Work

Crazy high CPU usage on Snow Leopard and a surprising culprit

After coming back from a team-building trip, I started to notice things were going a bit slow on my work laptop. I took it with me for casual emailing and working on the train, but spent about 4 days not really using it and certainly not ‘working’ on it. It came out once to display the lyrics to a song about Pithivier, and once to check emails, but that was about it.

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Crazy idea: Hold music cadence machine

I’ve just been on a call with a client. They have Strauss or somesuch a hold music. Orchestral waltzes. The person on the other end picked up exactly at the end of a phrase. It was perfect. My idea: On-hold music programmed with meta-information that stores the exact timecodes of cadences and the end of phrases. When the person who is being waited on picks up the phone, the system keeps playing the music until the next point.

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A snowy journey to work

I’m not normally given to taking photos of my commute, but in the case of the snow I made an exception.

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In Which we Discover Some Rules About Python Scoping (which we already knew)

I’ve just been bitten by scoping in Python. If you gave me this code and asked me what it did, I’d probably guess that it was a trick question and look carefully at it. What would you say? def demo(): number = 100 one = number / 100 numbers = [one, one+1, one+2] big_numbers = [number * 100 for number in numbers] bigger_numbers = [big_number * 100 for big_number in big_numbers] print number  

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Useful things to have installed on a Mac

I’m a bit of a puritan. I don’t like hundreds of ornate tools. But a few things help. TextMate is quite good. It’s not free but I consider it worth paying for. http://macromates.com/ F.lux adjusts the colour temperature of your monitor according to the time of day. I generally have my monitor set quite yellow and low-brightness anyway. Free. http://stereopsis.com/flux/ ShiftIt allows you to arrange windows into non-overlapping pre-defined layouts with keyboard shortcuts.

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The Annual Squash Balancing Ritual

There are few events more sought after and exclusive than the annual Balancing of the Squash. This happens in a secret location, late at night, early in November. This ritual has roots in the ancient culture of a secret society known as ‘the Box of the Torch’. Tonight the participants excelled both themselves and in some cases, each other. It’s a legume.

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Walking Home in the Dark

It’s that time of year again. This winter I am working for a company with offices in the middle of a country estate. To get home you have to walk through a copse and over a sheep field. I enjoy walking in the dark immensely. I have always enjoyed it. I like to the extent that I find flashlights genuinely offensive in the dark (until you’ve dropped something). When I’m out in the dark and quiet I feel like the space that I inhabit expands a little.

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One Last Joke

Immediately after leaving university I joined a software company, and stayed there for 2 years and 8 months. It was serious slice of life. I’m glad I spent it there, but I’m also glad I left. Over the almost-three-years, my self-control wavered from time to time. I enjoy a joke, and if there’s a practical element, all the better. In his goodbye speech, my manager went over the list of things I had done in my time there, including several practical jokes.

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