November 2, 2022

Learn to Code

Over the past couple of years I’ve taught myself programming and data science. I’d been at a big computer nerd and at least programming-nerd-adjacent for a long time (linux user since 2005, emacs users since 2011) but in 2020 I made a conscious decision to pursue learning to code as part of a plan to find an alternative career. Over the past couple of years I’ve tried out quite a few different resources for learning programming and data science. Read more

September 18, 2022

Riffle Shuffle Efficiency

Let’s say you have a list, and you want to “interleave” or “riffle shuffle” the items in it. That is, you want to split the list in two, and then make a new list, alternating items from the first and second halves. In Python, there are a number of ways of doing this. Now we are left with the problem of which of these ways should we actually implement? One key factor in making this decision is performance: how well do the various methods actually perform. Read more

August 14, 2022

DIY Password Manager

The problem of coming up with a good password is finding something memorable enough that you will remember it, but not so obvious that it’s guessable. A password manager essentially makes sure that your passwords are not guessable, but it also makes them impossible for you to remember them, so you have to outsource remembering your passwords to a database on your computer or in the cloud (i.e. on someone else’s computer). Read more

April 18, 2022

How Predictable Is Football?

A question that has been rattling around my brain for a while now is this: how useful is “form” in predicting the outcome of football matches? That is, how useful is it to know that a team’s record in their last 5 matches is WWLDD, for example? So I thought I’d explore this as a way to learn a bit more about Python’s statistics and data science libraries. The code used to do this analysis and generate these graphs is available on github. Read more

January 31, 2022

Wordle Solvers

Following on from a previous post, I wanted to explore what effect various kinds of strategies for solving Wordle have on how quickly you solve it. So I implemented Wordle in python, and then spent a while trying to find a good word list to use as a basis. Now, I know that you can inspect the Wordle page itself and find the list of words it uses for validating real words and the list of wordle answers, but I don’t want to use that list, so I made my own. Read more

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