I was hanging in the local IKEA store when I came across this $5
multifunction digital clock. The interesting thing about it is that you
switch between the functions, not by pressing a button, but by turning
the clock on its various sides. It has four sides and hence four
functions: thermometer, alarm, clock and countdown timer. The countdown
timer in particular is awesome. You set the timer and every time you
turn the clock on the timer side, it automatically starts counting down.
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.
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.
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
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.
You’ll have a much better chance of getting quality housemates if
you have basic furniture and appliances, like sofa in the living room, a
dining table in the kitchen, fridge and microwave oven. If you don’t
have them, invest in free or dirt cheap second hand ones off gumtree.
Clean the place up and get used to keeping it clean.
Sign up for a free throw-away email account and use it for
correspondence with applicants.
Insure your apartment and belongings for theft, fire and flood.
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
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