Proving a mathematical curiosity.

Today, a thread full of cool math facts appeared on Reddit. As usual, someone mentioned the fact that 111111111 * 111111111 = 12345678987654321. In another reply, someone pointed out that this also works in other bases. For some reason, I decided that I needed to prove that it works in all bases. [Read More]

Generating spectrograms the hard way with numpy.

A spectrogram is a convenient visualization of the frequencies present in an audio clip. Generating one involves obtaining the frequency components of each window of the audio via a Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) of its waveform. While tools are available to both generate spectrograms and compute DFTs, I thought it would be fun to implement both myself in my language of choice, Python. In the following, I will discuss computing a DFT (the hard way), processing a WAV file, and rendering a spectrogram (all in Python). If you’re impatient and just want to see the code, you can find it on GitHub. [Read More]

Integrating GitLab and Google Calendar.

Zeall, like many other software startups, uses GitLab for version control and issue management. We also use the ever-popular Google Calendar to handle meetings, reminders, and deadlines. For several months, we’ve been looking for a way to automatically push GitLab issue deadlines into Google Calendar, and until now it seemed impossible. Only after a recent migration from our own private mailserver to G Suite did we find a solution – or rather, figure out how to feasibly build one. [Read More]

Adding custom fields to packets in ndnSIM 2.3 without forking the entire repository.

The recommended way to build something on top of ndnSIM is to fork its scenario template repository and work inside there. You still need to download and compile the actual framework, however you will simply install it into /usr/local and link to it instead of actually working inside the main repository. It turns out that this workflow actually makes certain tasks a lot more difficult. You might think a network simulator would make it easy to add new header fields to packets. Well, think again. [Read More]

An idiot's guide to fulltext search in PostgreSQL.

I love PostgreSQL. It’s probably the most powerful open-source database system out there. Recent features to handle JSON and geospatial data are allowing it to supplant specialized database systems and become closer to a one-DB-fits-all solution. One feature that I’ve recently been able to exploit is its fulltext search engine. It allowed me to easily move from a terrible search implementation (using regular expressions) to one that actually meets users’ expectations. In this article, I will walk through a basic fulltext search configuration, as well as highlight a few potential improvements that can be made if you’re so inclined. Many of the features discussed in this post are only available as of PostgreSQL 9.6. Earlier versions have some rudimentary fulltext functionality, but a lot of the more powerful tools we’ll be using are fairly new. [Read More]