Random thoughts from a butterfly-obsessed caffeine fiend.

Grok the Linux shell, grok Jina

Published Sep 23, 2021 by Alex C-G

I’ve been working with Jina Flows and Executors a lot recently. I’ve really been enjoying it, and now I’m starting to really grok why. Coding in Jina is very much like using a bash shell. (Or zsh. Or korn. Or take your pick) Using the...

Image Encoders Part Trois: In which CLIP discovers the transitive property

Published Sep 22, 2021 by Alex C-G

Looking back on my last post about image encoders, I realize I should’ve based my judgement on more than one test. So I’m going to throw a bunch of images at CLIP that are not memes, but that include subjects that are memes. For example,...

Image Encoders Part Deux: Let's ramp things up

Published Sep 21, 2021 by Alex C-G

Let’s get back to how well those image encoders cope with memes. We previously saw that when we were comparing very similar (in terms of pixel value) memes, BigTransfer came out on top. But what if we’re searching variants, like Buff Doge vs Cheems? As...

Analytics on

Published Sep 20, 2021 by Alex C-G

Just a heads up that I’ve installed Plausible Analytics on my site. It’s an open-source package and all running self-hosted on my cloud server. Since many of you have an adblocker installed (or uMatrix if you’re paranoid sensible) it likely won’t affect you at all...

Building a search engine for meme captions

Published Sep 19, 2021 by Alex C-G

Yesterday I gave a workshop on building an AI-powered meme search engine using Jina to about 200 folks from Google Student Developer Clubs around India. I’ll drop the video here once it’s up, but in the meantime here’s the Python notebook that explains everything you...

Image Encoders: BigTransfer vs CLIP

Published Sep 18, 2021 by Alex C-G

I’ve been mucking around with building a meme search engine using Jina. To do so I’m testing a couple of different image encoders. Big Transfer encoder from Google CLIP image encoder In essence, these use a neural network to turn an image file into vector...

An AI-powered search engine in just one line of (stupidly dangerous) Python

Published Jul 21, 2021 by Alex C-G

If you like this post, be sure to check out my other lifehack: Save a fortune on pedicures (by chopping off your feet with a breadknife) Hey everybody! Welcome to another episode of let’s misuse technology in new and stupid ways! Today we’re going to...

Build a Jina neural search with Streamlit

Published Apr 25, 2021 by Alex C-G

New Posts on Medium

Published Jul 31, 2020 by Alex C-G

Just a quick heads-up that the best place to view recent posts is on Medium. Some recent ones: GPT-3 is the future. But what can NLP do in the present? What is Neural Search, and Why Should I Care? What I Learned about Open Source...

Open Source Explained with 1980's Cartoons

Published Jun 29, 2020 by Alex C-G

Note: This turned into a post on Hackernoon. I suggest you read that instead of my half-formed thoughts below! Introduction So, I’ve got an idea in my head (well, where else would it be?) about comparing open source to magic. That still needs a while...

Almost a Slashfic: Kirk and Spock drinking beer

Published Jun 4, 2020 by Alex C-G

Script_buddy has done it again. Kirk and Spock drinking beer and having awkward conversations about airports. You can cut the sexual tension with a knife. It’s a perfect slashfic. I’m still not quite sure how much of this output is from the Star Trek stuff...

Deep Learning with Star Trek: Part 1

Published Jun 3, 2020 by Alex C-G

I’ve been thinking lately, that sooner or later it’ll be possible to create TV episodes with deep learning. Just look at the tech we already have: GPT-3 - text generation that is getting on for human-level quality Deepfake - mapping one actor’s face onto footage...

Avenging Trek Wars

Published Jun 3, 2020 by Alex C-G

Script buddy has now absorbed most of Star Trek TNG, DS9, and the movies! It’s also done it’s first crossover, which I certainly wasn’t expecting. Love that it’s got the Borg, Romulans, AND Thor. Stoik sounds like kind of a Vulcan name and it’s hilarious...

Writing Shakespeare with an RNN

Published May 29, 2020 by Alex C-G

I’ve just been noodling around with some RNN (recurrent neural network) tutorials for NLP to create scripts for plays or TV shows, both for my own interest and a project idea I have in mind. After 100 epochs or so, I can feed it the...

Stuff I Use: May 2020 Edition

Published May 27, 2020 by Alex C-G

I’m always on the lookout for tools to make my life easier, especially if I can do that in a vim-like manner on the command line. Here are a few of the things I’m using as of today System Operating system Manjaro Linux Desktop shell...

Hofstadter's Law

Published May 26, 2020 by Alex C-G

Hofstadter’s Law is just one of life’s laws that (along with Murphy’s Law) I always bear in mind both in programming and in the rest of my life: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law. It always...

Links of the Day

Published May 25, 2020 by Alex C-G

Links MiniConf is a virtual conference in a box. It manages the papers, schedules, and speakers for an academic conference run virtually. It can be easily integrated with interactive tools such as video, chat, and QA. Big List of Naughty Strings: List of string you...

New Project - Better Job Search

Published May 24, 2020 by Alex C-G

A quick and dirty project I’ve just pushed to Github: Better Job Search. It’s a Python script that scrapes one of the more popular job websites and returns more specific search results in a more efficient format.

40 Years on, PAC-MAN Recreated with AI by NVIDIA Researchers

Published May 23, 2020 by Alex C-G

Just had to share this really cool use of GANs to create new game levels with no underlying knowledge of a game engine Now instead of Inky, Pinky, Binky and Clyde, I’m thinking of how cool it would be to do this with Mario. After...

Links of the Day

Published May 22, 2020 by Alex C-G

Why the entire open source movement is under threat right now: With no conferences, the pandemic is doing a number on fundraising for FOSS projects Open Sourcing the People’s Code: A look at the challenges of open-sourcing federally funded code Harry Potter and the Methods...

Links of the Day

Published May 21, 2020 by Alex C-G

Jukebox of weirdness: Neural net to generate songs and sing the lyrics in the style of different musicians. The Paradox of Source Code Secrecy: Quote: “In many cases of automated decisionmaking, algorithms – and the source code that informs them, are hidden from public view,...

Why Open Source?

Published May 20, 2020 by Alex C-G

So, I’ve got an idea in my head (well, where else would it be?) about comparing open source to magic. That still needs a while to brew in my wizard’s cauldron, so stay tuned or set a remembrall to come back and check some time...

Around the World in 26 Cuisines

Published Apr 26, 2020 by Alex C-G

Over the course of the lockdown, I’ve been working, coding, sleeping, and binging Legends of Tomorrow. I’ve also been doing a lot of cooking, especially with my slow cooker. With that in mind (and not much else to occupy us), my bubble buddies and I...

Using sudo with user dotfiles and aliases

Published Feb 18, 2020 by Alex C-G

The Problem I’m a terminal junkie, and a heavy user of Neovim. This leads to a couple of issues when I’m using sudo: I’ve got nvim aliased to vim in my aliases file (which I source from both .bashrc and .zshrc, so I have consistency)....

Tweets - Feb 03-Feb 06

Published Feb 6, 2020 by Alex C-G

Loving @theebillyporter’s jacket on his wonderful state of the union address. Anyone know where to get one?… Follow alexcg on Twitter     Created with tweets-to-jekyll

More Aliases

Published Jan 29, 2020 by Alex C-G

Here are a few more of my shell aliases for anyone who’s interested. This is a follow-up to my shell clipboard aliases post. Listing Files I use exa instead of ls alias ls='exa' alias ll='ls -l' alias la='ls -a' alias l='ls' Showing files I use...

Shell Clipboard Aliases

Published Jan 27, 2020 by Alex C-G

I’ve just uploaded a few shell aliases to github to make it easier to work with X terminals and the clipboard. Enjoy!

Get Started with Ethereum Development with Cryptozombies

Published Dec 22, 2019 (Updated Dec 22, 2019) by Alex C-G

Want to learn how to code smart contracts and Dapps with Ethereum? Try out Cryptozombies. It’s by far one of the best tutorials I’ve found for getting a basic feel for Solidity and how it differs from other languages. I’ve been through the whole thing...

