AWS Outposts is a rack-scale computer that runs on premises. The most recent re:Invent had a bunch of sessions about changes to Outposts. One change that happened without much fanfare is a new lower price (note: LOW-ER, not LOW). I looked at Outposts pricing last year shortly after it was released. As with that analysis there are some more stories and oddities hiding in the numbers: customer and sales feedback, trial balloons popped, months-long miscommunications, and — as with any pandemic-era story — a reversion to tedium.


This was kind of a silly project. If I had known it would end with a bunch of wholesome Christmas decorations dancing along to Lizzo I probably would have done it a long time ago. Here’s the story of how I took some beloved kitsch, a logic analyzer, sed, awk, Google Sheets, Python, an FT232H, some wires, data from a VR game, and a few evenings to make it happen. (Just want the punchline? Skip to the end.)

Happy Tapper eBay addiction

My family has a fair bit of music-producing stuff from Hallmark: books, stuffed animals, and, of course, holiday decorations. Chalk it up…


AWS announced Outpost a year ago. It’s a rack-scale computer that lets customers run a limited set of AWS services on-premises. A couple of weeks ago, AWS announced that Outpost was out of beta and generally available.

Now that the pricing is public, I ripped apart the data. These are big, expensive boxes; what do you get for the money? How does it compare to running instances in the cloud?

What follows is the analysis I wanted, but couldn’t find. If you’ve been thinking “I wish I had a spreadsheet to get a deep understanding of Outpost pricing”, you’ve come…


Slack’s been hyping Workflow Builder since April; now that it’s out, I wanted to see what it can do, figure out how it works, void some warrantees, and try to break it. Not all of my workspaces had workflows enabled, but I found one, and started building workflows.

The first choice you make when creating a new workflow is how it will be triggered. Presumably there will be more options in the future; right now it’s just three: when a user picks it from a menu of workflows (like a macro), when a new user joins a specific channel, or…


Previous eras of software consumption were defined by their bundles. Our current era is defined by its diverse application ecosystem, its unbundling. Even recently, corporate consumers wore their fealty to a vendor with pride: we’re a Microsoft shop, we’re an Oracle shop, we’re an IBM shop. While devoted, the relationship wasn’t monogamous. The right tool for the job, but guided by relationship as the north star. Bundling had the benefit (at least perceived) of interoperability — many tools, intermeshed, helping us work well as a team.

SaaS changed both the economics of software, and the adhesion of the bundle. Even…


We had just convinced our Seed round investors that Transposit was a big idea. A big idea needs a team to build it, so when the first round closed we started hiring that team. We’d talk to candidates and write down our feedback to share with the team. At first we used Google Docs. The price was right (free), but we quickly outgrew it: we needed more structure and access control. My experience with application tracking systems (ATS) is that they’re all infuriating in their own way, imposing their structure on your process rather than adapting to it. …


About a year ago, my co-founder and I started work on Transposit. It’s not that weird to start a company, but one way in which we were an outlier is that my co-founder is a woman. Starting a company comes with many many lessons; some of the most surprising have come from sitting next to Tina: a front-row seat of what it’s like to be a woman in tech. I see these moments of profound obliviousness and lack of empathy and squirm. I apologize to the women reading this: I know everything that follows will be obvious (but hopefully not…


We’ve known for a while that software is eating the world. The most vacuous thing you can tell someone about your company is that it’s a software company — every company is a software company. There are lots of ways that companies differentiate, but one of those ways is almost always in their applications. More developers are connecting more applications to more data for more users than ever before. We started Transposit for those developers.

Building Modern Applications

A little backstory…

As CTO at Delphix, I spent a lot of time working with customers who wanted to build applications more effectively. A key…


When Apple announced their new file system, APFS, in June, I hustled to be in the front row of the WWDC presentation, questions with the presenters, and then the open Q&A session. I took a week to write up my notes which turned into as 12 page behemoth of a blog post — longer than my college thesis. Despite reassurances from the tweeps, I was sure that the blog post was an order of magnitude longer than the modern attention span. I was wrong; so wrong that Ars Technica wanted to republish the blog post.


I had been procrastinating making the family holiday card. It was a combination of having a lot on my plate and dreading the formulation of our annual note recapping the year; there were some great moments, but I’m glad I don’t have to do 2016 again. It was just before midnight and either I’d make the card that night or leave an empty space on our friends’ refrigerators. Adobe Illustrator had other ideas:

Unable to set maximum number of files to be opened.

I’m not the first person to hit this. The problem seems to have existed since CS6 was released in 2012. None of the solutions was working for…

Adam Leventhal

Building computers at Oxide; past: DTrace, ZFS, Delphix CTO, Transposit founder, CEO

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