In 2006 I founded an NGO called Humanlink. (There is no hyperlink because the site is down but it will be back up soon.) I started the organization because I wanted to help aid agencies better utilize technology. One of the first missions we ever undertook was in West Sumatra, Indonesia following the March 2007 earthquake that caused widespread damage in the mountainous region east of Padang. Jeff Allen and I quickly purchased two tickets to Indo and were on the ground in less than a week after the event.
While there wasn’t much work to do in West Sumatra (the Indonesian Government had learned their valuable lessons from the 2004/5 Tsunami and had put them into practice by the time we arrived) we did manage to make our way to Aceh where we spent a good deal of time rebuilding networks for a number of aid agencies. Jeff started life as a high level developer for companies like Microsoft but after a number of years he decided he had had enough and a short while later he was working as a logistician for MSF in Liberia. Coincidentally, he was helping Liberian refugees returning from Ivory Coast in a town called Saclapea which is now the epicenter for all aid efforts directed towards refugees from the Ivory Coast fleeing into Liberia.
Jeff now spends his time with his family in the mountains of Switzerland writing esoteric code strings for tech firms. In addition to his day job Jeff continues to try and solve the low bandwidth/high latency problems that aid workers face in the field every day and that we encountered in Indonesia. We all know the joy of VSAT networks that slow to a crawl because either some folks on the team are downloading stuff they shouldn’t be downloading or all the computers are infected with bandwidth sucking viruses. It appears Jeff has moved one step closer to sorting out some of the problems surrounding bandwidth optimization by utilizing the Go programming language.
Rather than try and explain to you what Jeff has done I’ll let you read ‘A rate-limiting HTTP proxy in Go‘ and ‘How to control your HTTP transactions in Go‘ and sort out what he is talking about. Hopefully, this post will bait Jeff into leaving a lengthy comment that explains exactly what the hell he is up to. If you are Go literate please feel free to take a shot a translating Jeff’s text and commenting. However, I may be dead wrong about what Jeff has been up to and he may have just posted recipes for how to make great chicken and biscuits.