bouteillebleu: (Praise be to the Teacher)
I'd been meaning to look at this for a while and have finally got round to it.

The Rule7 forums run on forum software that doesn't have any sort of ignore list for posts. (It has one for PMs, but that's all.) Being able to ignore a particular user's posts is something I find really useful for maintaining sanity while browsing a forum.

So here is a Greasemonkey script that I threw together today to do this for me. There's a line at the start of the script where you list the usernames you want to ignore, and on any thread that you load it'll replace the text of their posts with "(You are ignoring this user.)". If you're logged in and quote their post you can see what they wrote, and you can of course disable the script - it's just to avoid initial flares of anger rather than prevent one from reading it entirely.

I've tested this on Firefox 3.6.21 with the Greasemonkey extension; I know there's one property in it that doesn't work in IE before version 9 but should on earlier ones, and will try to get that working next.

If you try it and find any bugs, please find your browser's Javascript error console (this StackOverflow.com question gives a summary of how for several browsers) and let me know the error message you're getting.

Bard 0.1

Aug. 20th, 2011 10:05 pm
bouteillebleu: (Pocket watch)
Today I have finally started on a programming idea I had a while ago - something that uses the Python Natural Language Toolkit to mess around with poetry.

What I have so far is something that automatically generates (almost) iambic pentameter. It's getting the words from Hamlet at the moment (each pair of words in the output occur next to each other in the play).

It is very bad iambic pentameter, mind, because I'm not taking into account where the emphasis is in words. (There's a dictionary I can use to do this, but I'm not using it yet.) But here's its first creation:

with your sister be pardon and armour
with sleep to stand you his tenders for his
with honesty can well appear like you
with speed to fall a farm it will wear him
with this hand more like madness range as you
with ecstasy of something musty him
with it cannot tell my lowest note him
with equal thanks are naught s cap of frame
with the foils have ta to her virgin as
with entertainment than his base into


As you can see, it's got some way to go. Because the output's random, I can't tell if its love for "with" is accidental or a bug in my code; another few runs of the code should be enough to find out. (The "ta" and "s" are because I'm removing punctuation, which is its own entry in the word lists I'm using - the first is probably from "ta'en".)

Next up - recognising word emphasis properly, possibly using more data and trigrams rather than just bigrams, and likely uploading to Github.
bouteillebleu: (Lightbulb)
This is something of a stretch, but on the offchance one of you has experience that you'd be willing to share...

I have just bought a Wacom Bamboo Pen graphics tablet (well, tablet and stylus), model number CTL-460. The computers I can use it on are one running Windows 2000 (apparently too hold, according to the box) and one running Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope).

Haven't tried it yet with Windows 2000, but I've just spent an immensely frustrating hour recompiling part of the kernel and filling in a config file, neither of which worked.

I'm planning to try this again tomorrow when I have more brains to do so, but in the meantime, does anyone have experience of getting this sort of tablet to work under either of these operating systems? If so, what would you suggest needs doing?

EDIT: Ah ha! Turns out that if I plug it into the Win2K desktop and hope, it works. Just like that. Fiendishly sensitive and possibly not adjustable beyond using the standard mouse sensitivity things, but it works. Is somewhat painful to use as a mouse alternative, though, so lesson learned, and I have a nice graphics tablet for drawing / colouring things.
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Our house has quite a few laptops. One of them, James's first laptop, is a Toshiba Satellite Pro that's getting on for five years old, and was recently getting so slow that booting XP took about ten minutes and getting it to a usable state took at least twenty.

So, this weekend, after copying useful files off it, we reformatted it and installed Ubuntu 9.04.

It's still a bit slow in places, but getting it to a point where I can open Firefox and browse the internet is a lot quicker. I've even managed to get the Cisco VPN client working with my work profiles, with the help of two guides on what needs patching (the first of those is newer, and its instructions worked fine; the second gives notes on where to put profile files).

However, I've not managed to get rdesktop to connect to my work machine while I'm logged into the VPN, so it's not quite at can-work-from-home-on-the-laptop stage yet; that's for the desktop.

