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A Rustic Journey Through Stream Stats

Stream Stats Demo

After playing Guessing Game from the Rust Book a few times, it was time to make something a little more substantial. We’re going to create stream_stats, a CLI program which prints throughput statistics from stdin while redirecting through stdout. Think tee + wc -l + watch all at the same time.

TL;DRcargo install stream_stats

written in rust Read on →

Getting Rusty with Vim

Vim Screenshot

After dabbing in Go and Crystal, I figured I’d give Rust a try. Of course I used Vim along the way. Here are some notes I compiled after my first session.

written in rust, vim Read on →

FZF + WordNet = Dictionary

FZF + WordNet = Dictionary. FZF is a fuzzy finding command line tool. WordNet is a dictionary structured for developers. When married together, we can get a snappy dictionary to help us find just the right word for any occasion.

written in fzf, shell, wordnet Read on →

GNU Screen

Screen is a full-screen window manager that multiplexes a physical terminal between several processes, typically interactive shells.

TL;DR – Screen keeps your ssh sessions alive on a host.

written in screen, shell Read on →

Base16 Shell

After many years using the excellent Solarized color scheme, it has started to feel stale. Sometimes I think the dark blueish tint brings down my mood. Other times, I wonder what life could be like if I stared at more cheerful colors. Thus starts my farewell from Solarized, and hello to Base16.

written in shell, vim Read on →

Vim Send Text

After pairing with some Sublime users, I noticed a neat feature. Or more accurately, they were rubbing it in my face that their cute editor was better than mine. The feature was SendText. Well, I couldn’t let Sublime users have all the fun, and apparently neither could a few other people.

written in talk, vim Read on →

What the SQL?!? WINDOW

Today’s “What the SQL?!?” features the keyword WINDOW. This clause allows us to elegantly select results from the previous results from the previous results from the previous results…

written in sql, talk Read on →

What the SQL?!? Recursive

Today’s “What the SQL?!?” features the keyword RECURSIVE. This clause allows us to elegantly select results from the previous results from the previous results from the previous results…

written in sql, talk Read on →

What the SQL?!? Lateral Joins

Today’s “What the SQL?!?” features the keyword LATERAL. A prerequisite to understanding lateral joins are regular joins and subqueries. I’ll explain those briefly to see how LATERAL can simplify a complicated SQL query.

written in sql, talk Read on →

Vim Side Search: Making Search Fun Again

The quickfix feature is nice, but it doesn’t give enough context around the search term that leads to use ag from terminal and switch back and forth between programs. I do this search dance every day and I’ve had it! There must be better way!

written in vim Read on →

Sensible Horizontal Scroll in Vim

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference, and this is about as small as it can get. Occasionally, I hold down l, w, or e to view long lines which have disappeared off the window. It’s a bad habit and the penalty always ruins my concentration. But after I found this setting, I’m free to cursor around like an innocent child unaware of death.

written in vim Read on →

Making a Window Submode in Vim

I found a plugin that is changing my Vim-tire life! This plugin is so awesome it should be built into default Vim. What does the plugin do? It enables the creation of new submodes. Why would a person want more modes?!? Isn’t dealing with modes the main deterrent for new Vim users? Isn’t Normal, Insert, Command-line, Visual, Select, and Operator-pending enough? (Did I miss one?) Let’s try out a new submode and see what happens.

written in submodes, vim, Read on →

Yank Without Jank

For all the great things Vim has to offer, it still has some inconsistencies with basic editors that I simply can’t unlearn. One of these nasties is moving the cursor after a visual yank. Go ahead, try it: vipy. Where’s your cursor? Where did you expect it to be located? When you’re in a boring editor and do shift-down-down-down <Cmd-c>, where’s your cursor? Where did you expect it to be located? This janky behaviour always throws me off for a moment, then I compose myself, do a <backtick><greaterthan> to jump to the end of my selection, and p.

There must be a better way!

written in vim Read on →

Vim Toggle Movement: I Just Want to Go Home

I have a problem with the ^ key. I need its functionality, but its proximity is too far for either of my stubby index fingers. No vimrc change can physically move it closer to me, but I have found a way to move its funtionality to another a key. A key which already knows how to go home. An alternate home. A home where my heart isn’t. Enough drama, what’s the problem?!?

written in vim Read on →

BS to the Black Hole

First post in 2 years. Sorry to keep you waiting.

I’ve been playing with Vim again, more specifically NeoVim, and this time I think it’s going to stick.

