johnk's blog

Haskell Name Game

Main> nameGame "alonzo"
"alonzo, alonzo bo blonzo bonana fanna fo flonzo fee fy mo mlonzo, alonzo"
Main> nameGame "haskell"
"haskell, haskell bo baskell bonana fanna fo faskell fee fy mo maskell, haskell"
LOLz. Here's some real beginner-level source code for a version of the "Name Game". The Name Game was a song from way back. It's silly.
Sources after the jump.

Strike Network Postmortem

The article was originally written on November 2, 2011. The application was written during August and September of 2011.

Strike Network started as a mobile site similar to 4square. After realizing that the audience was tiny and without an app there was no lock in (and with an app, there's a barrier to entry too), decided to try making a facebook app.

Learning the Facebook API

For the past few months I've been working on web apps. The first was a mobile site based on jQuery Mobile. While it was "cool", it quickly dawned on me that it wouldn't get any significant usership. For one, it was like a clone of 4square and Scvngr - and who really uses that? I'd peer into the lists of checkins, and it wasn't looking too encouraging. People use it when they're bored and alone, and my scenario didn't involve either of those situations.

Type and Social Context (Eric Gill's "Gill Sans")

I just read a long ass post about why graphic artists shouldn't stretch type or slant a face. "no duh" as we used to say in school.

MS Access to KML Data Dump

Here's a script that helps to export KML files for Google Earth from Access tables. The idea is that you create a query with columns named "Latitude" and "Longitude" and any other columns you need. Open that query, and pass the recordset to this dumper. You also specify a file name, and a list of columns to use for the name and definition fields.

PHP Runs an Old Version of PCRE Causing Problems with Drupal and MediaWiki

This seems to happen a lot - and it took several searches and many pages of reading to find the solution. This page will try to even the odds a little more.

The solution was found here: PCRE Problem Appearing in PHP Related to Apache Webserver

After building a new Apache, then a new PHP, and configuring both, Drupal started throwing error messages "Compilation failed: this version of PCRE is not compiled with PCRE_UTF8 support".

Jennifer Lynn Aaker on Social Media (good talk)

This is a good 10 minute presentation about how to use social media. I got it from a podcast I listen to.


Takeaway points:

That 70s Computer: The People's Computer Company

The first computer book I read was "Teach Yourself Basic" by Bob Albrecht. It wasn't a really good book - at least not for a child - but there it was. Mr.

Shredding Leaves for Compost or Leaf Mold

On numerous articles it's recommended that dried leaves be shredded to compost them more rapidly. The argument made is that it increases the surface area of the leaf.

That doesn't make sense. Most of the leaf's surface is flat, and chopping leaves only increases the surface area along the edges of the cuts.

Perl Mechanize Screen Scraper Makes it Easy to Copy Data from Web Pages

This is something I wrote to learn some of the latest Perl tech to scrape pages. What's cool about this demo script is that it doesn't use regular expressions that much. Instead, it uses HTML::TreeBuilder::XPath to treat the HTML as a queryable hierarchical data structure. How cool is that?!

Gora Hotel, Hakone National Park

An excerpt from On the Edge by Bill L. Disbrow, writing about the Gora Hotel during the occupation of Japan:

Bean and Cheese Burrito KML file

This was a map I created on the now defunct Platial. It maps places where I ate a bean and cheese burrito. It's kind of pre-yelp.

The Citibank Memo Take-Down

Citi contacted Doug Henwood of LBO demanding that a memo from early 2009 be taken off his site. They cited the DMCA. Econ blogger Bradford DeLong argues that the document is part of the historical record, of how Citi perceived the government's response to the economic crisis.

Attached to this blog post is another copy of this memo. It basically says the Citi analysts thought the government was going pretty easy on banks, and that they were predicting high unemployment in 2009 and 2010, along with huge price declines in house prices. So, they knew what was happening all along.

Andrew Leonard at Salon has an enriched telling of the story.

Update April 3, 2011: Citibank has sent a takedown notice (a DMCA thing). So to avoid a lawsuit, I'm going to comply. I'll post more information about the specifics of the takedown later. Hopefully, someone else has a copy of this document to share.

What Kind of Monitor Should You Use? sRGB, Adobe RGB, the new wider Adobe RGB, or what?

I was looking for monitors and got into the whole color thing. Here's my summary of findings.

It's All Beeps: How a PBX Works with a Voicemail (VMX) System

I'm reading an Avaya (Lucent) manual about Avaya and Duvoice DV2000 integration. Being a phone novice, I don't really grasp how these technologies integrated. I assumed there was some kind of computer network between the voicemail and pbx.

That assumption was totally wrong.

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