Lose Developers and Alienate Everyone: How Not to Write Docs

Published Dec 13, 2019 by Alex C-G

You know, there are so many projects out there with great documentation. To make your docs stand out, why not make them crappy instead? Just think of the buzz you’ll get on Twitter and all the questions on Stack Overflow trying to find out what...

Automatic Cover Letter Generator

Published Dec 11, 2019 by Alex C-G

Applying for jobs? I just whipped up a quick and dirty Bash script for generating cover letters. Enjoy!

Bent Out of Shape - All the Ways (so far) I've Screwed Up with Nitinol

Published Mar 13, 2019 by Alex C-G

I recently got my hands on some nitinol wire for a project I’m working on. Here are my misadventures in trying to work with the damn stuff. The Project: Biomimetic Butterfly Brooch I like butterflies. I like looking pretty. I like making stuff. So I’ve...

Some MediaWiki Tools

Published Sep 4, 2018 by Alex C-G

MediaWiki_Unembed - Takes a MediaWiki file with other wiki pages embedded inside (via the {{:Embed}} tag) and unembeds them, resulting in a MediaWiki file with all the embedded content inline MediaWiki2Book: Uses Pandoc and some nice templates to convert a MediaWiki page to a good-looking...

Links of the Day

Published Apr 29, 2018 by Alex C-G

The First Computers in East Africa –and what became of them HyperTools: A python toolbox for gaining geometric insights into high-dimensional data Why Hitler isn’t a dirty word in India Google container for Firefox I’m building a robot boyfriend—and you can, too

Links of the Day

Published Apr 27, 2018 by Alex C-G

China is installing a bewildering, and potentially troublesome, amount of solar capacity Magnasanti: The Largest and Most Terrifying SimCity Collection of Jewish jokes shouldn’t shy from the sorrow behind the humor Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness - simultaneously everything you’d expect out of a...

Links of the Day

Published Apr 26, 2018 by Alex C-G

Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule Some Startups Use Fake Data to Train AI Be sure to read the alt text: Meteorologist comic from XKCD Ugh. Tell me this isn’t really how weird things are getting: Startups in China Are Hiring Women as ‘Programmer Motivators’ Lessons from...

Focusing On The It In Diversity

Published Apr 26, 2018 by Alex C-G

How many times have you crap like this? "I wouldn't trust a woman to code. Women in the tech industry are just a distraction to real programmers" "What would the gays know about technology? They should stick to hairstyling" Since this is a family-friendly blog,...

Links of the Day

Published Apr 25, 2018 by Alex C-G

How Manufacturing Could Benefit From AI Facial Recognition Deep Learning Software is Surprisingly Good at Identifying Galaxies Too MIT researchers turn water into ‘calm’ computer interfaces Building AI systems that make fair decisions Neural Networks… On a Stick! Science fiction: Unchained: A story of love,...

On Learning Machine Learning

Published Apr 24, 2018 by Alex C-G

Machine learning has a lot of buzz these days, and with good reason. But getting into it isn’t a simple task. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far: Pure or Applied? Applied machine learning is about using it to actually do stuff in the real world....

Links of the Day

Published Apr 18, 2018 by Alex C-G

This PSA About Fake News From Barack Obama Is Not What It Appears – there’s some swearing in this one, just so you all know! I love Crash Course. They’re putting together a new series on the history of science. Also check out their computer...

Tools for Studying Computer Science

Published Apr 18, 2018 by Alex C-G

I’ve recently been putting a lot of hours into levelling up my computer science and coding, mostly covering Python, Tensorflow, machine learning, and a few little projects to scratch personal itches. Over the past few weeks I’ve got a nice little workflow going. Here are...

Links of the Day

Published Apr 17, 2018 by Alex C-G

The quiet history of Chinese microcomputers An Engineer’s Bill of Rights (and Responsibilities) The most popular courses on GitHub TensorFlow in your Browser It’s time to rebuild the web

Stuff I’ve Been Learning and Doing Recently

Published Apr 12, 2018 by Alex C-G

Object-Oriented Python I’ve been programming for quite a long time, but always in an ad-hoc, pick-it-up-as-I-go fashion to fix a specific problem I was having. That generally meant procedural programming, and relying on copy-pasting examples to use anything like objects. But in the past week...

