Hexadecimalised, Metric-aligned Imperial Measures

Despite enduring optimism from the USA and defiance from quaint, antiquated Britain, it seems inevitable that American standard and British imperial measurements will eventually die. As I see it, imperial and standard measures have two problems; firstly that they are bizarre; the following diagram of relationships between imperial units demonstrates this with stark, bewildering clarity:

Secondly, it is not easy to convert between imperial and metric units; conversion factors need memorising, and tables consulting when going between one and the other. Nobody likes this.

However, there is an awesome, cosmic coincidence which exists at a pivotal point between the two systems which, if exploited through a slight tweaking and reform of imperial measures, could not only save these units from fading into insignificance, but could even turn the tables with this neo-imperial system becoming the preferred system of scientists, engineers, merchants and laymen alike, with the comparatively inelegant metric system being consigned to the history books.

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Embedded Brainfuck Canvas

Brainfuck is a turing-complete programming language and abstract machine which has only eight operators.

I’ve written a greasemonkey script which searches webpages for specially formatted brainfuck programs, and turns them into graphics by running a brainfuck interpreter and piping the output of the program to an HTML 5 canvas element.

Full details of the implementation are available on my website, where the embedded brainfuck canvas greasemonkey script can also be downloaded.

Here is an example program:

☸⠠⠐++++++++++++++++[}++++++++++++++++{-]}[{.+}-]{[-.]

And here is what it looks like when it runs: Brainfuck Spectrum program

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Unicode Fancy Font Converter

Ⓣⓗⓔⓢⓔ 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐬 𝔸𝕣𝕖 𝓐𝓵𝓵 𝕴𝖓 𝖳𝗁𝖾 𝚂𝚊𝚖𝚎 ⒣⒯⒨⒧ 𝓕𝓸𝓷𝓽-𝓕𝓪𝓬𝓮

Invisible in most major operating systems until recently, the unicode specification defines a bunch of weird tables which are intended to be used as mathematical variables, for people who are not satisfied with good old a to z, a′ to z′, a′′ to z′′, etc.

Many of these are composed of the full roman alphabet, meaning a fun hack is possible which allows you to type with a weird font in places where you cannot normally use formatting – such as a filename, facebook status, or anywhere you can type unicode text.

I’ve made a little script which allows you to enter some text and have it transformed into the silly font of your choosing.

Weird Unicode Font Converter – just copy and paste the outputted red text into somewhere inappropriate.

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img2braille

I’ve just made a little php script which renders an image as braille, using the unicode characters 0×2800 – 0×28FF. Here’s some sample output:

⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⡿⠻⠻⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿
⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⡟⠀⠀⠘⠿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⠿⠿⣿
⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⡧⢀⠀⠀⠉⠀⢸⡟⣿⣟⡿⠻⠛⠛⠋⠁⠠⣾⣿
⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⡷⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠘⣴⡿⡼⠋⠀⠈⠀⠀⣀⣴⣿⣿
⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⡟⢀⣤⠆⡶⣶⡄⠀⠛⠛⠀⣀⣀⠀⠀⠀⢡⣿⣿⣿
⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣷⠉⠄⠀⠀⠛⠓⠀⠀⠀⡼⠻⡫⠁⣦⣀⢸⣿⣿⣿
⢿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⡏⢶⠗⠿⠀⠀⠀⢲⠶⠀⠀⠠⣀⣀⣾⢻⣾⣿⣿⣿
⣼⣿⣿⣿⡿⣹⣿⣿⣿⢏⣿⣿⢳⣌⠑⠤⣦⣤⠔⠚⠦⣀⣀⡄⠛⠛⢻⣾⣿⣿⣿⣿
⣿⣿⣿⣿⣵⣿⣿⣿⣯⣾⡿⣿⡘⣿⣿⡲⢼⣿⣿⠷⢶⠾⡿⠷⠒⣀⣩⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿
⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⡿⢧⣿⣯⣿⣽⢿⣮⡙⠿⣶⣽⡿⣧⣀⠀⠈⠙⠛⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿
⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⡏⣱⣿⣽⣿⡿⣅⠀⠉⠙⠲⣤⣝⣻⣷⣦⣥⡀⠲⠿⣛⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿
⣿⣿⣿⣿⡟⣠⣿⡿⣿⣿⣷⡿⠿⣶⣶⣿⣦⣤⡈⠉⠊⢍⡛⠗⣛⣋⣵⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿
⣿⣿⣿⣿⢮⣿⣿⣥⣤⣿⣦⣶⣿⢿⣿⣿⡟⣟⣻⣟⡦⠀⣉⣉⣠⠄⠻⠿⣿⣿⣿⣿
⣿⣿⣿⣷⡀⣿⣿⢿⣿⣿⠉⣩⣴⣟⣿⣟⣥⢹⡿⠠⠻⠚⠋⠉⠁⢀⠀⠀⠀⢀⠀⠈
⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣾⣧⣾⣤⣤⣴⣶⣶⣶⣦⣾⣷⣶⣿⣿⣷⣾

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Console image viewer: pbmtoascii

Here’s a neat one-liner I just came up with for those times that you’re stuck at the unix/linux console and really need to peek at an image file but cannot use X11.

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Animal Disco

Another silly Java3D app, this time some wolves and rhinos (with Parkinson’s) dancing at a disco in a grassy plain.

Rhinos and wolves gyrating in a field

The movement simply rotates and displaces each animal by a small random amount each frame, so it’s totally unrealistic but I think that makes it funny.

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Arduino Etch-a-scope

Over the xmas break I bought myself an Arduino Mini, which was a wonderful distraction from all of the revision I was supposed to be doing.

One of the things I did with it was to hook it up to an oscilloscope, in order to draw stuff on the screen.

Someone’s just asked me how I did it, so I figure now’s as good a time as any to write it up.

I rendered my face as a raster image on the oscilloscope

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Mplayer video wall script

So anyway, the thing that prompted me to set up this online journal was my recurring desire to share things that I create with the world. In this instance; the thing that pushed me to actually do something about it, was a perl script I had just written which creates a wall of videos. I created it to optimise my porn viewing, and because I couldn’t find anything to play multiple video files side by side, in a grid.

A 5x5 video wall of old American anti-drug propaganda

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Pivot at sdf

So after an evening of not too painful bash scripting, pivot is now1 available as an auto-install tool on SDF.

See http://motd.org/ for more details about SDF’s web tools collection.

1 Once I’ve squashed whatever bug is causing the dubious file permissions.

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