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Alun Jones (pengfold)
907 followers -
It's me, innit.
It's me, innit.

907 followers
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Today's #joinindaily topic from +Johnny Wills is "Fishing".
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Today's theme, selected by +Johnny Wills, is "Coffee!"

Maybe I should be tagging my recent #joinindaily postings with #ThingsIFoundInMyKitchen instead.

Anyway, here's some instant coffee.
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Today's #joinindaily theme, chosen by +Johnny Wills, is "Many Of The Same Thing!"

Spaghetti!
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Today's #joinindaily theme from +Johnny Wills is "Red And Yellow together!" (Preferably no flowers)

I'll add the name of this local band when it comes back to me. They put on a good show at New Quay music festival a few years back.

Edit: and the name was "Devil's Answer".
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Today's #joinindaily theme from +Johnny Wills is "You Can Watch Movies/Films On It!".

You can watch the in-flight movie on a plane if you want, but I prefer to look out of the window.
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+Johnny Wills says "It's frozen" for #joinindaily today. I dunno - it's quite mild here, albeit grey and dull.

Anyway, my "go to" collection for ice is from back in February 2013 when Andra and I visited Llanrhaeadr falls. It was bitterly cold and had been for a few days, which meant that everything around the falls was coated with ice. A very beautiful, but slightly hair-raising experience when wandering around at the top of the waterfall.

I've shared my full album from that day before:

https://plus.google.com/+AlunJones/posts/UwMc5D6chDU
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Today's #joinindaily theme from +Johnny Wills is "It Cuts !"

OK, not the best photo in the world, but I'm quite proud of the work that led to it.

A couple of years ago I bought Andra a "Cricut Mini" stencil cutter for Christmas. This was a BAD MISTAKE.

It turns out that the company that makes these has locked them down so that the only designs you can cut with it are ones that they provide. In particular, there's a small collection of free designs, then you have to buy others from them. There was no way of loading your own designs in, and the company in question threatened legal action against anyone who tried to reverse engineer the system.

That was bad enough, but Andra did make use of some of the free designs. Until a few weeks back when the software stopped working. The company recently announced that they were no longer supporting this model. Judging by the number of people saying their hardware has stopped working, it appears that they have remote-disabled the software, rendering every "Cricut Mini" on the planet unusable. One would imagine that's illegal, but I'm sure they'll have it tied down in some small print somewhere.

Anyway, a while back Andra ran across a hardware hack that someone had done, "TeensyCNC" (https://github.com/seishuku/TeensyCNC). They'd desoldered the main controller chips from inside the Cricut and had replaced them with their own microcontroller circuit which could receive and cut arbitrary designs. It wasn't something we wanted to risk while the Cricut was still usable, so was just an interesting aside at the time.

Now, of course, with the machine unusable, it became much more interesting. The TeensyCNC project wasn't brilliantly documented, and the firmware had a few oddities that I wasn't happy with. So I've spent most evenings this week figuring out how it all connected up, doing some scarily fine soldering work and modifying the open source firmware to do things a bit more to my liking.

Today, as luck would have it, I finally got it working to the point that Andra was able to load pictures into Inkscape (a vector drawing package), send them to the modified Cricut and get correctly cut stencils out. This is something that was impossible with the original software, so I'm very very pleased with the result.

Yes... It Cuts!
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Re-sharing here at +Ed S's suggestion. In all my years working with computers, I've never heard of Bloom filters - a very simple concept to do a very clever thing.
One of those "Wow!" moments for me. Over lunch, browsing the web (as one does), I came across "Bloom filters", a probabilistic hash table algorithm, invented nearly 50 years ago.

A Bloom filter is a very neat way of using a limited memory budget to query the (probable) presence or (definite) absence of a record in a set. The example I came across was for fast lookup of candidate passwords in a word list consisting of over 300 million records.

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One of those "Wow!" moments for me. Over lunch, browsing the web (as one does), I came across "Bloom filters", a probabilistic hash table algorithm, invented nearly 50 years ago.

A Bloom filter is a very neat way of using a limited memory budget to query the (probable) presence or (definite) absence of a record in a set. The example I came across was for fast lookup of candidate passwords in a word list consisting of over 300 million records.
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