code.Antrikshy | Notes, tinkerings, experiments

Launching Apps On My Desktop PC Using Alexa

For the last couple of years, I’ve had a very nifty setup in my home. It allows me to turn on my desktop PC using Alexa, so that I don’t have to walk up to it, press the power button, then wait for it to boot up. I have previously chronicled the process of setting it up on this blog.

An important bit of tl;dr, I achieved this using Simple Queue Service (SQS) on AWS, a Raspberry Pi constantly querying a queue for instructions, and the Wake-on-LAN standard.

Ever since I set that up, I’ve had this idea of taking that a step further, and sending requests directly into Windows once it has woken up.

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Number Of Possible MOD Pizza Recipes

For those unfamiliar with MOD Pizza, they are a restaurant chain across the US and Canada, who specialize in quickly-served, made-to-order pizza. You get to pick anywhere between zero to all of their available toppings at flat rates, a bit like sandwiches at Subway.

A few months ago, I saw an advert for MOD Pizza on the side of a Seattle public transit bus. I wish I had taken a picture so that I wouldn’t have to go by memory, but I remember it claiming something along the lines of “thousands of possible combinations”. I remember thinking, “gee, it has to be a lot more than thousands” and that they must be intentionally undercounting them because millions or billions would sound too ridiculous to the general passerby.

I figured I’d double check their math.

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Jekyll Blogging From Any Computer On Your Network With A Raspberry Pi

As any Jekyll site owner would know, my workflow for writing these blog posts involves… friction.

  1. Open the site project in a text editor.
  2. Open command line window, navigate to the project location.
  3. Run the jekyll command to serve up a local preview of the site.
  4. Preview the site in a web browser while working on it.

Steps 2-4, of course, are somewhat optional; they are only required if you want to actively look at your changes as you make them.

I know these steps cannot be entirely eliminated without also foregoing the other benefits of Jekyll as a platform, but I also wanted to streamline the process as much as possible.

My updated workflow not only eliminates steps 2 and 3 from every writing session, but also comes with some nifty bonus features, like the ability to preview the site on my phone over LAN.

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A Succinct, CSS-Only Overflow Scroll Indicator

So, you’ve set an element to overflow: scroll with an explicit height. Now you have a scrollable space. Depending on the content in this space, it may not be entirely obvious that it is scrollable, unless the content happens to be obviously cut off. Here’s an example.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Nunc sed velit dignissim sodales ut eu sem integer vitae. Amet cursus sit amet dictum sit amet justo donec enim. Non consectetur a erat nam. Ut venenatis tellus in metus. Arcu vitae elementum curabitur vitae nunc sed velit dignissim. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id. Natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient. Dolor sed viverra ipsum nunc aliquet bibendum. Dapibus ultrices in iaculis nunc sed. Sed blandit libero volutpat sed cras ornare arcu. Vitae et leo duis ut.

Note: This does not apply on Windows or other operating systems (or browsers) that usually default to showing scroll bars for every scrollable element on the web.

The are all sorts of solutions to this on the web, but I didn’t want any surrounding HTML elements and more CSS to make them work. Here’s a quick CSS solution.

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Language Trends By Developer Type - Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2019

About two months ago, Stack Overflow released the results of their annual Developer Survey.

In the r/programming discussion of these results, a few folks were disappointed that Stack Overflow’s official analysis of the data did not separate popularity data for languages, platforms, frameworks etc. by developer type.


So I waited for the dataset to be released under ODbL, and re-parsed the popularity numbers myself.

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