flak rss random

three valued structs

Sometimes we have a boolean, which is great for storing two values, but we need just a little more space to squeeze in a third value. There’s a few ways to do this.


Posted 29 Jul 2020 06:20 by tedu Updated: 06 Aug 2020 01:17
Tagged: c programming

and now to try the pixelbook

Short followup to previous commentary on the Pixel Slate. The Pixelbook (sans go) was Google’s previous effort at a unified form factor, a 2in1 with attached keyboard. In many ways, they are quite similar in capability, with similar specs as well.

Unlike the Slate, the Pixelbook isn’t on perpetual fire sale. Google will still attempt to charge you $999 for a new one, three years later. However, I was able to find a used one for less than half that price, at which point it becomes a much better value. It’s aged fairly well, as I don’t think there are any competing devices that truly outclass it.

Most of my previous comments are still relevant, with the qualifier that anything the Slate is great at, the Pixelbook is merely very good at. The screen in particular is slightly less outstanding, but still very pleasing. Balancing that, the attached keyboard is an enormous improvement, though that only brings it into the realm of passable.

As an entertainment travel device, it’s very heavy for a tablet, my longstanding complaint for 2in1 devices. It is much sturdier in tent mode, however, so it won’t fall over if a mosquito sneezes nearby. The speakers are kinda bad, especially since they fire through the keyboard, and therefore away from screen in most multimedia modes. Bring headphones.

As a work device, its ability to function as a real laptop with keyboard crushes the Slate. The tactile feel of the keys are weird. They’re soft rubber I think? Would not want to use it as my only device, but there’s nothing I couldn’t accomplish with it if necessary.

I’m building up quite a stable of Chromebooks, which seems rather excessive considering their limitations. However, the downside is tempered by a few things. They’re fast and easy to keep updated. There’s no effort to maintaining one, so there’s no extra effort to maintaining two. As simple appliances to lookup Charlize Theron movies, there’s a certain convenience in having one in every room, and if this means Google shows me more ads for such movies, that’s a devil bargain I’m willing to make.

Posted 19 Jul 2020 22:08 by tedu Updated: 19 Jul 2020 22:08
Tagged: computers

iphone 10 vs android x

I got an iPhone X with the new gesture interface a while ago. My One Plus 7 Pro updated to Android 10 with a new gesture interface a few months ago. They’re quite similar, though different in some regards, and I think I’ve had enough time to familiarize myself with both and make some observations.


Posted 13 Jul 2020 02:17 by tedu Updated: 13 Jul 2020 02:17
Tagged: software

against testing

I really dislike writing tests. There’s some amount of discomfort I’d be willing to sustain if I felt it they were beneficial, but I also find they’re rarely worth the bother. Some reasons why. Most of this probably applicable specifically to unit testing, but some other bits to integration testing.


Posted 07 Jul 2020 00:36 by tedu Updated: 22 Dec 2020 18:22
Tagged: programming thoughts

good idea bad implementation crosstalk

Sometimes there’s a bad implementation of a good idea, which typically results in discussions turning into shouting matches between people who see only the bad implementation and people who see only the good idea. And sometimes seems more like always when it comes to smart devices, or the internet of things, aka ioshit.


Posted 27 May 2020 07:47 by tedu Updated: 30 May 2020 03:41
Tagged: software thoughts

Postel's law in development

Postel’s law, also known as the robustness principle, states that we should all be friends and try to get along. It’s also occasionally harmful. Here’s an example.


Posted 20 May 2020 17:42 by tedu Updated: 20 May 2020 17:42
Tagged: programming thoughts


A while back somebody posted some “amazing” images which were black and white except for the stripes that were colored. So, not black and white, but the point was to demonstrate that vision is highly perceptual and the brain will interpolate from what’s there. I thought this might be fun to play around with. I guess it kinda works, but I think some of the demo images were selected carefully.


Posted 15 May 2020 16:41 by tedu Updated: 15 May 2020 16:41
Tagged: go programming project www

reversing windows scroll wheel direction

Saving this here so it’s less trouble to find in the future. Ten years later and there’s still no generic means to accomplish this most simple of tasks without device specific junkware except via registry hackery.

Get-ItemProperty HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\HID\*\*\Device` Parameters FlipFlopWheel -EA 0 | ForEach-Object { Set-ItemProperty $_.PSPath FlipFlopWheel 1 }

From superuser.

Posted 06 May 2020 21:13 by tedu Updated: 06 May 2020 21:13
Tagged: software windows

on the usability of editable software

I’m aware of two occasions on which Knuth advised editing existing code, as opposed to simply using it. One mention is in this interview, advocating for “re-editable” code instead of the fashionable reusable code, although it doesn’t amount to much more than that statement. In Coders at Work he describes a system of working that’s basically patch and diff. He writes a program, the master version that works for him, and ships it out. People receive and it and then modify it with change files so it works for them.


Posted 30 Apr 2020 16:48 by tedu Updated: 30 Apr 2020 17:40
Tagged: software thoughts

making bad coffee

I used to drink coffee for the sake of drinking coffee. In recent years I mostly switched to drinking coffee for the sake of going out and having something to do. Since I no longer go outside and there’s nowhere to go anyway, I have stopped drinking coffee, but since I’ve been spending so much time inside peering into my pantry, I found a bag of coffee from the before times and thought I’d have some fun.


Posted 19 Apr 2020 11:05 by tedu Updated: 19 Apr 2020 11:05
Tagged: food