osmarks' website

In which I'm very annoyed at a wide range of abstract concepts.


Read my opinions via the internet.

Maghammer: My personal data warehouse
2023-08-28 / 2.47k words
Powerful search tools as externalized cognition, and how mine work.
Other things you may like
2020-06-11 / 2.14k words
A nonexhaustive list of... content/media... which I like and which you may also be interested in as a visitor of my site.
2023-06-06 / 2.50k words
The history of the feared note-taking application.
Programming education, tacit knowledge and LLMs
2023-07-02 / 1.60k words
Why programming education isn't very good, and my thoughts on AI code generation.
Site tech stack
2022-02-24 / 928 words
Learn about how works internally! Spoiler warning if you wanted to reverse-engineer it yourself.
Against being against rote memorization
2023-01-28 / 407 words
A common criticism of school is that it focuses overmuch on rote memorization. While I don't endorse school, I think this argument is wrong.
RSS: good and useful
2022-05-14 / 463 words
RSS/Atom are protocols for Internet-based newsletter/feed services. They're surprisingly well-supported and you should consider using them.
Against the "Online Safety Bill"
2021-07-08 / 1.03k words
In which I get annoyed at yet more misguided UK government behaviour.
'Problem Solving' Tasks and Computer Science
2020-05-20 / 582 words
Is solving Sudoku and similar puzzles by hand really useful in building computer science ability? We don't think so.
FTL tips
2017-08-16 / 940 words
We are not responsible if these tips cause your ship to implode/explode. Contains spoilers in vast quantities.
Not Everyone Must "Code"
2018-08-14 / 689 words
Why I think that government programs telling everyone to "code" are pointless.
New site design!
2020-01-25 / 145 words
It's slightly different now!
On Phones
2018-06-01 / 737 words
My (probably unpopular in general but... actually likely fairly popular amongst this site's intended audience) opinions on smartphones today.


Short-form observations.


I should really have a better way to keep CSS consistent across services than manually copypasting parts of it sometimes.


The public is now exposed to Meme Search Engine's codebase:


I suddenly feel nostalgic for these old Cube World things. Apparently nobody has reverse-engineered the things significantly. A shame. I think one of my friends has some somewhere so I might look into it.


ImageBind can apparently embed audio (and also thermal camera output, depth sensor output and IMU traces...?) into the same embedding space as Meme Search Engine's CLIP model. I could plausibly add a search-by-audio option.


Did you know? According to some leaks, GPT-4 has as many parameters* as there are molecules in 3.6*10^-14kg of water.

  • ish
2023-07-11 Well, they don't seem to have actually done this yet.


Various web projects I have put together over many years. Made with at least four different JS frameworks. Some of them are bad.

Apioform Game
A game about... apioforms... by Heavpoot.
Arbitrary Points
Collect Arbitrary Points and achievements by doing things on this website! See how many you have! Do nothing with them because you can't! This is the final form of gamification.
Automatic score keeper, designed for handling Monopoly money.
Colours of the Alphabet
Colorizes the Alphabet, using highly advanced colorizational algorithms.
Emu War
Survive as long as possible against emus and other wildlife. Contributed by Aidan.
Flying Thing
Fly an ominous flying square around above some ground! Includes special relativity!
A somewhat unperformant generator for pleasant watercolor-y "fractalart" images. Ported from a Haskell implementation by "TomSmeets".
My fork of GUIHacker. Possibly the only version actually on the web right now since the original website is down.
Game of Life V2
Obligatory (John Conway's) Game of Life implementation.
Heav's Game
It is pitch black (if you ignore all of the lighting). You are likely to be eaten by Heavpoot's terrible writing skills, and/or lacerated/shot/[REDACTED]. Vaguely inspired by the SCP Foundation.
Idea Generator
Generates ideas. Terribly. Don't do them. These are not good ideas.
The exciting multiplayer game of incrementing and decrementing! No cheating.
Outdoing all other websites with INFINITE PAGES!
Tells you how late Joe's homework is.
Lorem Ipsum
Lorem Ipsum (latin-like placeholder text), eternally. Somehow people have left comments at the bottom anyway.
Political Opinion Calendar
Instead of wasting time thinking of the best political opinion to hold, simply pick them pseudorandomly per day with this tool.
RPNCalc v2
A Reverse Polish Notation (check wikipedia) calculator, version 2. Buggy and kind of unreliable. This updated version implements advanced features such as subtraction.
RPNCalc v3
Reverse Polish Notation calculator, version 3 - with inbuilt docs, arbitrary-size rational numbers, utterly broken float/rational conversion and quite possibly Turing-completeness.
RPNCalc v4
Reverse Polish Notation calculator, version 4 - increasingly esoteric and incomprehensible. Contributed by Aidan.
Site Theming
Apply custom CSS to most pages on here.
Tic-Tac-Toe (4³)
Your favourite* tic-tac-toe game in 3 dimensions, transplanted onto the main website via a slightly horrifically manual process! Technically this game is solved and always leads to player 1 winning with optimal play, but the AI is not good enough to do that without more compute!
Websocket Terminal
Type websocket URLs in the top bar and hit enter; type messages in the bottom bar, and also hit enter. Probably useful for some weirdly designed websocket services.
Dice-rolling webapp. Not very useful pending me writing a good parser.
Unholy horrors moved from the depths of my projects directory to your browser. Theoretically, this is a calculator. Good luck using it.

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View some of my projects at my git hosting.

From other blogs

Crystal Structures, From Things That Don't Crystallize Much

I've long been a fan of the micro-electron diffraction technique to get structural data, so I wanted to highlight this recent paper from the Gonen group at UCLA, who have been pioneers in this area. This technology has been become more accessible over…

via AAAS: Keyword search for query 17/11/2023
Saveitforparts: Building an L-Band Satellite Antenna out of an Umbrella

Over on his YouTube channel "saveitforparts" has uploaded a video where he uses an umbrella, pin tin and tin foil tape to create a simple dish antenna for receiving GOES, NOAA and METEOR HRPT satellites. The full build consists of an umbrella cove…

via 16/11/2023
Can I be on your podcast?

I am working on rousing the Hare community to get the word out about our work. I have drafted the Hare evangelism guidelines to this effect, which summarizes how we want to see our community bringing Hare to more people. We’d like to spread the word in a way …

via Drew DeVault's blog 09/11/2023
Skin Deep: the Empty, Pernicious Beauty of “The Creator”

“We don’t need other worlds. We need mirrors.” —Stanislaw Lem Lers of Spoi. You Have Been Warned. Let’s get the good stuff out of the way first: this movie is absolutely beautiful to behold. The cinematography is first rate; the vehicle designs are perfec…

via No Moods, Ads or Cutesy Fucking Icons 06/10/2023
Finding Domains That Send Unactionable Reports in Mastodon

One of the things we struggle with on is un-actionable reports. For various reasons, most of the reports we handle are for posts that are either appropriately content-warned or don’t require a content warning under our content policy–things lik…

via Aphyr: Posts 03/09/2023

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