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Author Archives: Mark Needham

Capistrano: Deploying to a Vagrant VM

I’ve been working on a tutorial around thinking through problems in graphs using my football graph and I wanted to deploy it on a local vagrant VM as a stepping stone to deploying it in a live environment. My Vagrant file for the VM looks like this:                 # -*- mode: ruby -*- ...

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Clojure: Reading and writing a reasonably sized file

In a post a couple of days ago I described some code I’d written in R to find out all the features with zero variance in the Kaggle Digit Recognizer data set and yesterday I started working on some code to remove those features. Jen and I had previously written some code to parse the training data in Clojure so ...

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Playing around with pomodoros

Over the last 3/4 months I’ve been playing around with the idea of using pomodoros to track all coding/software related stuff that I do outside of work. I originally started using this technique while I was doing the programming assignments for ml-class because I wanted to know how much time I was spending on it each week and make sure ...

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Learning Android: Freezing the UI with a BroadcastReceiver

As I mentioned in a previous post I recently wrote some code in my Android app to inform a BroadcastReceiver whenever a service processed a tweet with a link in it but in implementing this I managed to freeze the UI every time that happened. I made the stupid (in hindsight) mistake of not realising that I shouldn’t be doing ...

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Pair Programming: The disadvantages of 100% pairing

I’ve written a lot of blog posts in the past about pair programming and the advantages that I’ve seen from using this technique but lately I find myself increasingly frustrated at the need to pair 100% of the time which happens on most teams I work on. From my experience it’s certainly useful as a coaching tool, as I’ve mentioned ...

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Learning Android: Getting a service to communicate with an activity

In the app I’m working on I created a service which runs in the background away from the main UI thread consuming the Twitter streaming API using twitter4j. It looks like this: public class TweetService extends IntentService { String consumerKey = "TwitterConsumerKey"; String consumerSecret = "TwitterConsumerSecret"; public TweetService() { super("Tweet Service"); } @Override protected void onHandleIntent(Intent intent) { AccessToken accessToken ...

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