Follow-up to cube root trick

Following up on the cube root trick post, I wrote a version that speaks the number in Chrome. It’s an experimental API and I doubt I’m choosing the voice very well. But it does train how to do the trick better than reading the cubed number on screen. On browsers that don’t support this API it degrades down to the way the previous version worked. I also updated the old tool to take input once the second number is typed in - with that I got down to a sustained 3.5 second response time.

Cube root trick

After reading how to get cube roots in your head in a particular set of circumstances I learned the trick while stuck in traffic. But it then says you have to practice a lot so I wrote a tool in C to do that. But then I realised a web version might be a bit more accessible to people so here’s one. Made the trainer work nicer on mobiles thanks to [Kae][4]’s suggestion.

Auto-loading modules in Python

Since switching to vcsh I’ve been writing more personal scripts since they’re pretty easy to ship around to each machine. Plus more things have REST APIs and python’s slumber makes it dead easy to talk to them. However I then have to make sure modules like slumber are installed since it’s not in the python standard library. This adds a level of awkwardness to the scripts in my ~/bin. While looking for something else I came across this answer on stackoverflow and it fit what I wanted to do.

The thugs on both sides

I wrote the following in a comment on a discussion about the [protests in Charlottesville][9]. Some people felt that protesters on “both sides” were “thugs.”

I went to school in Kansas. And if you go into the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka you’ll see an imposing mural of a thug: [John Brown][1] He was an abolitionist who (sadly [unusually][8] for the time) actually believed in equality - and he walked his talk.


Why vim was opening markdown files slowly.

A few months back I upgraded my vim configuration to use pathogen for managing my vim plugins. Since adding plugins was now a doddle I found a few lists of “super-duper useful vim plugins you must have” and just installed them blindly. Along the way I also configured how various plugins and the like were configured. This included a one-line change to associate .md files with markdown (by default they associate Modula-2 which I haven’t written code in for 20+ years).

Leo's apology

Leo Sherlock’s apology leaves something to be desired. It’s an image which I think he believes is hard to search for (sorry, search engines do OCR on images) and printed so it’s hard to read.

To help rectify this and offer links to his apology and those affected, I wrote this up. Do feel free to copy and paste all of this and post it far and wide.


Making Go easier

This is just a simple thing, but it makes working in Go’s source tree way easier. Particularly since I use repos from three different sites that start with “git.” In zsh there’s a thing called cdpath with zsh will use to complete a cd command. For the longest time mine was set to cdpath=(~ ~/src) so if I typed cd foo and there wasn’t a foo in the current directory zsh would go look in ~ and then in ~/src.

Supporting Team Future

Step one was to stop sending money to Team Past. So got rid of Sky and will be working on reducing spending on some other utilities. But on a more positive note, I tried to figure out how to spend money on Team Future - people, organisations and companies who support good journalism, civil rights organisations, research, education and entertainment. Private Eye does good investigative journalism in the UK. (subscribe) The Sunday Business Post is one of the remaining indpendent media orgs in Ireland.

Review of Jackie

I hadn’t heard about Jackie before I noticed it in the list of films at the cinema. I had been looking to see if Loving was out and came across this. This review won’t really be spoilery, but obviously if you want to go into the film completely blank I’d skip out now. Just know it’s a really well done film on a tough topic. The film is disconcerting at first because Natalie Portman’s acting is so artificial.

Continuous Integration repo reminders

For a number of projects I work on I pull in third party tools. Sometimes they’re straight copies - that’s what I inherited in some PHP projects I work on. But in others I use git subtree to pull them in. However there’s a problem. I need a way to remind myself to check for updates. And generally I like things related to a project to live in the project. For my home projects I use Gitlab and their CI system.