The Midlife Geek

Ramblings of a middle aged engineer, runner and open source enthusiast

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Product of 4 consecutive numbers

I’m beginning to like R. You can capture table data from a connection (a generalised file), one of which is the clipboard, to a data frame.

problem.matrix <- 
    as.matrix(read.table("clipboard",sep=" "))

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Project Euler, Visual Studio and playing with Python

I got Visual Studio 2017 through Microsoft’s Dreamspark promotion and thought I’d give it a try. I haven’t done a lot of development under Windows because its only on my laptop and my Linux desktop has 12 Gb RAM.
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Simple Arch Linux Installation

This is a quick post to remind myself of the stuff I do when re-installing Arch. Continue reading

Asus X541S

My wife’s laptop is an Asus X541SA – a fairly generic and inexpensive workhorse. With a Quad-Core N3710, 4Gb of RAM and a 1TB HDD. Unfortunately its ridiculously slow. Opening, switching and closing applications leaves time to make a cup of tea and clicking save in Word is likely to see a “(not responding)” caption in the title bar.

A quick look in task manager shows the HDD is perpetually at 100%. Having already tried a clean install of Windows 10, I figured an SSD might help. I got this 120 Gb SanDisk SSD, having used them before with good results.

What a difference it makes, the laptop is not only usable but responsive. While I doubt it would handle many games it can at least cope with Office and Firefox, which it couldn’t before.

Graduation Ceremony

I attended the University’s Graduation Ceremony at Ely Cathedral yesterday. If theres one thing that the UK loves, it’s a ceremony.

Me standing infront of the cathedralIt was very well organised and planned. Free parking wth a shuttle bus to the Cathedral, clear direction to registration, robing and photography. There were a lot of nervous graduates but there needn’t have been. Ushers sent each row of graduates up along the side, where out of sight lists were checked and someone straightened our robes.

I think there’s probably more value in these things for family than for the graduates themselves but I enjoyed the day.

Not sure where to go from here. I enjoy studying – masters seems logical but I don’t have the interest I once did in Computing. I’ve looked at the Open Masters but would need to focus on science and the choice seems a little narrow. I guess I’ll figure it out.

Flashing Nexus 9 factory image

This tablet was super fast when I got it but now it lags and drives me nuts. I’d seen someone post on Reddit that flashing the factory image helped so I gave it a go.

Factory images are available here along with good, clear instructions. One caveat, Arch needs super user for fastboot otherwise you get “< Waiting for device >”. For the same reason run flash-all.sh with sudo too.

As to whether or not it helped, it is hard to say but I feel it has. How do you measure something that is entirely subjective?

Edit. Its been a few days now and it is faster. Much faster and without lag. I’m unclear why though. I’m not completely familiar with Android’s architecture but wonder if it’s a combination of multiple updates being applied (this was I think Android 5.0 when bought) and accumulated futz.

Chill JRPG

I hacked a SNES Classic Mini with Hakchi2 the other day.  Wanting to replay a bunch of old school RPG (Lufia I and II, Chronotrigger, Secret of Evermore and Earthbound), I took the name “Dude”.

It’s just like my opinion but it changes the dialogue of the entire game.

 

Is your PS4 ignoring your controller?

Weird one, pressing PS button and it flashes but doesn’t turn on the PlayStation.

Power off the console (hold the power button for about ten seconds or so), connect USB, console comes on when the controller PS button is pressed!

Go figure.

Great Bentley Half Marathon

I think it was Adidas that ran an advert a few years ago with the strap line “runners – yeah we’re different”.

Driving down to a little village in Essex early on a Sunday to register. Waiting around for an hour and half before the start. People wearing bin liners. Queuing to pee in a trough. Jelly Babies, so many Jelly Babies. A few familiar faces, quick hellos and straight into PB talk. Someone trying to shout over a couple hundred people with directions and rules. 10 minutes – get to the start! Queue, pee, cold so cold, wave to wife. Go. Stop. Go. Shuffle. Stop. Shuffle. Go.

Then peace. As I settle into my pace, my mind wanders. Is that a water stop? Already? its only been two miles. Back to my daydream. Another water stop? Six mile marker, pretty much half way – my math is optimistic when I run. Around mile ten I start to get bored. At mile eleven, miles seem to be much longer than they were earlier. Twelve miles is almost finished. Can see the finish line now and as always someone is trying to pip a sprint finish on me. That’s not happening.

See my wife waiving behind an iPhone, see the line, see the clock (1:46:12). Grab a medal, a Mars Bar and a bottle of water. Maybe remember to stop my GPS. Congratulate a friend on his PB. Drive home. Pizza.

I think Adidas were on to something.

Graduation and the future

Booked a graduation ceremony at last. Trying to find a suitable location, that fits in around work and family is a bit of a Travelling Salesman Problem.

I’m still not sure where to go next.

My current contract employs me until the end of 2021. Looking at an MSc with the OU, the Information Security and Forensics specialism looks fascinating and will no doubt continue to be an important area of the industry. To complete the qualification by 2021, I would need to register on Digital Forensics (M812) to start in May.

That means I could have started an MSc before my BSc graduation ceremony!

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