Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

Engineering beautiful software jon aquino labs | personal blog

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The worst mechanical pencil in the world?

Patron Saint

The Pope encouraged everyone to have devotion to a particular saint. I've been trying to think who I would choose—St. Thomas Aquinas? Too smart for me. St. Teresa of Avila? Nah.

But then I hit upon St. Francis de Sales. I loved his book, “Introduction to the Devout Life”. For this and a bunch of other reasons, I'm going to go with him.

Do you have a favorite saint?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

OS X sounds on the command line

I found a couple of ways to make sounds from the command line – useful for scripts, to let you know when a long-running operation is complete:

say -v Alex "Upload complete"
say -v Vicki "Saved"
afplay /System/Library/Sounds/Submarine.aiff

Besides Alex and Vicki, there are a bunch of interesting voices you can try: Agnes, Albert, Alex, Bad News, Bahh, Bells, Boing, Bruce, Bubbles, Cellos, Deranged, Fred, Good News, Hysterical, Junior, Kathy, Pipe Organ, Princess, Ralph, Trinoids, Vicki, Victoria, Whisper, Zarvox

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chocolate bar idea

Idea: Whenever someone tells you to "Have a nice day" or "Have a good day", treat yourself to a chocolate bar or a new book.

Note that this works only if it doesn't happen to you too often.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Calculus Forgotten

Today over lunch my friend and I challenged each other with math questions. Below is the one he gave me. To my embarassment, I had forgotten how to even begin to solve it...

Integral from 0 to 1 of the square root of 1-x^2

Well, do you remember?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Database of Poets

Here is a zipfile containing Wikipedia articles for the 222 poets in the Norton Anthology of Poetry, 3rd (and best) edition.

If you're handy with the command line, you can mine it for interesting information, like Harvard poets, Catholic poets, poets who became insane…

$ find . | xargs grep --max-count=1 --ignore-case insanity

./Ezra_Pound.txt: Pound's [409]insanity plea and incarceration at St. Elizabeths Hospital
./Herman_Melville.txt: plagued by rumors of his alcoholism and insanity and allegations that
./John_Clare.txt: the insanity preceded by any severe or long-continued mental emotion or
./John_Keats.txt: of insanity is, of course, ten times more afflicting. It is with
./Jonathan_Swift.txt: Travels as proof of Swift's approaching "insanity".
./Samuel_Johnson.txt: actual insanity".^[509][211] To overcome these feelings, Johnson tried
./Samuel_Taylor_Coleridge.txt: under the reason of "insanity" and he was readmitted to Jesus College,
./William_Collins.txt: of intemperance, and after fits of melancholy, deepening into insanity,
./William_Cowper.txt: experienced a period of [49]insanity. At this time he tried three times

Saturday, August 14, 2010

HTTP Verbs Explained Using SQL

GET = select
POST = insert
PUT = insert or update where id = ...
DELETE = delete

Some people say PUT = update, but it's more like "update where id = ..., or if it doesn't exist, insert with id = ..."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

[Mac: Entourage] Possible solution to Entourage events not being obvious enough: OmniGrowl

Today I missed a meeting at work. I set up an Entourage reminder to remind me 10 minutes ahead of time, but Entourage reminders are barely noticeable. All you see is a clock icon appear on your dock - it doesn't bounce or attract any attention.

I'm trying out a shareware notification program called OmniGrowl ($12) which should make things better. It pops up a Growl notification for your iCal events (I sync Entourage with iCal). The notification is a rectangular notice that appears on the right side of your screen - you have to click it to make it go away.

OmniGrowl also has a bunch of other notifications (like weather and rss feeds), so I turned those off. I also was able to turn off notifications about all-day events, which I didn't want.

We'll see how it goes.