Tag Archive for Tools

How do you permanently delete files from Github, use ansible to modify a file, and other nits

Random things I’ve stumbled on in the last week, and that I am sure I will need to know again.

Producing complex documents — playing around with Sphinx and Graphviz

I have a need to collaborate on some complex documents and I am trying out Sphinx as the document build system. Plays nice with github, promises to play well with code (tho I haven’t really tried that out yet), uses reStructuredText for markup. I would have preferred that it used markdown (well, multimarkdown, I kind of need tables), but rST seems fine. Sphinx builds HTML, text, PDF, and a bunch of other output formats.

I also need some simple flowchart imagery and GraphViz seems like the way to go — auto generation of flowcharts, etc from simple text descriptions. Again plays nice with github, with my favorite text editor, etc.

For text editing I have moved to Sublime Text. I love bbedit but I do have the occasion to use a Windows machine and Sublime has versions for both OSX and Windows.

Oh and finally I occasionally need a more complex drawing. The Wacom Bamboo Stylus + Lekh Diagrams on the iPad seems to be a great combo. My drawing skills blow, I really like how Lekh Diagrams autocorrects my rectangles, triangles, circles, etc.

Saturday morning software tools roundup

Stuff I recently saw which intrigued…

* “GeometricTools”:http://geometrictools.com (via @donpark) — great repository of code snippets for math and geo operations.
* “How to find freely usable photos on the net”:http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505143_162-57399598/how-to-find-photos-you-can-legally-use-anywhere/ — excellent tips, I’d been using Wikimedia Commons as well (thanks @ellegold)
* “The Lean Startup Bundle”:http://www.appsumo.com/lean2012/?gid=WzYsIDM2MCwgIjIwMTIwMzI5MTE1NCIsICJ0dyIsICJib3RkZXRhaWwiLCBudWxsLCAiZWtpIl0= OK I hope to gosh I would never need all these things but some good ideas in here
* Step by step diffeq solutions in “WolframAlpha”:http://blog.wolframalpha.com/2012/01/30/step-by-step-differential-equation-solutions-in-wolframalpha/. What a resource.
* Charlie Kindel articulates “why I need to flip to Powershell”:http://ceklog.kindel.com/2012/03/25/update-coping-with-the-oss-command-line-on-windows/ on my Windows box. He also makes a strong case for switching to “Sublime Text 2″:http://www.sublimetext.com/2

Tools I Want But Don’t Need — January 2012

Since I am semi-retired from Halloween prop-building (tho I still have 2 storage pods full of gear if anyone wants to buy some skeletons, tombstones, etc…) I have not been buying as many tools and workbench gadgets as I used to. If I was buying, I’d be trying these out:

* “Planet Pocket Tool”:http://atwoodknives.blogspot.com/ — small handmade tools with an arty bent. I never have time to follow the site and get in on the deals.
* “Grabber”:http://toolmonger.com/2011/02/14/a-third-hand-with-lots-of-fingers/. indispensable for fat-fingered guys like me.
* “Fathead tweezers”:http://toolmonger.com/2011/02/10/fathead-tweezers/. ANother very nicely machined tool.
* “Blackfire flashlight”:http://www.blackfire-usa.com/proddetail.php?prod=001. Always need a clampy light.
* “Cubify”:http://cubify.com/index.aspx. I would LOVE to have a cost effective 3d printer.
* “Inpection Camera”:https://www.google.com/search?gcx=w&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=cordless+inspection+camera. OK no real use for this but isn’t it cool? I am sure I could justify somehow.

* “Photo Lens Burrito Wrap”:http://www.petapixel.com/2012/01/16/photorito-protect-your-lens-burrito-style/. Seems awesome.

