Less than a month ago, I got to attend Burning Man for the first time (!). It’s not hyperbolic to say that I had the best week of my life there, and it certainly gave me enough stories to last me until the next Burn. To use a metaphor from statistical thermodynamics, it felt like we were all particles in a high-energy plasma (or in a fire, I suppose); as such, we had a good chance to frequently bounce off of each other and experience serendipitous transcendental interactions, one after the next. Ask me about it sometime =)
One incredible opportunity gifted to me by the massive New York sound camp Disorient via their very pornjy brother Jacob Joaquin AKA opcode appeared in the form of a Facebook message asking for programmers to write Processing sketches to animate the 500+ meters of LEDs on the camp’s signature structure, the Pyramid.
I’m happy to announce that, in part thanks to this blog, I’ve inked my first freelance software consulting contract! I’ll be working with Stratbridge LLC doing dynamic pricing for sporting and theatrical events.
If you’ve ever seen bots on reddit like qkme_transcriber, you may wonder how they’re able to make posts without human intervention. Well wonder no longer! By examining how OKCupid handles HTTP requests, I’ll show you how to first deconstruct the undocumented APIs of other sites, then manipulate them with nary a mouse click.
I first learned about Processing at Maker Faire in 2011. I don’t consider myself a visual artist, but Processing made it straightforward to create beautiful graphics using code. However, I didn’t want to go through the hassle of working with the Processing IDE, so I set it aside for a couple years.
In my last post, I discussed a method for approximating π which I later learned was a Monte Carlo method, thanks to some helpful Redditors. Today I’ll talk about technique that uses numerical integration (specifically, the rectangle method) to produce a more accurate result in less time. Continue reading
Consider a square with an inscribed circle of radius r which itself has an inscribed square rotated 45 degrees. If we look at just the first quadrant, then the area of the outermost square Aouter is r2. The area of the circle Acircle is πr2/4, and the area of the inner triangle Atriangle is r2/2. Therefore, we can make two equations for π based on the ratios of these areas: π = 4Acircle/Aouter and π = 2Acircle/Atriangle. Notice how neither equation depends on the radius; so, if we can figure out an alternate way to calculate these areas, we can determine the value of π. Python to the rescue!
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to build my own desktop computer. I’d been getting frustrated with the performance of my laptop, but more importantly I had to do it for the nerd cred.
I mainly use my PC for software development, music production, and some gaming. Unfortunately, my laptop couldn’t run Diablo III at a decent resolution (forget 1920×1080) with minimal settings at even 25 frames per second. Cranking up the GPU clock speed helped a little, but laptops have enough heating issues without throwing overclocking into the mix. Additionally, when working on a musical composition, I couldn’t have very many synths, effects, or track automations running in real-time without getting choppy playback. Freezing tracks solved that issue to some extent, but it slowed down my workflow. Continue reading
Welcome to my blog! Here, I’ll be cataloging my explorations into the world of coding in order to crystallize my own understanding of these topics, improve my writing skills, and converse with my fellow software engineers. With that . . .