Alvin Alexander | Java, Scala, Unix, Perl, Mac OS X

As a quick note, I often have a problem where the Messages app on MacOS (formerly Mac OS X) won’t update to receive new messages. By this I mean that I receive messages on my iPhone, but then when I go to my Mac and open the Messages app, my new text messages either never get there, or it takes a long time for them to show up in the Messages app.

“I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.”

~ Albert Einstein

“Async is not about performance – it’s about scalability.”

From this tweet by Viktor Klang, Lightbend

“Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried.”

~ Tim O’Reilly

As a quick note, this is a list of the IntelliJ IDEA keystrokes I use on my MacOS systems:

The slides from Jonas Bonér’s talk, “From Microliths To Microsystems,” are now online at

From Microliths To Microsystems

From this interview with former Apple retail head Ron Johnson:

“I remember the day I came in and told Steve (Jobs) about the Genius Bar idea and he says, ‘That’s so idiotic! It’ll never work!’” Johnson said. “He said, ‘Ron, you might have the right idea, but here’s the big gap: I’ve never met someone who knows technology who knows how to connect with people. They’re all geeks! You can call it the Geek Bar.’”

It’s important to remember that even when successful people say things, they’re often just opinions, not facts. Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz once told Jeff Bezos of Amazon, “You have no physical presence. That is going to hold you back.” The reality was that not having a physical presence at that time is what propelled Amazon forward.

The Dalai Lama offers advice on how to start your mornings:

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

I can especially dig the, “today I am fortunate to be alive” part.

Here’s a good list of well-known and under-the-radar restaurants in Boulder, Colorado.

And if you don’t know Boulder, here’s one quote from the article: “Boulder is one of America’s ‘Foodiest’ towns with a roster of hot eateries. A February New York Times feature noted that ‘among foodies, it is also known as the place where new companies are challenging the old guard in the food business.’”

March 4, 2017: I’m glad to say that I’ve found a good way to write the end of my book on Scala and functional programming, and I’m writing as fast as I can to get that completed. Unfortunately the bad news is that I started getting sick again this week (pre-syncope and syncope (passing out)), and it’s been slow going because of that. But if I can stay alive, I’m finally happy with how this book is working out.

I can’t sleep tonight, so I’ll tell a story. I think I was 18 when this happened, maybe 19.

I ask my dad to let me borrow his car, he says yes, and I drive to a party with a friend of mine. The party is fun until my friend gets in a fight, punches his hand through a window, and cuts a big gash in his forearm. At one point I see his forearm and there’s a chunk of it that’s completely gone, and I can see the bone in his arm; it’s pretty bad.

“Wrong eyes.”

(What I told myself during a lucid dream last night. I was flying, things got dark as I flew higher, so I thought “Open your eyes,” only to find myself staring at the bedroom ceiling while still dreaming.)

The Android Developer’s Blog has a good article on how to optimize various memory attributes of Android applications, titled, Getting Santa Tracker Into Shape. A nice thing about their project is that they make their source code available on Github.

An Android blog post about optimizing memory-related issues

On Twitter this morning I saw this post by Pablo Fco. Pérez where he compared some Bash commands to Scala. In particular he noted that this awk command:

awk '{print $1}'

is equivalent to:

map(_.split(" ").head)

While doing some crazy things with SARAH, I realized that the best way to solve a particular problem was to use remote Akka actors. I haven’t had the opportunity to work with Akka much since finishing the Scala Cookbook, so I dug around trying to find a simple Akka remote “Hello, world” example. Unable to find a good one, I read some stuff, and created it myself.

Apparently today is Rare Disease Day, so in honor of that, here’s this image.

To give you an idea of how rare Mast Cell Activation Disease is, there is a support group on Facebook, and it has only 2,200 members. That’s out of one billion people that use Facebook.

Happy Rare Disease Day

Got to spend my afternoon at The University of Colorado Hospital. Glad to see they are well rated.

The University of Colorado Hospital