Author: Michael Hawkes

Michael Hawkes is a professional geek, amateur coder, hobbyist gardener, cat dad, and aspiring instructional designer.

Mycroft AI

Today I found out about Mycroft AI, which is an open-source answer to Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and OK Google. Like its proprietary competitors, Mycroft will listen to your commands and do stuff for you, such as setting an alarm, playing music, telling you the weather, getting stock quotes, and so on. Unlike its proprietary brethren,…

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Max Social

Reading this article about how the “short-term, dopamine driven feedback loops” created by social media giants are killing normal discourse, it makes me wonder how to fix it. Maybe if Facebook, Twitter, etc limited people to a maximum number of friends/followers, it would introduce a check in the system. I normally use Twitter, so I’ll…

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Move it on over

Today I’ve moved my website from Site5 to Dreamhost. It’s not a decision I made lightly. because moving a site, with all the posts, media, etc is pretty complicated. But for roughly the same price, Dreamhost seems to offer better service and more amenities. The thing that really got me was that Dreamhost offers free…

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Review Haiku, again

Over the past year or so, I notice I haven’t been writing as many Review Haiku. There are a few reasons for this. One reason is that I wasn’t very satisfied with the most recent method of posting them, where I created a static PHP page for each review. While it’s good(-ish) if I want…

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JavaScript Coding Challenge 1

JavaScript Coding Challenge 1 For a long time, JavaScript was a programming language I tried to stay away from. It’s notorious for being insecure, but maybe a lot of that is due to sloppy coding by some of the people who use it. These days, however, it’s nearly everywhere, so it’s hard to escape. When…

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Attic Insulation

As mentioned in the previous post, the attic of my house had virtually no insulation in it. Indianapolis is sort of in a weird place when it comes to weather. We don’t often get heavy snowfalls or bitter cold in the winter, however, they do happen every so often. Since heat rises, an uninsulated attic…

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The House

Last spring, I bought a house in the Haughville neighborhood of Indianapolis. It’s a two story house in the American Craftsman style and was built in the 1920s. Though the house has been well-maintained and is very livable, with a house this old, it’s not surprising it needs some work. As I do new projects…

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Messing around with code

Coding is something I do so rarely I often have to look online for tips and go through alot* of trial and error to get things done. On the current project, I wanted to do something differently. Normally, in most database tables, it’s common to create an ID field to hold a number that serves…

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新年快乐!

新年快乐! 我不是新年决心迷,可是有的年我做决心。三年以前我退出了咖啡因。几年以前在工作我经常正常喝了咖啡。因为周末我不喝了咖啡,星期天我平常有了头疼。退出咖啡因以后我少有了头疼。

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Another semester

Another semester, another Chinese class. This semester at IUPUI I’m taking EALC-C 301, Third Year Chinese 1. Classes started last week and I can already tell the class is going to be interesting. This is the first Chinese class I’ve had where I feel like I’m in the bottom-half of the class. Granted, it’s a…

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Music and the Lollipop Lock Screen

Music and the Lollipop Lock Screen After the battery started giving me trouble in my THL T6 Pro, I broke down and bought a slightly more upscale smartphone – an ASUS Zenfone 2. Both phones are about the same height and width, though the ASUS seems to be a bit thicker. One of the main…

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Live Below the Line

A year or so ago I read about a challenge where some people in the UK tried to live on £1 a day for five days. This is the level the World Bank sets as the level of extreme poverty. Nearly 1.2 billion people around the world live in conditions of extreme poverty. In the…

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