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My random knot in the Web

Articles about miscellaneous

  1. Storing and graphing time-based data

    In this article we will look into the best way to store time-based data and use it with gnuplot.

    Timezone

    The first thing to realize is that we should specify a timezone when specifying dates and times (“datetimes”). To prevent calculations, I tend to use datetimes in UTC.

    Format

    Next …

  2. Evaluating Zstandard compression

    Recently I became aware of the zstd compression program. I wanted to see how it stacks up against gzip, bzip2 and xz.

    TL;DR

    Compression with zstd is blisteringly fast.

    But xz still yields the smallest files.

    Test setup

    The tests are done on an otherwise idle machine. The test …

  3. Comparing stock ffmpeg with optimized ffmpeg

    Recently FreeBSD changed the multimedia/ffmpeg port to drop the -ffast-math and -fno-finite-math-only from the CFLAGS when building an optimized binary. The following experiment was conducted to see how much of a difference this makes.

    First we look at ffmpeg binary compiled with the standard options.

    >du /usr/local/bin …
  4. Chrome versus Firefox

    After trying google chrome (technicaly “chromium”) for about half a year, I switched back to mozilla firefox.

    After Firefox started requiring the rust language to build, I thought it might be a good idea to check out google’s Chrome browser, in the form of FreeBSD’s chromium port.

    I …

  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.

    The hardware is a Lenovo G710, which I suggested …

  6. Computer control, mature nor secure?

    Computer control of machinery has several problems;

    • immature
    • bad user interface
    • insecure

    Maturity

    A significant upside and downside in the PC world is the rapid development of CPU and peripherals. And while CPU’s generally implement an instruction set which is generally stable and backwards compatible, peripherals as a rule …

  7. Modifying pelican

    By default, the pelican blog generator that I use creates a random tag cloud. I wanted one that was alphabetically sorted. So I modified the source code.

    Some digging into the pelican source code pointed me to the file generators.py. I modified that as follows;

    diff --git a/generators …
  8. Writing the README first

    Today I watched Kenneth Reitz’s python for humans video. His statement that “API is all that matters” resonated with me because I sometimes struggle with that.

    Then he mentioned that you should write the README first, before writing any code. This is something that I do sometimes, but not …


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