Links of the Day

Published Apr 11, 2018 by Alex C-G

Your Pretty Face is Going to Sell Margaret Hamilton Takes Software Engineering To the Moon and Beyond Machine learning is a tool – and people need to learn how to use it Don’t Give Away Historic Details About Yourself How this optical illusion made me...

Links of the Day

Published Apr 10, 2018 by Alex C-G

The evolutionary advantage of having eyebrows What makes a tree a tree? Dead medium: Eighteenth Century English mail hacks The Relativity of Wrong By Isaac Asimov Beautiful Lofty Things: The Practice of Mathematics

Links of the Day

Published Apr 8, 2018 by Alex C-G

The French King Who Believed He Was Made of Glass Excited by the latest news platform? Build three — yes, three—prototypes to test it first Falsehoods programmers believe about addresses Why develop an IDE? To impress your girlfriend of course!

Links of the Day

Published Apr 7, 2018 by Alex C-G

Ask HN: How to self-learn electronics Can You 3D Print an Axe? State Your Intentions More Clearly With State Machines Satire: Meet the People of Post-Facebooktopia The Scientific Paper Is Obsolete: Here’s what’s next

Links of the Day

Published Apr 6, 2018 by Alex C-G

Our Students Can Make Data, AI, & Blockchain Projects Work in Real Life – and So Can You Berkeley offers its fastest-growing course – data science – online, for free Are We Already Living in Virtual Reality? [A radical proposal to keep your personal data...

Throwback Thursday: A Story About ‘Magic’

Published Apr 5, 2018 by Alex C-G

Though our field of computer science is still relatively young, it has lots of wonderful (and sometimes naughty) stories in its short history. This one is taken from The Jargon File by Eric S. Raymond 1 Some years ago, I (GLS) was snooping around in...

Links of the Day

Published Apr 5, 2018 by Alex C-G

How McDonald’s Is Getting Ready For The 4th Industrial Revolution Using AI, Big Data And Robotics Making the Touch Bar finally useful By abandoning crappy Apple guidelines The F.B.I. and the Mystery of the Mummy’s Head On how to grow an idea One of Estonia’s...

Build an Awesome TensorFlow Image Classifier in 10 Minutes!

Published Apr 4, 2018 by Alex C-G

More info on Nikhil’s website

Links of the Day

Published Apr 4, 2018 by Alex C-G

Are We Short of Deep Learning Experts? Artificial intelligence helps to predict likelihood of life on other worlds The technologies that would make the web more participatory The astounding present and dizzying future of synthetic biology IDEA: Algorithms explained, IKEA style

Install Software Quickly via the Command Line

Published Apr 3, 2018 by Alex C-G

Though you may not believe it from my stunningly youthful good looks, I grew up in the halcyon days of MS-DOS 5.0. One of my fondest memories is sitting in front of my Dad’s 80286 with a hulking CRT screen, and typing the commands to...


Published Apr 2, 2018 by Alex C-G

With all the questions about ethics and technology lately, especially Facebook data collection and Cambridge Analytica, it seems a good time to introduce the concept of Nerdsightnedness: n. The inability to see beyond a technology’s interesting technical aspects, particularly to miss its ethical implications; to...


Published Apr 2, 2018 by Alex C-G

Remix is our open-source online education platform to teach students real-world tools and skills. We combine industry-standard tools into a cohesive whole, with single sign-on and detailed analytics to follow learners’ progress.

Links Roundup

Published Apr 2, 2018 by Alex C-G

One of the reasons I was invited to be part of the Remix team is because I’m a geek and a maker, as I’m sure many of our users are. With that in mind, here are a bunch of links that I find useful as...

Hello Mumbai!

Published Jan 8, 2018 by Alex C-G

I’m super excited to be heading to Maker Mela in Mumbai in a few days. My first time in India and I’m looking forward to meeting the local maker community! I’ll be showcasing some of the projects I’ve been working on, potentially including: Cyborg Beast...


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