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Starbeamrainbowlabs Tjovik

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A computer science student who loves to explore and learn new things.

Blog posts

Untangling MSBuild: MSBuild for normal people

I don't know about you, but I find the documentation on MSBuild is be rather confusing. Even their definition of what MSBuild is is a bit misleading: MSBuild is the build system for Visual Studio. Whilst having to pull apart the .csproj file of a project of mine and put it back together again to get it to do what I wanted, I spent a considerable amount of time reading Microsoft's (bad) documentati… Read more →


Finding the distance to a (finite) line from a point in Javascript

For a project of mine (which I might post about once it's more stable), I'm going to need a way to find the distance to a point from the mouse cursor to implement an eraser. I've attempted this problem before - but it didn't exactly go to plan. To that end, I decided to implement the algorithm on its own to start with - so that I could debug it properly without all the (numerous) moving parts of t… Read more →


Change the way you think: Languages and Compilers in Review

Change the way you think. I haven't seen it used recently, but when I first arrived at Hull University to start my degree, that's the phrase I saw on a number of posters about the place. I've been thinking about it a lot over the course of my degree - and I've found that it has rung true more than one. My understanding of programming has been transformed 3 times that I can count, and before I get… Read more →


Nasty Example SPL Programs

I've written a few example test programs to debug various edge cases whilst writing a compiler for my coursework at University, and I thought I've post them here to help others out. As this coursework is ongoing I'm not going to say anything else, but I hope that these help someone else out :-) Anyone posting coursework compiler code here will have it deleted (but additional example SPL programs a… Read more →


Jump around a filesystem with a bit of bash

(Banner remixed from images found on openclipart) I've seen things like jump, which allow you to bookmark places on your system so that you can return to them faster. The trouble is, I keep forgetting to use it. I open the terminal and realise that I need to be in a specific directory, and forget to bookmark it once I cd to it - or I forget that I bookmarked it and cd my way there anyway :P To sol… Read more →


Compilers 101: Build your own flex + bison compiler in a few easy(?) steps

So you want to build your own compiler? Great! Don't know where to start? This guide should help! At University, we're building our own compiler for a custom programming language invented by our lecturer with a pair of GNU tools by the name of flex and bison - which I've blogged about before. Since that post, I've learnt a ton about how the whole process works, so I thought I'd write up a more coh… Read more →


TeleConsole Client is available on NuGet!

(Above: Some cool-looking circuits that feature on the NuGet website) Hey! After a large amount of research, I've finally figured out how to create a simple NuGet package. Since I ended up using TeleConsole in a recent ACW and it doesn't have any dependencies (making packaging easier!), I decided to use it to test the system. I think it's turned out rather well actually - you can find it on NuGet… Read more →


Virtual Reality: A Review

(Above: A considerable number of stereo 3D glasses technologies. Can you name all the techniques shown here? Comment below!) Yesterday I spent a morning experimenting with my University's latest stereo equipment as part of the Virtual Environments module I've been taking this semester. With all that I've seen, I wanted to write something about my experiences on here. Virtual reality and 3D is some… Read more →


Demystifying microphones: The difference between dynamics and condensers

Welcome back to another demystification post! This time, it's about microphones. I had a question recently about microphones and phantom power, and after doing some rather extensive research on the subject (unintentionally of course :P), I thought it a waste not to summarise it here. Basically, phantom power is a +48V direct current that's transmitted through a microphone cable (not the kind you p… Read more →


Getting an updated version of MonoDevelop on Ubuntu

Thanks to the AUR (The Arch User Repository), an updated version of MonoDevelop is never very far away on Manjaro, Artix, Arch Linux and friends. Unfortunately, such delights can't be found so easily in the Ubuntu and Debian ecosystem. On a check inspection of the official repositories, the latest version available is 5.10, while the AUR is offering 7.1.2! In addition, the newer versions offered v… Read more →