Programming Languages, as I learned them (pt1)

I wrote this around 6 months ago, and somehow never published it BASIC (1980-83: CP/M MBASIC, Commodore, BASICA, QuickBasic, VB6; a little bit of AppleSoft and TRS-80) Somewhere around the holidays in 1980 or perhaps early 1981, I had my first encounter with a computer thanks to one of my parents’ friends noticing I was… Continue reading Programming Languages, as I learned them (pt1)

Java vs. C, a totally unscientific microbenchmark

Java vs. C — inspired by an interview question, I wrote a little bit of sample code to create an array of a billion random integers, and either (A) take the sums as I go, or (B) go back over and sum it on a second pass. In C (cygwin, gcc 6.4.0 64-bit): – summing… Continue reading Java vs. C, a totally unscientific microbenchmark

Inside baseball, Linux edition

I love the title of this article: “ ¿Por qué SystemD es una mierda? Too tired tonight to read the whole thing in Spanish — I’ll feel dumb if the implications of the title aren’t their point — but wanted to share somewhere. Disabling the FB/Twitter publicize for this one for obvious reasons if you… Continue reading Inside baseball, Linux edition

Categorized as Linux

A fascinating article on evolution.

On the PLOS blog (found via Medium) there was a really interesting post discussing the intersection of environmental conditions and genetics, and their impact on human evolution. The title may be either off-putting or funny to some, but it’s worth a read both on general interest or to those who have a particular interest in… Continue reading A fascinating article on evolution.

Fun with Gentoo

Nightly auto-upgrades are great, except when they aren’t. In this case, going from app-misc/screen-4.0.3-r7 to app-misc/screen-4.2.1-r2 changed the default SCREENDIR from /run/screen to /tmp/screen. Normally wouldn’t care, but I had running screen sessions and couldn’t get in; oops! Only realized about the SCREENDIR variable after I’d already downgraded back to 4.0.3-r7.

What I was doing at age 18

I recently realized that a very important aspect of what I have done for the past year in my day job is echoing how I got started in my career. That is, I spent a bunch of time last year and this year justifying a large technical project — in writing for a less-technical audience… Continue reading What I was doing at age 18

Parts from my old (failed) attempt to build a small computer

Finally inventoried the parts after years in storage. Lot of chips, though nothing that rare or interesting. Somewhere I have the schematics I designed. Will scan them when I find them. I doubt it really would have worked, and I never got an EPROM programmer working. Very tempted to try to figure out how to… Continue reading Parts from my old (failed) attempt to build a small computer

Categorized as Computers

A quick bit of FFMPEG magic to improve VHS rips

fmpeg -i Old_VHS_copy.avi -threads 0 -aspect 4:3 -vf “pp=ac/lb/ha/va/dr/al,frei0r=brightness:0.625,frei0r=contrast0r:1.05,frei0r=saturat0r:0.10,hqdn3d=4:4:7,scale=480:-1,unsharp” -codec:a libfaac -b:a 64k -codec:v libx264 -profile:v high444 -preset:v placebo Much_Better.mkv Found the frei0r contrast/brightness/saturation controls MUCH better than the MP2 ones. Amount of de-noise (before downsize) and sharpening (after) is to taste, obviously, as is the amount of brightness/contrast improvement. This source was AWFUL!

Categorized as Computers

The coolest way yet to “clean” a hard drive

We finally decided that the only sure way to thwart data recovery was to melt down all the aluminum contained in the platters. Slagging the drive would have two effects on the medium. First off it would convert it from a readable disk to any shape we decided to pour it into. Secondly it would… Continue reading The coolest way yet to “clean” a hard drive