EDIT: Turns out that using tsclient - which comes installed in the default Ubuntu 9.04 distro - gets it working and brings up my work desktop. Hurrah!
bouteillebleu: (Pocket watch)
Helped parents install Windows 7 on their laptop yesterday, by which I mean my brother and I installed it and occasionally told parents useful things about it when they came past.

Things I like about it:
- Plug and Play is what it says. Printer worked, mouse worked, scanner had to be searched for but didn't take very long. Only thing we had some problems with was the ADSL USB modem, of which more later.
- Internet access via ad-hoc network worked straight away with no need to change settings - just plugged the ethernet cable into its network port and it picked up the network and was happy. (More on this later, though.)
- UAC much improved since Vista and Win2K8 Server - it's more akin to the popups that one of the spyware blockers I use has, which tell you when something is trying to install or run that you might not have expected.

In general it looks like the operating system's grown up and really quite nice.

The not-so-fun has been today's attempt to get our Thomson Speedtouch 330 USB ADSL modem playing nice with 64-bit Windows 7. There are no drivers for Windows 7 in general or the 64-bit version in particular; we made two initial attempts, first with the drivers that came with the product (no go) and second with the 32-bit Vista drivers (also no go). A workaround on Technet looked promising but led to blue-screening every time we plugged the modem in.

Finally, another workaround on Technet gave us a working setup and a connection that would actually work! Hurrah!

Except now the Win7 laptop can't see the internet connection through the network like it could before, and I have no idea how to sort this.

FAKE EDIT: Brother has copied over the settings we had on parents' old laptop (for when it was using Internet Connection Sharing) and applied them to the LAN connection on the new one and it works fine. Huzzah!

I still think things might have been easier with an ethernet-based ADSL modem/router, but at least the duct tape on this setup is now in all the right places. :)
bouteillebleu: (Pocket watch)
And this is why I like Django, since after all this struggling and "how does this work" and "my brain hurts" fighting against a somewhat complex database query I thought would be simple, here is the function that does it with Django's own API:

def can_study_orm(self):
        skills_known = self.skills.all()
        skills_unknown = Skill.objects.exclude(id__in=skills_known)
        can_study = Skill.objects.exclude(prereqs__in=skills_unknown).exclude(id__in=skills_known)
        return can_study


Five lines, which could have been four if I'd combined the last two. That's compared to the nineteen lines for nicely formatting the SQL query equivalent. And best of all, the way it's set out means it makes *sense*.[1]

Now I have the method working, it's time to get the template it displays in working. Next up is the very simplified downtime system.

[1] The main thing I had problems with was the naming schemes for the manytomany relations in either direction. Need to have a look at renaming those.
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Plan for this weekend is more Maelstrom prep (writing, editing, sewing on buttons, packing oh god), poking the Django database API until I am familiar with it and can figure out how to ask it awkward questions without using SQL, and going to the M10 release event on Sunday with James.

Yay, Magic! I'm still not entirely sure how the rules differences will pan out - "enter the battlefield" rather than "comes into play" still confuses me, as does "exiled" rather than "removed from the game", and apparently the changes to how damage is assigned to multiple blockers are irritating - but it'll be the first release or prerelease I've been to that's not been in Alara block, and I'm interested in the flavour of the set as well as what it's like to play. Flavour was what got me back into Magic, after all.

(Also I seem to have picked up the phrase "Hooray, an bears!" in reference to the 2/2 bear creature in core set. I don't know where from.)

I am also trying to persuade myself I don't need to buy violet and silver Paradise just because they're slightly cheaper on eBay than on Facepaint UK. Certainly I don't need them for next event, but I can't actually think of anything I'd need them for ever other than, um, my current Maelstrom character, for whom that choice of colours might be a little unwise.
bouteillebleu: (Default)
I now have a SQL query to find what skills a character can self-study based on what they currently have. With no newlines in it it is about four and a half screen-widths long. But, on the other hand, it does just what I want - thank you, Canashir (at this point I realise I don't know the player's name, just his nick on #maelfroth), for the query up to the point with the first two subqueries.

I asked for help on it on Monday evening, Canashir supplied most of the query, and by Tuesday morning I'd sorted out the rest. Hooray!

