Showing posts from May, 2005

Python: Read 4 Me

This is nifty. It's a python program that "reads" the RSS feed and uses Baysian filtering to rank the results on whether you would be interested in reading it. It's a little like a SPAM filter in reverse. It finds the items you want to read instead of the ones you don't want to read. Read4Me .

I like my space pen

When I used to do a lot of crossword puzzles in bed I was frustrated with normal pens that would stop functioning because I was writing vertically. I heard about the Fisher Space Pen which can write on any surface, at any angle, even underwater. I thought the pen a little expensive and I thought that maybe it's too small, so I bought just the ink cartridge which was inexpensive. It worked fine when I housed the cartridge in a compatible pen. Eventually, someone took my pen with the pressurized cartridge. The last time I went to the States I bought the bullet space pen, and I couldn't be happier. It's so small that I always have it in my pocket (along with my keys and my USB drive). I love the fact that I have a pen that always works and is so small and practial. I highly recommend this little pen (actual size - at least on my monitor). P.S. It's called the space pen because it was used by the astronauts. There's a joke where NASA spent millions of dollars to


For more than a year I haven't used any shaving cream when shaving. I discovered over the web that the main purpose of shaving cream is to get you hairs wet. To fully saturate the hairs, however, you need to wet them for more than a minute (maybe 2-3 minutes). So what I do, of course, is take a shower, and the last thing I do after washing my hair and my body is to shave. There's no mirror so I use a finger to check any remaining stubble. Afterward, I double check in the bathroom mirror because I sometimes forget a spot. Plus putting on after-shave is another double check. Doing some more research I found that using the old style double edged (or DE) razor is also better for your face. In Brazil these razors and razor blades are still readily available, and I've been trying them out. I find that they take a lot longer to shave your face and the chance of nicking yourself is far, far higher. But I'll keep trying until I go through the blades.

Python: Python Challege

A while ago I got complete sucked in to the PythonChallenge . It's a set of puzzle challenges where you are expected to create little Python program in order to solve the puzzle. It's a great way to learn the language and some of the packages (standard or not) available for Python. I got stuck on puzzle #9 and was getting behind on work as well so I haven't been there in a while. There are some forums available for hints. And gumuz has given away a few of the early puzzles. If you like solving puzzles and want to learn Python a bit better, it's highly recommended.

Article: Hiring is Obsolete

Here's an interesting article (long) that talks about how smart, young people often don't get hired by big companies, but if they start a startup - they might get bought out. How smart large companies often buyout small companies for the people, more than for the product. (conversely, dumb companies buy the product and not the people).

Python: Matplot lib

I've talked about Matplotlib before . It's a great plotting library because it has a lot of backends. You can not only output to PNG, SVG, PS, etc. but to various user interfaces like wxPython. The Antigrain rendering backend is particularly nice since it does a better than usual job of anti-aliasing. Now it also has better font support and Unicode support. This was a problem for me since my wife had graphs with accents in them. I recommend Matplotlib for anyone who wants to output charts even if they are not Python programmers.