Solar Eclipse 2017, viewed from Kelly, Wyoming

In August 2017, Megan and I had the opportunity to trek to Wyoming with some of my family to see the “Great American Solar Eclipse”. These are a few of the photos we got.

KNovabot: A Discord bot in Python

Continuing my trend of trying to learn new things in Python, I have most recently been spending some time playing around the with Discord API. This was interesting to me for a few reasons: I use Discord to communicate with my friends when we play games on the PC; additionally, I’ve always had an interest in chat rooms and the way the protocols work (in the past, I’ve programmed a number of IRC bots).

This bot utilizes a library known as “Discord.py” which is freely available on Github. Additionally, I’ve uploaded all my code to my Github page. It’s fairly rudimentary, but if you were ever interested in running a Discord bot of your own, it should be easy to modify for your own needs.

Return to Python

PyCharm screenshotIn an effort to maintain any kind of programming skills I may have, I decided it would be a good idea to start writing Python code again. This is another one of my phases I go through every year, so I’m not certain it will last. Luckily, I’ve found real world applications for learning and staying up to date with Python, so I’m going to try and dedicate some time to coding realistic projects — in the past most of what I worked on were games (which ended up making me distressed when they didn’t play well), or web facing projects such as a message board (a classic project I’ve tried to attempt in many languages).

Since i’m trying to dust off some cob webs and a sizeable knowledge gap, I decided a great place to start would be Reddit’s daily programmer subreddit. This week, I picked a project that interested me that sounds nice and easy: Scrabble word finder (Challenge #294). What my program does is take user input (what letters do they have, and what word do they want to make) and lets them know if its possible given the current amount of each letter. Super simple, but a  nice entry for me to return to Python programming.

As of right now I’m at what I consider version 1.2 1.3 of this program – it can take your given letters and a desired word, tell you if its playable (including wildcards), and gives you the point value for that word (update: now it suggests the highest value word you can play with the given letters). Check my Github page for the project here. As of version 1.3 i’m going to consider this complete (outside of any bug fixes).

Sound Design Credits

Short, quick update: I was listed as a sound effect contributor on two projects:

  1. The Beyond School Podcast – Episode #20 (“Cards on the Table”) – the crew used a grenade sound I made a long time ago for a video game.
  2. Martin Hoogeboom – “Four Fields” – Martin located a sound I made called “Slow pulse” and used it in this great soundscape. You can name your own price for the album download on Bandcamp.

In both cases, the sound designers/composers located me on Freesound.org, which happens infrequently… but it’s always a nice feeling to know people are using stuff I’ve created.