A breakdown of it into clearer sections:

Read more... )
bouteillebleu: (Pocket watch)
Right. Google Apps. The overview page for the Google Apps service implies that it's good for hosting web apps written in Python (and now also ones written in Java). I have two projects that I would like to have hosted somewhere - one is the refbot (extracting CUTT downtimes from emails and putting onto the refwiki), the other is the Spinebot (incrementally-developed version of the PD downtime system, attempting improvements on a few aspects such as downtime submission).

refbot refbot )

Spinebot (incidentally, the name comes from my Maelstrom group, the Spine of the World) )
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Work: What I've been doing recently is working on saving Endo, just under two years after the relevant ICFP contest was over. I've been teaching myself more Java this way. Also, working on a Perl program to do markov chain-based text generation from IRC logs.

In actual-paid-work news, I have a new job and start on Monday. :)

Knitting: Socks. Also a nightgaunt that's half done and I need to finish. Also two dolls to finish for next Friday.

Roleplaying: DnD on Tuesdays was briefly replaced by Shadowrun while one of our players is away for the Easter holiday; the Shadowrun setting is cool, but the system is a bit more "crunchy" (dice-roll-intensive, in this case) than we'd like. Next two sessions will be a segue back into DnD 4E system, still in Shadowrun setting, set somewhere in an Aztlan temple.

No CUTT for a few more weeks, but Maelstrom event 1 is coming up next weekend.
bouteillebleu: (Yarn)
One of the nice things about our speech practical is that it involves a lot of "give computer your HMM and data, let it reestimate stuff", which takes a while.

This is nice because it means I can knit in the lab and it's okay because I am also working. Or, rather, my workstation is working. :)

I need an icon that combines "knit geek" and "computer geek". Hmm.
bouteillebleu: (Pomowned)
I went to a talk yesterday on Computers and illusion - from photography to colour vision. it was interesting, though due to lack of time he cut the part about shading and colour vision very short, which was a pity as I'm interested in colour vision.

Here's a summary of the talk with links to the papers for anyone who is interested. )
bouteillebleu: (Snow)
I've been using the computers in the Computer Labs a lot recently, what with practicals. In particular, I've been using the ones in the MPhil labs, which run Fedora with (I think) GNOME as the desktop manager.

Back on the Windows 2000 machine at home, I found I missed the nice feature from the lab computers where, when you resize or move windows, the edges of the window snap to the edges of the desktop or the edges of other windows as appropriate. Some programs, like Winamp, have this, but it's definitely not a standard feature of the OS.

A brief search found me a handy utility called allSnap, which I'm using now. It can't manage absolutely all windows (it wisely doesn't attempt to do anything with Winamp, for example, and can't snap Win2K dialog boxes to other windows), but it appears to manage most that you might need.
bouteillebleu: (Bazett)
Student life:
I'm an MPhil student these days. We're into week 4 of term, and I'm still reasonably up to schedule with my practical ticks (still need them to be checked as I finished slightly later than the practicals, but they're done in time for the next practical sessions).

The fast pace of the practical sessions has resulted in me learning a lot of Perl and C++ in a short time. The C++ was easier because I've done some Java; the Perl was a nightmare, but I'm starting to like the language, perversely.

Lectures themselves are cool, especially information retrieval (Simone has essentially shown us, in lectures and practical, how to make a search engine for a corpus of documents) and statistical signal processing (Mark Gales is a cool lecturer, plus I never realised how much probability I actually *learned* as an undergrad - lots of it has come back to me).

Only regret so far is that I've not really had time for reading around, because I've been trying to juggle lectures, practicals, hobbies and sleeping.

Hobbies:
Oh boy. I have many this term. Where to start?

1) Knitting. Picked this up randomly a few weeks before term started, and retaught myself how to knit and purl. Have now made a very long scarf, have two more comissioned and a whole load of vaguely interesting projects in the works. Also three bags of yarn living near my bed.

2) Fansubbing. Okay, this isn't a hobby yet, but a possible one. A friend on #cucas-old has suggested that several of us there find an interesting new anime series and fansub it ourselves. Said friend is a translator for an existing fansub group - this is good, because he's one of the few people on the channel who knows enough Japanese to be a translator. However, the rest of us can do well as translation checkers, editors, QC and encoders... so it should all be quite interesting.

