MaTSlab

Matlab is an archaic piece of software, is stupidly expensive, has a ridiculous syntax, horrible UI, and a whole host of bizarre quirks that you just put up with because that one grad student 10 years ago wrote a controller in it for a camera from a company which no longer exists and your supervisor refuses to buy a new one because apparently that’s a ridiculous price for only 14 bits of dynamic range.

Deep breath.

And despite all that, when I was in the zone I’m not sure I’ve ever been as effective in another piece of software. Let’s see about bringing it up to scratch.

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Signed distance fields

This post is a classic example of the malady known as Jason-itis – idly wondering about a thing, and then having to dive deep down a rabbit hole to satisfy a geeky wish. In this case the thing was ‘I wonder how you make a 3D shape which looks like different shapes from different angles’, and the rabbit hole bottomed out at this GPU-accelerated demo. Let’s look at the stuff in-between.

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Transaction analysis web app

As a poor student, I always tried to keep a close eye on what I spent. This usually amounted to skimming statements and manually keeping track of what went where, a decidedly sub-optimal solution.

Thanks to an initiative called MiData, you are now able to download transaction histories from your current account in CSV format, which is ripe for analysis. I built a small tool for myself, which I put online here for your enjoyment. I should note this is the first slightly complex thing I’ve written in Javascript, so if it breaks in unexpected ways feel free to get in touch and let me know.

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