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”: (via @donpark) — great repository of code snippets for math and geo operations.
* “How to find freely usable photos on the net”: — excellent tips, I’d been using Wikimedia Commons as well (thanks @ellegold)
* “The Lean Startup Bundle”: 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”: What a resource.
* Charlie Kindel articulates “why I need to flip to Powershell”: on my Windows box. He also makes a strong case for switching to “Sublime Text 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”: — small handmade tools with an arty bent. I never have time to follow the site and get in on the deals.
* “Grabber”: indispensable for fat-fingered guys like me.
* “Fathead tweezers”: ANother very nicely machined tool.
* “Blackfire flashlight”: Always need a clampy light.
* “Cubify”: I would LOVE to have a cost effective 3d printer.
* “Inpection Camera”: OK no real use for this but isn’t it cool? I am sure I could justify somehow.

* “Photo Lens Burrito Wrap”: Seems awesome.

Things I need in my toolbox

* “Wire Bender”: is a genius little thing. Cheap, rarely used, but the exact right tool for certain jobs.
* “Air hose swivel”: is another simple little thing that is exactly the right solution.
* “Rollo Knife”: Rolling utility knife, purportedly a knuckle saver.
* “Butt splicers”: I am the suck at splicing wires so these might be useful.
* “Skoobawraps”: Trying to decide if these are awesome cool, or kind of stupid.
* “Fab@Home”: 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”: Starting point to find any kind of halloween project
* “Kurt’s tool wishlist”: I can only aspire to Kurt’s skill and tool collection
* “Kurt on prop setup”: The guy knows more than I ever will about this
* “Scott on controllers”: Need to read and parse this, Scott is ahead of me here.
* “Kurt on foam construction”: Foam is my best friend at halloween time
* “Measure tape tape”: Simple but brilliant
* “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.