hifi by apg


Volume 9: Gotta Party Like It’s 2016

“2016.” Another leap year. An Olympic year. 211 - 25. Many of you have created resolutions that have already fizzled out. Others will keep them alive for a little bit longer. Others, still, will take them seriously through June and perhaps one of you made a resolution that will change the course of your life forever.

I’m certainly not some motivational speaker that’s going to tell you to “be that 1 person and change your life forever”, or some cheese like that. No, instead, I’ll tell you about the 1 resolution I’ve ever kept.

In “2014”, I wrote the following:

Notes. Relatedly, I’ll be taking lots more notes in general about
what I’m doing, and what I’m thinking about while working. I
started doing this in October, and slumped a bit. It, however, was
extremely valuable and I plan to expand upon it this year.

As of 2016, I still do this, but admittedly, I slump a bit. I also did expand it, though. In addition to writing down a bulletted list of things that I did, or have in progress, or things that I need to do, I’ve started to write prose–paragraphs about what happened that day. It’s almost a diary, but without the ridiculous salutation. This has been extremely useful. I recommend you procrastinate not and Start Today.

In 2016, hifi will go on. The show must go on, as they say. We’re back–not better, the same, probably. We’re just a bit older, a tad wiser, and maybe, just maybe, a bit anxious to see just what people out there come out with this year.

Here’s to the future hacks of 2016!

On with the Hacks!

$10 Echo — Sam Machin

The Amazon Echo is an interesting piece of technology… or, really an interesting service, which happens to have a client that you can buy for around $200. Here’s a much cheaper…less beautiful, replacement.

ngrid — Two Sigma, Alex Samuel

I’ll let their README speak for it: “It’s ‘less’ for your data!”

Legofy — Juan Potato

Back when we were kids^W^W^W^W^WYesterday, when we were playing with Legos, we wished we could draw pictures easily with 1x1 bricks. Legofy makes that simple.

[This guy suspiciously looks like Mr. Peanut. I’m guessing “Juan Potato” is an alias. – Ed]

Duckling — Wit.ai

Ducklings are usually pretty cute. This isn’t just cute, it’s really useful. Turns human language into language for ducks^W^W^Wstructured data.

AWK Raycaster — Fedor Kalugin

If you’ve ever played Wolf 3D, or Doom, or even Duke Nukem 3D you’re familiar with the output of a technique known as raycasting. It’s quite simple, really, and pretty damn efficient, which is the entire reason Doom was the only game that ran on your parent’s 386 in like 2MB of RAM. This raycaster is just written in GNU AWK. Big whoop.

raru — Teran McKinney

Running sudo is sort of like playing a game involving a revolver with 1 bullet in the cylinder. raru runs a command as a random, unprivleged user. This doesn’t give you super powers, but it should set your mind at ease that your AWK based raycaster isn’t secretly swiping your SSH keys (which, it’s not. I checked!).

munit — Evan Nemerson

My fellow San Diegan [I don’t know him, though! – Ed] wrote a new unit testing framework in C.

picohash — Kazuho Oku

Implementations of various hash functions (e.g. MD5, SHA*…), in a single C header file.

fungen — Author

Uses go generate to automate the creation of functional style list operators in Go. I’m all for more functional approaches to writing Go, though I’m guessing it’d be -10000’d by the Go team, and other Go apologists.

Good Reads

This section brought to you by… Oh, who am I kidding?

The expansion of my note taking, as I mentioned in the intro a few pages back, only came recently. In fact, I was intrigued by the dev diary of a man who created a brand new C compiler in 40 days. He chronicled everything, and it inspired me to try it.

Signing off!

And we come to the end of another volume. If you liked what you saw, hit that reply button on ye ‘ole email client, or invoke that cryptic key sequence you crazy kids use.

Also, some folks have written in to express interest in individuals and projects they want to hear more about! Thanks so much! I’ll definitely be reaching out to those folks over the next few somethings.

NOTE: This email will not be archived on hifibyapg.com, at least for a little bit. I don’t currently have a working dev environment to run it all with.