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Brian Swetland
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Brian Swetland

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Entirely too much fun.
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Michael Powell's profile photodavid j's profile photoBrian Swetland's profile photo
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Will have to give DWU a look.
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Brian Swetland

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So, in the department of good news, +Graydon Saunders's The Commonweal #3, Safely You Deliver, is going to land on April 4th.

For those that haven't read the first two books in this series, this is an excellent time to do so (should they sound interesting).  I love these books.  They're so not-traditional-fantasy it hurts in a number of ways.  Reviews I felt were representative of my feelings about these linked below.

Book one feels a bit like a The Black Company book, if it were set in a very different world and society (but still plagued by terrifying powerful sorcerer-empires and the like).  Book two is a "going to sorcery school" book that avoids the common tropes and involves vast works of magical civil engineering.

#1 The March North
"Egalitarian heroic fantasy. Presumptive female agency, battle-sheep, and bad, bad odds."
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/949140615
Purchase: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=MoIOAwAAQBAJ

#2 A Succession of Bad Days
"Egalitarian heroic fantasy.  Experimental magical pedagogy, non-Euclidean ancestry, and some sort of horror from beyond the world."
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1312170804
Purchase: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=tYyxCQAAQBAJ

#3 Safely You Deliver
"Egalitarian heroic fantasy.  Family, social awkwardness, and a unicorn."
Announcement: http://dubiousprospects.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-release-date-isnt-today.html
PreOrder: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=Oju2CwAAQBAJ

The books are available on various other services, but the Google Play Store version is downloadable as DRM-free EPUB (suitable for various readers or conversion to MOBI via Calibre for Kindles, etc) using the vertical "..." menu on the cover image once purchased.

Somewhat spoiler-y even without making spoilers visible, there's a TV Tropes page about the series:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/Commonweal

I'd like to thank +Christopher Tate for first bringing The March North to my attention.
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Brian Swetland

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An experiment in fire-and-forget PCB fabrication and assembly.

I put together a tiny little board, using all "house parts" (no additional placement fees), except for the little STM32F042 MCU (U1), to try out https://macrofab.com/

Oops.  Looks like I failed at the BOM editor and managed to use the same p/n regulator as their "house" part but didn't match, so that's costing me more too.  Fixed the BOM and future boards will be $0.70 cheaper!

It's a tiny STM32F042 (cute part, super cheap Cortex M0 with no-crystal-needed USB client support) test board and/or USB<->Serial adapter (modulo firmware), but I threw some LEDs and a pushbutton on too, because why not...
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Finally recovered boards from USPS.  Photos over here: https://plus.google.com/+BrianSwetland/posts/2TD4fRnq2AH
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Brian Swetland

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New G+.... kinda weird. Not sure why it has to pop up this postcard to write in instead of just doing it inline. Also typing in here feels laggy, probably due to it busily cycling comments rather than showing multiple comments below posts.

Is it my imagination or are the columns thinner? There's a lot of dead gray space in my browser...

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Home hasn't been chronological in years. This is one of the major reasons why I consider filtering by circles to be so indispensable.
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Brian Swetland

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Dear Lazy Plus,

Let's pretend I have Ubuntu 15.10 installed on a shiny new Thinkpad X250, and further that I use WindowMaker as my window manager because I an nostalgic for the mid-90s and Unity makes my eyes bleed.

Now, this hypothetical laptop has a higher density display than before, such that I'd like to have gnome/gtk apps to honor the system settings to scale the UI up a bit so things are easier to read.  If I wanted the various settings daemons to run so this stuff worked but still use WindowMaker, is there some sane way to make that happen?

Just manually running gnome-session and unity-settings-daemon after starting my session did not quite work (and something took over the desktop and intercepted WindowMaker's root menu... boo)
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Benjamin Staffin's profile photoDaniel Egnor's profile photoBrian Swetland's profile photo
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xsettingsd looks promising
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Human Resource Machine is an adorable visual assembly language programming game, designed to be playable by non-programmers.  The game very gently introduces the player to the concepts, little by little, but the underlying "processor" under the cute visualizations is pretty realistic.
http://tomorrowcorporation.com/humanresourcemachine
http://store.steampowered.com/app/375820/

There's probably 3-5 hours of gameplay for somebody with programming background (I wrapped up the game and most of the optional levels in a bit over 3 hours, but some of those later optional levels are work and some levels I could really stand to optimize a bit), and it'd probably take longer for somebody learning along the way.

The UI is clearly designed to be tablet-friendly, and apparently tablet versions will launch in a couple weeks.  Today it's available for PC and OSX on Steam.

I think it could actually be a decent tool for teaching assembly language level programming (including concepts of memory, pointers, indirect access, etc).

By the end of the game you have an instruction set that consists of:
read-input (to A)
write-output (from A, A = NIL)
load (to A)
store (from A)
add (A = A + mem)
sub (A = A - mem)
inc (mem++, A = mem)
dec (mem--, A = mem)
jump
jump-if-zero
jump-if-negative

and the memory operations support indirect addressing

That's a pretty "real" (if minimal) instruction set, and is less nonsensical than many.

