Programming

Watermarking Images--from the Command Line

Us geeks mostly think of the command line as the best place for text manipulation. It's a natural with cat, grep and shell scripts. But although you can't necessarily view your results from within a typical terminal window, it turns out to be pretty darn easy to analyze and manipulate images from within a shell script.

Heirloom Software: the Past as Adventure

Through the years, I've spent what might seem to some people an inordinate amount of time cleaning up and preserving ancient software. My Retrocomputing Museum page archives any number of computer languages and games that might seem utterly obsolete.

Manipulate Images with ImageMagick

In my last article, I had some fun looking at the children's game of rock, paper, scissors, writing a simple simulator and finding out that some strategies are better than others. Yes, I used "strategy" and "rock, paper, scissors" in the same sentence!

Gabriel Ford, Sadie Ford and Melissa Ford's Hello, Scratch!

In the new book Hello, Scratch! (published by Manning Publications), parents and kids work together to learn programming skills, but not in just any old way. They create new versions of old retro-style arcade games with the Scratch open-source visual programming language from the MIT Media Lab.

Rogue Wave Software's Zend Studio

The quick pitch for Rogue Wave Software's Zend Studio, recently updated to version 13.6, is "the PHP IDE for smarter development". Zend Studio 13.6, says Rogue Wave, offers 3X faster performance in indexing, validation and searching of PHP code, and it allows users to code faster, debug more easily and leverage the massive performance gains in PHP 7.

Scissors, Paper or Rock?

In this article, I'm going to tackle a children's game that's extraordinarily complicated, with many variations, and the programming task is going to be quite tricky. Just kidding! Rock Paper Scissors (or RPS, as it's known) is pretty darn easy to simulate because there aren't really many variants or possible outcomes.

Is the Moon Waxing or Waning?

In my last article, I talked about the complications of calculating the phase of the moon and decided simply to scrape the same website that Google uses.

AdaCore's GNAT Pro, CodePeer, QGen and SPARK Pro

AdaCore recently announced the concurrent annual release of four flagship products in its portfolio of software development and verification tools for mission-critical, safety-critical and security-critical systems. These include version 17.1 of GNAT Pro, CodePeer, QGen and SPARK Pro.

Pythonic Science in the Browser

In the past, if you wanted a friendly environment for doing Python programming, you would use Ipython. The Ipython project actually consists of three parts: the standard console interface, a Qt-based GUI interface and a web server interface that you can connect to with a web browser.

The Current Phase of the Moon

Ladies and gentlemen, we've left Mars. Well, at least I'm done with the Martian lander from my past few articles. I hope you had chance to experiment with it and find out that it's not too easy to land a craft on any planet!

The Family Dashboard

I've written a little about PHP before, because I think it's a great utility language for writing quick things you need to do. Plus, it allows you to use a web browser as your interface, and everyone has a web browser. That makes it very convenient for my family, because I can make simple web interfaces for the various things I normally have to do from the command line.

Wrapping Up the Mars Lander

In my last few articles ("Let's Go to Mars with Martian Lander" and "Mars Lander, Take II: Crashing onto the Surface"), I've been building a variant on the classic video game Lunar Lander, with a few simplificatio

Let's Go to Mars with Martian Lander

This is the beginning of a series of articles where I develop a variation on the classic lunar-lander game themed around the planet Mars. To do this in three dimensions can be rather complicated, so in the spirit of the original arcade game (that I became rather obsessed with, I should admit), I'm going to tackle the simplified two-dimensional problem.

Dave Taylor and Brandon Perry's Wicked Cool Shell Scripts (No Starch Press)

The new second edition of Dave Taylor and Brandon Perry's classic Wicked Cool Shell Scripts, published by No Starch Press, features a smorgasbord of favorite scripts and 23 brand-new ones. Subtitled 101 Scripts for Linux, OS X, and UNIX Systems, Taylor and Perry's guide features a collection of useful, customizable and fun shell scripts