3) LARP. Still going to Treasure Trap - we just had the third interactive and linear of the term yesterday and today. After the slow, steady paranoia of last term for one character, and the general horsing around for the other two characters, I was expecting to go plot-hounding by myself, and then the refs threw plot at one character and I've not really had a chance to play the others yet. (I lineared one of them last week, and ought to play her soon again so I don't feel bad and metagamey; I would have lineared the plot one this week, but the character party was already too large and it was more sensible for the person organising the linear to drop her. :)

I'll probably waffle a bit more about LARP in a later post to those who are interested (read: LARPers on my friends list, it's probably tremendously boring for the rest of you :).
bouteillebleu: (:3)
Today is linkspam day.

1. Management theory

Because I'm curious about what happens to companies when they go from being fairly small to getting rapidly larger. [livejournal.com profile] kingofwrong recommended looking at reading lists for MBAs, but do any of you guys have suggestions for reading?

Here are some things I've found so far, though:
* Rankings of MBA programmes for 2006, so I know where to look for reading lists
* Joel Spolsky's suggested MBA curriculum
* The Personal MBA Manifesto, which links to a list of books
* Wikipedia's page on Theory X and Theory Y, a comparison of theories of management (based on whether the manager trusts their employer to work if not forced to)

----

2. "How to read non-fiction"

http://www.si.umich.edu/~pne/PDF/howtoread.pdf

Has some interesting advice about reading books through three times, and also mentions annotating them in the third pass through to maximise how much you absorb.

An open question to readers - do you annotate books you own? For example, to correct mistakes (one of my housemakes marks errata in some of his computer science books). What about commenting in them?

Have you ever come across annotations or marginal notes in books you borrowed, from a friend or a library? Anything interesting?

----

3. XWiki

I've been looking at wiki systems recently, and came across XWiki.

It appears to be marketing itself differently from other wiki systems I've seen. Specifically, it calls itself a "second generation wiki".

I'm not sure what they were saying on that page. I think they were saying that XWiki is not just a wiki system, it can also be used to run blogs and collaborative applications.

I'm going to investigate XWiki to see:
(a) if I can install it on my own machine at home, rather than needing a server running Apache
(b) if I can edit the XWikiCodeMacro system to do syntax highlighting for languages other than XML, Java and SQL
(c) if it's actually tolerable as a wiki system, because right now it confuses me simply because I'm not used to it (unlike UseModWiki and MediaWiki, both of which I'm vaguely familiar with).

----

4. Bob the Friendly Eidolon

And finally, [livejournal.com profile] aquarionical gives a Rule 7 thread a much-needed dose of humour and sense:

http://forums.rule7.co.uk/FindPost41313.aspx

You rock, Aquarion. :)
bouteillebleu: (DDR)
Things that are awesome.

1. Puzzle Pirates and our soon-to-be crew. We have a ship on order (it'll be ready in a day or two), we've been training up at puzzles, and I've been trying to memorise routes so as to not need to worry about charts.

I don't think I'll manage to memorise any before we start sailing, but I've been getting island league points on my world map at least. I would have had the third archipelago of the ocean mapped if I hadn't accidentally teleported home when playing this morning.

Remember, kids - don't pirate while asleep, or while using a touchpad laptop mouse. It never helps.

ETA: I now have our ship, and a whisking potion so I can skip to islands I've been to before.

I do not, unfortunately, have the option to make a crew. Still need Narrow in swordfighting and battle navigation.

2. Reading computer science papers. The history of Haskell makes for interesting reading. (I have been warned off Haskell by Fib, who suggests I learn ML instead if I really want to learn a functional language. I need to play around with ML more.)

3. Three songs:
'Tribute' by Tenacious D
'Title of the Song' by Da Vinci's Notebook
'Finite Simple Group (Of Order Two)' by The Klein Four Group

4. Spoof CS tripos papers. I couldn't find them on the university site, but a bit of hunting produced 2006's paper. Question 3 amuses me far too much.