The Problem

Sometimes, I want to delete text without worrying about blowing away the unnamed register. This can be done by prefixing a normal or visual delete with "_, but that’s an awkward dance for my pinky and ring finger. Go ahead, try it. You’ll feel like you’re in junior high again.

written in vim Read on →

Backpocket 2.0

I’m sick of small “sexy” devices. I want a full screen every where I go. So I want some one to make this for us, and get a big celebrity to sport it and make it cool. I know I can’t pull it off alone.

I’m hoping the future Galaxy Note/Tab 3.0 can be hugged by Backpocket 2.0’s embrace. 


(drawn with Papyrus on my Galaxy Note)

So what do you think tech boys and girls? Leave your comments below.

written Read on →

Measure Linux Manhood using Busybox

For those in the embedded Linux world, Busybox seems to be the single most important thing to have in their filesystem other than OS itself. This is something I just recently discovered as I started rooting my Android devices. Prior to Busybox I’ve been stuck using my laptop to edit files, then using adb commands to get things to the right location on the device. When I was really stuck, I’d end up using adb shell and the simplified utilities that are in /system/bin. But now with Busybox I have access to all the commands I’m accustom to using in a full Linux/Unix distribution.

written Read on →

This is a Test Phone Blog

The jury is still out on whether I can productively write anything on a mobile device. I just received a Galaxy Note, installed Hackers Keyboard, and installed Writer app. The Note provides nearly an extra inch of keyboard while the Hackers Keyboard provides all the typical keys on used to on a desktop. Lastly was finding an app that highlights my favorite plain text writing language, Markdown.

written Read on →

Random Password Progam Redux

Well this goes to show that I should always Google first, think later. The apg program seems to do everything I need and with much more flexibility.

written Read on →

How to create human readable randomized passwords?

This issue came up in my day job where the client didn’t like our password reset passwords. They said it was too random and people can’t remember it long enough between reading it in there email and entering it into our app/website.

written Read on →

9 Year Old Developer

I just found out about this story this morning, and it warmed up my day.

It supports my belief that we’re all born with the yearning to create stuff.Cheers to the supportive father that didn’t minimize his efforts or force him to do what others expect of him.

written Read on →

Where Does The Time Go

title: Where does the time go? date: 2011-06-04 13:00:00 -05:00 comments: true categories: posterous_id: 55640459 —

where does the time gophoto © 2008 cmcbrown | more info (via: Wylio)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything real. I started on a couple articles thinking I didn’t have time to update Thumb War, but in the end didn’t have time to finish those articles either.

written Read on →

How to make a lite version of an Android game

I’ve discovered that no amount of screenshots or marketing speak will ever get someone past the $1.99 price point. So with a bit of research and rework a free version Thumb War is now available here.

For a while I thought the process of making 1 project into 2 was going to break the time bank, but after running into this article on the Android Developer site the pieces fit together quite nicely.

written Read on →

Sumo mini-game notes

I’ve created a working version of the sumo and it is revealing some overall bugs for the game engine at large.
First the precision of two touch points greatly decreases when they are close together I presume this is an issue with capacitive screens and not a software issue. This issue hasn’t shown itself till now since the other games are faster paced and acurracy is less important.

written Read on →

AndEngine. Living on the Edge.

Just updated to the trunk build of AndEngine which broke almost every line of code I had. There were a bunch of renamings that occurred to replace the concept of scene layers with a more generic child entity structure. The shape modifiers also got moved to another package to differentiate from particle modifiers.
All in all, the transition was smooth and I will now be able to contribute to code back into the main source tree without as many conflicts.


Finger Mechanics. Help!

I am finding it near impossible to get a perfect simulation of finger to table top physics. I’m not sure if this is a hardware limitation or just my bad algorithm. In a previous post I had a workable solution by dragging pieces around instead of teleporting, and that does work enough. But now that the game is released I feel the need to make is better.

written Read on →

Day 9+X, 1 More Session and I’m done!

I believe I’m almost finished with some thing that I wouldn’t hate being in the market. I know that standard seems a bit low, but if I don’t release this thing soon it won’t ever get released.

