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(Re-)adding a tray icon to Rhythmbox - 16 Jan 2012 Technology 

One of the features I used to particularly like about Rhythmbox was it’s ability to minimise to tray. This meant with a simple click of an icon I could briefly bring it up on my current workspace to play/pause and then hide it again. However, in the new 2.90.x releases, the upstream has decided to…

Finding new albums by old bands - 29 Dec 2011 Technology 

I’m once again visting music-related problems, with a look at a different aspect of the “discovering new music” problem. Now, the LShift jukebox is very good at introducing me to new and weird artists, and it also occasionally tells me about other work by artists I’m already aware of, but this is all rather haphazard.…

8-bit style acrylic sculpture - 6 Nov 2011 Technology 

A while back I did a post talking about working with MDF and a laser cutter. In that, I was using a program to generate the design for a sculpture and feeding the design to a laser cutter. This time around, the design is fairly simple and doesn’t need much computer help to build it,…

Generating Kindle collections - 17 Oct 2011 Technology 

Continuing on from my post a few months ago about playing with my Kindle, I’ve now amassed a fair number of books, and managing it is starting to be a bit of an issue. The main way to do this is with collections of books. However, Amazon in their infinite wisdom have decided not to…

Automagic Phone-to-Kindle with Calibre - 29 Jun 2011 Technology 

I’ve recently acquired a Kindle, and although it’s major use-case is for reading books, it’s also pretty good for reading long articles. This is particularly useful when I find out about said article via my phone (e.g. on Twitter) as my phone isn’t exactly good for reading anything really big. I started using the Send…

Don’t use IEnumerable for table references in C# - 23 May 2011 Technology 

We have a C# project that recently started to run into a few scaling issues. That search can slow down a little when you get a lot more records isn’t so surprising, but when your basic individual item retrieval starts getting sluggish, it’s time to worry. We were using Entity Framework as the ORM layer,…

Modular, laser-cut MDF sculpture with Python and DXF - 27 Mar 2011 Technology 

This month’s post is something a little bit different to the usual LShift posts. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of software and algorithms in there, but I’m also creating an actual physical object as well (*shock* *horror*). I’ve recently acquired access to a laser-cutter, and I’ve been going through a bit of a learning process…

Data visualisation: How weird is our jukebox? - 28 Feb 2011 Technology 

One of the perennial unanswered questions among LShift hackers is “How weird is our jukebox?”. Not in the sense that it’s written in Erlang, but in the sense that we do play an awful lot of rather weird stuff on there. The usual answer to this is “very”, but I’ve been thinking for a while…

Repository crawlers for Mercurial (or why you need to learn about revsets) - 30 Jan 2011 Technology 

Recently I needed to write a tool to crawl a Mercurial repository and look for certain things in unfinished branches that could cause us problems in the future. Given I knew that Mercurial was written in Python, my first approach to this was to start digging around in its code and see if there was…

Robolectric: unit testing Android apps - 31 Dec 2010 Technology 

I’ve been playing around with doing some testing of my Android apps, and it turns out to be a little bit more difficult than I’d hoped, but with the aid of some tools it can be brought back under control. Given Android apps are basically just Java, the usual choice would be JUnit. Android needs…

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