Programming Is Not Math

This article is a repost promoting content originally published elsewhere. See more things Dan's reposted.

When I learned to program, back when dinosaurs walked the earth and the internet had no cats, there was an idea: if you were good at math, you’d be good at programming. I was great at math as a kid, but perhaps because I didn’t like it much, no one steered me towards programming. I…

Dan Q posted a note for GC56KEX The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments

This checkin to GC56KEX The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments reflects a log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

With a difficulty rating of 2/5 I thought this would be a reasonably easy puzzle, but I guess my poor heat-addled brain isn’t up to the task. I thought that perhaps visiting the Bate Collection early this afternoon might help, but it turns out that they only open at 2pm in the afternoon (by which point I had to get back to work), so I’ve not had any luck yet! Some day, perhaps!

But be warned: if you plan to visit the collection, they don’t open until 2pm on weekdays.

Dan Q found GLEWGMCG A bridge. Too far? (Geolympix FTFrenzy-7)

This checkin to GLEWGMCG A bridge. Too far? (Geolympix FTFrenzy-7) reflects a log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

Paced around for a bit and, I confess, needed the hint before I found this cache. Left the “Signal Football! Tag” travel bug, which just barely fits into the container alongside the log (apologies to anybody who wants to sign the log but NOT take the TB; you’ll probably need to remove the TB before you can get to the log!).

Beautiful location! TFTC.

Cache that REQUIRES two people: should I explain why it requires two people before they set out, or not?

This self-post was originally posted to /r/geocaching. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

Hi, Founditt!

Next month, I expect to launch a multicache with a twist: it requires two people to go to two different waypoints at the same time in order to determine the coordinates of the final stage – it’s not physically possible for one person to do it alone (even if they go to one waypoint and then to the other).

I’ll be saying all of this on the cache page, of course. But I’m worried that some people might try to do it alone, and then get frustrated when they realise the reason that it’s not possible to do it alone. I’m considering explaining on the cache page exactly how I’ve made it impossible to do by yourself, but I’d rather not do this if I don’t have to: I think that the cache will be more interesting and exciting if you don’t know why you need two people until you’re in-the-field.

What do you think? If you saw a cache with a description like that in the first paragraph, explaining that you needed you and a friend to simultaneously visit two waypoints (and explicitly stating that there was no way to solve it by yourself), would you believe it? Or would you set out by yourself anyway?

tl;dr: a multicache description says that you need to go to a waypoint and send a friend to a different waypoint, at the same time, but doesn’t tell you why until you get there – do you believe it?

EDIT: Wow; this has gotten popular. Once the cache is in place and people have begun finding it, I’d be happy to make a post here explaining how I did it. In the meantime, if you’re outside of the UK and want a few more teaser details, drop me a PM. If you’re inside the UK, or travel here often, then keep an eye out for the launch of GC591VV – “You Can’t Do It Alone!”.

Review of Focusing: How To Gain Direct Access To Your Body’s Knowledge: How to Open Up Your Deeper Feelings and Intuition

This review originally appeared on Amazon. See more reviews by Dan.

Wishy-washy pseudoscientific nonsense, wrapped up in unengaging writing

I can’t imagine the person to whom this book would actually provide value. It’s full of wishy-washy, unscientific, and unverifiable ideas, all wrapped up in an unengaging and badly-written package. There are a handful of good ideas, but they’re few and far between.


Review of Kryptonite New York 3000 Lock NYL with Bracket

This review originally appeared on Amazon. See more reviews by Dan.

A super-hardy, bulletproof lock with few downsides

This lock is pretty-much bulletproof. If you’re looking for the strongest possible lock for your bike, this is the one to go for (perhaps coupled with a flyout cable so that you can tie your wheels together and to the lock). Note that this is a “short” D-lock, which is far safer, because a would-be thief can’t do the usual D-lock-breaking technique of using a car jack on it, very easily, but it also means that you’ll sometimes find it difficult to fit it around both your frame and the thing you want to lock your bike to. Also note that it’s very heavy, and that the mounting bracket doesn’t fit around the thickest of frames.

All in all, though, this is an ultra-hardy lock that should discourage all but the most-determined of criminals.

Review of Mini Bench Vice

This review originally appeared on Amazon. See more reviews by Dan.

Good, but a little fragile: be gentle!

The table clamp portion doesn’t open very far, and if you accidentally try (even gently) to open it further than its full extent, the foot pops off and never re-attaches quite as firmly again. It’s a good little vice otherwise and it gets the job done.

Review of Plugable 10-Port USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Hub with 48W Power Adapter

This review originally appeared on Amazon. See more reviews by Dan.

Works as a hub, but confuses my motherboard

On the upside, it works: once I’m booted, I can plug in devices (USB2 or USB3) and they’re detected by the computer. The charging ports behave as expected. The package is attractive and functional. So there’s that.

But unfortunately I can’t boot my computer with it plugged in! I have to unplug it, boot, and THEN connect it. It’s possibly something to do with my motherboard (Asus Z87 MAXIMUS VI FORMULA), or it’s possibly something to do with the way that the device identifies itself as a hub, but my computer just “hangs” at the POST screen if I’ve left it connected when I press the power button: more than a little irritating!

Review of for iPhone 5 Nano SIM Card Adapter Black

This review originally appeared on Amazon. See more reviews by Dan.

It’s a bit of plastic, and it “just works”

It’s a piece of plastic that you put a nano (or micro) SIM into in order to make it behave as if it were a larger size. It “just works”; used it to put a nano-SIM into the micro-SIM port of a Samsung Galaxy S III; slightly fiddly, but that’s only because the thing is of course pretty small, but “just worked” and continues to work perfectly.

Geohashing expedition 2014-07-12 51 -0

This checkin to geohash 2014-07-12 51 -0 reflects a geohashing expedition. See more of Dan's hash logs.


On the edge of a field near the village of Ford, outside Aylesbury.



I’m out in Aylesbury today, so I’ll probably swing by the hashpoint late-morning/early afternoon, by car. Hopefully it’s possible to get to it without climbing through any hedges!


Geohashpoint 2014-07-12 51 -0I was in Aylesbury this morning for an interview, and I’d discovered last night that a hashpoint had appeared pretty-much right between my home and the place I was visiting. It was off the major roads by a little way, but the day was beautiful and I relished the opportunity to go for an explore, by ZipCar and on foot. And that’s exactly what I got.

After driving through the village of Ford, I came to the end of a road and the beginning of a private driveway, and found a place to park. The locals looked at me strangely as I found my bearings and set off up a bridleway. Suddenly, I realised that the hashpoint was off to my right somewhere, so I hacked my way through some trees to get closer to it. The hashpoint turned out to be pretty-much exactly on the spot of a tree, at the edge of a field. Sadly, the tree was on the otherside of a barbed wire fence, covered in vines, but I was (with some effort) able to lean far over to “touch” the hashpoint-tree, as shown in the photos.

Later, I got stuck in traffic and almost delivered the ZipCar back late, but just barely made it, vacating the car just as the (very prompt) next occupiers turned up. Phew!