The past sessions were all about artwork. This could have been a long rabbit trail, but my wife reminded me to get this thing done. And that every minute I send on this creation, I lose with my son. Anyway, artwork is basically done. I have to crop here and there. But I think it’s workable.

written Read on →

Day 9 - Counters and Player Positions

Due to popular demand I added visual count down indicators. The feature shows the second remaining on the screen then it explodes away like a puff if smoke. This will be done by a nice little shape modifier feature built into AndEngine. I want to apply 3 modifiers in parallel: change alpha from 1 to 0 (visible to invisible), scale 1 to 10 (normal to huge), and rotate 0 to 360. This was easier said than done, because of a difference between regular shapes and text. Regular shapes use alpha blending by default, text doesn’t.

written Read on →

Day 7 - Finger Physics is Hard

After struggling with this problem for quite some time, I think the issue is finally licked. The problem relates to transferring you fingers momentum to a virtual object on the screen. The natural way to display finger position is to plot a sprite at the touch sensors coordinates. The problem with this method is the physics engine doesn’t think their is any momentum built up. The physics engine just thinks your finger teleported there. So if I teleport on top of a cow it just explodes. To make things worse if the touch events come in too slowly you’ll teleport over the cow completely missing the free lunch.

written Read on →

Day 6-ish

I’ve been a bit lax on updates due to spending any free time on the game mechanics.

The overhead physics is now about right with some polish needed around transfer of momentum from the touch event to a game object. AndEngine, or really any game engine, doesn’t make touching and physics work well together. If you want to make an Angry Birds clone that would be easy, but making your finger the bird is much harder… unless it’s that other bird…

Anyway, I finally have the first mini-game completed. It is called Keep Away, with the simple concept of keeping stuff away from the opponent. There are basic menus, dialogs, game time, and game over transitions. I can now play test with my wife, who thinks the best part is the clucking noise when things collide. Hopefully that won’t be the the only highlight.

I would post a screenshot but it’s still a bit too ugly for the Internet.


AndEngine Is Totally Sweet!

Here’s the result of a couple hours of work. The cards are touchable
and you can move more than one card at a time. The engine allows me to
hold a card under each finger and rotate my phone in a 360 and it
tracks my fingers perfectly. I was able to stitch together the basic
functions because of the numerous example provided by

Now I can image my game coming together in my lifetime. Thanks Nicolas Gramlich for making such an amazing product and open
sourcing it to the world. AndEngine is a product that I plan on
contributing to in the future.


AndEngine Is The Current Winner - Day 0.1


I’ve decided to use AndEngine to do the first version of the game. It
has a ton of example source, and seems to be easy enough to use. I
guess I should have looked harder before doing the previous post. I’ve also talked with several colleagues and they validated the
general game mechanics. As for the rest of my evening, I will attempt to get AndEngine up and
running and maybe get an animated sprite drawn before the nights out.


Starting to create a simple game for Android - Day 0

Thumb war in Iraq

I’ve been stewing over a new game concept and have decide to log ideas, challenges, and progress on here.

The idea is pretty simple: Thumb War for Android

The primary challenges I see of creating this beast will be:

  1. game input - multi-touch with ability to track which user is touching the screen.
  2. game engine - I don’t know of any good base game engines out there that will give me a head start on this project. The few I’ve seen are probably too big for me needs.
  3. art work and sound - I’ll probably need to get some help on this one.
  4. time - I’m guessing I’ll only have a couple hours a week to spend, so there’s a chance this won’t get done till Android is dead.

More to come soon…


How to pass click events to Android child views

When dealing with child views in Android, nesting views with touch events can wipe out basic onClick behavior. This can turn a happy developer into a “punch stranger in the face” developer in no time flat. To return the rabbit developer back to normal, I scraped together the following snippet.

written Read on →

Dead mouse

Not as good of a reaction as I was hoping, but better than nothing.


Live Today, Live Tomorrow with the Archos 9.

Too bad my Christmas list is full.

via UMPCPortal by Chippy on 12/17/09


In a few hours, I’ll be down in the studio playing around with the Archos 9 that is on it’s way from the DHL depot. I won’t be too interactive as I want to record an unboxing video and some testing in preparation for the real live session with JKK (one of our Friday night, bring-your-own-bottle sessions) on Friday evening starting at 2130 CET. (Check your time here)

Live sessions take place in the LIVE page which is always available (and open for chat via IRC)

In the live session we’ll be talking about the Archos 9, the Archos 5, the Motorola Droid/Milestone and the Eking S515 (also known as the PsiXPDA)

We look forward to seeing you.

Thanks for for sending the Archos 9 over for testing.


