Category Archives: Technology

Blog Spring Cleaning, 2017 edition

This site has sat dormant for a year or two, but the intention to write has never died.

I’m going to try building new connections through the web to this blog, and unpublish some old posts that are not meaningful to current interests. Trim the fat. Clean and oil the engine.


In the last year I’ve built a small collection of systems, and contributed to some others. I want to try and get more active on GitHub, fixing bugs in projects I’ve discovered.

A lot of ideas.

It’s 4:50 AM, and I’ve been up for 90 minutes, getting work done. Time for more work.

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Morning statistics – Coffee beans & grounds, weight and servings

Morning Coffee statisticsThis morning, coffee was on the menu.

While preparing the french press and noticing my tiny air-tight jar was empty, wherein I store a few cups-worth of fresh grounds, I also glanced at my digital kitchen food scale.  Hmm.

So following is some statistics I did over about 5 minutes, useful for anyone, anywhere, who is interested in figuring out their coffee consumption. Happy caffeinating!

4 tbsp unground coffee beans (aggregated)
= 28 g
1 tbsp unground coffee beans
= 7 g
4 tbsp unground = 5.5 tbsp ground coffee powder
2.5 tbsp ground = 16 oz coffee drink (medium @ Tim Hortons or many other coffee shops) at a good strong strength
2.5 tbsp ground = 12.7 g

Now my own specific use case:
coffee bag ($10 “le Caffe Metropolitan, 100% arabica medium roast” from Metro) ~= 680g
680 / 12.7 g = 53.5 portions of 2.5 tbsp coffee grounds
$10 / 53.5 =  $0.19 per 16 oz coffee serving.
750 mL Torani coffee flavouring syrup ($12)
15 mL flavour serving = 16 oz coffee (my particular average flavouring strength, sometimes less, sometimes more)
750 / 15 = 50 servings
$12 syrup / 50 servings = $0.25 per flavour serving
Approximate grand totals:
$22 for coffee beans and 1 flavour syrup bottle = 53 servings
22 / 53 = $0.40 per 16 oz.

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New author, plus testing WordPress iPhone app

Tonight (in eastern timezone) my sister has asked about setting up a blog and slideshow.  She’s on a working holiday in Australia.  So in an attempt to learn more myself and give her a solution, I’ve created a user for her and category for blog posts, added to the site main menu.

While doing so, she and I discussed posting from the iPhone.  I explained about the last experience I had with the iPhone app, that it was very simplistic, not full-featured like the web site.  And so she got the app, and I updated (first time using the app in over a year).

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How to feel when fixing a minor but insanely difficult bug

“Don’t take it so hard, you work effectively in this ultra-specific area of technology than. You made a simple mistake.  You’ve admitted and acknowledged it, and you’ve learned from it. And it had no identified impact on customers.  Good!”

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Canada Revenue Agency Katamari-style

Today, there was a need to contact the Canada Revenue Agency.  So I visited the website.
Coincidently, today, I also discovered an awesome bookmarklet, to convert any site into a world of objects to be built up on a katamari ball.

So here’s the CRA’s web site, mostly rolled up.  Also this screen capture includes a fun picture sort of abstract and colourful, that reminds me of a katamari ball itself.

Visit this page to get a Katamari Damachi website bookmarklet:


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Exhausted from crashes (Facebook documentation flaw)

Sometimes development bugs seem to never end.  Sometimes more come to light, immediately after fixing those we can already see. Bugs can come from one’s own mistakes, but this time it’s all Facebook’s fault.

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Development-time app distribution

So you want to know how to distribute your native iPhone test app? It’s much easier than emailing updated versions to testers, if you can simply have the app online all the time. And having newer versions published when they become built is an added convenience.

First, it does not require an enterprise developer account with apple.

Second, it does require having an active web server somewhere, or at minimal a hosting account.

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Towers of Hanoi puzzle game applied to real-life and work

The Towers of Hanoi game is a very clean, effective puzzle to learn problem solving, and also learn problem analysis. It’s easy to play with 2-3 discs, and becomes more challenging for inexperienced people with more discs.

After learning the method to solving, it becomes easy, where each additional disc simply doubles the time it takes to solve the puzzle. The real challenge then becomes keeping track of which level within which stack you need to move.

I often refer to this puzzle in conversation, when doing things in life that require moving lots of stuff, physically, mentally, emotionally. It’s come up in my facebook status messages.

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How to make true parabolas in Adobe Illustrator

Today, a post of technology and activities.

A Google search for making a parabola brought me to a nice quick article on making a parabola-looking curved line on, but for a quick half-day project I am needing to draw a perfect and scalable vector.

Attached is a simple script to run in Adobe Illustrator that was hand-typed to build what is needed for my project.  Some convenient Javascript prompts are included to make it easy to use.

In illustrator, press Ctrl+F12 on Windows or Cmd+F12 on Mac or click File > Scripts > Other script and load the file, then read and follow the prompts.

Click here to download a helpful script for Adobe Illustrator to build a parabola

Here are two parabolas made with this script:

Parabola of x = -0.3 through x = 0.3

Parabola of x = -3 through x = 3

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API roundup – Thesaurus API

This is the first message, of hopefully several, about APIs.

Just wanting to put a shout out in the air, I found a Thesaurus API that will be put into use for a mobile app in development.

Check out

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