Could it be? The TI-83+ public key cracked?!

19 08 2009

I was perusing reddit and came upon a posting that claimed to have cracked the TI-83+ calculator’s public key. This allows anyone to write and “sign” their own code so that the calculator thinks that it is legitimate code from Texas Instruments. This opens up a lot of interesting possibilities. TI83PLUS

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I’ve got my head (and data) in the clouds!

17 08 2009

I’m about to move into a new apartment in a few days and have noticed how much computer related crap I have to move. I’ve got my computer, a NAS, a few external hard drives, routers, CDs, and about a million cables to with everything else. This got me thinking, what would happen if I lost all of my equipment? How screwed would I be?Clouds_320

After thinking about it, pretty bad from a financial point of view, but as for my important data, really not that much.

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Time to Organize the Book Collection!

15 08 2009

I consider my book collection to be pretty large. I make genuine efforts to read through all my books, but by the time I finish one book, I’ve bought two more.

While I like curling up with just one book and reading straight through it, I’ll often find myself working on reading three, four, or more books at the same time (not the exact same time, but switching between them). That’s about the time when I notice my lack of bookmarks (or maybe just my inability to use them reliably). I’ve lost my place, so I put the book down saying I’ll come back later. Well, Crime and Punishment is still sitting on my dresser two-thirds done, and I’m not about to re-read 500 pages just to refresh myself with the story.imgres

Fed up with losing my place and abandoning books, I’ve decided to use this as a time to learn some web programming and make a dynamic website that will keep track of what books I own and how far along in each one I am. Not only this, but it will have bar graphs! Yay!

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I’d use Linux, but it doesn’t have the applications I want…

13 08 2009

The biggest complaint I hear about Linux is that people can’t find applications that they need to be productive. Well, if you know where to look, you can find a replacement for nearly every Windows application out there.

To make your transition to Linux easier, I’m going to point out the Linux equivalent of some key Windows applications. Then I’ll show you some places to look on your own if you can’t find what you want.

Linux has all the applications you could want!

Linux has all the applications you could want!

Even better, all these programs will be free!

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I’m So Sick of Testing and Sorting Through Logs by Hand

11 08 2009
Not those kind logs silly!

Not that kind of logs, silly!

Software testing is a very important part of releasing any product. After all, no one wants a big buggy product. (Especially when it can ruin your whole mission.) On the other hand though, testing software is boring. I’d much rather be writing software than testing it. (Besides, my code never has bugs! *sarcasm*)

When I’m working on a project for school or work, I usually spend a lot more time testing and tracking down bugs rather than coding (80% of effort on 20% of work kind, of thing). I usually try to give my code pretty good test coverage, but its tedious to run through a large set of tests, especially just remembering them all.

To help with this, I wrote a Python tool to run my tests and then display the results visually using HTML, rather than a log file or something similar.

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Make Tutorial: Part 2

9 08 2009

Colleges will be back in session in a month or two. When I first started school, I was forced to use Unix for all CS classes, but given very little instruction in it. Very “sink-or-swim”. I actually still have a page of notes where I wrote down basic commands, such as ‘ls’ and ‘pwd’, from a lecture given on the first day. After that first day, you were on your own. make

This same philosophy applied to our projects. Projects typically consisted of 5 or more files and it quickly became tedious to compile and link all those files by hand. We were given no hints to use Make to assist us. After discovering this tool, it greatly increased my productivity. Because of the gains I saw, I thought I’d write a few tutorials on using Make. Hopefully, it will help a beginning user to get accustomed with the tool and point them in the right direction to learn more.

This is Part 2 of my make tutorial.

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Who would have thought Sublime Text was so, well, sublime!

7 08 2009

A few days ago, I wrote about my Quest for the Perfect Editor. Well, the quest is over, with Sublime Text being a clear winner.

I’ve used it as my main editor these past few days to give it a fair chance to impress me and it hasn’t let me down yet. Sublime bills itself as, “The text editor you’ll fall in love with,” and I can easily see that happening.

She obviously just tried Sublime Text for the first time.

She obviously just tried Sublime Text for the first time.

Sublime has features that you’ll love no matter what you’re writing, whether it be code, prose, or poetry.

I thought I’d write a little bit about why I like it so much, as well as encourage you to at least try it for yourself. If you’re in the market for a new editor, this will be where your search ends.

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