Bill Farmer

Random thoughts on random subjects

Create a Word Grid

by Bill Farmer. Categories: Hacking .

A popular online puzzle game involves solving a five character word grid in the least number of moves. There are probably several ways of algorithmically generating word grids, Donald Knuth’s Dancing Links paper mentions generating a word grid. I decided to use brute force and a randomised word list. This uses a large number of lists and iterators and can generate a large number of word grids. This algorithm is used in my Gridle android app.

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Read Paywalled Newspaper Articles

by Bill Farmer. Categories: Hacking .

Most mainstream newspapers show a teaser front page on their web site, but hide most of their content behind a paywall. As with most things you can think of, there is a browser extension for this – Bypass Paywalls. However this does not work for all newspapers, the extension appears to have dropped support for The Times, for example. It is still possible to read some articles by making use of a search engine to find another source for the text of the item.

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Risotto Milanese

by Bill Farmer. Categories: Recipes .

This is not authentic Risotto Milanese, that requires beef marrow and saffron. I refuse to pay the exotic prices demanded for saffron in the UK, and I don’t have any beef marrow. Lunch for two. Ingredients Olive oil Butter, small knob 3/4 cup arborio rice Medium onion, chopped finely Mushrooms, chopped, if liked Chicken stock pot 1/2 teaspoon turmeric Boiling water, about 1 1/4 cups Cheddar cheese, grated Method Add the knob of butter to a medium heavy bottomed pan, add a good glug of olive oil and place on a low heat.

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Android Flutter

by Bill Farmer. Categories: Hacking .

Google have made a big thing of their flutter development platform, so I thought I ought to give it a try. It’s easy to install, just download the sdk, unzip it in a suitable place and add the bin folder to your path. I had to tell it where I had installed Android Studio. $ flutter config --android-studio-dir 'D:\adt\Android Studio' Setting "android-studio-dir" value to "D:\adt\Android Studio". You may need to restart any open editors for them to read new settings.

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Android Kotlin

by Bill Farmer. Categories: Hacking .

All my android apps have up until now been written in Java, avoiding the use of the support libraries or androidx. The Google developers docs and guides advocate the use of Kotlin rather than Java and the use of androidx almost to the exclusion of the standard android API. I have a very simple app, Oglaf, NS(Generally)FW, which is just a wrapper around the web site, with some navigation. So I decided to convert it to Kotlin, just to see how difficult it was and to see what effect, if any, it had on the app.

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