Posted on April 23, 2012 by Dan Chambers
I don’t know if you’ve spent any time trawling through estate agency websites, but if you’re anything like me (crotchety, pedantic, prone to tutting) you get fed up with the awful mangling of language that goes on. It seems like every flat is a “property” or “instruction” and “benefits from” wood flooring and is “moments from transportation links”.
I took matters into my own hands, and with the help of a Firefox add-on called FoxReplace, 4 hours on a Sunday evening, and a rudimentary knowledge of regular expressions, managed to turn this:
Just the facts, please!
Here’s a sample of one of the regular expressions, designed to weed out pointless adverbs. I even managed to build in a filter for common spelling errors (the question mark in regular expressions means that the preceding character can appear or not and the operation will still be carried out, so both “truly” and “truely” will be caught):
There are still a few things to iron out, and I can’t keep up with their spelling mistakes so will have to concede defeat there. But it crunches down the text by as much as a third and makes a grim task a bit more palatable.
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Posted on December 1, 2011 by Dan Chambers
Posted on November 15, 2011 by Dan Chambers
I just walked up to the village Co-op to get some beer and a packet of crisps. Not the healthiest diet for a man of my age, but I figured I’ve done a good day’s work and intend to be working for a while longer and I deserve a goddamn beer (Co-op own-brand Czech lager) and some goddamn crisps (Smiths squares, grab bag, but still only about 40g). I have a thing about queues in shops – especially Holland and Barrett – long queues seem to form right after I’ve entered a shop and I suddenly find several people materialise there before me in a previously empty place. There’s obviously a far-reaching covert organisation ordering its minions to mildly inconvenience me.
I brought my own bag to hold the stuff but have always found it difficult to judge the orchestration of the transaction and bagging operation. I usually end up trying to do them simultaneously and find myself unsuccessfully juggling shopping and wallet, worse if combinations of notes and coins is involved, and even worse if the weather is cold and I’m wearing gloves, coat and hat. I’d given the man a tenner and fished in my pocket for a twenty p to make the change easier for him to handle, but I was holding a glove and the bottles were difficult to manoeuvre into the bag and clashed together, threatening to topple over. The man at the till, perhaps wisely, didn’t help me – I think the combination of own-bag, lager and crisps sparked off some nexus of shopkeeperly prudence, some muscle-memory pounded into him over and over again by his steely but wise mentor.
On the way back I passed the bus stop, where I saw a woman who looked like the sloughed-off husk of a pupating Brian Dennehy.
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Posted on October 19, 2011 by Dan Chambers
It is pompous and affectedly archaic.
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Posted on July 7, 2011 by Dan Chambers
Before reading this excellent and concise series of articles about game development and graphics, I had no more idea of what those two terms mean than I know what an ostrich is.
What in god’s name is that thing!?
Filed under: computing, design, friends, miscellaneous, oddities, tips | Tagged: ostrich mipmapping bilinear graphics games development | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 4, 2011 by Dan Chambers
For simple spot FX in animations, I found Tomas Petterson’s Sfxr to be a simple and powerful tool. It was written, in the author’s words, for those who “need some basic sound effects, don’t really care about top quality, have no idea where to get them.” Now there is a new version Bfxr which is even more fully-featured.
It’s simple to use, produces fun old-school sounds, and serves as a great introduction to electronic sound generation. I’ve always loved making electronic noise – my favourite tool for just mucking about was the Korg DS-10 cart, and before that I spent countless hours making my Gameboy SP splutter, glitch and hiss with the spartan beauty of Oliver Wittchow’s Nanoloop, which I now learn is available for iPhone and Android.
I have a fondness for 8-bit and glitchy old-school sound, having grown up with a computer that made no sound at all, and graduating to one that produced lots. I’m a sucker for anything (except the very experimental stuff) on the website 8bitpeoples.
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Posted on February 22, 2011 by Dan Chambers
I had a lot of trouble with noise removal using version 1.2 of Audacity. My good buddy Sal gave me a fantastic Samson C01U microphone for Xmas and being very sensitive it picks up all sorts of background sounds, including the birds twittering in the trees outside my window. It was very difficult purging my tracks of these beautiful but incongruous intrusions, until I tried the latest beta of Audacity 1.3, with its enhanced controls.
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Posted on September 16, 2010 by Dan Chambers
We’re nearing the end of the series… this current show is about games, and features Angry Birds (which is about literally Angry Birds), Words With Friends (which is literally about Words) and more games-related puns than you can withstand without your blood-pressure increasing slightly.
Filed under: animation, computing, downloads, friends, gadgets, miscellaneous, publicity, tips, tv, writing | Tagged: angry, App, birds, Geek, Lady, puns, Show, words | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 24, 2010 by Dan Chambers
I have found out that using three or more synonyms for the word “Nothing” is a SURE-FIRE formula for LAUGHS APLENTY. The more synonyms you can find and put in, the bigger the laugh.
“Nothing, nada, nil!”.
“Nothing, zip, zilch, zero, nada, bupkis!!!”
But before you go putting this SURE-FIRE DEAD-CERT GUARANTEED HOWLER into your comedic scripts be aware that I have registered copyright on this phrase and if you don’t pay me to use it I will SUE YOU.
Filed under: gripes, miscellaneous, tips, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged: bupkis, nada, nothing, zero, zilch, zip | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 20, 2010 by Dan Chambers
…the milk is UHT, but at least in Hell the tea is hot.
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