Alternative years

27 December 2021

Last week someone gave me their age using a numeric base larger than 10 to reduce the number of years. This got me thinking about other ways to mess with ages.

Years are different on other planets and we probably know of enough exoplanets now to give pretty good translation to any age you want...

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Progress Bar Clock

27 December 2021

I've long had an idea to make a clock out of progress bars. I needed to figure out how to handle time based events in karax/nim/js for a bigger project so figured this was a good little project to poke at that some.

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Building Houses In Gardens

15 August 2020

I have a garden that I don't use. It's about the same size as the footprint of my flat. I think it would be a much better use of the space to put another house on it. I'm unlikely to ever actually do that because planning application to do it would cost money and be a lot of hassle. I don't know the odds of actually getting the planning permission but "low" is likely a good first approximation.

There are 27.6 million households in the UK and 80% of people have access to a garden so I think there is decent scope for there being more than just me with a garden that would be better off as another house.

If someone were to offer to do the planning application (and build) for me in exchange for a split of the sale of the new house, I'd be keen to take them up on that. (If anyone does want to make that offer please get in touch.)

I think there is a workable business model in making that offer. The odds of getting planning permission for any one application might be "low" but make enough of them and some will come through. If you're making a bunch of planning applications you'll have some economies of scale. You could go nuts and automate the whole process (plonk plans for a kit home on map for the site; submit that) and just spam them at planning offices, but I think that's likely to just piss off planning officers and get them all rejected. Something with automated preparation and having a person check them over and only submit ones with best chance of getting approved is likely to work better. Should be able to learn (either with machines or people) what features influence the probability of getting approval.

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HP server PSU

7 July 2020

The guy with the Swiss accent covered using server PSUs as a cheap 12V power supply. I had seen other computer PSUs converted to use outside of the computers they were intended for but this one tempted me to go for it since it has all it's power as one 12V output and it can drive 62.5A on that output (there are also 1200W models, but 750W seemed like enough for me). And for less than £15. So I got three.

They've got a few part/model numbers: Regulatory Model No. HSTNS-PL18, Generic Part No. 506821-001, Part No. 506822-001 and Spare Part No. 511778-001.

First thing I did was power one up and poke at it with a meter. That confirmed that the always on 12V line was where I was expecting it, +12V on pin 37 and GND on pin 30. This always on connection is good for 30W.

I then soldered a switch between pins 33 and 36. Closing that switch powered on the main 12V output. And some more poking with a meter and some loads confirmed that pin 34 gave an on/off status of a little over 3V and pin 34 gave a voltage that varied with load. This looked about right for the 20A per V I was expecting. That confirmed all the details of the pinout that I cared about.

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The pstree options I want

10 June 2020

I use pstree every so often to investigate how something was called or what something has spawned. I almost always want the same behaviour: show me parents and children of this process, with PIDs and usernames. To get that I should use pstree -sup <PID>.

Now I should know where to look when I can't remember what the options I want are.

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