Geek Dad #12FFA: Cowsay

The summer vacation is upon us, and with it, the need for kids to not be bored (or is it the need for the parents to have kids that are not bored?). Coloring pictures is a nice pastime, and you can always find a lot of coloring images by going to google images and limiting the search to line art only.

But, does it educate your kids to be better geeks? Does it tickle their imagination? Not really, no. Well, what is a geek dad to do?

< Lets color ascii art!!  >
        \   ^__^
         \  (oo)\_______
            (__)\       )\/\
                ||----w |
                ||     ||

Cowsay is a lovely little program written by Tony Monroe. It allows you to quickly create ascii art of cows saying things. And it’s not limited to cows, there is also tux, a bunny, a koala and various other images, which can be listed with cowsay --list. Do not pipe the --list result to a loop and create all the images, as some are NSFW, (or, NSFK, in this case).
Also, it’s not limited to saying things either: there’s also cowthink.

And thus:
10 Kid: Dad, can I color a cow?
20 Dad: cowsay please color me\! | lpr
30 Kid: <coloring happily>
40 GOTO 10

cowsay is available for most platforms. On linux it’s available through the package manager. On OS X, it’s available through brew.

Invitation to Scala

Here is the material for the talk I gave at the Harvard IQSS’s “Tech talk” lecture series. This is a gentle introduction to the Scala language and to functional programming. As this lecture had quite a few demonstrations, you need to follow the lecture notes and try the commands shown there on a scala REPL in order to get the most of it.

Very big “Thank You” for all the IQSS staff that attended – it was great fun*!


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* well, for me, at least.