Euclid’s Doodle – and writing a visualization with Matplotlib

On page 110 of Professor Stewart’s Casebook of Mathematical Mysteries, he shows a neat visual way of calculating the GCD (Greatest common denominator, aka HCF, Highest common factor. Given a box with sides of two different lengths, draw squares from the lesser side until you can draw no more. Then continue from the corner the other direction. The smallest square has edge length of the GCD!

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Reading Amateur Radio Frequencies with RTLSDR device and Python

There are many cheap ($5-20) USB RTL-SDR devices you can find on Newegg or Amazon that have an unexpected extra of being able to pick up broadcast radio. This is a handy feature, and in fact we can even read ham-radio frequencies by changing the bandwidth and frequency to read. There are excellent howtos on the easy installation of GQRX for just listening to the radio and setting your frequency and listening, and that’s a good way to start with testing your device. In this post I’ll show how to read and listen to radio using just Python and the Python RTLSDR library, which will show a lot more detail in how decoding radio works, and lets you run a clean interface to listen or record radio.

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