Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cambridge Film Festival

I pretty much started this blog as as a home for "My Cambridge Film Festival film reviews", however much my blogging has mutated over the years. And this weekend, the programme for this year's CFF is out -- and even more than last year, I'm feeling underwhelmed by the torrent of gritty and edgy features, right-on documentaries, and the usual run of "there's adultery in it, so it must be artistic". It's like it was all set out with a ground rule of "No fun allowed, SRS BZNS ONLY". Oh, and they're exhuming and showing the totally abysmal Silent Running (down there near the nadir of my list of the worst movies I've watched). Twice.

I suppose I could go watch The Seventh Seal and The Day the Earth Caught Fire again; but apart from being in two minds about this locally produced film, Dimensions (which could be another Time Crimes, but could equally well be artsy tosh with a few bits of stage dressing like non-genre writers generate when thinking they're doing SF), the new material singularly failed to catch my eye.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Late summer cycling break

Same sort of gig as last year, only with different weather.

View August 2011 in a larger map

This time I arrived in Great Bircham about 10:30 on a beautiful summer's day, and headed out on the long run I'd meant to do last year, without the interruption by squall lines.

With the later start, I reached Little Walsingham after the first course of packed lunch (stopping for a pint at the Black Lion), and then kept going east as far as Binham (another pint at the Chequers Inn -- which, despite the name, does not seem to offer accommodation, but would have made a good base for another time), then looping back.

Second course of lunch -- cheesy rolls and a beefsteak tomato from the greenhouse -- at 15:00, partway along the coastal cyclepath, before heading for the first time through the grounds of Holkham Hall from the north. I'd steered clear of it, having previously taken other paths from the south which didn't make good cycling.

This side, the paths were properly made, easy going up and over the rolling terrain, then rolling downhill most of the way to Burnham Market; then the grind up the Ringstead road was where my legs started to tire, but still back to base not long after 17:00, having done about 48 miles.

Tuesday was wet, so read, did internet and generally rested up, with a little stroll around the local area late afternoon.

Wednesday was dry, if cool and generally cloudy, so another clockwise loop through the area (with one misstep when the path I'd meant to take was less obvious on the ground than the one I didn't), through lanes I'd mainly not taken before, with the goal of lunch at the Gin Trap Inn at Ringstead.

After their substantial club sandwich and chocolate mousse, I didn't want to take the rather punishing direct route to Sedgeford, but instead detoured out to Heacham, before finally ambling back (with a number of pauses where a full stomach made it more comfortable to get off and push rather than grind an uphill).

So that was about 28 miles; but between the end-of-day fade on Monday, and the push while digesting, my logged average speed went down from a steady 11 mph as it had been all summer, to only 10.8 :(

Monday, August 15, 2011

Powershell -- higher order functions with arguments that take arguments

Dead simple example based on this:

which results in

Name                                                  Prop                                                 
----                                                  ----                                                 
Junku                                                 **junku+junku**                                      

Also -- reminder to self : ShowUI -- WPF in PowerShell


At end of day 11-Aug the car was reading 3474 miles; at the hour that I picked it up last year, 3485. Subtracting the 14 that were on the clock when I picked it up, 3460 or 3471 miles -- a lot less than in previous years.

Sunday evening, the bike was showing 2280 miles; 373 miles in the first 6 weeks of the new year, which is in keeping with last year's rate

The new guided busway cyclepath is a great new way into the town centre avoiding traffic, even though I have to do a mile and a bit on bridlepath or detour twice that distance to get onto the cyclepath feeding to it. If only there were paved spurs to the neighbouring villages. And even though the last hundred yards or so at the station end aren't finished yet.

In the garden, the plums have been in full flood for a couple of weeks -- much earlier than the usual Bank Holiday peak I usually plan for; indeed everything has been early, ever since the early onset of last winter.

Friday, August 05, 2011

What do you get when you iterate null?

In most cases, an exception; but in PowerShell you get $null.

Suppose I have folders with 0, 1 and more than 1 file in (called empty, full and two, say) and I want to enumerate the names of the files contained in each, with some general purpose code.

That should be no problem --

and let's write a little reporting function

When we report on the folders in descending order of contained files we get

test (2).txt
++test (2).txt++
Split-Path : Cannot bind argument to parameter 'Path' because it is null.
At C:\Users\Steve\Documents\scratch\Untitled1.ps1:6 char:15
+     Split-Path <<<<  -Leaf $file
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidData: (:) [Split-Path], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationErrorNullNotAllowed,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.Split 
You cannot call a method on a null-valued expression.
At C:\Users\Steve\Documents\scratch\Untitled1.ps1:12 char:15
+   $arg.GetType <<<< ().FullName
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidOperation: (GetType:String) [], RuntimeException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : InvokeMethodOnNull

Not happy.

The first error is what you get when you work on the foreach over $null, yielding $null; and calling code has to special-case the single item return -- getting the .Length property of the return is not the number of files! For that replace $arg.Length by $arg | Measure-Object | % {write-host $_.Count} .

So try this

where we fight PowerShell's fragmentation of sequences all the way. Now we get what we expected

test (2).txt
++test (2).txt++

Oh, yeah -- the more PowerShell way of doing all this: