James Foley

week in review 2023-49

Notes on the week

A stiff neck is no joke, something we learned the hard way this week. Elle pulled a muscle in her neck (after a sneeze) and for the past few days has been pretty much out of action. I was due to fly home but had to postpone until next week and she’s able to put on her own socks again.

Work announced the biggest deal in their corporate history. I’ve seen first hand the incredible effort gone into pulling this off and couldn’t be happier for, nor more proud of, those that dragged this into reality.

My new favourite thing to do to pass a few minutes is to create images using Dall-E. I find that the more detailed and descriptive the prompt you provide, the better the output image is. Instead of spending time coming up a prompt myself, I’ve taken to asking GPT to generate a prompt for Dall-E to create what I want, and then massaging that initial prompt into exactly what I want. Some of the results leave a lot to be desired, but some are delightful, like this Art Deco inspired desktop computer.

My workflow for this weekly notes section is built entirely on Obsidian. I understand that Obsidian isn’t the most approachable piece of software, but after a few tweaks and thanks to it’s incredible collection of community plugins I think I’ve settled on a setup that I love, and most importantly gets out of the way when it’s time to write. Paired with the excellent micro.publish plugin I have everything I need without ever context switching. The appearance is the AnuPpuccin Theme with a few tweaks to the workspace layout made in the Style Settings plugin

Google have released their Gemini Model that promises to meet or exceed the performance of OpenAI’s GPT-4. Most interesting from my point of view is the limitations of this model in Europe, it appears that a lot of the most powerful aspects will not be available in the EU. I value a lot of the customer protections that the EU provide us, but there is a fear that AI is the next great arms race and the EU is woefully behind. It’s taken the EU over a decade to start making progress into breaking some of the monopolistic practices of the larger Tech companies, and with the exponential growth of LLMs and their potential to drive economic growth this is not an area that I’d like to see the entire continent take a backseat on.

Designing the first Mac

A Decade of HaveIBeenPwned

18 Months working at Snap

Obsidian starter pack

Early Computer Art from the 50’s and 60’s

What is a Heat Pump


After finishing “Legends and Lattes” last week I haven’t spent too much time reading this week, but hope to sink back into “A Gentleman in Moscow” over the weekend. I think I’m going to check out “Project Hail Mary” over Christmas, “The Martian” is one of my favourite books ever and Hail Mary comes highly recommended.


I’ve decided to expand the listening section here to include podcasts and well as music, and the first item on the list is the wonderful “Sherlock and Co.”. It’s a modern telling of Sherlock Holmes told from the perspective of a Doctor Watson who fancies himself as a budding podcaster. I look forward to every new episode released on Tuesdays. Start from episode one and enjoy a wild ride.

Morning music is a staple in the house, and Fatoumata Diawara’s new album has been getting played a lot lately. It’s the the perfect accompaniment to a big cup of coffee looking out at the sun breaking up the morning fog.