Monthly Archives: August 2013

Loading Fonts like CSS

Just wanted to pass along a little snippet I have found myself using fairly frequently. CSS has the ability to specify the appropriate font to use in displaying a document. It handles the tag in such a way that it can gracefully degrade from a “preferred” font through a series of less ideal typefaces depending on what’s available on the machine doing the display.

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Paths with Spaces, I Give Up

I’ve wanted to look into the Pedestal framework for creating web-based applications in Clojure. However, one of the requirements is Leiningen 2.2.0 or greater. And, as I’ve written before, version 2.2 will not install on my system because of spaces in the path of the user home directory. (“C:\Users\David Clark” on my system.)

My user profile name is “david”. That’s what I use to sign on with. The fact that my home directory uses “David Clark” is an unfortunate result of how the computer was set up at the factory when I custom ordered it. This has been a periodic pain in the ass ever since I got the system because folks who develop tools primarily on other operating systems, just can’t seem to deal with spaces in file paths. Even after all these years. It’s a kind of snobbery that I just find annoying and trite. Windows exists. Get over it.

Rather than try to fix every program that screws this up, I decided to change my user account and profile to just use “C:\Users\david” as my home directory. Not so easy.

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N-Queens

The N-Queens puzzle is a classic computer science problem. In fact, it’s much older than discipline of computer science. It is usually used as a problem to introduce students to backtracking algorithms in computer science. I was first introduced to the problem in Niklaus Wirth’s Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs back in the ’70s.

I thought it might be interesting to write an updated version in my continuing effort to become proficient in Clojure.  My intent was to write a simple working version, then use the concurrency features of the language to write a parallel version and see what kind of performance gain was possible.

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Cloud Storage at Copy

I use the Cloud very simply, nothing elaborate. I use BitBucket to keep track of my repositories. I use DropBox to store copies of scientific publications and Fargo outlines. For important stuff, I use SpiderOak because of its great security model. I think I have an iCloud account somewhere. That’s it.

This morning, I’ve been playing with a new service called Copy. It is very much like DropBox but starts you out with much more storage, 15GB instead of 2GB. And you can get bonus space by referring other users. For example, if you click the link above and sign up, we will both get an extra 5GB. If you get a few of your friends to sign up, that can add up to a lot of extra space.

If you share items with other people, Copy splits the charges equally amongst all the folks being shared with. For example, if there is 30GB of data being shared by three people, each is charged for only 10GB. Nice.

If you want more storage than you can get for free, you can sign up for a couple of levels of paid service. The rates aren’t bad.

There is an API for deploying apps against. Still reading, but it looks reasonable.

Not really sure yet about the security aspects and other details (is storage versioned? storing only diffs? what happens to deleted data?) But things don’t look too different than DropBox.

The only problem that I’ve had with the service is that the Windows version of the application will not recognize my user name and password. The web and iPad app have no problems. Haven’t tried the Linux client yet.

Overall, this seems like a very nice addition to the cloud storage space.