A little more searching produced all the papers from 1999 to 2006. Warning - most of these contain swearing, marijuana references and very bad jokes about curry (there's one almost every year). Do not inhale. Do not take orally. Oh, and probably best not viewed at work, either.

More random links:

The photos from this year's 3YGB.
Homepage for Philip Wadler, one of the inventors of Haskell.
Oz and Ends, a blog that's mainly about children's and young adult fiction.

RARGH

Jun. 13th, 2007 05:45 pm
bouteillebleu: (Samurai Dalek)
We have an EGM tonight. Our president asked me to print out the Constitution (which we're going to amend) and the suggested rewrites of two skill trees (which we're planning to rework over the summer).

JANET was down between 11 and 2, and chose 5:30 as the best time to have Cambridge-Chelmsford fall over again, leaving me with

1. no way to get to the TT website or wiki to access the pages I want to print;
2. no way to let people know on IRC;
3. no way to let people know by email, because Hermes is presumably inside the CUDN.

As [livejournal.com profile] kingofwrong said, bollocks to "degrading gracefully".

In case people in the CUDN can see my LJ, I have printed out the AGM minutes and will bring them along; I'll try to get the constitution and the Wilderness and Subterfuge pages done at home, but may not manage it in time.

If anyone else who can see the pages can print them, please do - 3 to 6 copies of each of Constitution, new Wilderness suggestions and new Subterfuge suggestions is what we need.

[livejournal.com profile] rjw76, very sorry about this - looks like JANET picked the wrong day to give up working. :(

EDITED, LATER: Crisis averted (though JANET still being silly), things printed, EGM held, takeaway eaten afterwards.

I'm writing up the AGM minutes and will send them to Rosie and Michael when I can.
bouteillebleu: (Reading)
I bought a lot of books and music today, so I'll be giving my thoughts about them for the next few days.

New music:

Naio Ssaion - Out Loud

Another metal band with a female vocalist. Bought it on the strength of "The Mirror", which Pandora has put in my playlist recently, and it doesn't disappoint. The singer is very good, there are no growls, and one of the band members plays an electric violin - he's even on the album cover with it.

Nightwish - Nemo (single)

This is the first single I've bought in about seven years. It was the non-album track (White Night Fantasy) and the orchestral version of Nemo that got me to buy it.

(I also have an Archer AMV and a Riku AMV floating around my head every time I hear this song. Perhaps I'll make one of them some day, though someone's already done an Archer one to the anime series.)

New books:

Web Hacking, by Stuart McClure, Saumil Shah and Shreeraj Shah.
£4.95 at Galloway and Porter.

A vaguely interesting guide to security holes in websites. Covers some things I've known for a long time (such as View Source in browsers), some things I've learned from The Daily WTF (such as SQL injection attacks and the infamous &OR1=1 in CGI GET requests), and some things I didn't know (such as how to identify web servers from the HTTP headers they send).

I like reading about security things, perhaps because I never get to use them. :)
bouteillebleu: (hardcore ascension)
Good stuff and not-so-good stuff, I guess.

First, the not-so-good stuff: I tried to get horizontal span working on my graphics card, which sent it back into the death spiral of "boot Windows -> change to horizontal span while booting Windows -> reboot computer -> boot Windows" that happened before. It does this when I try to reinstall the nVidia drivers, too. So I think I'll get a new graphics card.

Then the good stuff: I'm nearing the end of Kingdom Hearts. Okay, I suppose that's not all that good, as it's been a fairly fun game, if a little short (I'm at just over 30 hours now, which I class as 'short'). I'm stuck on the fight against SPOILER ). He's quick, strong, and bloody difficult to dodge in his last attack form because by the time I've healed and can hit him, he's semi-invincible again.

More spoilery wittering, mostly about pretty guys. )

I'd have made a Kingdom Hearts LJ icon by this point, but I'm in 800x600 with 16 colours at the moment, and not many pictures display well in 16 colours.

[livejournal.com profile] duncanneko has mentioned that there may be generic SVGA drivers for Windows. Does anyone know more about this? All I've managed to dig up is the generic VGA display adapter that you get when you don't have any other drivers installed.

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