Writing is Magic

I find, more often than not, that I understand something much less well when I sit down to write about it than when I’m thinking about it in the shower. In fact, I find that I change my own mind on things a lot when I try write them down. It really is a powerful tool for finding clarity in your own mind. Once you have clarity in your own mind, you’re much more able to explain it to others. »

JetBrains has left Russia

While it has been a very challenging and difficult time for the company, it cannot even remotely be compared with the horrendous situation that the people of Ukraine are facing on a daily basis, caused by the war. Once again, we condemn this aggression, and have and will continue to stand by the people of Ukraine, including our colleagues and their families.  More here. I’m using JetBrains products when I’m not in (neo)vim. »

The Making of Dune II

Despite its name suggesting otherwise, Dune II was a first – a real-time strategy game that sprang out of the box with almost every gameplay attribute and control system seen in every RTS since. In direct lineage, it was the father of the globally successful Command & Conquer franchise, in that its code was used as a basis of the first game of the series. Yet in terms of wider influence, the battles first fought out on the vibrant sands of Arrakis continue to echo through modern videogaming. »

My Top 7 New Features in .NET 7

The other day we did a .NET 7 Spotlight event at this month’s DevRomagna meetup. The speakers were Ugo Lattanzi and me. In my session, I chose to talk about my top 7 new features in .NET 7 (pun intended.) What follows is a mix of my preparation notes and what I ended up really saying1. 1. Performance Since the initial release of “new dotnet” (.NET Core), performance has always been a critical goal for the . »

My Music in 2022 according to Spotify

Wrapped by Spotify, the 2022 edition just landed in my mailbox. This year I listened to twenty-four different genres. My favorite was Indie Jazz, followed by Hip Hop, Jazz, Electronica and Rock. I am a little puzzled about that Hip Hop in second place. In total, I spent 14143 minutes listening to music, 80 percent more than other listeners in Italy did. My favorite track was Fear Of The Dawn by Jack White, followed by The Beginning by Native Soul, Sorcery by The Toxic Avenger, Spirals by Django Django, and Boy From Michigan by John Grant. »

I am on Mastodon and I love it

Marcus Hutchins on Mastodon: What I missed about Mastodon was its very different culture. Ad-driven social media platforms are willing to tolerate monumental volumes of abusive users. They’ve discovered the same thing the Mainstream Media did: negative emotions grip people’s attention harder than positive ones. Hate and fear drives engagement, and engagement drives ad impressions. More here. I have been on Mastodon for a few weeks now, and wow, what a breath of fresh air. »

Book Review: Mašen'ka

Masen’ka (or Mary) is Nabokov’s debut novel. It was written when he was in his twenties, living as an émigré in Berlin, just like the story’s protagonist. In the introduction of my Italian edition (Adelphi), the author admits that some life events poured into the narration. The depiction of Ganin’s life in a pension filled with fellow Russian ex-pats, and the relationships between them, is undoubtedly reminiscent of Nabokov’s own experience. »

The Origins of Python

Yesterday the creator of the Python language, Guido van Rossum, tweeted about The Origins of Python, an essay by his mentor, Lambert Meertens. “On Sunday, June 21, 1970, in an office building on Great Portland Street in London, a teletype sprang to life. Under the heading “HAPPY FAMILIES,” the machine rattled out a sequence of English sentences, such as “THE DOG SITS ON THE BABY” and “UNCLE TED PLAYS WITH SISTER. »

Book Review: The Crow Comes Last

The Crow Comes Last is a collection of thirty short stories written between 1945 and 1948, primarily based on the author’s wartime experiences as a resistance fighter during WWII and then in postwar Italy. Some are brutal, others funny, and some are gritty. They all revolve around the themes he perfectly defined while talking about his book: I prefer to divide the subject into three parts, to highlight three thematic lines of my work from those years. »

Castle Rock Climb in Antarctica

There’s regular hiking, and then there’s Antarctica hiking. Check out brr’s report of a Sunday’s hike from McMurdo’s base up to the tip of Castle Rock, with spectacular views of Mount Erebus and the surroundings. brr’s Antarticta blog is a recent addition to my RSS feed collection. It’s always interesting to follow people living and working in the most remote parts of the world. Subscribe to the newsletter, the RSS feed, or follow @nicolaiarocci on Twitter »

