Jach's personal blog

(Largely containing a mind-dump to myselves: past, present, and future)
Current favorite quote: "Supposedly smart people are weirdly ignorant of Bayes' Rule." William B Vogt, 2010

Random birthday gifts

It's difficult to shop for others when you don't really know what they want. Especially if they are financially stable enough to in all likelihood already have what they want that's in the $20 or less range.

My method: I grab a random word from my computer dictionary with cat /usr/share/dict/words | shuf -n 1, enter it into Amazon's search bar, and see if anything I think the other person might be kind of interested in shows up. If not, I try more words. This has led to some good finds, and the recipients did enjoy them. It seems unlikely I or they would have found them otherwise.

I'm thinking of making a simple Clojure application that makes this process easier (since sometimes I'll have to go through a lot of random words). I spent some time today looking at doing native UIs in Clojure, alas it looks like there's no really awesome solution yet. (My feelings about Seesaw are a little cold...) I've thought about having a web app instead since holy crap the box model and the image tag are a godsend to UI development, but then I can't use PhantomJS. We'll see if I maintain interest in this or not.

Posted on 2014-07-04 by Jach

Tags: fodder, pithy, tip


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