Links of the Week 10/7
Whew, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve been busy moving in to New York, starting a new job, and settling in, but I had some time to kill in a coffee shop, so let’s catch up, shall we? This one will probably be a bit longer than normal…
- CineStill Developer + Fix Monobath: A monobath solution is pretty cool - I probably wouldn’t be inclined to use it for developing film in TNQ’s darkroom, because you don’t get control over the exact development time, and it seems more temperature-sensitive, but this would be a great solution for a small apartment when you don’t want to have lots of different bottles of chemicals. It’d be great for very small-batch film development.
- Solarcan: Basically a sheet of photographic paper in a can with a pinhole on the other side, it’s so insensitive to light, and such a small aperture, that it pretty much just sits out for weeks or months at a time. These things produce some interesting pictures of the sun, revealing the changing path it takes through the sky. It would also probably be relatively easy to replicate with a webcam and some post-processing of the images.
- Minolta 5400 film scanner: Apparently this particular scanner uses an internal lens made of unobtainum and has ridiculously good resolution. Possibly worth checking out and quantifying with an MTF. Regardless, this article also has some good tips on scan settings to get good results. The IR-based scratch/dust reduction is particularly interesting, I never knew that’s how that worked. Seems like it would actually work incredibly well. Clearly I should get back into film photography and start scanning things.
- Moon reconnaisance photo lab: A super cool article on the tech that flew to the moon to do high-resolution reconnaisance for planning the Apollo missions. It basically had a full film setup, with chemicals and everything, and a scanner, because that was significantly higher resolution than digital sensors at the time (slash, digital sensors didn’t really exist at the time, at least not in any usable form).
- Sort-of tour of Nikon sensor testing lab: This links to some video tours of Nikon testing labs. There’s also a bit of interesting discussion in the comments. It looks interesting, though I haven’t actually had a chance to watch the videos yet.
- Behind-the-scenes of Yappie: WongFu is using some serious kit, and it’s always interesting to see the behind-the-scenes of film/movie production.
- Cranes and concrete for energy storage: Gravity is still really efficient, and we’re pretty efficient at moving things up and extracting energy from them coming back down.
- Watch modding: A nice example of a modded watch - most modded watches wind up too chunky or gaudy for my tastes, but this one actually looks really nice.
- Keyboard service program for MBP: Continuing my derision of Apple products, especially 1st-gen ones. Sacrifice functionality and durability in the name of…being a millimeter thinner? No one cares how thin their laptop is, now that everything is significantly under an inch.
Networking & Security
- Gaining access to Homebrew: Don’t stick your creds in publicly-available places.
- How to gain physical access everywhere: Useful info. This is pretty comprehensive too, I haven’t heard of many access methods that aren’t covered by this talk.
- Deploying WiFi to a small office: Just a little article I found on Hackernews about deploying a wifi network. My apartment is small enough not to need anything fancy, but down the line this could be useful. The biggest takeaway is just to not use WiFi, and hardwire as many things as possible instead. I definitely agree with that philosophy.
- Deploying pihole in a docker container: There’s an official docker container, which might be what I run if I ever actually decide to add this to my network setup. That depends on me getting the storage server back online, which is a project I’ve been meaning to do…
- SVG packing for lasercutting/watejretting: A cool little bit of software with some cool algorithms behind it to pack shapes efficiently. Basically lots of Minkowski sums.
- PyQT for GUIs in Python: A comprehensive tutorial on using PyQT, a QT library for Python. There’s also a good discussion on Hackernews about alternative Python libraries for building GUIs with more modern tools.
- LXC Containers: Is LXC going to replace Docker? Seems more lightweight and useful for larger-scale apps, maybe less useful for small-scale programs/dbs. But either way, seems nicer than dealing with an actual hypervisor.
- Keeping a plaintext ‘did’ file: In addition to the nice idea, there’s a lot of nice little Vim tricks that I didn’t know about.
- Python algorithms for robotics: A huge collection of algorithms with animations for various tasks useful to robotics - localization, path planning, etc.
- Dolphin bugs: Emulators very frequently have some absolutely fascinating bugs and somehow always have great write-ups too. Far more entertaining and in-depth than your standard software bug hunts, emulator coders, as a group, have got to be one of the coolest corners of the coding community.
- Git history in the Linux kernel: Just an interesting collection of weird and hilarious git history in the Linux kernel - octopus merges are something I’ve never heard of before, but the Linux kernel has some truly special ones.
- GIF screenshots: A few of my more frontend-y friends capture GIF screenshots regularly, maybe this is the tool they use?
- Recording shoutcast/audio streams: Some useful ffmpeg commands for recording audio web streams. I didn’t realize ffmpeg could record things, but I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised - ffmpeg can basically do anything. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a secret “run linux vm and output to x-win” option or something similarly ridiculous.
- Heroku opinions on developing CLIs: I have developed a few CLI’s in the past, and some of the Heroku built-in tools seem incredibly useful for the task.
- Octopart Excel plug-in: An Excel plugin that automatically fetches prices and such from Octopart, which is super cool and useful. Definitely makes larger-scale electronics projects scale way better.
- Breakdown of scaling LEDs O(50): A cool breakdown of scaling an LED matrix to a few dozen LEDs. The board layout is also a beauty on its own. Really makes me want to go design some more circuit boards - the routing itself is a fun and relaxing task.
- Mesh networking in the field: A random kit I found that has a really nicely-designed package for ad-hoc mesh networking deployments. The small size and nice packaging are especially tasty.
- Direction finding and passive radar with RTL-SDR: Pretty much what the title says - direction finding of radio sources with SDR. Antoher cool project to try with SDR if/when I ever get into that hobby.
- CortexProg for ARM programming: Maybe a tool to use for when I finally decide to learn how to make an EE projet with a microcontroller.
- Motion Coprocessor: Seems like a useful coprocessor, or perhaps a little IP to plop onto a board. Next step is having the parent micro program it.
- When a Mars simulation goes wrong: This is a very storytelling-y/long article about a pretty interesting experiment, in principle, but it sounds like a lot of things weren’t quite thought through or were overthought. Their electrical setup also seems to have been very amateurish. Overall, seems very much on the wrong side of “academia” vs “indsutry”.
- Behind-the-scenes at LMG: More behind-the-scenes of a pretty serious production house, it’s always fascinating to see such involved tech setups. I remember the OG Chase Jarvis tech videos about this, from wayyy back in 2010 when XServes were the tool of choice for the kinda-serious-but-actually-still-amateur tech setup. Of note, they had some interesting sync client - probably not relevant to me since they somehow still use Windows servers (seriously?!), I’d probably do something custom based on this Hackaday article I mentinoed in LOTW 6.
- Breakdown of My Hero Academia: Gigguk is probably my favorite anime Youtubers, and this is a great breakdown of a great show. Worth watching.
- Binging With Babish / It’s Alive: Two of my favorite youtube cooking shows come together for a crossover epsidoe. Pure entertainment the whole way through.
- Scaling a team with no experience: This could arguably go in the “software” section, but it’s more of a philosophical article. In general, it explains the issues with, as a general class, young startup founders - they lack experience, and do a lot of things the wrong way, in a manner that either prevents scaling, increases developer time, decreases stability, decreases security, or most likely all of the above. This is easily my biggest fear about getting too much leadership too fast - that said, I also crave leadership positions, so this is also what drives me to learn as much as I can about general software patterns and architectures.
As always, thanks for reading! :)