If it won't be simple, it simply won't be. [source code]

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Easy statsd metrics decorator and context manager

statsd is very handy with creating metrics. Here's a decorator and context manager that simplify the usage even more.
Note: If you want to easily test your code, you can use this Vagrant VM.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Running commands via HTTP

Ran asked about invoking commands via HTTP interface. Here's a quick answer I came up with (using Flask).

Friday, January 24, 2014


I was trying to see if there's an annoucement list for Celery (which we use at work) - didn't find it. One thing led to another... and I wrote pypi→u, a service that emails you if there's a new version of packages your interested in.

It run on AppEngine (with some bootstrap sprinkeld on). You can view the source here.

Note that pypi→u is very alpha, handle with care. Suggestions, comments and bug reports are welcomed.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Current email setup: osx + homebrew + sup + davmail + getmail

 At work we have an Exchange server for email (no POP3/IMAP) and most people use Outlook. However I prefer not to use outlook, here's what I came with:
  • Sup as email client
  • DavMail for POP3/SMTP
  • getmail for fetching email
  • Homebrew for unix-ish environment (yup, that's OSX for you)
 Setup is a bit complicated, but once you're there - email is a bliss (well, as much as email can be :)


Install DavMail from the .dmg. Run it and point it to the exchange server URL and have it expose POP3 and SMTP. See ~/ (though it's easy to configure from the UI as well).

I added DavMail to my "Login Items" so it starts when I login.


See the site for documentation on how to install.


Install with "brew install getmail". I keep my mail in ~/Mail, see ~/.getmail/getmailrc.

I have a cron job to run getmail every 3 minutes
    */3 * * * * /usr/local/bin/getmail -n -q


sup is based on ruby. I've installed rbenv and ruby 1.9. "gem install sup" should work. (Note that I had trouble linking to ncurses, and had to run "brew link ncurses" before installing sup). See ~/.sup for configuration example.


Sending mail is done via the sendmail program that comes with OSX. A bit of configuration is needed though. See /etc/postfix/ and /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd

After the above changes, run the following commands:
    sudo postmap /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd
    sudo postfix reload

That's it, you should be set to go with a decent email client.

I also use iTerm2, which lets me click on a link on sup terminal and open it

Friday, December 13, 2013

Reading Passwords of OSX Keychain

OSX stores passwords in its keychain, which is sometimes useful when you forget a password. The command line security utility lets you access the keychain, however the output is somewhat cryptic.

Below is a little script to get user and password for a given domain.

Note you might get an image like the image on the right. Click either "Allow" or "Always Allow".

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dealing with Bad Memory

The family joke is that I was born senile (my joke is that I have 1bit memory). During the years I've developed some methods to help me be be productive with bad memory. Hope they'll help you as well (if you remember them :).

That's the most effective method - do it at the moment you remember. It's pretty amazing how many things you can do "right now" without interrupting your flow too much. Once you did it - there's no need to remember.

Make it Impossible to Forget
Yeah, writing things down help - but I forget to look at my lists. However if you make things impossible to forget - then you won't forget. For example if I need to take something to the car, I'll place it at the front door - can't miss it when I go out.

Get Help
May they be electronic or human, get some help. I married a wife with a phenomonal memory, but it's not an option for everyone :) In this digital age you can find a good non human assistent to help you. Hiring a human assitenet doesn't have to be expensive - see Fancy Hands for example. 

Write It Down
We have a saying: "A short pencil is better than a long memory.". Write things down, it'll help you remember when you write then and later you can look them up. I use this blog as an memory of things that worked for me. Other things I use are pinboard, trello, GMail and Google Docs. Everything with a search function in it.
Forgive Yourself
You will forget things, learn to live with it. One of the worst things you can do it agonize over the things you forgot. It'll only add stress to your life without helping you to remember.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Removing "noise" before matplotlib charts in IPython notebooks

By default, IPython notebook prints the value of the last expression. This works fine most of the time but sometimes the result of a chart is a long list of lines which is something you don't want to see - you just want to see the chart. Here are two options to fix this (you can also view the example notebook).

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