Marco's Blog

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Adding Tides to Wave Chart

2014-10-09 7 min read Software marco
Will I ever be able to rest on my laurels? I was barely finished with my wave chart that I decided it would be even more awesome if it showed me the tides. Of course, the tides for the past are not all too exciting, but if you want to know when to go, today’s tides are mighty fine. So, to adjust the chart, I needed to find a library that handles tide. Continue reading

Python, Matplotlib, and Surf Reports

2014-09-25 15 min read Software marco
It took me a long while to fall in love with Python (the language). It was mostly because the features I ended up liking were hidden behind the giant flaw in the foreground: mandatory matching white space. That means that, unlike in most other programming languages, Python decides that two lines belong together if they are preceded by exactly the same white space. If the white space doesn’t match, Python complains. Continue reading

Switching Back From Chrome to Firefox

2013-02-12 4 min read Software marco
It was a while back that I started using Chrome. Firefox had the major problem that it all ran in one process, which means that if one tab froze, the entire browser did. To compound the problem, there was no easy way to start Firefox standalone – whenever I started a new browser instance, it would just detect that Firefox was already running, and piggy-back on the running product. Chrome worked well for me – still does. Continue reading

Habla Espanol? Chat Translation in Pidgin

2013-01-01 6 min read Software marco
I have a new surfing buddy in Mexico. He doesn’t speak much English, I am struggling with Spanish. It works fine in the water, because we just nod and congratulate when we hit a good wave – the expression of joy doesn’t need translation. Organizing a trip, though, was a nightmare until recently. I figured out that instant messaging was a good solution. I could type something in English into Google Translate, which is good enough for communication (although at times hilarious). Continue reading

Calibre and the Kindle Fire 2

2012-12-01 8 min read Software marco
Quick Summary: All you need for Calibre to detect and connect with the Kindle Fire 2 is an updated that has the correct vendor/product for this eReader. That’s all you need for Linux, but an updated DLL will do the same on Windows, and I presume the same is true for OS X. Calibre is great. I’ve used it since I got my first Kindle, many years ago, to backup my eReader, to push Gutenberg library files to it, and to download RSS feeds. Continue reading

Adding Google Maps behavior to Weight Table

2008-04-26 5 min read Software marco
I woke up this morning and checked a bug report on the Tcl weight table utility I wrote. I have now several years of (admittedly intermittent) weight data, so now the utility loads a little slowly, and then you have to grab the scrollbar to move around the many years. As you quickly learn, idioms and paradigms move on the Internet. I remember the day I picked up a mouse in a computer store in Germany, not knowing what to do with it, in a scene reminiscent of Scotty in Star Trek IV. Continue reading

Trying out StepMania

2007-04-10 2 min read Software marco
I remember the first time I saw a bunch of kids hanging around a Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) arcade game. It was at the Metreon in San Francisco, and I was just waiting for the movie to start. There I am, watching twelve-year-olds jumping like maniacs, realizing that was a variation of dance that combined arcade game qualities with physical exercise. It sounded like a dream combination: you appeal to the kids’ competitive nature to make them work out more. Continue reading