Post fact

Black and white brush master
Lay out the outline a little faster
Moon is ducking behind the roof
Edges are morphing into aloof

I walk with my head in all directions
Holes and ditches ready for dilation
Still looking for the peeking head
before my own descends onto bed

Spring toes can carry me afar
Guided by some restless star
And a rocking seat on a train
Crawling its way through the rain

Arch backed and hurriedly stacked
Highly scoff resistant post fact
These humble rails are well willing
Deliberateness of the ride is thrilling

Came to think of it again tonight
To take pen to paper and write
With this dizzy head of mine
I can't promise to reach the end of line

Three way

Twelve stories tall
Waiting for a call
Watching city porn
Groping the glass wall

Seismic handshake by the lake
Bear hug soothing the hand ache
Fresh lime with a slice of cake
Conversing for hours without a break

Turning down the volume
Leaning in to consume
the air of your perfume
Feelings to exhume

systemd-nspawn based dev environment

Over the last week, I decided to move my dev environment from OSX to my own Archlinux box. Now I didn’t want to pollute my machine with various libraries/tools needed for work so I decided to run things in a container. I had played with systemd-nspawn in the past so it was the clear first choice (and last in this case). Overall I am very happy with it as it was a piece of cake to setup and only one or two hiccups along the way.

I followed the excellent guide on Archlinux Wiki and that took me 95% of the way. Firefox tweaks page took me 99% there. What follows are some tips for the last mile.

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Split PDF files

Another ghostscript trick to split a single PDF to multiple PDFs one for each page:

gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dSAFER -o outname.%d.pdf input.pdf

GPS Nav Wishlist

I drive once in awhile and even though I’d much prefer to rely on someone/something else to tell me where to go, I’ve decided to memorize directions rather than use a GPS navigation software. Instead of the why, I’ve listed my wishlist for GPS navigation software. If these are taken care of, I probably no longer have to look at street view for every turn and use pen and paper like it’s the 90s.

Top Priority

Lane navigation. A passenger familiar with an area giving you directions tends to mention which lane you should stay in well before the next turn so you won’t have to force your way onto the neighboring lanes at the last second and potentially cause an accident. This can be extended to take into account streets with lots of cross streets where people queue to turn to or streets where a lane is occupied by parked cars (both further dependent on the time of day). A lot of drivers, especially inexperienced ones, find changing lanes under pressure (ie upcoming turn) very stressful and are more likely to make mistakes doing it.

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Convert multiple images to PDF

This command takes a bunch of images and makes a multi-page PDF out of them:

convert *.jpg -units PixelsPerInch -quality 100 \
  -density 300x300 > out.pdf

Battle Pillows

Your happy face, your red and cyan shoelace
Your cream denim melting on your legs
My lightheadedness ever since

Plenty of poke prints on your back
You deflect the poke monster’s attack
My waving a white flag

Kiss after kiss but never in excess
Occasional gaze only to catch a breath
My hands, sound asleep on your waist

Sauce and cheese raining on your dress
The same dish with a wildly different taste
My forkless dining experience

Smell of morning grass through the windows
Lifting mist of feathers from battle pillows
My eyeing your cozy toes

The medalist in every trolley race
Fair play never on your conscious
My losses’ only ever cheering audience

Guide to renting out your room

Here’re some tips I’ve learnt over the years sharing apartments. Some are only applicable if you live in the state of NSW in Australia.

Prep

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The Art of Barebackness

Few years ago, I got a job in a team which was building a search engine from scratch akin to a real-estate directory (but not exactly that) where a user searches for houses in a town and can filter based on criteria such as price, proximity to amenities, etc.

Due to an extraordinary degree of collective laziness, we decided against IaaSes and went with a PaaS we were familiar with, the GAE. Very early on we noticed that users would only ever search for houses around a certain area and so we would never look across the entire dataset. There had to be a way to capitalize on this and sure enough, we found it: there was no need for a backend. The dataset for a locality and its surrounding was small enough to be downloaded to the user’s browser and be interrogated there.

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Prevent Windows from sleeping

For those times when your company’s policy forces your remotely accessed PC into sleep, forcing you to quickly build a mountain of favors asking your colleagues to kick it out of its naps 10 times a day.

This is an AutoIt script that can be turned into a standalone executable and run on startup. It simulates a keypress once every 30 seconds. The key is ScrollLock which shouldn’t cause any trouble. Remove #NoTrayIcon if you want to know when the script is active, as it shows an icon on the tray by default.

#NoTrayIcon

While True
  Send("{SCROLLLOCK on}")
  Send("{SCROLLLOCK off}")
  Sleep(30000)
WEnd