Recent blog posts
I went to the UseR conference, and R-Markdown was all the rage. My boss/coworker/?? asked me what was so cool about it. I've been using plain Markdown around a year, and think it's kind of cool, but my initial impression was that Markdown was kind of lame.
Personally, I prefer the Hong Kong style places in Monterey Park and Alhambra, and got used to them in the past 30 years or so, but it's not true that LA doesn't have old fashioned Chinese-American food anymore. People say it, but that's because they're eating at fusion restaurants or a newer place.
I'm learning AngularJS and noticed a few things going on. First is that there's a great tutorial out there called Angular JS in 60 Minutes Ish by Dan Wahlin. It's really good, and it's a little different from most tutorials. It read like the script of a screencast - and I thought it *was* the script of a screencast.
It's actually the inverse. It's the transcript of the screencast, and the images were taken from the screencast.
Last year, I got one of those little Raspberry PI (R-Pi) devices. It's pretty cool, but in the end it's a little PC. Since there's a big bad PC under the desk, the R-Pi didn't get much use. Also, I'm a chicken hardware hacker and so I never put anything onto the GPIO pins.
I'm learning R, and it's been interesting. The weird part is that I don't know stats. Yes, I know standard deviation, mean deviation, and easy stuff, but those are one-liners in the R tutorials. What I know in stats amounts to around 1/4 to 1/2 a page of the R tutorial. So to compensate, I have a stats text from the thrift store, so I'll eventually be less than a total ignoramus about what I'm reading.
One of the twists of what I'm messing with is that all our data is in a database. The normal mode of operation for R users is to load the entire data table into memory and do awesome reporting on it. Where I'm at, for better or worse, is more like a traditional web application with a database back end.
A problem with this is that MySQL lets me have only 16 connections going at the same time. I'm not sure if it's the driver, but I'll assume that. Since RStudio holds the connections, coding a lot of changes eventually leads to a lot of lost database connection handles, and eventually running out of connections.
I was called in to help fix a network that had been discombobulated. I didn't end up fixing it, but one staffer there did the trick by disconnecting a switch with a bunch of wires plugged into it.
We're in full drought mode in LA, and that means we follow the eleventh comandment: if it's yellow, let it mellow, and if it's brown, flush it down.
If you happened to come across my name in a web search, and found this lawsuit, I'm putting this page up to explain a little bit about it. For more details, contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're interested in the IMC and this suit, in general, I'm preparing a listserv to send updates.
I was feeling like crap, so after taking the day off and taking a nap, I spent several hours learning Scrapy. Scrapy is a pretty awesome website scraper. This example logs into a website, extracts some data, and stores it locally.
It works. Haven't bought a graphics card since the mid 1990s, but did this because Gnome 3 feels a lot smoother with some extra cycles and memory. All the eyecandy effects now seem to run at around 20 fps, and the colors are nicer. Before, they were more like 10 fps and jumpy. This shows up in lspci as VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Caicos [Radeon HD 6450/7450/8450]. Seems to be a bit of a power hog, but it doesn't use a fan, so it's not going to burn too much coal.
I had to spend time logging a video. It's always a little bit of a pain, and always takes longer than just watching the thing... so if you care about inequality, and want some really pretty graphics, and risk some potential copyright violation (though I suspect that Fair Use allows it), here you go: List of Infographics in Inequality for All.
I'm working on this at work - using CSS to alter Salsa's rigid layouts. :/ Yeah, it's here because I wasn't in on the issue of building backlinks.
viudata created a Schelling Segregation Simulator in processing, and added a third race to it.
A while back, I made a little program called TPCalc to do one of my favorite mundane activities, which is to determine the best price for toilet paper at
LastPass is a password management add-on for web browsers and mobile phones. Yubikey is a 2-factor authentication device that pretends to be a usb keyboard, and types a one-time password when activated. LastPass integrates with Yubikey, protecting your password vault.
The integration is smooth, and I like it, but there's a risk if you lose the Yubikey, or it breaks. One fix is to buy two Yubikeys, and store one in a safe place.