Archive for October, 2008

Sometimes I like to point out that there are tools around that will let you accomplish tasks you’d normally have to script. Interestingly enough, Google Docs comes with a set of functions — importHTML, importData, importXML and importFeed — that will allow you to grab data on the Web and put it into your spreadsheet. […]


The Internet is a bit like a giant database. There’s information and data strewn about, distributed all over the world, and we run queries on the data using tools like Google. Many different sites put out constantly updated, useful information, like US gas prices. The problem is that they don’t all supply APIs and XML […]


I work with a lot of files at the Alligator, mostly because our CMS is retarded, but we’d end up having a ton of files either way. In any case, I find that a lot of times, the photo department doesn’t end up naming the files how I want them — they should be prefixed […]


In my last post, I said that using Python and Ruby were great alternatives to a calculator. I even provided some examples of how you could do nested calculations in the interpreters. What I failed to both notice and remember is how Python (and apparently Ruby) handle integer arithmetic. Even in my examples, the answer […]


Note: This post contains errors. I’m quite sorry, but see my correction post on the difference between floating-point and integer math for details. Sometimes when you’re sitting at a computer you need to hammer out a quick calculation. Despite not being a huge math fan, I find this to be true more often than I’d […]


After last week’s mention of AppleScript I want to move onto something even easier and more fun to toy with on OSX. Under your applications folder, you should find a program called Automator. It’s basically an abstraction layer over AppleScript. Just about anything you can do with Automator can be done by coding AppleScript, but […]