Changelog News – Episode #67

Introducing Changelog Beats

+ 10 years of Lineman, too many abstractions, RPi 5 comparison & curate to create


All Episodes

Changelog drops full-length musical albums in collaboration with Breakmaster Cylinder, Justin Searls on why the right tools fail for the wrong reasons, The Unix Sheikh says we have too many level of abstractions, Adam at PiCockpit compares the newly-announced Raspberry Pi 5 to the competition & Jorge Medina assures us that we’re not lacking creativity, we’re just overwhelmed by content.



Neo4j – NODES 2023 is coming in October!

Notes & Links

📝 Edit Notes

All links mentioned in this episode of Changelog News (and more) are in its companion newsletter.


1 00:00 Intro
2 00:34 Changelog Beats
3 01:24 Theme Songs
4 02:38 Next Level
5 04:11 10 years of LinemanJS
6 05:04 Too many abstractions
7 06:15 Raspberry Pi 5 vs
8 06:56 Sponsor: Neo4j
9 07:55 You’re not lacking creativity
10 09:00 Outro


📝 Edit Transcript


Play the audio to listen along while you enjoy the transcript. 🎧

What up, nerds? I’m Jerod and this is Changelog News for the week of Monday, October 23rd, 2023.

Shout out to the many new & old friends we saw in Raleigh at All Things Open last week! It was a great event and we recorded a bunch of awesome conversations which we’ll be shipping to your earholes real soon.

Ok, let’s get into the BIG news. This might warrant some sound bytes…

You may or may not know that all the music on all our pods has been produced in collaboration with Breakmaster Cylinder. BMC is famous for cranking out podcast themes, but most people do those as one-offs. We’ve been working with Breakmaster on a continual basis for many years, producing new theme songs, outros, ad music, ins, outs, stabs, robot noises, jingles… you name it and BMC has produced it for us.

Eventually, we ended up with a deep catalog of tracks that only live on our podcasts and hard drives. Not anymore, baby!

Today we’re excited to announce the release of TWO full-length musical albums for your streaming/purchasing pleasure! We’re releasing them under the artist ‘Changelog Beats’. Volume zero is called Theme Songs and it features, well, our theme songs, of course! We’re not gonna bait and switch ya. All our themes are on there, even from retired shows like Request For Commits.

We included some funky versions as well, such as Go Time’s “I See Bars” remix

And at the end of the album, six Sonic The Hedgehog inspired remixes of our current lineup of shows. Here’s Changelog News’ remix:

That’s Theme Songs and you can buy it on Bandcamp or stream it on Apple Music, Spotify, and all the usual suspects.

Volume one is called Next Level. Adam and I both grew up in the age of the NES, Super NES, and Sega Genesis. It’s no surprise that so many of our tracks are inspired by the 8-bit and 16-bit video game music of our youth. Next Level is 25 awesome tracks of video game goodness, including a few of my favs: Thickerbush Symphony… Running Free… and Q_Bit.

That’s Next Level and you can buy it on Bandcamp or stream it on Apple Music, Spotify and all the places, but we’re also going to drop the full-length album right into The Changelog feed for you.

We have more albums in the works, so follow Changelog Beats on your platform of choice, and share it with your friends too.

One-time Lineman.js purveyor, Justin Searls, reflects on the tool’s 10th anniversary:

“Lineman was our attempt to create a pleasant developer experience for building single-page JavaScript applications without tying developers to any particular backend language or framework… I’m biased, but I really believe Lineman was the best tool available at the time for what is now an incredibly common job.”

He goes on to ask himself (and try to answer) a question many of us ask ourselves often: “When I noticed the upcoming anniversary in my calendar, I could only think of one question to reflect on: why did Lineman fail and what can we learn from it today?

I don’t know if Justin’s analysis is correct or not, but it’s an interesting read. Regardless, he throws in a “how to pick the best tool for the job” section near the end of the post that is worth the price of admission and then some.

The Unix Sheikh thinks we’ve used too many levels of abstractions: “A steering wheel is an abstraction that makes it easier for me to drive my car. Power steering is yet another level of abstraction that further improves the driving experience. Abstractions are nice, they generally improve the quality of life. However, in Denmark we have a proverb that says: Too little and too much spoils everything. What good does an abstraction do when it breaks and nobody any longer understands how the technology under the hood works?”

That’s a good question! In my experience, all abstractions leak at some point. So you’ve either taken the time to understand how it works under the hood… or you will soon have to. The author isn’t arguing that abstractions are bad, per se, but that…

“We need abstractions, no doubt about it, but every level of abstraction comes with a price which, ironically enough, eventually can cause a massive loss in profit.”

They go on to provide a specific example case, some advice to people studying technology & an update on the point of the post after receiving reader feedback.

Adam at PiCockpit compares the newly-announced Raspberry Pi 5 to the Orange Pi 5 Plus and the Rock 5 Model B. In brief, the Raspberry Pi 5 is underpowered in the CPU, GPU, and RAM specs. It also comes in last in video because of the micro HDMI port instead of the full HDMI ports of the other two devices and it lacks an audio jack. (Which you may or may not care about.)

The Raspberry Pi 5 is smaller than the other two devices, so it has that going for it. It gets smoked in all of Jeff Geerling’s benchmarks, but it is also the cheapest option. (Which you probably do care about.)

It’s now time for Sponsored News!

There’s so much going on in the data and ML space – it’s hard to keep up! Example: did you know that graph technology lets you connect the dots across your data and ground your LLM in actual knowledge?

To learn about this new approach, don’t miss Neo4j’s NODES online conference on October 26th.

At this free online conference, developers and data scientists from around the world share how they use graph technology for everything from building intelligent apps and APIs to enhancing machine learning and improving data visualizations.

There are 90 talks over 24 hours, so no matter where you are, you can attend live sessions.

To register for this free conference, visit that’s That’s N – E – O – the number “4” – J – dot – com – slash NODES. Or just follow the link in your chapter data and the newsletter.

Jorge Medina hits too close to home with this one:

“You come home from work. Tired and looking to disconnect a bit with some entertainment. But you’re faced with the choice: which streaming service do I use? I have 5. You choose one. Let’s say Netflix. Now what?

The home screen welcomes you to a selection of titles. The thumbnails and titles all hyper-optimized for you to feel enticed to watch them. So you end up browsing mindlessly for 30 minutes until you settle on watching Friends again for the 894th time.

That’s called decision fatigue; where the mental effort required to evaluate and choose between many options can be exhausting.

It’s exhausting. It’s an epidemic. And it has turned us into digital hoarders”

His advice? Curate to create. And how do you go about that? By building a curation system, of course! He goes on to lay out the CODE Framework (Capture, Organize, Distill, Express) as well as practical steps toward building your own curation system.

That is the news for now, but check the companion newsletter for more goodies, including Invidious, an open source alternative frontend to YouTube, 37signals’ new disk-backed cache that’s saving them money, and a collection of Docker images to solve all your debugging needs.

If you aren’t a newsletter subscriber, fix that bug at It’s totally free.

We have a big week of pods coming up:

On Wednesday: our ATO 2023 coverage begins with Matthew Sanabria, Nithya Ruff & Jordan Harband. Thursday: Nick and I host the first winners of React Jam on JS Party. And Friday brings Jared Henderson to Changelog & Friends to discuss protecting our local networks from unwanted content.

Have a great week, spread the word about Changelog Beats if you dig it, and I’ll talk to you again real soon. 💚


Our transcripts are open source on GitHub. Improvements are welcome. 💚

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