Related posts:

  1. PsiXPDA UMPC Launches in UK, US, Europe. PsiXPDA have launched in the UK and their first product…
  2. Live Podcast and E-King S515 Videocast Today. 2130 CET. Sorry about the late notice on this one but…
  3. Motorola Droid Preview from BGR The Boy Genius Report has their hands on a…


OpenID Ends 2009 With 1 Billion Users

I really need to get on this band wagon.

via ReadWriteWeb by Jolie O’Dell on 12/16/09

At the close of a whiz-bang year, OpenID has a lot to be proud of.

With a community of 9 million sites that use OpenID logins and 1 billion individual users, OpenID has effectively revolutionized the way we are able to create and maintain portable identities. Best of all, it’s not just bloggers and geeks who sang OpenID’s praises: The U.S. federal government got on board this year, too.


OpenID accounts are enabled by such providers as AOL, Blogger, Flickr, Google, LiveJournal, MySpace, Verisign, WordPress and Yahoo with announcements of upcoming OpenIDs from Microsoft and PayPal. Sites that allow users to login with OpenID range from major retailers and music labels to news organizations and social sites.

As for the government, at the Gov 2.0 Summit in Washington, DC, earlier this year, the General Services Administration and several government agencies announced they would adopt OpenID as part of the White House’s Open Government Initiative. Participating companies included Yahoo!, PayPal, Google, Equifax, AOL, VeriSign, Acxiom, Citi, Privo and Wave Systems. On the government side is the Center for Information Technology (CIT), National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and related agencies.

Not only is the government’s involvement a vote of confidence for OpenID’s innovation; it also speaks to the product’s security progress, which was spearheaded by security committee head and PayPal exec Andrew Nash.

In addition to developing and spreading the OpenID product, there’s also the OpenID Foundation, which appointed its first executive committee, including Chris Messina and Don Thibeau, in 2009.

Portable identity is one of our favorite themes from this year, and we applaud what OpenID has been able to accomplish. What do you look forward to seeing from the product, the foundation and OpenID partner sites in the year to come? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Guitar Hero Played On Side of House in Christmas Lights

Why just for Christmas? How about 4th of July? Mardi Gras?If time allows (which it doesn’t), this will be my next home project.

via Gizmodo by Kat Hannaford on 12/14/09

This isn’t the first time Christmas lights have met Guitar Hero on the pages of Gizmodo, but this former Disney employee’s efforts are definitely the best use of the game that I’ve ever seen.

written Read on →

Absolutely Amazing Video Game Remake Wallpapers, Third Wave [Wallpaper Roundup]

This guy needs to be an art director of a game soon.

via Lifehacker by The How-To Geek on 12/11/09

Lifehacker reader Orioto stunned and amazed us earlier this year with his incredible paintings of classic video games for your desktop—and he’s back with yet another must-see collection of wallpapers for your desktop.

We realize desktop wallpaper isn’t necessarily the most productive thing on the planet, but you spend countless hours at your computer every week, and sometimes a fresh wallpaper is just the ticket for some rejuvenation.

Note: Click on the name of the particular wallpaper to access the full range of sizes at the source site.

(Click any of the images for a closer look.)

written Read on →

Pico Projector Gun Controller Beams First-Person Shooters on Any Surface

Nice! I have something new to put on my Christmas list.

via Gizmodo by Sean Fallon on 12/11/09

Redneck Techie’s vision for a pico projector Wireless Game Gun has been realized…by Microvision. As you can see, the controller allows gamers to break free from their fixed screens and project the battle on any surface.

<p>Using the infinite focus capability of the PicoP display engine,
combined with a motion sensing module, it&#8217;s now possible to play
video games on multiple surfaces, all while tracking your
character&#8217;s point of view in 3D space.</p>

written Read on →

This is the real piano lesson

Tricked by YouTube again. This video series really teaches something instead of just saying how easy it is to learn. I like how this instructor needs to reference the sheet music later in the series. He is human after all.

Hopefully one day I’ll be good enough to actually apply these principles and it would make a real difference to my technique. Until then it’s back to reading sheet music for me.


