Or, in English, Finished (again)

I finished the Duolingo Scottish Gaelic course today. I’d finished it once before, when the shorter version of the course was first available, but this feels like much more of an achievement.

I think it’s one of the better Duolingo courses. The sentences are frequently entertaining, and that helps to make them memorable. Language courses can often feel a bit po-faced and worthy, but this course gives the impression of having been written by people who enjoy their language and want to spread that joy.

The audio recordings are pretty bad, though. They lack the professional recording environment you get on other courses, and often sound like they’ve been recorded at home on a mobile phone. That sometimes makes them a bit hard to understand, but it’s better than nothing. It might even be helpful in training your ear, despite the annoyance, I suppose.

On Monday, I had a third covid vaccine. Pfizer this time. My upper arm was a bit sore for a couple of days. It’s fine. I’m even less bothered about covid now than I was before. I don’t care about any omicron variant, I just want things to go back to normal, even though we’ll never again experience the mental freedom of living without the knowledge that the government might make it illegal to sit on a park bench at a moment’s notice.

I spent quite a bit of time on my days off this week working on a couple of my Ruby gems. I wrote htmlbeautifier, an autoformatter for HTML with embedded Ruby, about 14 years ago, and although I hardly use it myself, it seems that it still has plenty of users. I integrated a couple of pull requests that fixed some bugs and added a linting feature, and pushed out a new version for the first time since 2017.

I updated the country matching code in my uk_postcode postcode parsing gem, based on the latest ONS data, and released a new version.

It was a blast from the past to see my name come up in Terence Eden’s post about downloading 1080p streams from iPlayer.

A decade on, attempting to restrict video downloads seems no less futile than it did back then.