Things I need in my toolbox

* “Wire Bender”:http://toolmonger.com/2010/01/07/wire-bending-the-easy-way/ is a genius little thing. Cheap, rarely used, but the exact right tool for certain jobs.
* “Air hose swivel”:http://toolmonger.com/2009/11/10/stop-fighting-with-your-air-hose/ is another simple little thing that is exactly the right solution.
* “Rollo Knife”:http://toolmonger.com/2010/02/23/roll-o-was-its-name-o/. Rolling utility knife, purportedly a knuckle saver.
* “Butt splicers”:http://toolmonger.com/2010/03/30/fast-electrical-butt-splices/. I am the suck at splicing wires so these might be useful.
* “Skoobawraps”:http://www.skoobadesign.com/product/skoobawrap-large-86/. Trying to decide if these are awesome cool, or kind of stupid.
* “Fab@Home”:http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2010/04/11/fabhome-make-anything/ 3d printers. Seems cool but honestly, the constraining factor on my manufacture of 3d items is not lack of a 3d printer, but is my complete inability to design/draw anything.

Stuff I Want But Don’t Need — too late for Christmas edition

Halloween links

Not doing a big Halloween thing this year due to other commitments. Saving these tips for the future…

* “Monsterlist”:http://www.halloweenmonsterlist.info/. Starting point to find any kind of halloween project
* “Kurt’s tool wishlist”:http://www.grimvisions.com/tools/tools-i-want-to-get. I can only aspire to Kurt’s skill and tool collection
* “Kurt on prop setup”:http://www.grimvisions.com/halloween/setting-up-your-halloween-display-for-maximum-effect. The guy knows more than I ever will about this
* “Scott on controllers”:http://tangleofwires.blogspot.com/2009/09/arduino-vmusic2-xport-halloween.html. Need to read and parse this, Scott is ahead of me here.
* “Kurt on foam construction”:http://www.grimvisions.com/products/working-with-polyurethane-foams. Foam is my best friend at halloween time
* “Measure tape tape”:http://toolmonger.com/2009/09/03/fill-your-shop-with-red-tape/. Simple but brilliant
* “French Curves”:http://toolmonger.com/2009/09/04/french-curves/. Who doesn’t need these.

Stuff I Want But Don't Need — August Edition

* Possibly the most ill-considered travel item ever — those TSA agents love a good joke. Ha ha ha, strip your clothes off sir.
* Vex robotic kit. Never had robot love, but if i did…
* Sticky tripod. No idea why but seems like I should have in my camera kit.
* I don’t know why I don’t have an eye-fi yet.
* Cooling bandanna. At less than $2 I should certainly get
* Dramm fogg-it hose nozzle. Doesn’t the name sound like a spoonerized curse phrase?
* Dynomighty wallet. If they had a buckeye one i’d be there
* Digital rachet wrench. Seems like a horrible idea.
* Traverse switchplates. Nice, I hate generic plastic switchplates.

Stuff I Want But Don't Need — Themeless

* Solar Camping Lantern — I remember the old coleman lanterns using white gas, the pumping, the mantles. What a pain in the a$%. This looks way simpler.
* King Cobra wristwatch — awesome looking. Tho I have completely given up on wristwatches.
* Carabiners make everything better. So true.
* Denture ice cubes. Seriously awesome.
* Resistor cheat sticker. I can never remember how to speak resistor.
* Antitheft lunch bags — brilliant.
* Woven wood chairs. Beautiful. Probably uncomfortable as hell.

Stuff I want but don't need — design edition

Stuff I Want But Don't Need — Geekhouse Bikes Powder Coating, Boynq Iris, Cyclone, Earthworm Hydro Drill

* Geekhouse Bikes Powder Coating Graphics — I never ride my bike, but wow could it look cool collecting dust
* Now that I’ve installed Edison, let me burn up all my savings with this dynamic LED keyboard
* Boynq Iris webcam-speaker-light-mic combo. I was just asking myself, where can I get a webcam-speaker-light-mic combo?
* Cyclone metal cleanup tool. As they say, if only this worked for sawdust
* Earthworm Hydro Drill. I actually could use this for routing cables for Halloween in the yard, tho it seems like it might be a disaster.