Flavors: 10 Code-Free Minutes to a Sexier Web Presence

Great idea, maybe I should move to it.

via ReadWriteWeb by Dana Oshiro on 11/30/09

flavors_branding_nov09a.jpgThe do-it-yourself website space is so crowded right now that it’s amazing to see anyone launch a product and cut through the noise. Still, we were captivated by the simplicity and design of Similar to, instead of forcing you to use Facebook, LinkedIn or your neglected blog to represent you, Flavors lets you to build a basic vanity site in less than 10 minutes. As of this evening non-designers will have a chance to revel in their newly found web sex appeal.

written Read on →

Google Sites Offers Templates; Claims It’s Easier Than Sharepoint

Google, it’s about time you released this. Goodbye baby blues. Hello choice.

via ReadWriteWeb by Alex Williams on 11/16/09

sites_infographic.jpgGoogle Sites is getting an upgrade. Starting today, Google will provide templates that it claims makes it possible for users with no technical background to create web sites with a degree of functionality that includes page layouts, adding links for navigation and embedded gadgets.

written Read on →

Twitter’s New Headquarters As Shown Off By Employees (Pictures)

One day we’ll have a place like this. Must work harder!!!

via TechCrunch by MG Siegler on 11/16/09

Today, Twitter moved into a new, much larger office in San Francisco. The space, which was previously Bebo’s SF office, is right around the corner from their old one.

A few members of the Twitter team spent much of the weekend decorating the new digs with a number of Twitter-themed elements like birds and @ symbols. Check out some of the pictures being posted to the web by Twitter employees below. And yes, there is a DJ booth — and apparently vanity mirrors in the toilet stalls.


written Read on →

Recording for Best Practices for Architecting in the Cloud Webinar

Architecting in the Cloud Webinar

Thank you for registering for our webinar, Best Practices for Architecting in the Cloud. The recording of this informative, hour-long webinar is now available for you to watch. Click here.


You can see previously recorded webinars and register for more events at


Please send your questions, comments and feedback to Tracy Laxdal,


Thank you,


The Amazon Web Services Team





The Manliest Pants Of All Time

I’m surprised he can take a full stride.

via Consumerist by Ben Popken on 11/12/09

Yes, they’re Barracuda pants—the only trousers that remind you, and anyone within eyesight, that you have a penis.

The copy says: “Male makes pure man stuff… like bold and brawny Barracuda slacks with swing-around pocket styling. They cling like a girl in the dark. Won’t wrinkle—they’re permanently pressed! Rarer fabrics…richer colors…better tailoring…modest prices…all yours at better stores throughout the Free World. Go look them over. You’ll buy an armload.


I think my favorite part about this retro magazine ad is that these super manly manly pants are available “at better stores throughout the Free World.” That’s as priceless as the placement of the guy is unfortunate.

(Image: SA_Steve)


Sales Guy v. Web Dude, Parts 2-4. Oh, Yeah.

via TechCrunch by Michael Arrington on 11/12/09

Most of you have probably seen Sales Guy v. Web Dude, a hilarious video on the joys of tech support. If you haven’t seen it, kiss ten minutes goodbye and start there. It ranks up there with the stuff on Best Page In The Universe in entertainment and laugh value.

The creator was quiet for a long time after that video. But in the last few months have been productive for him. And he now has three new videos and posted them on The Website Is Down. All, including the original, are embedded below:

Episode 1 – Sales Guy vs. Web Dude

The original website is down video web dude tries desperately to get his important work done while assaulted on all sides by rampant incompetence. Will he survive???

Episode 2 – Excel Hell

Video #2 from the website is down! Chip takes us on a wild ride into the life of a master salesman. How many sales can he make in a single video? One? Maybe?

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  type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent"
  allowscriptaccess="never" height="385" width="480" /></div>
<h3>Episode 3 &#226;&#8364;&#8220; Remain Calm</h3>
<p>Chip Demonstrates his special procedure for a hot-swap hardrive
replacement using only his steel-toed boot and his razor thin
patience. Watch and Learn!</p>
<div class="c4"><embed allowfullscreen="true" src=
    type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent"
    allowscriptaccess="never" height="385" width="480"></div>
  <h3>Episode 4 &#226;&#8364;&#8220; Sales Demolition</h3>
  <p>Biz Tip of the week: Get your clients in the room and shove your
  product down their throats in a sales demo!</p>
  <div class="c4"><embed allowfullscreen="true" src=
      type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent"
      allowscriptaccess="never" height="385" width="480" /></div>
    <p><strong><em>Crunch Network</em></strong>: <a href=
      "">CrunchGear</a> drool over the sexiest
    new gadgets and hardware.</p>
    <a href=""><img src=
      border="0" height="250" width="300"></a>
    <div><a href=
        <img src=""
        border="0"></a> <a href=
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    height="1" width="1">


Better Ruby Idioms

Finally, some one else (and a more reputable one), shares my Rails plugin pain. Let’s make Ruby fun again, and less magical.

written Read on →

Test Post to Facebook

I’m not sure if this is going to work, but here it goes.