Month: September 2020


Using supplemental oxygen for high altitude climbs is common. I’ve even seen people use mini oxygen tanks on Mt Fuji. While it’s highly unlikely you’d need extra oxygen around that altitude (unless you go there with absolutely no training and the lung capacity of a goldfish), it can keep people alive and let them succeed above 8000m.

I don’t know who came up with the idea that climbing without supplemental oxygen is the only “fair means” to reach a summit (maybe Messner?), but I beg to differ. It is definitely a bigger achievement but that does not make using it cheating or doping.

The algorithms

Honing your skills on CodeWars or HackerRank is definitely a good idea. I’ve myself spent months on the former and some time on the latter, and right there is a display of my issue with them: I lose interest. At first it’s really nice to tackle a bunch of “interesting” problems and feel successful, but as the difficulty of the problems goes up, it soon turns into “how do I get around the shortcomings of the language I use?”

That’s naturally something worth considering, but it just feels so weird when I have to overcome performance tests aimed at C in Ruby (or Clojure). It’s doable (most of the time), but it’s a whole different kind of measure. I recall a problem for which solutions in C were mostly pretty naive loops while something similar in Ruby would fail even the first few load tests.

Counting the milliseconds

I’ve been building a Netty-based web server in Clojure. While I haven’t had the strength to do much with it these past few months because I prioritized the climbing season, now that Hacktoberfest is incoming I’m planning to go pedal to the metal with it (and with my git GUI work-in-progress).

I’m building iny (named after a fox from Fekete Istvan’s Vuk) with the clear goal to replace Aleph. While I’m a huge fan of Aleph and the libraries around it (like Manifold) it’s no longer maintained, which is simply not acceptable when we’re now looking at http/3 coming out sooner than later (support is already in browsers after all).

The mighty sword

Mt Tate is a pretty famous tourist destination. Sure with the coronavirus going on it’s only dedicated people (like me) there, but usually the place is buzzing with tourists to the point you’re more likely to hear Chinese than Japanese. Now it was quiet though. And unlike the last time, now my destination wasn’t Mt Tate itself.

I went to climb Mt Tsurugi (“sword”), a mountain that’s considered maybe the most technically difficult of the 100 famous Japanese mountains. The reason is that it’s a steep, rocky mountain where the “trail” often turns into climbing straight up a rock face (with the aid of chains). To make it even more exciting, the weather was bad too.