Eve 2.0.4 released

I just released Eve 2.0.4, the REST API framework for #python. It’s available on PyPI and includes a relevant security fix so you might want to update ASAP. Package info Docs Subscribe to the newsletter, the RSS feed, or follow @nicolaiarocci on Twitter »

Book Review: Ravenna

Nerdy prelude. Local Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) were all the range when I was a teenager. With my group of local hackers, we hacked our way into ITAPAC, the then-leading Italian packet-switching network (we are talking pre-Internet era here.) Via ITAPAC, we’d connect to so-called “out-dial systems” in the USA. From one of those, we’d finally call our target BBSes with a local call at no cost. We felt so invincible! »

Welcome to hell, Elon

As someone who’s been on board with Twitter since 2009, I have to admit that I’m very concerned with recent developments. I admire and respect Elon Musk for his companies’ achievements, especially in space and electric movement industries, but the man himself, holy cow, what a drag. On The Verge, Nilay Patel’s brutal piece on the recent Twitter acquisition is chock-full of brilliant insights on what it takes to run a modern commercial social service. »

Brazilian Ju-Jitsu and me

I attended my first BJJ class a little more than a month ago. Going into it, I was hesitant. After many years doing what most people today call calisthenics, I wanted to try something new and challenging. But would it be appropriate for me to get into martial arts at the age of fifty-two? When I discovered that we have a branch of the renowned Roger Gracie Academy here in my hometown, I thought it was time to find out. »

Author image Nicola Iarocci on #til, #bjj,

A lot of what is known about pirates is not true

In 1701, in Middletown, New Jersey, Moses Butterworth languished in a jail, accused of piracy. Like many young men based in England or her colonies, he had joined a crew that sailed the Indian Ocean intent on plundering ships of the Muslim Mughal Empire. Throughout the 1690s, these pirates marauded vessels laden with gold, jewels, silk, and calico on pilgrimage toward Mecca. After achieving great success, many of these men sailed back into the Atlantic via Madagascar to the North American seaboard, where they quietly disembarked in Charleston, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York City, Newport, and Boston, and made themselves at home. »

Motorcycling the Foreste Casentinesi National Park

Last Saturday I went on a motorcycle trip with my club. We had about forty motorcycles, many coming from afar—a tremendous turnout considering how advanced the season is. This event was particularly involving for me, as my local group was in charge of the organization. We were going to visit the Foreste Casentinesi National Park, which isn’t far from our hometown. We know those roads and their surroundings well; we call them home, yet I insisted on scouting the planned route not once but twice, and I think it was crucial to the event’s success. »

How to avoid unwanted calls on iPhone

Oh, joy. After many years with an iPhone, today I learned how to stop spam calls with a single, not-really-super-secret move. Settings > Phone > Silence Unknown Callers That’s it. Unknown callers now go straight to my recent calls list for me to (eventually) review. Most importantly, the phone doesn’t ring. I initially had True Caller installed and enabled, which worked for a while. Spammers use throw-away numbers anyway, so it’s super-hard for tools like that to keep track. »

My session at WPC 2022

Yesterday I was at WPC 2022, “the most important Italian conference on Microsoft technologies”, where I presented a one-hour session titled “Reliable end-to-end testing for modern web apps with Microsoft Playwright.” Attendance was great and there was a lot of excitement up in the air; it was evident that people were happy to meet and interact in person again. After the forced two years hiatus, it was great to be back at a big on-site conference, let alone speak at it. »

The high cost of living your life online

Studies have found that high levels of social media use are connected with an increased risk of symptoms of anxiety and depression. There appears to be substantial evidence connecting people’s mental health and their online habits. Furthermore, many psychologists believe people may be dealing with psychological effects that are pervasive but not always obvious. More here. Subscribe to the newsletter, the RSS feed, or follow @nicolaiarocci on Twitter »


Ben Werdmuller has a terrific post up on his website. His “tortured” analogy of the web and governments as platforms for people to build upon is fascinating. I believe strongly in the indieweb principles of distributed ownership, control, and independence. For me, the important thing is that this is how we get to a diverse web. A web where everyone can define not just what they write but how they present is by definition far more expressive, diverse, and interesting than one where most online content and identities must be squished into templates created by a handful of companies based on their financial needs. »