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Colm MacCárthaigh

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I'm looking for two pieces of technology that may already exist, before I write some trivial, but redundant, implementations myself.

First, I'm tired of opening up twitter in the morning and seeing a lot of nonsense that doesn't matter. I'd love something that I can point at my twitter account and have it produce a histogram, or pie chart, of tweets (and retweets) in my feed by account. That way I can judge if each tweeter really is worth the attention cost they incur. Surprisingly, I haven't been able to find any little tool that does this. Recommendations welcome!

Second; I'm trying to convert to a static blog. I'd really really like something where I can edit some plain text/yaml/xml/markdown file, run "Make" and then I have a complete up-to-date tree of HTML I can publish. But the catch is that I'd like it to be something I can keep in a git repo, and use on 4 different machines running 3 different OSs (Ubuntu, OS X, Red Hat).  Jekyll/Octopress and Blosxom each have too many dependencies ... so that's no good.  Again, recommendations welcome :-) 
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I just posted this on RedBrick, but thought that some of the coders I know here might find it fun. We used to post short programming challenges every so often just for a fun workout. This is another in that vein.

Let's say you have a set of strings that each map to a number. Say it's
something like;

"red" => 0
"blue" => 1
"green" => 2

and that these are the only potential strings in the set.

The first task is to write a "generator" function that takes the set of
strings and returns a mapping function that can take a string as input, and
return the number.


someFunction = generatorFunction( { "red" : 0 , "blue" : 1, "green" : 2});

someFunction("red") # should return 0
someFunction("blue") # should return 1

in my experience, 90% of graduates cannot do this task. Yes it's foolish that the input is already a map, but the point here is simple; can you write a function that generates a function.

Now, next, to ramp it up with a bit of DP;

The second task is identical to task one except that "someFunction"
should perform the minimum number of character (or string length) comparisons it takes to disambiguate the strings. E.g. "red", "blue" and "green" can be disambiguated with just two single-character comparisons.

"car", "cat", "cap" can also be disambiguated with two. But "car", "cat",
"cap", "carp" needs three comparisons.

It's fun to solve, and much easier in certain languages than others.
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Randal Bays at the Seattle Folklore society. A 70-200mm f/2.8 MkII and some great stage lighting made for some nice shots. More in my flickr stream -
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I've been building a small home recording studio. Enough to record 8 sources simultaneously with pro-tools. It's coming together, but I'm starting slowly. Today was mostly putting things together, but it was enough to be able to record the piano properly.

I'll post some full mix samples and photos once it's all operating smoothly.

But for now, by popular demand, I've recorded a piano version of my slow air "Fonn Mall Acla". You can compare it to the version on guitar we recorded on myself and Colleen's CD (link should be in the soundcloud description).
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Finally managed to create a google plus account (I use Google apps). Let's see how it goes. It definitely wasn't a positive experience to be locked out due to being a paying customer, so it has a lot of ground to make up.
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