TheJoyOfHack

For people who like to make things

Emotional Changes To The User Interface

Scrabble for iPhone
Scrabble for iPhone

I love word games. I’ve played Scrabble on my iPhone more than 1200 times. Then, a couple of weeks ago they changed their user interface. Now I’m afraid I’ll never play it again. In this post I’ll tell you what I don’t like about the changes, and how I plan to avoid similarly alienating users of my own apps.

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Bokeh Fireworks

I attended the Glendale Heights SummerFest fireworks display last night. As the fireworks started I tried to take a video of them on my iPhone. I must have placed my finger in front of the lens because the focus locked on a short distance (as opposed to the infinity needed in such situations). The resulting bokeh was unexpected but very beautiful.

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Making a Kung Fu Wooden Dummy

Wing Chun Wooden Dummy
Wing Chun Wooden Dummy

In 2010 I made my own Wing Chun Kung Fu Wooden Dummy. The Wooden Dummy is a training tool that helps you practice the fighting techniques of Kung Fu. This post explains how and why I built it.

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Installing mod_perl 2.0

I recently needed to upgrade one of my machines to mod_perl 2.0. I encountered many problems on the way, and would like to share with you what I did to finally get it to work.

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Running Out Of Power At The Grand Canyon

I’m currently in the last 48 hours of my first ever visit to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Just hours before setting out to see the Canyon for the first time, I realized that I couldn’t recharge my camera’s battery. I had 80% of a full charge, and four more days of vacation to go. Time to panic?

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Shell Tricks - Extracting A Column From A Text File

There have been times when I’ve had to extract a particular column from a tab-separated or comma-separated file. The best way to do this is to use the shell command cut. Let’s say I have a file named input.txt that looks like this:

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