Sunpipes – nifty idea, shame about the jingoistic homepage.
Two questions: can you turn them off, and how do they perform on a dull day?
The number of formal complaints of over-work from air-traffic controllers has more than doubled since the Swanwick national control centre opened in January 2002.
That really makes me feel safe about flying in British skies. Not.
The Circle, a scalable decentralized peer to peer application written in python, using a decentralised hashtable or “Chord” in a cunning manner described here (PDF). Another groovy project I probably won’t have time to contribute to…
Found: the weblog of Jim Finnis, a games programmer in Aberystwyth who “is in beta and will be improved shortly”. :-)
It’s quite interesting that this link has surfaced now, because just lately the Pet Shop Boys’ first album, Please, has been on my mind a bit. I’m not a huge fan of the band, and never paid much attention to anything after this album, but it does have a place in my heart. It was one of the records I used to sneak into my brother’s room and play at that joyous point in my early teens when I’d just discovered the record player. And just lately, for some unknown reason, I’ve had a hankering to listen to some of it again, in particular the non-singles Love Comes Quickly and Later Tonight, which even my naive prepubescent mind realised had sinister undertones.
As I say, I haven’t enjoyed much they’ve done since, and I would probably have dismissed them by now as bland popsters were it not for their performance of West End Girls on Top Of The Pops, which I caught a repeat of a couple of years ago. By that time I’d spent a while experimenting with synths, drum machines, etc. and I was astounded: it was live, it was stripped down and strung out, it seemed like they were improvising a new mix on the spot, and it sounded absolutely excellent to my techno-attuned ears. Highly impressive for the day, and a foreshadowing of their later more overt dance orientation, I guess. Since that point I’ve had a quiet respect for their ability if not their later releases.
Then Julie comes along and dismisses them with “I don’t like his voice”. Chicks, huh?
I’ve just seen RFC 2468 for the first time: Vint Cerf‘s obituary for Jon Postel, the first Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. I’d seen his name before but didn’t realise who he was, or that he was dead. What a great way to be remembered…
I’m currently working on a plugin which displays sunrise/sunset times, like this but nicer looking. Stay tuned.
Happy Birthday, Dad!!!
MayaVi, “a free, easy to use scientific data visualizer, written in Python and using the VTK Visualization Toolkit for the graphics”. Nifty – with some very impressive looking screenshots (eg cartoid thresh, cartoid stream, streamlines).
Excellent: ftputil.py, a high-level interface to python’s ftplib module, which is particularly interesting since it provides an upload_if_newer() method. Nice.
Download it from here.
Celestia is “a free real-time space simulation that lets you experience our universe in three dimensions.”, and Mostly Harmless is a project to create “a free Elite like space game based on Chris Laurel’s Celestia.” [ntk]
Random Word Generator – using Markov chains to generate words which could be real, but happen not to be.
Back in the Amiga days, my weapon of choice for file management was the excellent Directory Opus. Now I’ve ascended to the wonderful world of Linux I tend to eschew flashy graphical interfaces in favour of the raw naked power of the command line, but DOpus still has a place in my heart.
Being in a bit of a retro mood, I’ve been playing around with a Linux clone called Worker, and found it to be quite good. Today I discovered Gentoo, which is even better: nicer looking, nicer feeling, and very configurable.
I’m not sure if I’ll use either of them seriously, but it’s nice to take a trip down memory lane… :-)
Random quotes from IRC, if you want to pipe coffee through your nose onto your keyboard.
A couple of groovy python links:
Suffix trees, and suffix trees in python. “Suffix trees are a data structure that makes it convenient to do string matching against an entire data set in O(N) time. This is really wonderful, but creating the suffix tree isn’t always that easy.”
Gimboland is back – and from now on it’s maintained using Neomorph/Gobber, a python weblog system written by me.
It’s fairly rudimentary at the moment: just enough to get me to the point where I can ditch the increasingly flakey Blogger, basically. Blog entries are held in a text file, slurped into an appropriate data structure in memory, and turned into an index.html using albatross.
The next thing to add will be archive publishing, and then a through-the-web interface so I don’t have to be on my box to add posts. Having said that, it’s a great pleasure to update my blog (or ‘gob’, as I should really call it now) using emacs. :-)
Why haven’t I updated Gimboland in a week? Good question, gentle reader. In fact, I have updated it, but Blogger is refusing to publish the updated page to the web server. It appears a few other Bloggers users are having this problem, but not (apparently) enough that it’s getting any attention. I don’t know when or even if it’s going to be fixed.
Until it is, I’ll update the page manually, but probably not very often as it’s a right old rigmarole. I think that part of the problem is that now that they’re selling Blogger (as Blogger Pro) as well as giving it away free, the Pro users are getting more stable service, or at least more attention, than the freebie ones. I guess that’s fair enough when you want to make money (and Blogger’s been so successful that I’m sure they couldn’t afford to keep giving it away for free entirely), but it doesn’t help me much.
Why don’t I sign up to Blogger Pro? Because I intend on writing my own blogging software to place me in full control. This is underway, but it’s not ready for unveiling. Rich suggested I call it Gobber, which I quite liked. Anyway, more news as it happens. Cheers.
Sometimes I wish we humans had tails.
Well, that was pleasant… A very relaxed week, thank you very much – and the sun even deigned to come out on my birthday. Hurrah.