# Roland's homepage

My random knot in the Web

# Welcome

This is my home in the virtual world, where I write about things that I want to share. The freely available software that I've written as well as some of the photographs I've taken over the years can also be found here. Please use the navigation links on the right if you are looking for something.

# Recent articles

1. ## Extracting data from XML with regular expressions

While regular expressions can't fully parse XML, they can be sufficient to extract data from it. In cases where the dataset is large and we are only interested in a small part of the data, this can be significantly faster than using a full XML parser.

2. ## Updating Python to 3.5

This article documents the process I followed to update Python 3.4 to 3.5 on my FreeBSD machines.

## Introduction

The purpose of this program is to calculate some properties of fiber-reinforced composite laminates. It calculates:

• engineering properties like $$E_x$$, $$E_y$$, $$G_{xy}$$
• thermal properties $$\alpha_x$$ and $$\alpha_y$$
• physical properties like density ($$\rho$$) and laminate thickness ($$t$$)
• stiffness (or ABD) and ...
4. ## Python bindings for libmagic

This documents how I installed Python bindings for libmagic.

There are actually different bindings for libmagic. One set is part of the original distribution. It can be found in /usr/src/contrib/file/python/. But in my opinion it is somewhat cumbersome to use and not very Pythonic.

The implementation from ahupp/python-magic in Github feels more natural.

5. ## Windows 8: the infinite yak-shaving

So I got a call from a friend who's ms-windows 8 laptop was wedged.

Having set the machine up for him, I felt obliged to help, even though troubleshooting ms-windows ranks pretty on the bottom my list of favorite activities.

6. ## Design for manufacture

Manufacturing is more of a craft than it is science.

After having seen it linked on Hacker News, I've been following Spencer Wright's adventures in additive manufacturing (more specifically powder bed fusion in titanium);

7. ## Using a Sony PRS-T2N e-reader with FreeBSD

This article describes how to mount and transfer files to a Sony PRS-T2N.

This website contains lots of external links. A fact of life is that hyperlinks are subject to change, so they need checking every now and then.

In this how-to article I'll cover how I did that for this website.

9. ## foto4lb

Photos from modern digital cameras are generally so large these days that you have to shrink them to use them in a document. I do this a lot, so I automated it.

The foto4lb.py script shrinks the files it is given to a width of 886 pixels, and shrinks ...

10. ## csv2tbl

The csv2tbl.py script takes a comma-separated values ("csv") file, and converts it to a LaTeX table. It handles a couple of different possible seperators; semicolon, comma and tab. Of those it automatically pics the one that occurs most.

N.B.: it does not try to interpret quotation marks!

It ...

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