Terran Melconian: Technical


Custom Functions in R dplyr (20160505)
Translating custom function invocations from plyr to dplyr


Google: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (20150112)
Wondering what Google will do? Ask yourself what Microsoft would have done in the 1990s.


LG Headset Distortion Workaround (20141021)
Tips for getting earpieces to work with recent LG phones


Honda Fit Air Conditioning in Defrost Mode (20120604)
The Honda Fit forces the air conditioning on when you direct air to the defroster. This page describes how to easily disable this annoying feature in under five minutes


The many meanings of "remove" (20111226)
Remove means something very different in lvm than it does in dmsetup...
Partition Alignment on 4k-Sector Drives (20111112)
Benchmarks show that some operations can be half the speed if the partitions are not aligned correctly.
Grip Tape You Might Want To Buy (20110704)
so that your phone can look as awesome as mine!
Defective ADC on the ATTiny85? (20110625)
I get enormous differences in the reading depending on the state of output pins. This seems like a fairly major defect.
The Igo Juice is almost, but not quite, a general purpose power supply (20110529)
The Igo Juice, despire initial appearance, is not a very good general purpose power supply


Automatic Coffee Roaster (20091208)
in which I build an automatic cofee roaster from a $5 popcorn popper and $100 in other parts.
Neon downconversion of laser wavelengths? (20090807)
In which there are shiny things!
Two Attempts at Receiving Video (20090102)
In which I attempt to receive unintentional radiation from a CRT (no success) and intentional analog TV (success)


Recommended Technical Books (20080808)
A revised list of recommended technical books. I could not even find my previous list, so I decided it was time to compile a new one.
Blackberry 8820 Current Draw (20080505)
Current consumption measurements on the Blackberry 8820 in various modes
I can connect them! (20080428)
Finally, I can connect my phone and camera. I've only been waiting three and a half years.
Phillips Square Drive: Actually Better (20080309)
in which I express my amazement that something I originally assumed to be pure marketing drivel actually works more or less as advertised


Virtual Hosting Services Comparison (20071212)
A listing of virtual hosting services in the $20 range.
Miscellaneous Reference Sheets (20070000)
This is a collection of short references I've made to help myself remember assorted subjects. The most comprehensive is the one for Perl/tk, at over 25 pages.


Reviews of Handheld Wireless Devices (obsolete) (20050808)
Reviews of two pagers (a motorola T900 and P935) and one cell phone (a Samsung A310).
Serial Logic Analyzer (20050325)
The ``serial port logic analyzer'' uses some cute tricks to get data off of the four status lines of a serial port, and has utilities to identify the signal as RS232 data if you've connected what would ordinarily be the RxD pin to one of the status pins.


Talking Helium (20041025)
Shake me and I say ``Decay!'' Pictures of finished product as well as code and circuit diagram.
A Zephyr-Like AOL Instant Messenger client (20041018)
This started as a quick kluge one night when I didn't have any AIM clients I was happy with. It's no longer a quick kluge; it's now a big, long, complicated kluge.
Simple C/Unix Memory Problem Debugging (20040602)
A simple tutorial on how to recognize some common memory management errors for C and C++ programmers on Unix. After showing these simple cases to a few people at work, I thought I'd write them up and share them with the rest of the world as well. This is for people who took computer science classes which didn't touch on ``applied'' things like debugging.
LED Flashlight Modification (20040124)
A modification of a 2-AA Sears flashlight to take 7 white LEDs, using three 2/3AA NiMH batteries. The Sears flashlight is better than a Mag-Lite for this because it has a separate switch instead of using the reflector.


Ularn Spoilers/Reference (20021108)
Ularn is a great game. More information is available from the Larn Home Page.
Linux Utilities for MeTex DSO (20020515)
I have a handheld oscillscope which, as is all too often the case, came with computer-interface software only for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Thus, I wrote some utilties of my own.
Largan L-Mini 350 Interface (20020304)
Steve O'Conner's programs didn't work for me (kept generating timeout errors), so I made my own. I'm not saying it's any less klugy, but it does happen to work for me. It's written in Perl, and supports everything but the Thumbnails (because I was having a hard time figuring out the thumbnail format, and the Largan-supplied converter code didn't seem to work). UPDATE: Thumbnails are now working.
This is Linux. Isn't it awful? Please go home now. (20020128)
Linux is overhyped, and is being recommended to many people for whom it is utterly unsuitable. This is my attempt to set forth the complete lack of benefits which most people would realize by using Linux.


X Cursor Reference (20010928)
Rotated Text Patch for Perl/Tk (20010923)
This patch, for Perl/Tk 800.023, adds the ability to rotate text with the -angle option for X11 and PostScript output. For more information, see this Usenet post.
Comments on Learning Programming Languages (20010728)
Here are some thoughts I've had on which parts of learning a programming language are actually the difficult parts, and which ones are trivial.
The Hacker, the Academic, and the Corporation (20010728)
Some common viewpoints which seem to be represented in many discussions are described here, as an attempt to explain why nobody can agree on what advice to give a newbie.
Linux Memory Checker Comparison (20010724)
Panasonic KX-P 1123 Setup (20010221)
I was given an old Panasonic KX-P 1123 Dot Matrix printer, without any instructions. I've determined by trial and error how to set many of the options on it, and it's explained here.
Multiple Scroll-Wheel Mice and XFree86 (20010131)
XFree86 doesn't support mice with more than one scroll wheel, as an inherent consequence of the way it deals with the Z-Axis information. This is a patch which adds support for certain types of multiple-scroll-wheel mice, and a description of what it does.


Miscellaneous (20001030)
Miscellaneous Comments on Programming Complexity (20001009)
This is a compilation of ideas I've had about different types of complexity found in computer programs and languages, and some conclusions I've drawn from these ideas.



Test Equipment Prices (dead) (20040107)
I used to maintain a list of historical prices of certain types of test equipment on Ebay.


Dynamic DNS with BIND (20010201)
There is a pronounced lack of useful information about dynamic DNS with BIND. This document is an attempt to rectify this situation.
Debian GhostScript package with Samsumg GDI driver (obsolete) (20010101)
The Samsung ML-4500 family of printers require specialized drivers, and provide a hacked GhostScript which includes them. However, they provide only Red Hat packages. I extracted the source patches which provide the GDI driver from their RPM distribution, applied them to the Debian package, and built it. This is a quick hack without documentation.


pmh (dead) (20001011)
pmh is a rewrite of mh in Perl. It's not usable, and isn't being worked on anymore.