week 35, 2019

Curl exercises

Recently I’ve been interested in how people learn things. I was reading Kathy Sierra’s great book Badass: Making Users Awesome. It talks about the idea of deliberate practice.

The idea is that you find a small micro-skill that can be learned in maybe 3 sessions of 45 minutes, and focus on learning that micro-skill. So, as an exercise, I was trying to think of a computer skill that I thought could be learned in 3 45-minute sessions.

I thought that making HTTP requests with curl might be a skill like that, so here are some curl exercises as an experiment!

writes Julia Evans. If you want to learn curl or get better at using it I highly recommend to do the 21 exercises. Also the related discussion on Hacker News has several great tips. See also Copy as cURL.

A dead scorpion and a clock

In the early afternoon a small package arrived sent by Paul. When I opened it I encountered a transparent plastic box with a dead scorpion in it, and a small blue alarm clock with a blue bird on its face; the "Twitter" clock as he later when I thanked Paul called it.

A dead male scorpion
A dead male scorpion, probably Heterometrus species.

As I am interested in arachnids; especially scorpions, even a dead one is welcome for research. I guess it's a Heterometrus species. According to the person who sold it to Paul it comes from Indonesia. I want to try to identify it myself using A Review of the Genus Heterometrus Ehrenberg, 1828, with Descriptions of Seven New Species (Scorpiones, Scorpionidae) (PDF) by František Kovařík. But first I need confirmation that this is indeed a Heterometrus species. The scorpion is quite large; from head to the start of the tail segment it measures about 10cm.

Alarm clock with a blue bird
Alarm clock with a blue bird.

The alarm clock is something my daughter Alice wants to have, so I keep it for her. It's an electronic alarm clock; the hammer between the two bells is fixed.

World of Goo Update, 10 Years Later

Hey old friends, it’s been a long time! We no longer have a 2DBOY blog, so thought I’d post this here – we’ve just updated the Win / Mac / Linux versions of World of Goo for the first time since 2008 or 2009 – and hope you and your modern computers enjoy it!

Source: World of Goo Update, 10 Years Later.

Back in April I read about the World of Goo update. I recalled to having bought the game many years ago and today I finally requested the download link using the PayPal email address I used back then.

When I got the email with the download link I checked the email folder for the actual date when I bought this great game. It turned out to be almost 10 years ago! The 26th of October, 2009 to be exact. And not only once did I buy a license but twice for 5 USD each. And then I recalled that I bought a version for Esme's laptop and a version for my computer running Linux so we could both play.

World of Goo can't be opened
World of Goo can't be openend.

So, in the evening I downloaded WorldOfGoo.macOS.1.53.dmg and installed it on my Mac mini 2014 running macOS Mojave. However, after I double clicked on the downloaded disk image (DMG) an error was shown stating that the DMG "can't be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software."

Control-clicking the DMG and selecting Open in the menu as described in Apple's Open an app by overriding security settings however, made it possible to install this great game after all.

Level 2 of World of Goo: Small Divide
Level 2 of World of Goo: Small Divide.

And soon after I was playing World of Goo on the Mac. Last time I played this game was a few years back, on my iPad. Sadly, it got stolen more than a year ago in a break in into our house and I haven't yet bought a replacement.

Refactoring to Multiple Exit Points

Functions should have only a single entry point. We all agree on that. But some people also argue that functions should have a single exit that returns the value. More people don't seem to care enough about how their functions are organized. I think that makes functions a lot more complicated than they have to be. So let's talk about function organization and how multiple exit points can help.

Source: Refactoring to Multiple Exit Points, a post by Martijn Faassen; a nice refactoring walk-through.

Make Your Own CPAN Distribution

Creating and publishing your own distribution is simple thanks to the tools baked right into the CPAN ecosystem. Let’s make a simple “hello world” distribution, and feel free to play along at home! The code of the distribution we’re going to make here is up on GitHub.

Just before midnight I read Make Your Own CPAN Distribution.

I plan to release a Perl module on CPAN soon.

Swift on Raspberry Pi

Since Raspberry Pi is limited in RAM and CPU power, using a language like Swift is perfect for maximizing the potential of the hardware. Understanding how hardware and software work together is crucial for determining the efficiency of your next project. In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of getting started with Swift on Raspberry Pi.

In the evening I read Swift on Raspberry Pi, an article by Marc D Aupont.