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What is TED?

September 24, 2012 by alex

Us remote TED employees were asked to make a short video answering the question “What is TED?” for the yearly company meeting.

I had a little fun with my Makey Makey. Here’s what I came up with.

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I built a clock!

September 13, 2012 by alex

I’m mainly a software guy, but I’ve always wanted to learn more about building real things. I’ve got a workbench just for that purpose, but it doesn’t get used as much as I’d like.

But now, I actually built something. Sara got me this very snazzy...

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fun with processing

September 4, 2012 by alex

I’ve been thinking on & off about how to do animations of spatial data. I tend to think of web-based stuff like GeoServer + OpenLayers, but I’ve also been meaning to try Processing to see what opportunities are there for building animated maps.


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logstash patches

September 4, 2012 by alex

We’ve been experimenting with logstash at work, and so far it’s looking like a very capable system - especially when paired with the beautiful Kibana web interface for log search & visualization.

Some bugs surfaced in the redis output module for logstash...

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Testing How A Method Is Called, Without Testing Equality

February 14, 2012 by alex

There are times I want to assert that a method is called with a particular kind of argument, but I don’t really care what the exact values of that argument are. PHP’s DateTime is a great example. I want a method to be called with a DateTime, but I...

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Mocking Static Method Calls With PHPUnit

October 25, 2011 by alex

Update Nov 1, 2011

I updated the code samples in 2 places. User::sendRegistration needed to return a value, and MockTurtle was renamed to MockProxy since it just didn’t seem funny or clever anymore. Late night naming gone awry.



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Ganglia References

May 23, 2011 by alex

This is a collection of ganglia-related links I put together for an ‘Introduction to Ganglia’ presentation I’m doing for the Ruby Users of Minnesota.

General Info

  • Main project page:
  • Ganglia wiki:
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PHP Comparison Surprises

May 5, 2011 by alex


@tcollen reminded me that any non-empty string evaluates to true . Ok, my mistake there. I guess my PHP is rustier than I thought…

I’d expect that if $a == $b , and $b == $c , then $a == $c . Alas, I just tripped over a case where this isn...

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Creating HTML elements with CSS classes in jQuery : IE surprise.

May 4, 2011 by alex


Let’s say you’ve got an HTML snippet like this, which you want to add a new element to.

<div id="test"></div>

You can easily add new elements.

jQuery('<span>').appendTo( '#test');


You might also want to add a CSS class also.

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Some Hacker at UCAR Likes Poe

April 6, 2011 by alex

Just now I was building NetCDF, and noticed this output:

got NC_CHAR val = A (0x41)
got NC_CHAR val = B (0x42)
got NC_CHAR val = "The red death had long devastated the country."
got val = A (0x41)
got val = B (0x42)
got val = "The red death had long...
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