Severe weather alerts with a simple Python script

If like many you have been starting gardens and planting rather than traveling and visiting in recent months, there is one important thing to consider lately – severe weather reports including frost on your crops. I noted there was a little red (!) alert icon on an Android weather widget, but there seems to be no such alert for desktop computer or Linux computer or phone. It is a fairly simple to make this alert though with a simple script:

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Cleaning up Python – and old libraries

Newer Ubuntu releases do not even pre install Python2, and after an upgrade and installing latest Python3.x included in the release, you likely have some old ones there too. Since you most likely will not be using the python2 unless you use some very old library, you can clean them up, clear a lot of disk space and use the “python3” / “pip3” command instead.

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Injecting commands and debugging a running Python program, with Project Euler example

How often has it happened to you… you build a simple script to calculate something, run some bulk process, and coming back after an hour or so it just hangs with no output. Is it doing something or stuck? You could debug it, using WinPdb or Visual Studio Code debugger or GDB to run it step by step, but that would lose the time that it has been processing. Instead, you can use Pyrasite, a program for looking in to a running Python script!

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Machine learning SVM – the usefulness of kernels

If you’ve read through how Support Vector Machines work, you probably know the linear simple SVM might not work in all cases… but how does it fail? Let’s take a look at an example I tried like to my simple example… but change it to be a larger space than just 4, and separated with a region in the middle, and the region around it (positive, negative labelled areas to learn):

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Human pose estimation with Python and Gluoncv

Human pose estimation is something useful for robotics/programming as you can see what position a person is in a picture. For last weekend’s Hackrithmitic I did an experiment for fun using computer vision pose estimation. To start with I found several possibilities with available libraries:

  • Tensorflow js has been used to say, don’t touch your face, but it takes a massive amount of cpu.
  • Openpose is a popular one, only licensed for noncommercial research use, and there is a Opencv example for it that doesn’t quite show how to use it.
  • AlphaPose is supposedly faster and has a more clear license and possibility for commercial use – if you want that as a possibility. I checked out the install instructions and worked but for “python3” instead of “python”. It also misses obvious step of installing cuda for your Nvidia system before running.
  • GluonCV is another, which seems more user friendly. This one I was able to get running in a few minutes with their example:
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Fixing Ubuntu Python-Pip

After you’ve upgraded your Ubuntu machine a few times, you might find that free disk space is low and some Python commands have issues. Programs like Bleachbit can help you clear old packages or cache that you don’t need, but sometimes you need a minor manual fix as documented here. As you may know, Pip is the main package management you’ll use to install packages you use, so this can be problematic.

After upgrading 16.04 to 18.04, I got an error on command line “pip”:

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Hacktoberfest is coming up!

Hacktoberfest is coming up, online this time (well, the core of hacktoberfest always has been online collaboration…), and there are several projects I’ve worked on that welcome contributions:

  • Repeater-START – a useful tool for any ham radio enthusiast looking for repeaters.
  • Hearham Listener – also connects to hearham.com, this is an experimental listener to listen for audible callsigns on the ham radio.
  • Anti-Auto-correct, very useful for students in these remote times!
  • Tunesviewer
  • iosTransferGUI – I had used this for transferring files to iDevices, on Ubuntu.
  • Pylympus – for certain Olympus cameras with wifi-remote, a pure Python remote program.

There are many others and probably plugins or software you use every day that may need contributions or bug fixes, so with less than a month before the start, be thinking about what projects you might contribute to! Check out the full details at https://hacktoberfest.digitalocean.com/events