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xnaFan's Blog » Non-gaming

Archive for the ‘Non-gaming’ Category

musicForProgramming()

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Came across this website which has an interesting idea:

“What if we made music designed to occupy the part of your mind that distracts you from real work, thereby leaving you free to work more focused?”

That’s the simple concept behind musicForProgramming()

image

In their own words:

“Through years of trial and error - skipping around internet radio stations, playing our entire music collections on shuffle, or just hammering single albums on repeat, we have found that the most effective music to aid prolonged periods of intense concentration tends to have a mixture of the following qualities:

Drones
Noise
Fuzz
Field recordings
Vague memories (Hypnagogia)
Textures without rhythm
Minor complex chords
Early music (Baroque, lute, harpsichord)
Very few drums or vocals
Synth arpeggios
Awesome
Walls of reverb

Music possessing these qualities can often provide just the right amount of interest to occupy the parts of your brain that would otherwise be left free to wander and lead to distraction during your work.”

It’s dreamy, newagey-, easy listening and free Smile.

Note: of course, if you’re not a programmer – it can be used for a lot of other pastimes as well Winking smile.

Android and Arduino combination kit – yay!

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Google has released news of the Android Open Accessory Kit which will enable users to interact with external sensors and outputs from an Android phone using a development board based on the Arduino Mega2560.  The kit will be priced around $400 but it will be possible to work with a much cheaper Arduino Host Shield and a standard Arduino.

It would be neat if a phone came out which had a row of programmable ports ready like the Arduino :). You could get instant texting support for turning on light/heat/etc. at home. Or the other way around - you would be able to have the phone monitor and report from any kind of sensor.

More at the Arduino website and the MakeZine website.

Empty folder deleter – cleanup tool

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Since I often download pdfs, sourcecode and other files from the web, I often end up with my downloads folder being cluttered with full and empty folders between each other.

emptyfolderdeleter_screenshot

For that reason I made a little commandline tool to delete empty folders. I have it in my downloads folder, so I can doubleclick it whenever I’ve been sorting stuff, and want the empty folders deleted. To be sure that you meant to run the program it asks you to press D(elete) on the keyboard to continue. You can run it from a batch file with the parameter "-quiet" to make it run without confirmation.
You can download the application CommandPrompt (zip), or the source code floppy .

An interesting code snippet is the Options class. Earlier I've been using Plossum, but I didn't want to include referenced DLLs in my app, so I made the Options class as an alternative. It is a class which parses the command line and stores the options in public properties, so the logic in the command line version could easily be changed to accept input from for example an xml file. The main logic is in the constructor which receives the string[] sent from the Main() method of the program.cs.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.IO;
using System.Reflection;

namespace EmptyFolderDeleter
{

// ****************************************************************
// Jakob Krarup - December 2010
// http://www.xnafan.net
// Distributed under Creative Commons Attribution license:
// http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
// Short version: use it how you wish, just leave my name on it :)
// ****************************************************************

///

/// Class to parse commandline options for the EmptyFolderDeleter program
///

public class Options
{

#region Properties

///

/// The folder to delete files in
///

public string Folder { get; set; }

///

/// Whether to refrain from writing status to the console
///

public bool Quiet { get; set; }

///

/// Whether to display the program help for the user
///

public bool Help { get; set; }

///

/// Whether there was an error parsing the arguments in the constructor
///

public bool ParseError { get; set; }

///

/// What the error was, when parsing the arguments in the constructor
///

public string ParseErrorMessage { get; set; }

#endregion

///

/// Parses the commandline arguments and saves them in an Options object
///

/// A string[] containing the arguments /// An Options object containing the parsed values
public Options(string[] args)
{
if (args.Length == 0)
{
return;
}
else
{
//convert the argument array to list to be able to use LINQ and to remove items
List argList = args.ToList();

//create a stringbuilder for the errormessages
StringBuilder error = new StringBuilder();

try
{
//if "help" is one of the arguments, set the help property of options to true
if (argList.Any(arg => arg.ToLower() == "-help"))
{
this.Help = true;
argList.Remove("-help");
}

//if "help" is one of the arguments, set the help property of options to true
if (argList.Any(arg => arg.ToLower() == "/?"))
{
this.Help = true;
argList.Remove("/?");
}

//if "quiet" is one of the arguments, set the verbose property to false
this.Quiet = argList.Any(arg => arg.ToLower() == "-quiet");
argList.Remove("-quiet");

if (argList.Any(arg => arg.StartsWith("-path")))
{
//find the first argument that begins with "-path"
string folderArgument = argList.First(arg => arg.StartsWith("-path"));

string folderPath = folderArgument.Split('=')[1].Trim();
//remove quotationmarks
this.Folder = folderPath.Replace("\"", "");
if (!Directory.Exists(this.Folder))
{
this.ParseError = true;
error.Append("The path '" + this.Folder + "' is not a valid folder.\r\n");
}
argList.Remove(folderArgument);
}

//if there are still arguments left, the user has entered an invalid argument
if (argList.Count > 0)
{
this.ParseError = true;
argList.ForEach(arg => error.Append("Unknown argument: '" + arg + "'.\r\n"));

}

}
catch (Exception ex)
{
this.ParseError = true;
error.Append("Error while trying to parse arguments.\r\n The error message is '" + ex.Message + "'.");
}
//save the collected errormessages
this.ParseErrorMessage = error.ToString();

}
}

///

/// The folder the user wants to delete, as a DirectoryInfo
///

/// The folder the user wants to delete, as a DirectoryInfo
public DirectoryInfo GetFolder()
{
DirectoryInfo folderDir = null;

//if no parameter was given or ".", then we use the current folder
if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(Folder) || Folder == ".")
{
folderDir = new FileInfo(Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().Location).Directory;
}

else if (!Directory.Exists(Folder))
{
//if a folder parameter was given, but it doesn't exist, we throw an exception
throw new ArgumentException("The path '" + folderDir + "'is not a valid folder");
}
else
{
folderDir = new DirectoryInfo(this.Folder);
}

return folderDir;
}
}
}