Archive for category The Net

New Version of SdrDx (Mac / OS X version of CuteSDR)

Please see this post for the latest details on v1.07.

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Python, TkInter, OSX (OS X) and making it all behave

I use Python a lot. Python 2.5.1 to be specific. And inside Python is TkInter, which, with a little work, will give you a handy way to put a GUI together. But there are problems. To say that TkInter is poorly supported and poorly documented under OSX is to understate the case rather dramatically. So you’re left to Google for answers, and mostly, they aren’t to be found — or if they are, they aren’t obvious or easily found. So I’m going to provide some answers here that have taken me quite some time to collect, and hopefully keyword and title them so that a Google search will actually get you to the solution you need sooner rather than as much later as it did me!
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Starting Out – priorities and pratfalls

It occurred to me in a moment of introspection that I, probably like many others, had my priorities set entirely wrong when I populated my very first apartment with… well, with stuff. And later on, my first home. If I knew then, what I know now. Sigh. Well, can’t fix that, but I can sure issue some good advice that others can benefit from if they so choose.
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Roku XDS – A Review

If you’ve been following my blog at all, you’ll know that we bought an Apple TV v2. That experience was really, really bad. The details are here if you want them, but suffice it to say that I was impelled back into shopping for a similar device, because the Apple TV simply wasn’t going to cut it.

Enter the Roku XDS. Same price, same general type of device, a fair amount of buzz. Enough to catch my attention, consume a few reviews and comments… at $99, these things don’t exactly break the bank, so, in for a penny, in for a pound, we bought one. This is the story of how that went, often contrasted to the Apple TV v2, as that was what it was replacing. You might want to grab some popcorn.
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Google. Delivering mediocre results by design.

In my view, Google’s problem is that “the algorithm” equates popularity with goodness. The more links Google finds on the net to any page in particular, the better (higher in the search results) Google ranks that page.

However, we know that in fact, the more popular something is, the more likely it is to be middle of the road, not special, not best of class. It may, however, be shocking, LOLcat, or prankish. In this way, in my opinion at least, Google is an enormous force pushing towards mediocrity and worse.

I know that in my area of expertise, Google’s search results are really not impressive. Instead of knowledge about the subject, Google returns innumerable blog posts written by people who know little to nothing about the subject matter — a good deal of which is outright wrong.

I don’t have a solution outside of an expert-moderated search (and that’s very hard); I’m simply observing that Google’s intent to “do no evil” is compromised right out the door by the very nature of the algorithm they’re using.

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September Surprises

modemYesterday began with a nice surprise — it snowed here. Outside temp was 35 degrees, and it melted (here) when it hit the ground, but snow it was.

Even The Media Noticed

Then, at about 5pm Friday afternoon, our DSL modem flaked; indicators looked good, and it was in pass-through so normally it doesn’t really do much, but oh man, was the network hammered.
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Interp project

graphYeah, about that coding problem. More of the same. This one is about generating temperature and humidity estimates with a single latitude / longitude input using the point measurements of the National Weather Service nearest the point of interest, and interpolating in a useful and hopefully likely manner. As a project, it gets its own static page, right here.

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Publishers and the E-book Ecosphere

leap-pubIn e-tech, publishers look to be an obsolescent cog. They exist(ed?) with books in a legitimate role because someone needs to take on the cost of printing a physical book, shipping it to a store, etc., and your typical author can’t afford to do that. With an e-book, the costs – such as they are – are handled by the retailer (Apple, Amazon, smaller sellers – even the author.)

Speaking as someone somewhat familiar with the industry, publishers, long known for providing only minimal advances and the smallest possible royalty to the actual artist (the author(s) and illustrator(s)), appear to have no role in the e-book ecosphere.
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