Last autumn I discovered Crafting
Interpreters, a book by Bob Nystrom that gives readers a comprehensive guide to writing interpreters for a toy programming language, Lox. To me the world of compilers and interpreters has always been a total mystery. Okay, so I know what a syntax tree is, and I've occassionally even been brave enough to look at the assembly output for a program I've written. Also doesn't parsing need to happen at some point? Anyway, I was pretty intrigued, so in I dived.
Bob's book is divided into two parts. The first details how ... Read more
Posted by Matt Spraggs at 22:24, 29 May 2018
Edited at 21:49, 22 October 2018
A friend and I were discussing the relative merits of LabVIEW the other day. Coming from a theoretical, software-focused background, I struggle with LabVIEW, which I think hides too many of the underlying workings of a program from the user for the sake of simplicity. My friend, on the other hand, does a lot of experimental engineering work and loves that LabVIEW frees him from the need to look at line after line of code.
This got me thinking: should engineers, particularly those working in electronics, be more prepared to work with low-level code? I mean obviously they work with ... Read more
Posted by Matt Spraggs at 19:55, 25 October 2017
Note: This shitpost was originally going to be titled "Windows 10: My Take", but I changed it, for reasons that should become immediately apparent in the next paragraph.
You know what really pisses me off with Microsoft's latest OS offering? Windows fricking update. Specifically: why Microsoft hasn't addressed the age-old problem of having updates that can only be installed during the shutdown/restart process.
Okay, so it's true that I have just been through this little lesson in tedium, all because I had to restart my computer for unrelated reasons, but still. Given that, in the words ... Read more
Posted by Matt Spraggs at 15:58, 12 May 2017
So the title of this post was originally going to be "New Job!", but since I've been in my current post since September I figured that might be a bit misleading, so I added some lovely quotes to make it feel less like a blatant lie.
Since the end of my PhD I've been working in the department of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, doing software engineering as part of a project called SMARTmove. The project aims to rehabilitate the upper limbs of stroke patients using a technique known as functional electrical stimulation (FES ... Read more
Posted by Matt Spraggs at 17:38, 21 February 2017
I'm acutely aware I haven't written here for... [looks for last post] nearly six months. This is mainly due to being busy, which in turn has fostered a "sure, I'll write another blog post, when I have time" sort of mentality. I started thinking this in September and, well, here we are.
To force me to get my act together and start writing here again, I offer you this mediocre excuse for a meaningful blog post. This isn't going to be very long but is going to be a bit more wishy-washy, so if you don ... Read more
Posted by Matt Spraggs at 10:35, 15 December 2016
Edited at 13:11, 14 February 2017
It's been a while since I last posted here. Sorry. I hope you can forgive me in the fullness of time.
So Thursday the UK decided to leave the EU for some bizarre reason that I still don't fully understand. Many of those who voted to remain feel angry and cheated out of what may have been a more prosperous future than they are now faced with. However, I don't want to rant and rave about how we've made a terrible mistake. I've already done that on Facebook.
Sickeningly, there are already stories and rumours ... Read more
Posted by Matt Spraggs at 12:38, 25 June 2016
Hello! Belated merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!
Right, now the social niceties are out the way let's get down to it. I play World of Warcraft (WoW). There, I said it.
No Some shame. I also run Linux. LMDE 2 Betsy to be exact. That's Linux Mint but based on the Debian repositories, so I'm not shackled to the whims of Canonical. WoW is targetted at Windows and OSX, but that's okay, as Wine handles WoW fairly well.
LMDE Betsy is currently based on Debian stable (Jessie), which uses Mesa 10.3.2 ... Read more
Posted by Matt Spraggs at 17:45, 6 January 2016
Edited at 13:11, 14 February 2017
If you read The Telegraph online, you might have seen this appear recently:
Today I discovered how easy this is to get around: just delete the cookies The Telegraph deposits on your computer. To do this on Firefox, check out this link, and for Chrome, check this link out. Finally, for Internet Explorer, click here for IE 6 to 9 and here for IE 10 to 11.
Posted by Matt Spraggs at 19:05, 27 September 2015
I didn't put Jeremy Corbyn on my ballot for the Labour leadership. He came across as very genuine during the leadership campaign, but I just couldn't get behind his policies. We lost the election because we didn't appeal to enough of the electorate, so running for the leadership with policies that only appeal to one segment of society seemed like pure folly.
So as you might imagine I was pretty disappointed when the election result was announced. Corbyn was of course tipped to win, but winning in the first round of vote counting with a landslide majority ... Read more
Posted by Matt Spraggs at 15:25, 19 September 2015
Edited at 23:00, 26 September 2015
The latest in the franchise doesn't quite capture the charm of the original, but with plenty of nods to the first film, eye-popping visuals and intense action scenes, you'll be thoroughly entertained to the end.
I really liked the first Jurassic Park film, like so many others, and I'm an even bigger fan of the book. So when rumours started circulating a few years ago that another film was in the works, I was pretty excited. Naturally, Spielberg wanted to ensure that the screenplay would be great, no doubt wanting to avoid a repeat of Jurassic Park ... Read more
Posted by Matt Spraggs at 11:48, 14 June 2015