative approach is based in a principled consideration of its role and impact on both their community and way of life. The subject specially resonates with my own techno-skepticism as well as my heritage: my mother grew up in a Mennonite family of farmers, and many of my relatives are Amish or Mennonite.

  • WebTV Secrets - Obsessed with the obscure as I am, there are some incredibly interesting pieces of research on the Web TV platform to check out here.

  • Computers Are Bad - No U PnP - A look into the complicated history of UPNP, DLNA, and the evolution of consumer zero-configuration networking protocols (along with their warts). Fascinatingly, this article weaves the story of these historic technical standards alongside the evolution of early 00s consumer needs which helped (or hindered) their adoption.

  • Computers Are Bad - The Smart Modem - Did you know that your smartphone’s cellular tech has a complex lineage, dating all the way back to the first commercially available consumer-grade dial-up modem? Learn about all this and more.


Completionist that I am, I’m in the process of consolidating past works from my portfolio, gists, GitHub repositories, and unreleased projects into their own posts on this site. My disillusionment with Medium over several years led to a bit of a memory hole gap in documentation…

I decided to dip my toe back into Twitter again. That may or may not stick around (for now it looks like it kind of sucks). Compared to my own blog, it feels as though I’m projecting my thoughts through a straw whilst living inside a gross sardine can.


Squeak Records: a small, independent record label/media company based in St. Petersburg, Florida. We are currently enjoying a fast, debt-free bootstrapping process. Stay tuned! 🐭

Squeak’s first artists are called Big Huge Giant, who are very close friends of mine and extraordinarily talented musicians. Sometime in February, we’ll have the honor of launching their project as part of the label’s inaugural live show.


The first artists I listened to in 2022 were Steely Dan, Death Grips, Source Direct, and Peshay.





  • Still all over Ruby.

  • This new blog’s more or less complete! I’m really pleased with how the theme has turned out.

  • I am considering writing a small interpreter for a limited subset of batchfile commands when I revisit this book. My goal would be to resurrect an old BBS project I wrote many years ago.

  • I am super into exciting new static code analysis tools that have been released in recent years. In my view, these represent a critical piece of the future of AppSec! Check out CodeQL and Semgrep.

  • Turns out that exiftool doesn’t support writing EXIF output to webp images. Lame! I use ImageMagick to convert my photos to webp for this site, but this process clobbers EXIF data. It’s worth the massive reduction in file sizes, though, and you can still access the original images by changing the extension to .JPG.

  • I have been absolutely floored by Tailscale and am a recent convert to the service. More details to follow soon.


  • Drums (my main instrument) - Focused on further developing snare & ride triplet techniques.
  • Bass Guitar (just started learning!)