The big difference from most real machines is that values can be A-Z 0-9 or NIL and reading NIL, writing NIL, or doing math on values of different types causes a fault. 
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Brian Swetland's profile photoMichael Andrews's profile photoKiki Jewell's profile photoMichael Powell's profile photo
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Just picked this up tonight. Spent a couple hours, and got to the point where it just starts to get hard. I just completed the Fibonacci level.

Mind you, the way I play these games, I don't really consider myself to have beat a level until I've hit all the goals, and I need to go down all the side paths. So this'll likely take me a lot more than 5 hours to finish.

But I'm enjoying the hell out of it!
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Have them in circles
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Brian Swetland

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The Species Editor in Stellaris is pretty nifty...
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Mostly nothing really ground-breaking at this stage. Just a lot of clean-up and incremental improvement.

The one really big change is open borders by default. That will change the feel of the mid game substantially. Also limits tactics where you expand your borders in certain ways to block off other empire's access.
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Finally recovered my MacroFab boards from the local USPS office (apparently USPS does not redeliver any more, no matter how many forms you fill out offline or on...)  They look nice!
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Vladimir Pantelic's profile photoOmari Stephens's profile photoBrian Swetland's profile photo
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There we go, flash/erase support for stm32f0xx in mdebug:
https://github.com/swetland/mdebug/commit/7a6f4f31f17ce3b396051f59fdc4eee848528912
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Here's something I'd like to be able to do in my editor...

Say I have three, call them "panes", side-by-side (let's label them A, B, C, left to right) showing three source files.  I'd like to open a new source file (be it for the first time or be it recalling an already open buffer) such that that file shows up in pane A, pane B displays what was previously in pane A, and pane C displays what was previously in pane B.

Sorta operating like a stack where the most recent file I pull up is always in the primary pane and everything pushes down.  Shortcuts to swap B or C (or D...) with A would be nice, as would a way to lock one of the secondaries so it doesn't move (say I want foo.c in B even if I pull it up in A, etc).

I'd love to be able to do this with gvim but the vim scripting stuff is pretty horrific.  Does any existing editor (for Linux) do this sort of thing or are there some plugins/extensions for vim or whatnot?
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Christopher Tate's profile photoOmari Stephens's profile photoNaseer Ahmed's profile photoBrian Swetland's profile photo
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+Daniel Egnor well even when I used xemacs primarily, vim was my quick-edit-in-terminal-or-remote goto editor.  But yeah, I'm also wary of becoming dependent on closed/commercial software for something so fundamental.

I really don't want to write my own editor, that's like the ultimate rathole which I've avoided thus far.  I wish vim/gvim were just a bit less crufty.
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The office now features a pancake-making-machine...
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Daniel Egnor's profile photoJack Palevich's profile photoKiki Jewell's profile photoMathias Agopian's profile photo
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For some reason this reminds me of the Cornballer ;-) keep it safe guys!
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This weekend's nifty indie game: Duskers
"Pilot drones into derelict spaceships to find the means to survive and piece together how the universe became a giant graveyard."
http://duskers.misfits-attic.com/
http://store.steampowered.com/app/254320/

Some gameplay video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSzKjcbBDQY

The interface is pretty much entirely keyboard / console, which works well to evoke the feeling of remote operating your squad of drones exploring these broken, abandoned, and often alien-infested ships.

(screenshots are from the game's Steam Store page)
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Scott Manley did a piece on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKmo85U9HNg

It looks really cool.
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Yay, Google Photos added metadata editing (can fixup those no-date-stamp pictures of which I have a TON from years ago)...

Boo, you have to do it ONE PICTURE AT A TIME...

C'mon Google.  Throw me a bone here!
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That in 2015 there are still software that's designed without bulk manipulation of data KILLS me. It's nuts. You see this is many apps: music, contacts, chat, photos, etc... This infuriates me, actually.

When I worked at Be, someone told me "if it's on screen, then it's selectable. Period". I feel like the same goes for list; if its a list, then you can manipulate several items in that list. Period.
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Have them in circles
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Work
Occupation
Building Awesome Stuff
Employment
  • Google Inc
    Senior Staff Software Engineer, 2016 - present
    Building new things...
  • Playground Global
    Writes the Codes, 2015 - 2016
  • Google, Inc
    Senior Staff Software Engineer, 2005 - 2014
    Android Kernel Engineer / Platform Architect / Systems Team Lead
  • Android, Inc
    Senior Robot Wrangler, 2004 - 2005
    Android Engineering Team. Platform prototyping.
  • Danger, Inc
    Senior Kernel Engineer, 2000 - 2004
    Hiptop OS, Virtual Machine, and Core Libraries.
  • Be Inc.
    Kernel Engineer, 1998 - 2000
    SCSI subsystem and drivers. USB stack and drivers. Misc kernel engineering.
  • Neoglyphics Media Corp
    Software Engineer, 1996 - 1998
    Web backend glue.
  • NCSA SDG
    Software Engineer, 1995 - 1996
    X/Mosaic
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