Defy Invalid Social Norms

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disnxThe elders have their noses in the air and a stick where only their proctologists can find it. You know it. I know it. Even they probably know it. You can say something about it!

Definitely not a laydown, yet not so directly offensive as to put everyone off the moment you show up.

This is one of my t-shirts (you can also get it put on a hoodie or quite a range of other wearables), which I would be obliged if you would look at and perhaps consider adding to your wardrobe, which in turn will kick a few (very few, sadly) dollars my way. It’s one of my best tees, in my not-so-humble opinion. Even I wear this one!

Some good news is that as I write this, the tee vendor, Zazzle, is having a decent sale, with discounts on both products and shipping costs.

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What’s that Smell?

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As they train to become a doctor, new interns are taught about many different diseases that produce various sets of otherwise similar symptoms. In conjunction with this new and complex knowledge, they are also taught this truism: “When you hear hoofprints, you must not initially assume a zebra is in the vicinity.” This pithy remark is meant to impart that, for instance, if a patient comes in bleeding from an orifice, one must not immediately assume that Ebola is in the building; more likely something much more common is in play, such as hemorrhoids or perhaps an unfortunate excess of enthusiasm coupled with a new, ahem, toy.

One of the clearer signs that I was becoming a competent programmer was that the problems in my code began, more and more often, to in fact, be zebras. Instead of a misplaced character or a missing clause or some kind of blatant conceptual error, the abject weirdnesses that were most often populating the realm of my final, demonstrably accurate diagnoses came to be things like operating system bugs, broken libraries, incomplete emulations and exotic compiler bugs. Zebras.
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Catching ALL exceptions in Python

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When working with Python, sometimes, more than anything else, you need to know what went wrong. Quite aside from all the debate about what you should do in response, and particularly when developing, you need more than just a vague idea that your CGI bailed and that there might (or might not) be some usable indication of this in the system web logs.

Even when working in a pure command line context, you may need to catch anything and everything. If you do, the following gives you a basic model of just how to do it.

import sys try: a = 5 / 0 except Exception,e: # the Exception class provides messages print 'Exception caught, message: '+str(e) raise SystemExit # bail out (optional) except: # other exceptions e = sys.exc_info() # so we mine sys library info instead print 'Non-Exception class Exception caught, message: '+str(e) raise SystemExit # bail out (optional) else: # and, well, sometimes things work out. print 'it worked, no exception!' # whoo hoo... finally: # always happens print 'Glad THAT ordeal is over -- one way or another.' print 'And here we are. Aren't we?' # you only get here if things worked out

Try out the above with code you know will work, like a=1 immediately subordinate to the try: clause, and then with code you know won’t work, like a=5/0 and see what it does.

Hope someone finds that useful. Took me a while to dig through it all and wrap my head around even the basic idea that sometimes, you just need to know!

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New OSX and Windows version of SdrDx: 2.13e

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SdrDx 2.13e adds a very large number of changes, fixes and some features over the previous mainline release, which was 2.12q.


    Downloads: http://fyngyrz.com/?p=915
Documentation: http://fyngyrz.com/sdrdxdoc/sitemap.html
      Changes: http://fyngyrz.com/sdrdxdoc/changes.html

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A Theory of Mind

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Consciousness in specific, and the mechanism of thinking in general, have remained an opaque block to science in general and researchers in the area in specific. As an AI person (I work on associative memory as it [hopefully] applies to AI), this is something that is both immensely interesting to me, and which occupies a considerable amount of my “spare cycles”, as it were. I think about it in an orderly fashion, I day- and night-dream about it in a most decidedly disorderly fashion, I draw charts and diagrams, I take copious notes, and I constantly ask people why they say what they say, hoping for insight into the thought process — not the issue or the answer, but the mechanism.

About the Title

As it turns out, “Theory of Mind” has some previous associations, so please note it was only intended as a description of the content here, not a declaration of association with these ideas.

Here I will present a description of my theory, which seems to me that it could be an, or the, answer. Not a metaphor — metaphors tell you what things are like, not what they are — but my suggestion as to how the brain, and therefore the mind, may actually work.

I am not saying that I’m certain that I’ve intuited the answer — I’m working backwards on this, as are we all — but after almost forty years of examining the problem, for the very first time, I have come up with a model that has turned out to satisfy every question that I have about thought and consciousness in what I can only describe as a manner satisfactory to myself. Which is, I think, in itself notable. If for no other reason than everything I have ever come up with previously, or read about, has utterly failed to do so. So, dear reader, please come along as I try to explain myself. Literally.
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Using the Pi as an aquarium pump controller

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Just a short post to follow up on the how-to Raspberry Pi post. I went into detail on how to get one going, but I never really said what I was doing with the thing. So, in case anyone is curious:

First I installed all the software I wanted. I set the Pi up as a headless (no monitor, keyboard or mouse) network-controlled computer. I installed a wifi dongle so it became a headless, wireless network-controlled computer. And then…
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Headless Raspberry Pi B+ via Ethernet – from zero to success

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R.Pi B+ BoadSo (somewhat late to the party, but anyway), I came up with a project I could use a Raspberry Pi for. Off to Amazon I went, and purchased this starter package (select the ULTIMATE kit), which I highly recommend. Everything you need, all in one place. I’m assuming you either bought this kit, or have the things you need, which I will also call out in case you’re a masochist and plan to try to assemble all this stuff by yourself.

Take note that I’ll be updating this post as I discover more stuff about the Raspberry Pi I think is worth sharing; so you might want to bookmark it and come back again from time to time. I’ll try and make it worth your while.

To start, you will require the Pi B+, a storage card with NOOBS on it, a power supply, a wired USB keyboard, a wired USB mouse, an ethernet cable, a free port on your network router or network switch, an HDMI cable and an HDMI capable monitor.

No, there’s no other way. You need the monitor, keyboard and mouse. Sorry. Not my fault. Everything I listed except the network cable, keyboard, monitor and mouse is supplied in the kit I linked to just above. As well as a lot of other really cool stuff. Hint. Hint.
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SdrDx 2.13b beta posted

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This version: Changes the behavior of the shifted cursor keys and the quick tune buttons at the top of the GUI such that the spectrum and waterfall will scroll when the demodulator bar approaches the span edges.

Also has new variable RF mute TCP command, rmute:X Y where X is either 0 (mute off) or 1 (mute on) and where Y varies from 0.0 (fully muted) to 1.0 (fully unmuted.) This allows you to drop the RF levels coming in any arbitrary amount for any reason. This is not sticky; on restart, rmute is set to 0 and 1.0.

–Ben
AA7AS

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