George V. Reilly

Review: Boiling Point

Title: Boiling Point
Author: Frank Lean
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Arrow
Copyright: 2000
Pages: 432
Keywords: crime, UK
Reading period: 2–5 January, 2017

Dave Cunane is Manchester’s mouthiest PI. He gets tangled up with the wild daughter-in-law of the crooked Carlyle family. Marti wants him to prove the innocence of her father who’s doing life for killing a cop. She doesn’t go over well with Dave’s own half-crazy girlfriend. Neither the Carlyles nor Dave’s ex-police father want Vince King freed. It’s not going to end well.

Computed Parallel Branches in Jenkins Pipeline

I’ve been using Jenkins lately, setting up Pipeline builds. I have mixed feelings about that, but I’m quite liking Groovy.

Here’s an example of a Closure called ac­cep­tance_in­te­gra­tion_tests, where the re­lease_lev­el parameter is a String which must be either "dev" or "prod".

def acceptance_integration_tests = { String release_level ->
    assert release_level =~ /^(dev|prod)$/
    String arg = "--${release_level}"

    def branches = [
        "${release_level}_acceptance_tests": {
            run_tests("ci_acceptance_test", arg, '**/*nosetests.xml')

Review: Death of a Red Heroine

Title: Death of a Red Heroine
Author: Qiu Xiaolong
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Soho Crime
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 464
Keywords: crime, China
Reading period: 27 December, 2016–6 January, 2017

Chen Cao is an unlikely new Chief Inspector in the Shanghai Police in 1990, as he’s a poet, a scholar of T.S. Eliot, and a translator of English detective novels. In Death of a Red Heroine, a national model worker has been found murdered in a canal. The death is po­lit­i­cal­ly sensitive and Chen’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion leads him towards the son of a high-ranking cadre, which makes his position even more tenuous.

Qiu is as much concerned with the changes then happening in continue.

Diff a Transformed File

I wanted to diff two files. One of them needed some seds on each line and sorting. I wanted to do that on the fly, without leaving a massaged in­ter­me­di­ate file lying around.

colordiff --unified <(cat orphaned_permalinks.txt
                        | sed 's@'
                        | sed 's/.aspx$/.html/'

LKRhash: Scalable Hash Tables

LKRhash is a hashtable that scales to multiple processors and to millions of items. LKRhash was invented at Microsoft in 1997 by Per-Åke (Paul) Larson of Microsoft Research and Murali Krishnan and George Reilly of Internet In­for­ma­tion Services. LKRhash has been used in many Microsoft products. The techniques that give LKRhash its per­for­mance include linear hashing, cache-friendly data structures, and fine-grained locking.

If Microsoft had had 20% time, LKRhash would have been my main project. I put a lot of effort into making it continue.

Review: Watch Your Back!

Title: Watch Your Back!
Author: Donald E. Westlake
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Warner
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 345
Keywords: crime, humor
Reading period: 9 January, 2017

Watch Your Back! is one of the last Dortmunder novels, Westlake’s comic series about an unlucky crook published between 1970 and 2008. Dortmunder and his crew have a sweet lead on an unoccupied penthouse apartment, but their usual planning space, the O.J. Bar & Grill, has been turned into a bust-out joint by the Jersey mob. So now they have two jobs to pull: rob the obnoxious rich guy’s art and save the O.J. Of course, com­pli­ca­tions arise because nothing ever goes to plan in a Dortmunder book.


More Blog Cleanup

Last weekend, I restored a number of posts that had appeared on the earlier dasBlog in­car­na­tion of this blog, but had never made it to the Acrylamid version.

I added about another 50 posts this weekend, taken from the Wayback Machine. I think that this is all the posts that are missing.

That required further fixup. I had to turn the HTML back into re­Struc­tured­Text, which I did by hand.

Some useful tips will follow in future posts.

Review: Dr. Strange

Title: Dr. Strange
Director: Scott Derrickson
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2016
Keywords: Marvel, fantasy
Watched: 7 January, 2017

Stephen Strange is a world-class surgeon whose talent is only matched by his arrogance. His hands are ruined by a car crash, leaving him desperate to regain their use. In Nepal, he finds a temple of sorcerers led by the Ancient One, where he learns new and un­sus­pect­ed ways of dealing with the world. Eventually he takes on the renegade sorcerer Kaecilius, who wants to summon Dormammu from the Dark Dimension to change the world.

Aside from his very odd American accent, Benedict Cum­ber­batch does a decent job with a not-great script of portraying one continue.

Git: pruning unused branches

Ever had a Git repository where there’s an over­whelm­ing number of branches, most of which are surely abandoned? You run git branch --remote and you see dozens of unfamiliar branches. Where to begin?

Here’s an example for fly­ing­cloud:

$ git for-each-ref --sort=-committerdate \
    --format='%(committerdate:short) %(refname)' refs/heads refs/remotes
2016-12-29 refs/remotes/origin/master
2016-12-29 refs/remotes/origin/HEAD
2016-12-29 refs/heads/master
2016-12-11 refs/remotes/origin/0.1.x
2016-06-09 refs/remotes/origin/fix/salt-pip-version-problem-in-demo
2016-05-25 refs/remotes/origin/updates
2016-05-09 refs/remotes/origin/feature/documentation-improvements-3

Markdown Live Preview

It’s very useful when creating Markdown to be able to preview it live. For example, creating a complex pull request or a I usually use the built-in Atom Markdown Preview package in Atom. Just type ⌃⇧M (aka Ctrl+Shift+M) to see a live preview in an adjacent pane. I use vim-mode-plus to edit in Atom, which provides an acceptable emulation of Vim.

I recently discovered VS Code Markdown Preview in Visual Studio Code. Type ⌘K V (aka Ctrl+K V on Windows or Linux) to invoke the side-by-side live preview. I use VSCodeVim to meet my Vim needs.

Un­for­tu­nate­ly, neither previewer gives identical results to GitHub’s Markdown renderer. GitHub itself seems to use different renderers for continue.

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