James Mead by James Mead

Show and Tell 6

We had our 6th Show and Tell last Wednesday evening. We had a good turnout despite the horrible weather with 7 people attending and 5 demos.

First up, Chris & I showed people where we’d got to with our video project. Chris had done some great work earlier that day making our very basic HTML pages look presentable.

Melinda demonstrated her Tweet Tracks project which she built at Hackference 2014. It uses the dataTXT API to extract places, people, events, etc. from Tweets and uses those in a Spotify search to identify a track relating to the tweet. We had fun trying to guessing why it had picked some of the tracks.

Tom S has been invited to make a guest screencast for Ruby Tapas. A while ago he wrote some notes on counting tree nodes. James Adam was sufficiently interested to expand on these notes and this in turn encouraged Tom that some exploration of Enumerators might be a good subject for a screencast.

Tom gave us a taster of the screencast using vim on the projector. It was interesting to see him using xmpfilter (part of rcodetools) to display the output of small snippets of Ruby code. As an aside, Ben G also mentioned a Ruby-backed implementation of the IPython Notebook environment.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks back, the Little Schemer Book Club has been re-branded as the London Computation Club. While we’ve been working our way through the Little Schemer members have published various bits and pieces on GitHub, in Gists and on the mailing list. Tom decided it would be nice to try to bring all these disparate bits of content together and so he’s started building a club website.

Inevitably he couldn’t resist adding some computation to the home page. It defaults to Rule 110, but Rule 30 is another interesting one. You can try other rules for yourself.

Tom W gave us a behind the scenes look at a tool that Basecamp use to check their laptops have various security measures in place. They use launchctl to run a set of Bats tests at regular intervals. The results from this script are sent to a private GitHub repo with the results from each machine represented as a single top-level file. They’ve done this in such a way that the repo home page on GitHub gives an at-a-glance view of the current status of all the machines. Neat!

Amy has been doing more interviews for the Minimum Viable Book project and she played us a video she’d recorded while interviewing someone (I’m afraid I don’t remember who!) from Hackney Pirates. They were showing a book aimed at encouraging children to not worry about being messy when trying to come up with new ideas, but to come back later and tidy things up. The book was really nicely produced.

Anyway, that’s all for this month!

– James.

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