Inspiring video about getting started by the comedian zeFrank. I watch this every few weeks as a pep talk to myself as he makes some excellent points about getting started and letting go of the fear of starting which can be closely tied to the fear of failing.
An Invocation For Beginnings from ze frank on Vimeo.
I think too often we hold ourselves to a higher standard than we hold other people to and pretend this is a virtue. I think that instead of this being a virtue it can turn into a handicap as it makes us too scared to fail, so scared that we don’t even start. Failure is a natural part of creative iterative process without it we will stale and not progress, I know I need regular reminding of this.
To follow on from ‘How to Make work-life balence work‘ video Alison Morris from Online MBA has a pretty interesting inforgraphic regarding the effect of the current trend in America to work more than forty hours a week: it is pretty sobering stuff!
While Europe tends to better at work-life balance than North America there is still room for improvement on both sides of the Atlantic. I believe it is in an employers best interests to not over work their staff if they want to get the best quality of work.
There are several PDF modules available for python, so far I’ve found Slate to be the simplest to use and PDFMiner to be potentially the most powerful but also the most complicated to use. For the problem I needed to solve: extracting text with whitespace characters intact I found the following fragment of PDFMiner code on StackOverflow to be only solution:
"""Extract text from PDF file using PDFMiner with whitespace inatact."""
from pdfminer.pdfparser import PDFDocument, PDFParser
from pdfminer.pdfinterp import PDFResourceManager, PDFPageInterpreter, process_pdf
from pdfminer.pdfdevice import PDFDevice, TagExtractor
from pdfminer.converter import XMLConverter, HTMLConverter, TextConverter
from pdfminer.cmapdb import CMapDB
from pdfminer.layout import LAParams
from cStringIO import StringIO
rsrcmgr = PDFResourceManager()
retstr = StringIO()
codec = 'utf-8'
laparams = LAParams()
device = TextConverter(rsrcmgr, retstr, codec=codec, laparams=laparams)
fp = file(path, 'rb')
process_pdf(rsrcmgr, device, fp)
str = retstr.getvalue()
If you don’t need whitespace to be left intact I’d strongly recommend Slate over PDfMiner as its significantly easier to work with, although it does offer a smaller feature set.
I’d like to introduce my latest personal project – See Stockholm. This is a photo blog of my life here in Stockholm, Sweden and is a photography project I’ve wanted to do for a while now.
The idea for this site was inspired by my friend’s David duChemin and Dave Delnea‘s mantra of ‘create things & share it’. Dave Powell’s photo blog has also been an inspiration to share my photographs more publicly.
Now that I’m settled in Stockholm, I’m hoping to be able to also start posting to Endlessly Curious again. And I’ll be posting my photographs to Shoot Stockholm on a regular basis.
With the launch of the iPad 3 I’ve finally got a tablet: an iPad 2! The main reason I went for the iPad 2 16GB was price and iPad 3 while having a much higher resolution screen it doesn’t have significantly more storage. So far the apps I’ve found to be really good are the following:
If you are a member of the 500px site or just love looking at amazing photographs then this app is excellant. I also use it to scout out places before I visit them for photograph locations.
- Adobe Reader
While there are better PDF readers out there for the iPad I’ve been managing to get by with the free Adobe reader.
- Alien Blue
If you like reddit then this client is a must have app for the iPad, it makes much better use of the bigger screen compared to the iPhone version.
- Google Translate
As an ex-pat living in another country, I use Google’s free translation service allot mostly because it can translate fragments or whole sentences and not just individual words.
This app by online retailer Amazon is a great way to browse through and buy things online, I use it frequently.
Software Engineering Radio’s recent podcast about Distributed Scrum was pretty interesting.
The most memorable comment from the while discussion was that a remote/external team is on that is more than thirty metres from you team. This would mean that many other scrums team that would normally be considered internal teams would actually be external teams e.g. two teams could be in the same building but could be external to each other.
Another interesting idea was instead of having each separate remote group work on sperate tasks or features was to instead split development between the different teams. The idea is that this will force communication to occur much more frequently than the traditional approach of having each team work in a separate siloed task.