A blog on software engineering by Trevor Brown

Old Hardware I Love

Recently I got to thinking about the electronic devices I use regularly and love. I realized that many of the devices I enjoy using are by many people’s standards pretty old for electronics. I’ve always been thrifty and don’t like replacing electronics with new ones until they break. In this blog post I’m going to highlight three old devices that I enjoy using for one reason or another.

old hardware collage

Visualizing Backoff Functions With Gnuplot

Today I was building some retry logic for some code that forwarded data to a third-party service and wanted to visualize the backoff function I had written. I wanted to see how many retries would be made in the 10-15 minute window after the initial retry. Gnuplot was the obvious choice for visualizing this as I had recently used it for some data exploration work and knew it had built-in support for plotting mathematical functions. The final result looks like this:

backoff comparison plot