‘Gung Gung, can we go on the swing?’

It was a bright summer morning, at about seven. I was six years of age. Nothing had captivated me quite like the brightly coloured swing that hung from an old tree in the backyard; its seat was a brilliant red, and its fastener a happy yellow. My grandfather came by in his farmer’s hat and plaid pyjamas, smelling strongly of white flower oil, and whisked me outside to the swing.

‘Keep pushing, Gung Gung!’ I screeched with delight as the swing was pushed to and fro, the wooden fenced-in awning to my…


Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

My day job is all about automating processes and workflows so that software can be released to customers efficiently and seamlessly. One of these automations involves processing software download logs between Amazon S3 and an FTP location utilising a server-less computing platform, AWS Lambda.

  1. Wait for download log to be received in Amazon S3 bucket
  2. Download the download log to /tmp in Lambda, and compress the log
  3. Upload the compressed log to FTP location
  4. Sync the log in the S3 bucket to a mirrored S3 bucket

Lambda has a few limitations in-place, one of which is a 15-minute execution time…


Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash

‘How is life?’
‘Busy.’

Busy. A word used as a badge of honour and identity, in achievement-obsessed America in particular. Our culture is obsessed with ownership and prestige: work hard, play hard. If I work hard enough, we think, I’ll achieve respect and prestige. I can provide for my family and escape instability and pain. So, we work long hours, foregoing holidays and weekends to give ourselves a sense of worth and accomplishment.

I would consider myself a workaholic. From the minute I wake up, work is always at the forefront of my mind: how can I modify my code…


As [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

John 9:1–2

Disability throughout the ancient world, and to an extent today, was seen as a curse. You might have angered a deity, or done something inexplicably wrong to have incurred physical ailments. …


Most people my age — Millenials — wouldn’t have much of an interest meeting with people over their age-range. I didn’t think I’d be interested either. Except a certain person happens to attend my church. And is an entrepreneur and executive of a few successful startups.

I’d first met him in my men’s group. He sat across from me, taking in everything and making comments where appropriate. Due to responsibilities as an executive, he wasn’t able to attend many of the meetings, but the few times he did were filled with practical insight and revelation.

We’d lost contact for a…


Trees have rings. Each ring represents an era of a tree’s life. The strongest trees have had both seasons of drought and seasons of plenty.

What does it mean to live well?

Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon at Stanford, addresses this question in his book When Breath Becomes Air both as a doctor and as a patient. A couple of years into his residency, he was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer and died aged 37, almost two years after diagnosis.

Often we hope to die having accomplished or attained something in this life, whether it is a toned body, esteemed career, successful marriage, or a well-tempered asset column. Kalanithi wanted to make contributions in his field of neurosurgery as a scientist and a doctor. …


Source: thejournal.ie

I was born with multiple disabilities. It’s been quite an interesting journey, both literally and sarcastically. One gains a certain perspective and insight having dealt with the additional challenges on top of everyday challenges. Here are some things I’ve picked up along the way, in no order in particular.

  1. You find out who your friends are rather quickly. It’s a well-known fact that people tend to group toward others most like them — people with the least amount of upkeep and who take the least amount of effort to connect with. Being different means that I see through peoples’ motives…


Source: rs-guide.com

I’d played RuneScape back in secondary school from 2005–2009, left for a while, and returned at the beginning of this year. Playing the game brings with it nostalgia, and it was in fact RuneScape that had introduced me to the field of computer science. Back in the day, RuneScape was run as a Java applet that required a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to run. (Java is compiled bytecode, so it needs a JVM to translate to machine code to be run on the machine.)

RuneScape was built when 256 kbps modems were common, and computers were about as powerful as…

Gary Duong

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