Colorful source code in Terminal

Often it is quicker to take a look at a source code file in Terminal using the cat or less commands, instead of starting up an editor, especially if you don’t need to make changes. However, like myself, most developers are used to syntax highlighting, or presenting source code in various colours. It makes the different elements in the source code stand out, and helps with comprehension. I find that the older I become, the more I need syntax highlighting, and I think back to a time when it was not so common, amazed that I could make sense of anything. [Read More]

Make multisamples on your iPad with SynthJacker

Picture this: a friend of yours has bought a nice vintage synth with great sounds, and wouldn’t you like to use those sounds in your own music-making? If only you could sample those sounds, but it seems like too much trouble… You would need to persuade your friend to let you borrow the synth, or you would need to visit them with your music-making setup, which nowadays is basically an iPad and an iOS-compatible audio interface. [Read More]

Time signals with the Raspberry Pi

Time signals have been broadcast by various radio stations for almost 100 years, usually “every hour, on the hour”, or every 60 minutes. The tradition was started by the BBC, but has been adopted by many national broadcasting companies and other broadcasters as a way of informing their listeners about the passing of time. The history of the Greenwich time signal, or “the BBC pips” is detailed in Mike Todd’s article. [Read More]

Goodbye vCard, hello jCard!

The vCard format has served us well for encoding and exchanging contact information, but there is a better alternative – jCard. In this post I’ll describe why I think jCard can be better than vCard, and should be adopted by every software vendor who deals with contacts. Both vCard and jCard are text-based formats, but whereas vCard has a unique legacy grammar, jCard is based on JSON. They both represent essentially the same data model that describes contact information: name, phone number, address, e-mail, and so on. [Read More]

Book review: Data Science at the Command Line

No matter how handy graphical user interfaces are, the good old command line remains a useful tool for performing various low-level data manipulation and system administration tasks. It is the fallback when you need to do something that has no way of graphical control. Being much more expressive and open-ended than a predefined set of controls, the command shell is the ultimate control environment for your computer. Data science has become one of the most intensely practised computer applications, so it is no wonder that it also benefits greatly from the hands-on control approach of the command line shell. [Read More]

Conifer Coaching – koodarit uusille urille

Taittuuko ohjelmointi sinulta mennen tullen, mutta osaaminen ei juuri nyt vastaa tämän päivän tarpeisiin? Ohjelmistoalalla teknologiat tulevat ja menevät, mutta aina pääsee kärryille. Anna Conifer Coaching -palvelun oraakkelin kertoa sinulle mikä on nyt hip ja pop, ja millä saa oikeasti aikaan: Web-palveluja Mobiilisovelluksia Serverisoftaa Data-analyysiä Internet of Thingsiä – eli Mitä Softantekijän Kannattaa Opetella Juuri Nyt, Ja Miten! Ei hypeä, vaan vastaamista todellisiin tarpeisiin. Palkattavuutta CV:si ja kiinnostustesi perusteella. [Read More]

C# and F# on the Mac with Mono

Please note that this article is badly out of date since the release of .NET Core and Visual Studio for Mac. An updated article is in the planning stages. Mono is the open source .NET runtime for Windows, Linux, and OS X. It consists of the Mono runtime environment, libraries, and C# and F# compilers. Recently Mono has gained extra popularity due to Microsoft’s purchase of Xamarin, the makers of a cross-platform toolkit of the same name. [Read More]

Semi-Autonomous, Programmable Drones Incoming

Drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), be they quadcopters or other type of flyer, will become more “intelligent” as themselves or by forming swarms, as this TED Talk by Vijay Kumar at U. Penn shows. My interest in drones lies not in flying them myself live, because I’m a lousy pilot and don’t play games much anyway, but in making them follow a predetermined route and return back to the starting point – for example, surveying an object or estate, or even carrying cargo between waypoints. [Read More]

LCD-like banners in Python

Back in 1998 or so, I wrote a CD player application for Microsoft Windows in Borland Delphi. It was for a magazine tutorial article, and I wanted a cool LCD-like display to show track elapsed and remaining time. There was a good one available for Delphi, called LCDLabel, written by Peter Czidlina (if you’re reading this, thanks once more for your cooperation). I’ve been thinking about doing a modern version of the LCD display component for several times over the years, and I even got pretty far with one for OS X in 2010, but then abandoned it because of other projects. [Read More]

Photos framework and HipStyles

HipStyles was removed from the App Store over a year ago, but from time to time I still think it could be resurrected. However, after taking a long hard look at Apple’s new Photos framework in iOS 9, I think it is just not feasible anymore. HipStyles and the Assets Library Framework HipStyles was a photo finder for Hipstamatic and Oggl photos, looking for snaps taken with some Hipstamatic lens, film or flash of your choosing. [Read More]