Jul. 25th, 2017 06:54 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
Two stories on the BBC about Microsoft Paint, both with pleasing images:
Hands up if you remember when it was called "Paintbrush"?

Edit: it started out as Paint, then Paintbrush, then back to Paint. How much more information can you handle?
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
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)
  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)
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


May. 8th, 2017 12:19 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Most of the time, software issues are about understanding the problem well enough and writing some clean code. It's unusual to have to deal with difficult problems, but there are some well known hard things.

Lots of people would include concurrency because it's so easy to get it wrong, but I don't think that that makes it intrinsically difficult.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
This is a nice idea, but I'm not sure if it will succeed. Everywhere in the world can be located by three words. Similar addresses are purposely far apart: There are probably several 3m squares that cover where you live, so you get some choice about your three words.

Edit: Not sure why I find this so amusing...

Edit 2:

Edit 3:

Edit 4:

Edit 5:

Edit 6: I found a pumpkin carving party in the Caucasus Mountains nowhere near anywhere, and a scout slumber party in Kazakhstan.

Edit 7: Spend every penny in some road-side bushes in the Chicago suburbs.

Edit 8: Another empty square is found in a field in China.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I downloaded a new version of Semagic today. There hasn't been a new version for years, so while I was downloading, I had a poke around and found a graph of Semagic downloads over time. It's basically tailed off to nothing.

Of course, if anything I wrote was to get the number of downloads I just called "nothing", I'd be astonished.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I thought that this might be a problem that only bothered me. Google proved me wrong, and there's a solution:
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I read the sequel to The Three Musketeers, called Twenty Years After. It's a big fat book, and it isn't in a hurry to get started, but in the second half things speed up and I got the adventure story that I was hoping for.

It's assumed that you know something about the characters and the plot of the previous book, which is occasionally confusing. I found that it took a long time for d'Artagnan's three friends (Athos, Porthos and Aramis) to resolve into individuals, particularly as they have a variety of names.

It's also assumed that you don't question the musketeers' loyalty to royalty. Perhaps that's just historical accuracy, and it only now seems in need of explanation.

There's a section in England. Can the musketeers save Charles I from execution? Knowing a tiny bit of history was a spoiler here, although I wondered if they might postpone the axe somehow. One thing that bothering me throughout the book was that I didn't know what was history and what was fiction. Did the Scots really betray King Charles because they hadn't been paid? (Yes) Was the French rebellion, the Fronde real? (Yes) Silly me, I suppose, for being so historically ignorant.

The book helped many train journeys pass quicker, and now I'm curious about the third part, but that's so long that it's usually split into three.

Finally, d'Artagnan was a real person!


Oct. 21st, 2015 03:19 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I saw Ghostbusters recently. It was pretty good. When the song asked "Who you gonna call?", lots of people answered.

One thing that I remembered clearly from seeing it years ago was the car they used, because I as a child had had a toy ambulance that shape.

But the strange thing about it was that I'd never seen an ambulance like that. Ambulances looked like this.

To resolve the confusion, child me decided that Americans are weird.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I was a very small child when the athletes did the black power salute at the Olympics, but I was certainly aware of it. Turns out that the white man on the podium was involved too. Sad that it takes a white bloke's involvement for me to find out more about what happened.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
Well done, Martin Ridgers. You fixed the Windows prompt.

If you have Chocolatey, open an admin prompt, and cinst clink
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I've never been married, and I've never wanted to get married. I don't get it. What has my private life got to do with anyone else, never mind the church or the government? So I was always a bit puzzled why gay people wanted to get married. However, I know that I'm the weird one. Most people think marriage is A Good Thing, and I'm quite happy for anyone to marry whoever they like if that's what they want. And I quite like weddings. So I'm quite content for straight men to marry each other to get some rugby tickets.


Aug. 26th, 2015 01:41 pm
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I'm having Yogi Tea Classic. Apparently, its...
Heart-warming, relaxing, delicious, spicy and wonderful.
I'll just go with "quite pleasant".


Jul. 16th, 2015 10:54 am
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
TL/DR: people's ideas of why private education is better are mistaken, and the world would be better if it were abolished.

I'm counting this as a rant, even though I haven't said anything about what I think.
jbanana: Badly drawn banana (Default)
I mentioned that I don't like Eclipse. There's more. Today I tried to run a test class: right click, "run as JUnit test". It said
Class not found [my test class]
java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: [my test class]
Er, you can't find the thing that I just clicked on. WTF?

Happily I found out how to run a single test with Maven:
mvn -Dtest=[my test class]#[my test method] test
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