jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-06-17 07:30 pm
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Kotlin in Compositor

A big new thing is Kotlin (presumably because it's supported on Android) so I hacked up some support in Compositor. It wasn't too hard - an afternoon's work including learning a bit of Kotlin, so that was good.

Now the world's developers can rush to Compositor to make desktop apps. Ahem.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-06-12 06:50 pm
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Musgrave Collection

I read that double yellow lines were suggested by George Musgrave in a road safety competition. Googling, I found that he ran a museum, the Musgrave Collection, which looks as mad as can be, but in a good way, but that since his death it's closed and looking for a new home.

Sad really.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-06-01 12:00 pm
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Happy things

  1. I wrote some entries for Rosetta Code a few years ago. One was for 3D text output in Java. I found today that someone has translated my code into another language that I'd never heard of, and credited me. I'm flattered and baffled at the same time.
  2. I was looking for a cheap hair cut, and I found a barber that looked promising. At the bottom of their web site it says
    Best viewed in 1028 x 768 with IE5     Last Updated: 21/08/05
    Aww, bless!
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-05-30 03:12 pm
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Woes of a techie

This morning while I was looking at our bug tracker, my laptop switched itself off. No error shutdown sequence. No blue screen of death. Just off. That's not good.

I went to lunch knowing I had to be back for a 2pm meeting. While I was out, the meeting was moved to 1:30. That's not good.

This afternoon the debugger didn't want to step in to the relevant bit of code. Then it told me it was executing blank lines. That's not good.

Can I go home now, please?
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-05-24 03:52 pm
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Death, part 2

I work in London. This means that I might be blown to pieces by a terrorist. It hasn't happened yet.

What can I do? The country is on a high terror alert, but I still go to work. As I came into the building, I was asked to show my security pass for the first time today. But I'm still more likely to be killed crossing the street.

I'm puzzled by terrorism. What do bombers hope to achieve? Everyone carries on as if nothing happened, but with extra security checks. Nothing changes. The IRA, the Nazis, religious fundamentalists - none of them have thought this through.

Anyway, if I get killed in an attack, please blow a big raspberry at whoever did it (profanities are optional, but satisfying) and carry on as normal. Play 20th Century Boy at my funeral, and no religion please.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-05-24 03:37 pm
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Death

We had a message from YC the other day that he was OK, which made no sense until we realised there had been a bombing.

Lots of young people are dead, and I'm pleased that my kid isn't one of them. This is uncomfortably close to being pleased that someone else's kid died.

The next day I read the news about what happened. The government had responded. So what? There were stories about people helping - free taxi rides home for the people in the area, cafes giving food and drink to people affected and the emergency services, and people offering a bed/sofa/floor to anyone who couldn't get home. I had a little cry and missed an on-line meeting that I should have been in.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-05-24 03:20 pm
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Coffee machine, part 2

I was sceptical that the beans in the coffee machine were actually used. Today I hear from my (less sceptical) colleague that he's seen the coffee machine open, and the bean hopper is in fact quite large (not just a display thing in the door) and the woman who replenishes kitchen things was filling it up.

So when you get coffee from the machine, it grinds some beans to make it. Thanks heavens.

Then it adds powdered milk.

This may be the last coffee post, but I can't guarantee it.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-05-18 03:46 pm
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Don't let the coffee grind you down

The topic of discussion at work today is the coffee machine. It has a window at the front where you can see some coffee beans, so you might assume that it grinds some of those beans to make your coffee. But my contention is that they are just for show, and the coffee inside is already ground. I suggested this to a colleague, and he didn't want to believe me because he would feel cheated. Now he's told me that he thinks that the bean level in the window has gone up. I think that he might be seeing what he wants to see.

Rest assured that I'll keep you up to date with developments (if there are any).
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-05-17 11:15 am
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Grammar

Writing email in Outlook, I used the sentence "So will I." It put a squiggly line under "I", and suggested "So will me."

