Blog - Arthur Dick

Dice Roller

Friday, March 4th, 2022

The third entry in my mini project series. When I discovered there are die face Unicode characters, I had to build a simple dice roller.

You can roll as many dice as you need, and the total value of the dice is conveniently provided.

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Tags: mini project dice

Crystal Ball

Monday, February 28th, 2022

The second entry of my mini project series. With AI completion engine assistance, I created this divination game. I am amazed how fast a small project can come together using this technology.

That said I noticed a caveat this time around. When I prompted the engine to "Create an array of sixteen interesting yes, no, and maybe responses" the engine returned the verbatim list of responses for an official Magic 8-Ball.

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Tags: mini project completion

Binary Clock

Friday, February 25th, 2022

I recently created an OpenAI account to experiment with their completion engines. Their Codex JavaScript Sandbox makes creating toy applications using natural language quite fun.

One of the first apps I created was a binary clock, and you should see it ticking away below.

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Tags: mini project completion

Vagrant LAMP

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

When I first started in web development, I would manually install the required software (Apache, MySQL, and PHP most often) to my local machine. For years I had been setting up a new development environment every time I changed operating systems or bought a new computer. This is always a hassle, and can lead to inconsistencies if some configuration is not the same in a new install.

In 2011, I moved my development environment to a virtual machine using VirtualBox. By setting up the development server in a VM, you can use an operating system and software packages as close as possible to the development server which it will be deployed on. This will help prevent bugs arising from the configuration difference between development and production. It is also nice to be able to shut down the development environment entirely when using my laptop for personal activities.

After working with a development environment in VirtualBox for a number of years, I recently found a software package called Vagrant. With Vagrant, the development environment is defined in code, and can be stored alongside the project code. The provisioning itself is handled by a puppet, which automates the software package installation and setup. It is easy to see at a quick glance what configuration changes you have made, and keeps everything in one spot.

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Tags: web development LAMP Vagrant

Hello, World!

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

So I've decided to start writing a blog. I've read in a number of places now (most recently from Peter Cripps) how writing can help to clarify your thinking and improve your ideas. I want to see how true this is.

The plan is to post a mix of my thoughts in long form and various technical problems, possibly with my solutions. I don't have a lot of time to dedicate to blogging however, so don't expect there to be much here quickly.

I've started a number of drafts, so content should start trickling in. There is a lot to look forward to here.

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Tags: miscellaneous