Blog Posts

"A recipe is just a directed acyclic graph…"

In the last post I handwaved the way I represented bakery formulae in the bakery database, so here’s a little more detail. It helps to think of a bakery formula as a node on a directed acyclic

If you ignore the fact that a starter is made of flour, water and starter. Which, of course, we’re going to.

graph with weighted edges, where the weights are literally weights. Here’s the graph a for a couple of products

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Running a bakery on Emacs and PostgreSQL

Just over a year ago now, I finally opened the bakery I’d been dreaming of for years. It’s been a big change in my life, from spending all my time sat in front of a computer, to spending most of it making actual stuff. And stuff that makes people happy, at that. It’s been a huge change, but I can’t think of a single job change that’s ever made me as happy as this one.

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MacOS Sierra Niggles

I shouldn’t be surprised. Every time I upgrade the OS on my Macbook a few little behaviours I’d taken for granted start breaking. It’s just the way of the world. Here’s a couple of things I’ve fixed already

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We Deserve Better

One hundred years ago , we got caught up in a really stupid war. War’s never what you’d call a good idea, but the first world war is the benchmark of stupidity (unless you’re Michael Gove, but he’s fast becoming the new benchmark of stupidity).

Something strange happened at the end of the war. In 1914, only around 30% of the adult population had the vote. By February 1918, a general election was years overdue. The Russians had killed the Tsar and were embracing communism; the women’s suffrage movement was threatening to start up again; and millions of returning soldiers — men used to violence by now — would have no say in how they would be governed.

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Reading Turing

Some things never disappoint. And reading Alan Turing is one of those things. In an earlier post I told an incorrect anecdote about Turing, and Russ Cox pointed me at proof, in Turing’s own words, that I was wrong. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long, but I finally got around to reading his /Lecture to the London Mathematical Society on 20 February 1947./

Wow.

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Big Data and Singing Crowds

I watched the rugby yesterday. England vs Wales at Cardiff Arms Pack. It was a great game of rugby - England were comprehensively outthought by a Welsh side with more experience where it counts, but by gum, they went down fighting to the very end. It’s going to be an interesting few years in the run up to the next World Cup.

While the game was going on, I found myself wondering why the crowd’s singing sounded so very good.

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Getting Softer

Welcome back. I realise that I left off without telling you how I’d chosen to wire the matrix up. I’m basing my layout on the Jesse’s “Blue Shift” layout: However, the Maltron has a slightly different layout and I’m less gung ho about getting rid of the extra little finger keys, especially the left hand control and the shifts. The layout I’m starting from looks a little like this: If you count that up, it’s 60 keys.

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Fun with solder

Where were we? Ah yes, I’d just unwired my Maltron, pulled out all the switches, ordered some Cherry MX brown stem keyswitches from a Deskthority Group buy and a Teensy++ from Pieter Floris. Now all I had to do was work out how I was going to wire the thing up. Jesse’s article had some great pointers, but as I disassembled the Maltron wiring loom, I gained a great deal of respect for their decision to use fine enamelled wire (which a bit of googling revealed to be solderable copper magnet winding wire - I bought some 30SWG stuff from wires.

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In which Piers prepares to void the warranty...

Some years ago (I have the awful feeling it was 1999) I was stricken with a bout of tingly numbness in my right hand. When you’re a computer programmer, the thought of being unable to type, and thus unable to program isn’t something you ever want to deal with. Terry Pratchett’s words about gnawing the arse out of a dead badger if it would make it better spring to mind. So, I replaced my mouse with a trackball, got a better chair and invested three hundred and some pounds of my own money in a Maltron keyboard.

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Belated OSCON writeup

I had such fun. Though I’m never, ever, livecoding half an unwritten talk in an Emacs window again. You want proof? Also. I’m not dead, I’m just writing a book on Higher Order Coffeescript for O’Reilly and I alternate between bouts of horrid mental block and massive splurges of disorganized content where everything seems to be more important than everything else.

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