I went to give blood, for the 37th time. They’ve got new finger stab devices (I’m sure there’s a proper name) for the iron level tests, and they’re a definite improvement over the old ones. You still get stabbed, but the new ones leave less bruising. A few hours later, I couldn’t even tell it had happened. The old ones used to leave a mark for days.

My iron levels are still unambiguously good, by the way. That’s reassuring.

Another change this time was that they’ve finally (as of last Monday) removed the requirement for a “face covering” (sic), and it’s obviously an overwhelmingly popular change among both staff and donors. It was a bit of an odd rule: they didn’t care what you wore, as long as your nose and mouth weren’t visible. Except, of course, for all the times they were, because you spend a lot of the session drinking (both before and after donating) and eating (afterwards). Even on its stated terms it felt like a pointless ritual. I’m glad it’s gone. It’s much nicer without.

I hadn’t paid any attention to GitHub Copilot until this week, when I saw that they had announced that a) it’s now generally available, and b) they’re going to start charging for it.

But it’s free for maintainers of “popular open-source projects”. I wondered if having a fairly popular Ruby gem would count. I know that my htmlentities gem has been downloaded a lot, but I wasn’t prepared for how much. I thought maybe a few million. In fact, it had been downloaded just shy of one hundred million times, and was very close to hitting nine digits.

htmlentities ticked past 100,000,000 downloads on Friday.

It blows my mind. I originally wrote it seventeen years ago (the early versions were released on the now-defunct Ruby Application Archive in the pre-gem era) and it’s been feature-complete for half a decade. If I had a penny for every download, I’d be a millionaire.

I don’t, and I’m not.

I do, however, qualify for free access to Copilot, but I’m not sure for which project!

I gave Copilot a try. It even works in vim. Well, neovim, which is what I use, although I did have to upgrade to a newer version of neovim first.

It’s pretty impressive. Just the fact that it automatically completes trivial lines of code saves me a lot of typing and backspacing and fixing my typos. It’s also able to infer a surprising amount of information: it was able to generate the test code I intended to write for a new scenario based on context alone.

Some people are angry about the fact that the model is trained on open source code. Some people are concerned about whether the code generated will respect the licence of the training code. I’m less worried. In fact, I honestly don’t care. It wouldn’t surprise me if it ends up being banned somewhere like Germany, though.

I made rice pudding this evening. I hadn’t intended to make rice pudding, but a stray grain of desiccated rice had found its way into the rice cooker, separating the bowl from the sensor just enough to confuse the temperature sensors. I opened the lid to serve rice only to be greeted by a watery and part cooked mess.

I heated up some emergency microwaveable rice for dinner, but I didn’t want to waste the half cooked rice, so I made some mediaeval style rice pudding. I had to substitute oat milk for the authentic almond milk, and I used agave nectar in place of honey, but the spices were accurate: cloves, cinnamon, and saffron.

It was very nice. Culinary victory snatched from the jaws of defeat.

I traded one of my Pipistrelle Eurorack module kits for a kit based on Hagiwo’s oscilloscope and spectrum analyser design. I like the feeling of community. I’m looking forward to building it as soon as the required Arduino clone arrives.

I can kind of, haltingly, read Arabic script now, after a couple of weeks on Duolingo. Just the sounds, that is. I don’t understand much of what it says yet.