Sunday, 23 February 2014

Python Minecraft CoderDojo -- Play Testers Sought

I've updated the sheets for the Manchester (UK) CoderDojo Python-Minecraft project.  I'm looking for play-testers.  If you are interested, take a look at this on the Minecraft Forum:

Friday, 21 February 2014

Jitsi VOIP Client DTMF Settings

It took me ages to find out how to modify the Jitsi DTMF settings today.  In case you have the same problem, here is a pictorial guide:

Monday, 17 February 2014

The Corn Laws

The Corn Laws where tariffs imposed on the import of corn to the UK from 1815 to 1846.  The intention of the tariffs were to protect the interests of corn producing landowners.  While landowners benefited from the protection of their markets, low-paid workers experienced poverty and famine from having to spend a large proportion of their income on bread.  The struggle to repeal the Corn Laws led to the collapse of the Conservative government and the resignation of Robert Peel as Prime Minister.  Following their repeal corn prices fell in the UK resulting in the reduction in the amount of land dedicated to cereal production and a similar reduction in the demand for agricultural labour.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Mainline vs. Trunk Development

In software source control (git, mercurial, etc.) you branch the code base in order to isolate different development efforts from one another. In a "mainline" source control model fixes are made on the branches and then merged into the mainline. In a "trunk" source control model fixes are made on the single trunk and then pulled into the branches as needed for a release.
Paul Hammant provides a nice picture of this in which he expresses his preference for the trunk model here:

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Pigeonhole Principle

The Pigeonhole Principle is a counting argument method of mathematical proof.  It says that if you have more items to distribute than pigeonholes to put them into then at least one of the pigeonholes must contain more than one item.  This simple principle becomes interesting when you extend it to countably infinite sets, e.g. the natural numbers.  See:

Friday, 10 January 2014

Five Sentences a Day

In order to have confidence that you have learned something it is a good idea to write something about it. I'd like to learn something new each day. But, who has the time to write an essay each day? Combining the idea of with the desire to write something each day I hereby declare I'm going to write five sentences, or fewer, each day.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Getting Apache Ant Working in Cygwin

I've just had some fun setting up Ant under Cygwin.  It all came down to getting the PATHs working correctly when the installed directories had spaces in their names.  The solution was to use cygpath to first shorten into dos format then unix-ify the paths.  e.g.

LONG_PATH=/cygdrive/c/Program\ Files/Java/jdk1.7.0_25/

DOS_PATH=`cygpath -d "$LONG_PATH"`

echo $DOS_PATH

UNIX_PATH=`cygpath -u $DOS_PATH`


So a one-liner to do the whole lot

UNIX_PATH=`cygpath -u $(cygpath -d "$LONG_PATH")`