Musings of a Fondue

Open CV

Original Date: March 3, 2014

Image from this video

I am interested in making a game that relies on hand gestures being detected by a webcam. In search for how to go about this, I came across videos like this and this which used Open CV to detect hand gestures.

I then found this tutorial series on YouTube. In the process of working through it I learned a lot! Checkout the series if you want a great intro to Open CV.

Since this is one of the few times the only time I managed to keep a dev log, I present it below.

JResig Book - AutoComplete

Original Date: February 18, 2014

In chapter 12 of his book Pro JavaScript Techniques, John Resig walks through how to create an autocomplete search using AJAX.

Here’s my go at it1

User Interface

The UI was fun to work on. Okay, maybe not all the time. But the end product was rewarding.

As seen in the book,

My take on it,

Server code

The autocomplete search relies on a file called auto.cgi being called and executed as the user types. For example when the user types “c”, a request is sent to the server for auto.cgi?to=c. The server executes auto.cgi with c as the argument, returning all the users whose names contain the letter c.

Responsive Layout Tutorial

Original Date: February 12, 2014

I was looking for a framework I could use to make my blog. I wanted something lighter than Bootstrap and came across Skeleton. I also came across this tutorial series on TutsPlus on Building a Responsive Layout with Skeleton, and the accompanying videos.

The series turned into an unexpected lesson on web design. I learned about Photoshop mockups and their use in website design, about font pairing, responsive design, grid layouts, textures, patterns, media queries, and lots of other good stuff.

Checkout the resulting website here

It’s optimized for Desktop browsing.

JResig Book - Gallery

Original Date: January 31, 2014

A simple image gallery based on chapters 7 and 9 of John Resig’s book Pro JavaScript Techniques.

Check it out here

The book is great if you want to dip a toe into writing better JavaScript.

Tic Tac Toe

Original Date: January 30, 2014

My brother asked me if I could make a tic tac toe game for the command line.

It wasn’t long before I got bored with the its limitations and moved on to the glorious world of sound, color, animation, and mouse/touch interaction that is HTML5!

And this,

_____ _____ _____ | | | | | X | | | |_____|_____|_____| | | | | | | O | | |_____|_____|_____| | | | | | | | X | |_____|_____|_____|

Became this,

Play the game here
Make sure your sound is on!

JResig Book - TIL

Original Date: January 16, 2014

Today I learned that you can abstract away frequently used code.

While working through John Resig’s book Pro JavaScript Techniques, I noticed he uses simple helper functions to keep the code neat and non-repetitive.

A GUI for Youtube-dl

Original Date: December 6, 2013

I came across Youtube-dl while looking for a safe way to download YouTube videos. Youtube-dl is a project on Github and the code is public, so I assumed it was safe.

The interface however is through the command line. This is kinda cool because you learn a bit about using the console. It also looks fancy/hacker-ish to someone walking by when it’s running even though all you’re doing is downloading some videos.

However, the command line use makes it something that I cannot give others to use. Also, having to remember the arguments to pass each time you want to use it is unideal.

I wanted to make a simple app that allows you to use Youtube-dl through a GUI (Graphical User Interface). I wasn’t sure how to do this, but I recalled reading a post by Avery Lee where he explained that C++ and Win32 was what he had used to make VirtualDub. So I googled that and came across several tutorial series on YouTube on making Windows GUI applications.

Mechanize X Investopedia

Original Date: November 27, 2013

I wanted to get the trade history of a user (whom I suspected was a bot), but I didn’t want to copy and paste all those pages.

I had previously watched episode 191 of RailsCasts where Ryan Bates uses Mechanize to login to a site and scrape the desired data. The original instructions in the video were not 100% applicable, however the Mechanize documentation filled in the gaps.

I put a script together using the two sources, and… it worked!

Tetris Theme Song Using Processing

Original Date: November 23, 2013

If you have Processing installed, I highly recommend going through the examples included. There’s a lot of interesting stuff hiding there.

If not, download it. I promise you won’t regret it!

This project was based on one of these examples* which plays the Happy Birthday song. I managed to tweak it to play the Tetris theme song. (And felt like a million bucks haha.)

Here it is live

Update

Unsigned Java applications no longer work on web browsers (at least not without much effort). So here’s a recording of it I made using Audacity,

RailsCasts

Checkout RailsCasts by Paul Bates.

They are very well done! And pack a lot of information into 10 minute bites.

He covers a diverse range of topics related to websites such as security, payments, authentication, spam, tagging, data management, and much much more.

Even if you’re not interested in Ruby the language, or the Rails framework, the videos are useful for leveling up on general knowledge of how websites work.

#notSponsored #itsJustThatGood