Wednesday, May 4, 2016

More Games of my Youth

Super Solvers Midnight Rescue was another favorite computer game of my early childhood. You can play it on

Funny enough, this was a reading comprehension game, but I didn't quite get that part. I just remember taking pictures of all the robots.

And while this is almost passé, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego is surprisingly fun:

(We actually only had Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego, for our Macintosh LC, but the gameplay is basically identical.)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Think Quick!

When I was younger my parents had an IBM PC XT, and I was lucky enough to get to mess around with it when they weren't using it.

One of my favorite games was Think Quick! and now you can play it on

Please, relive my childhood:

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Bike ride in the Red Hook/Rhinebeck NY/Bard College Area (20 mi)

This weekend I was near Bard College accompanying my wife as she attended a conference at Bard College. Since I had nothing to do, I decided to bring my bike along, and on Saturday took a great 20 mile bike rid in the area.

Full credit goes to Ken Roberts and Sharon Marsh Roberts, who found this great route (and have many others in the area on their web site). It can be very difficult finding good routes as a visitor, so I am very grateful to them.

Anyway, the route is pretty much as they describe. Roughly 20 miles with gently rolling hills, never too steep that you get bored of them. In addition to Rhinebeck, where the route starts, and Red Hook, there are some neat sites along the way.

I stopped for a short stroll in Poet's Park:
I saw many farms and even vineyards:
And I had a look at Bard College:
The whole thing took just a bit over two hours, even with a few accidental detours. And Rhinebeck is a great place to get a bite to eat when you're done!

You can check out my ride on Garmin Connect (with full maps, elevation details etc.).

And you can see my full photo album.

Hopefully you can give it a try!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

It's true...

Nerds really do like Subarus.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Extracting Base64 Images from Google Keep Archives

I love Google Keep! It's a nice-looking note-taking app with more features than I ever use.

But once I made the mistake of staring a photo album in Keep. (If you don't know, you can add photos to a note either by taking a picture or finding on on 'disk.') To my chagrin I discovered that there's no way to get these photos out of Keep.

So I was super happy when I saw that Google Takeout now exports Google Keep files. "Great!" I thought, I'll just download my whole archive and grab those files. Again, much to my chagrin, I discovered that the photos were not in the Takeout archive as JPG files, but rather encoded as base64 strings inside the html page. So for example, I have a note called "Dogs" and all the photos are base64 encoded inside that "Dogs.html" note in the Takeout archive.

This is seriously annoying.

So, I wrote a Python script to get these images out. It's called the "Keep Photo Dump."

To use it you have to have Python installed. At the terminal, you would run:
./ Dogs.html

and all the images in the file will be dumped as Dogs1.jpg, Dogs2.jpg, etc.

Hope this helps someone else.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ctrl-down/up in emacs in Mac Terminal

Finding the answer to this online pretty much drove me nuts. I'm sharing it here for you, future Internet user.

Here's the situation:
  • I use Emacs
  • I use Emacs in the Mac Terminal
  • \C-down was bound to forward-paragraph by default (and \C-up bound to backward-paragraph by default).
  • I wanted them to actually work, but they didn't.
Through some series of trickery I was able to figure out that the Mac terminal was sending the wrong escape sequences for cltr-up and down. Specifically, it wasn't sending anything at all, beyond just the down key. I fixed it with the following settings:
  1. From the terminal, go to "Preferences" "Settings" "Keyboard"
  2. Look for and modify, or add actions for ctrl-up and ctrl-down:
    1. ctrl-up = \033[1;5A
    2. ctrl-down = \033[1;5B

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Jane Bowman Stuckey

Here's the obituary for Jane Bowman Stuckey, my grandmother. She was an incredibly smart, and funny woman who lived a really interesting life. We will definitely miss her.

Jane Bowman Stuckey passed away peacefully in her home on February 27, 2015 in Austin, Texas at the age of 91.
She is survived by her children Dr. Barbara Beckman and her husband Dr. Edwin Beckman of New Orleans, Louisiana; Holly Brandt, and her husband Dr. Thomas Brandt of Austin, Texas; her son and his wife Jay and Ira Stuckey of Houston, Texas; her 6 grandchildren; and 9 great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, James H. Stuckey.
She was born to the late Esther and Glen Bowman on September 5, 1923 in Highland Park, Illinois. At the age of six, her family moved near Harlingen to help her grandfather with his citrus orchards. In 1940, she graduated from Harlingen High School where she played the piccolo in the marching band. She attended Sophie Newcomb College in New Orleans before returning to the Valley where she met and married her late husband, James H. Stuckey in 1942.
At the time of their marriage, Jim Stuckey was a radio operator with Pan American Airlines. When an opportunity to transfer to South Africa came along, Jane talked Jim into it. They spent several years there before moving to Houston in 1951.
After moving to Houston, she became an avid golfer. She remained a voracious reader throughout her life. She especially enjoyed reading the Man Booker selections each year when they were announced. She was always aware of current events, and impressed her grandchildren with her sharp mind and knowledge of the world. Jane considered herself to be a ‘birder’ who traveled the world looking at exotic birds. 
There will be a private family celebration of Jane’s life in Houston. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Austin Hospice at 4107 Spicewood Springs Road, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78759 or a charity of your choice that reflects Jane’s love of birds and nature. The family would like to thank Hospice Austin for their care and support during this difficult time.