Thanks, Microsoft.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-05-08 03:48 pm

Tunes help you breathe more easily

Still listening to the Bamboos.
  • Happy - mmm, had to play this one through three times in a row
  • King of the Rodeo - strange video where the band plays the audience, and women play the part of the band. Singer is the right person, though.
The singer on that song also has a pretty severe stutter, but only when she talks. She gave a Ted talk about stuttering which is surprisingly entertaining.

Title explanation
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-05-08 12:19 pm
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Yum

No time for breakfast this morning, so imagine my delight when I found that I still had some custard creams at work. Healthy and nutritious!
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-04-29 10:54 pm
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Film about films

Went to see Their Finest and enjoyed it. Good film, and the cinema had plenty of legroom. Kept trying to figure who one woman in it was: Rachael Stirling who was in Detectorists.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-04-23 12:53 am
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Joan Osborne

I went to see Joan Osborne. It was a somewhat unusual show. She's only appearing once in England, she's not promoting an album (because she's in the middle of recording one), and it was in a church (the Union Chapel in Islington - architecture!).

The album she's recording is Bob Dylan covers. Now I'm not a big fan of Bob Dylan, and covers can be a bit crap, but she did several excellent versions of songs by him. I particularly like Tangled Up in Blue (not a song I knew) and Highway 61 Revisited (which I did). A few times with the songs I knew I felt like she was making up the tune, then but Bob Dylan often isn't doing much more than speaking the words, so if you're a real singer you need to sing.

She did some of her own songs too. There was a (well deserved) big reception for Work on Me and when the clapping stopped she said "So you like the sexy ones, London. Mental note!"

The crowd was mostly older than me, so there was a lot of grey hair. We all sat politely in the chapel pews, although most people stood up to applaud at the end of the night.

Joan Osborne can sing like no one else I know and I had a great evening out. You should too if you get a chance.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-04-12 02:10 pm
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Song of the day

I bought a t-shirt in Brighton, and it came with a free CD by The Bamboos. Lots of good funk choons, but Can't Help Myself jumped out.
And I can't help myself
Don't want to funk with no one else
Simple, but done well.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-03-20 02:47 pm
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Snowflake doodling

I wrote a desktop thing for symmetrical doodling (doodling image, doodling video), but it's not so easy for other (non-techie) people to install, so I tried a web version - decreased usability, increased availability. You can't win.

Hmm - software development is like thermodynamics?

Anyway, here's a doodle I did with the web version.

Click to embiggen
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-03-11 02:16 pm
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Site of the day

I've just spent a while playing A Grain of Truth. It's a simple game but well done. Nicely drawn pictures, music that I could have turned off but I didn't want to, a setting that didn't seem contrived even though it was weird. And finally the game play seemed more like storytelling, which worked for me.

So, recommended.

I got frustrated a couple of times but was saved by googling a walkthrough. The first time I'd just missed something (pale circle on a pale background, plus not thinking enough about how to use the things I'd found). The second time it turned out I wasn't stuck at all, if only I'd realised it. Oh, and finding the ending wasn't nearly as hard as I was making it.

Oh dear - there's another one: Teller of Stories. There goes more time...

Edit: ...and a third: Bell's Heart. Finished them all now - can rest!
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-03-04 02:03 pm
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Set dressing

I've never seen or even heard of the TV programme Crossbones before today. It was about pirates. I can't say if it was any good, but it looks like they put some effort into the set dressing. Here's Yasmine Al Massri sitting on some fancy stuff.
Woman sitting on richly woven rugs
I'm a bit jealous of the photographer. Or maybe not - most of the work was already done before anyone pointed a camera at it.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-02-27 02:20 pm
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Reading binary data

I wrote about reading binary data formats and I wasn't happy. The other day I had another look and I found Katai which seems to be exactly what I want.

If I ever get around to using it, we'll find out. I have a new thing in mind that this might be good for, and I have parsers for EXIF and Java class files that could do with some love.

Edit: ...or maybe Preon?

Another edit: I was considering writing something to read and write .ico files, which seem to be reasonably well documented.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
2017-02-07 07:29 pm
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Doodling again

After looking at photos of real snowflakes, I doodled this.
Snowflake doodle