I am a Data Hoarder or: How to Create a Btrfs RAID on Multiple Encrypted Disks

June 7th, 2014

A car full of luggage.

This is what my computer must feel like.
Original image from Alan Denney on Flickr. Some rights reserved: by-nc-sa.

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Cheap Power Supplies Are Cheap

March 16th, 2014

When the power supply for my old laptop died a few months ago, I didn't want to spend the $70 that Dell wanted for a new one so I bought a cheap $20 one off Amazon. This promptly broke after a couple of months of use. It stopped charging my laptop but the battery didn't discharge while it was plugged in, so I wasn't bothered that much since I mostly use the computer when it's plugged in anyway.

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Installing Arch on an Encrypted Hard Drive

February 24th, 2014

The Arch logo.

I got a new laptop last week and I thought I'd try out Arch since I've been getting a little bored with the Debian universe lately. My old laptop had CrunchBang on it, which was fun to play around with and very fast but I thought I'd challenge myself and try something that wasn't based on Debian.

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Syntax Trees for Mathematical Expressions

October 21st, 2013

I got bored on Saturday afternoon so I decided to sit down and write a program that would use a neural network to automatically organize my video collection, renaming files with names like The.Conversation.1974.720p.BluRay.x264-AMiABLE [PublicHD] to something more readable like The Conversation (1974). This is my life…

Anyway, I didn't (still don't) know much of anything about neural networks, so I read some words about them and about genetic algorithms. In doing so, I ended up completing this exercise that uses a genetic algorithm to find a sequence of digits and operators that yields a certain target number. The problem I had was that his examples all parsed the sequences from left to right, ignoring order of operations (e.g. 6+5*4/2+1 = 23 instead of 17). I thought it would be fun to try to actually get the right result from these expressions, so I set out to write a simple parser for them.

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Why is Google Translate So Bad?

September 15th, 2013

I saw this post on Reddit this afternoon and it reminded me how terrible Google Translate generally is. Here's the image: Google Translate's interpretation of the numbers 1 through 9. Someone in the comments also linked to Translation Party, which translates between English and Japanese until the same thing comes out twice. It shows a lot of interesting problems with the model that Google uses to do translations. This one came off of a bottle of Rain-X I had lying around.

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