Alvin Alexander | Java, Scala, Unix, Perl, Mac OS X

I did something wrong in a previous blog entry that led me to use the pax command to create a large backup/archive. There’s nothing wrong with using pax — other than the fact that it’s not available for Cygwin — and I really needed to created a huge archive.

What wasn’t working

In my earlier blog post I stated that something like this did not work for me when trying to create a large backup using find, xargs, and tar:

find . -type f -name "*.java" | xargs tar cvf myfile.tar

What was happening was that as xargs was managing the input to the tar command, tar kept re-writing the archive. That is, each time xargs passed a new block of input files to tar, tar perceived it as a new command, and went on to re-create the file named myfile.tar. So, instead of the huge myfile.tar that I expected, I ended up with only a few files in the archive.

Happy Halloween, 2019, from some folks at Texas A&M University (one of four colleges I spent time at).

(Image from this TAMU LinkedIn page.)

Happy Halloween, 2019, from some folks at Texas A&M University

I’ve known about Ram Dass for a long time, but I don’t think I considered his work too much until I stumbled across the book, Polishing The Mirror, which I now consider to be the best spiritual book I’ve ever read. More recently I started reading his newer book, Walking Each Other Home, and the following quote comes from that book.

~~~

There is no inherent self — we are boundless. The ego is a structure of mind that organizes the universe, particularly around the relationship to separateness. It is the steering mechanism for you as a separate entity surviving and functioning within this world, on this plane.

“The ego is frightened of death, because ego is part of the incarnation and ends with it. For the soul, death is just another moment.”

~ Ram Dass, be love now

October 29, 2019: We already have a few inches of snow on the ground, and reports call for another five inches today, with temps in the teens.

Let it snow? (October 29, 2019)

One year for Christmas I got a bunch of cookies and a car charger for my phone. It was a good Christmas. :)

Twas the Christmas of 2013

“The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your action will be.”

~ The Dalai Lama

Flutter Quick Reference - book cover

When I started working with Flutter a couple of months ago to develop iOS and Android apps from one code base, I started keeping notes about how to do things with Flutter and Dart (the programming language behind Flutter). These notes became my own personal cheatsheet, and then those notes just kept getting larger, and larger.

From there, I started to create a book I titled “Flutter Quick Reference” based on those notes. Right now this “book” is really just a very large Flutter/Dart cheatsheet, but because some of the content in it can’t be found elsewhere on the internet, I thought I’d share it here. Also, because I don’t know if I’ll ever take the time to finish making this into a real book, I made this first release free.

Table of Contents1 - Sample data2 - From match expressions to higher-order functions3 - Notes4 - Resources5 - Comments

I originally wrote a long introduction to this article about Scala Options, but I decided to keep that introduction for a future second article in this series. For this article I’ll just say:

  • idiomatic Scala code involves never using null values
  • because you never use nulls, it’s important for you to become an expert at using Option, Some, and None
  • initially you may want to use match expressions to handle Option values
  • as you become more proficient with Scala and Options, you’ll find that match expressions tend to be verbose
  • becoming proficient with higher-order functions (HOFs) like map, filter, fold, and many others are the cure for that verbosity

Here’s what the 10 a.m. sunrise looks like in Anchorage, Alaska on October 27th.

10 a.m. sunrise, Anchorage, Alaska

While the Super Bowl was a disaster (from a Denver, Colorado, perspective), I’ll try to remember February 2, 2014, as the day I watched Love Actually. Still a favorite quote:

“Okay, dad. Let’s do it. Let’s go get the shit kicked out of us by love.”

Let’s go get the ---- kicked out of us by love

The thing I don’t understand about modern-day republicans is that back in the day they were known as being fiscally conservative, but these days, especially with Trump and McConnell in control, they are racking up insane levels of debt.

I can seeing racking up debt during a time when the economy is down, but racking up debt when unemployment is at all-time lows is like creating enormous credit card debt while you have a huge income, i.e., you create credit card debt that exceeds your income, no matter how high your income is. It makes no sense, and it puts a horrible burden on the future United States economy.

For more information, see this Washington Post story.

U.S. budget deficit up 26%, nears $1 trillion

I was going to write more about this, but instead I’ll just share this link to RamDass.org related to a soldier asking him, “What are you, some kind of yogurt?”

My main project right now (through Valley Programming of Broomfield, Colorado) is porting my Back To Now mindfulness reminder app (formerly named Just Be) to run on both Android and iOS. It’s great to have a toolkit where I can write an app for Android and iOS using one set of code.

Just Be app (iOS and Android)

Donald Trump wants to build a wall in Colorado ...

Trump wants to build a wall in Colorado

My free Back To Now app is now available for iOS and Android devices. For more details, see our blog post on the Valley Programming website.

Hatcher Pass, Alaska, October 20, 2010.

Hatcher Pass, Alaska

“Train people well enough so they can leave; treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

~ Richard Branson

“Better to be on the edge of a party, don’t you think?” Good line, great movie.

Better to be on the edge of a party, don’t you think?