Trans Scend Survival

Trans: Latin prefix implying "across" or "Beyond", often used in gender nonconforming situations – Scend: Archaic word describing a strong "surge" or "wave", originating with 15th century english sailors – Survival: 15th century english compound word describing an existence only worth transcending.

Bits & Bobs, Mushstools & Toadrooms

...Despite being a chilly & wintery March up here in the White Mountains, there is no shortage of fun birds and exciting projects!

Merlin AI pipeline for Mushroom identification!

It's happening, and it is going to be awesome YMMV, but YOLO:

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Annotators, interpreters & audio demo stuff

...Notes, Repo

....Even more demos @

miscellaneous dregs, bits, bobs, demos in this playlist on youtube

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Chindōgu ASCII art

A ridiculous Chindōgu utility prompt & CLI for fetching private releases & files from GitHub & BitBucket

  • Fetch, unpack, extract specific releases & files or a complete master branch from a private GitHub repo with an api access token
  • Fetch and extract specific files or complete branches from a private BitBucket account with user's git authentication
  • Prefill default prompt values with a variety of console flags
  • Save & load default prompt values with a file of environment variables, see templates FetchReleasegSampleEnv_GitHub, FetchFilegSampleEnv_BitBucket, FetchEverythingSampleEnv_BitBucket, FetchEverythingSampleEnv_GitHub; pass as an argument with the -e flag, (./LeafletSync -e YourEnvFile) or provide one on launch.
curl --output LeafletSync && chmod +x LeafletSync && ./LeafletSync

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naive distance measurements with opencv

Knowing both the Field of View (FoV) of a camera's lens and the dimensions of the object we'd like to measure (Region of Interest, ROI) seems like more than enough to get a distance.

Note, opencv has an extensive suite of actual calibration tools and utilities here.

...But without calibration or much forethought, could rough measurements of known objects even be usable? Some notes from a math challenged individual:

# clone:
git clone && cd misc-roi-distance-notes

Most webcams don't really provide a Field of View much greater than ~50 degrees- this is the value of a MacBook Pro's webcam for instance. Here's the plan to get a Focal Length value from Field of View:

So, thinking along the lines of similar triangles:

  • Camera angle forms the angle between the hypotenuse side (one edge of the FoV angle) and the adjacent side
  • Dimension is the opposite side of the triangle we are using to measure with.
  • ^ This makes up the first of two "similar triangles"
  • Then, we start measuring: First, calculate the opposite ROI Dimension using the arbitrary Focal Length value we calculated from the first triangle- then, plug in the Actual ROI Dimensions.
  • Now the adjacent side of this ROI triangle should hopefully be length, in the the units of ROI's Actual Dimension.

source a fresh venv to fiddle from:

# venv:
python3 -m venv distance_venv
source distance_venv/bin/activate

# depends are imutils & opencv-contrib-python:
pip3 install -r requirements.txt

The opencv people provide a bunch of prebuilt Haar cascade models, so let's just snag one of them to experiment. Here's one to detect human faces, we've all got one of those:

mkdir haar
wget  -O ./haar/haarcascade_frontalface_alt2.xml

Of course, an actual thing with fixed dimensions would be better, like a stop sign!

Let's try to calculate the distance as the difference between an actual dimension of the object with a detected dimension- here's the plan:


# `python3`
import math
from cv2 import cv2

DFOV_DEGREES = 50  # such as average laptop webcam horizontal field of view
KNOWN_ROI_MM = 240  # say, height of a human head  

# image source:
cap = cv2.VideoCapture(0)

# detector:
cascade = cv2.CascadeClassifier('./haar/haarcascade_frontalface_alt2.xml')

while True:

    # Capture & resize a single image:
    _, image =
    image = cv2.resize(image, (0, 0), fx=.7, fy=0.7, interpolation=cv2.INTER_NEAREST)

    # Convert to greyscale while processing:
    gray_conv = cv2.cvtColor(image, cv2.COLOR_BGR2GRAY)
    gray = cv2.GaussianBlur(gray_conv, (7, 7), 0)

    # get image dimensions:
    gray_width = gray.shape[1]
    gray_height = gray.shape[0]

    focal_value = (gray_height / 2) / math.tan(math.radians(DFOV_DEGREES / 2))

    # run detector:
    result = cascade.detectMultiScale(gray)

    for x, y, h, w in result:

        dist = KNOWN_ROI_MM * focal_value / h
        dist_in = dist / 25.4

        # update display:
        cv2.rectangle(image, (x, y), (x + w, y + h), (255, 0, 0), 2)
        cv2.putText(image, 'Distance:' + str(round(dist_in)) + ' Inches',
                    (5, 100), cv2.FONT_HERSHEY_SIMPLEX, 1, (255, 255, 255), 2)
        cv2.imshow('face detection', image)

        if cv2.waitKey(1) == ord('q'):

run demo with:



Client-side, asynchronous HTTP methods- TypeScript

...Despite the ubiquitousness of needing to make a POST request from a browser (or, perhaps for this very reason) there seems to be just as many ways, methods, libraries, and standards of implementing http functions in JavaScript as there are people doing said implementing. Between the adoption of the fetch api in browsers and the prevalence and power of Promises in JS, asynchronous http needn't be a hassle!

...happily processing some data in a browser, when suddenly...
you need to complete a portion of this processing elsewhere on some server...:

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Obliterate non-removable MDM profiles enforced by Apple’s Device Enrollment Program

Or, when life gives you apples, use Linux

Seemingly harder to remove with every eye-glazing gist and thread... A mac plagued with an is_mdm_removable=false Mobile Device Management profile: the worst! 🙂

First, boot into recovery mode by rebooting while holding down the Command & R keys.

At this stage, you'll need to connect to the internet briefly to download the recovery OS. This provides a few tools including like disk utility, support, an osx reinstaller- at the top menu, you'll find an option to access a terminal.

Once in there, you'll want to:

Disable SIP:

csrutil disable

Then reboot:

reboot now

While holding down Command + Option + P + R to start afresh with cleared NVRAM.

Reboot once again while holding down the Command & R keys to return to the recovery OS. Reinstall whatever version of OSX it offers- instead of trying to deal with the slippery, network connected DEP plists & binaries contained within the various LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons found in the /System/Library directories directly, we'll let Apple finish with the ConfigurationProfiles first, then sneak in and remove them.

While this stuff is cooking, get yourself a usb stick and a penguin, such as Budgie:

wget -nd
umount /dev/sdc 2>/dev/null || true
sudo dd if=ubuntu-budgie-20.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdc bs=1048576 && sync

Boot up again, this time holding the Option key for the bootloader menu. Once in the live usb system, make sure you can read Apples HFS filesystem:

sudo apt-get install hfsprogs

For me at least, I needed to run a quick fsck to fix up the headers before I could mount the osx filesystem living at /dev/sda2 (sda1 is the efi partition):

sudo fsck.hfsplus /dev/sda2

Now, lets go in there and remove those ConfigurationProfiles:

mkdir badapple
sudo mount -o force /dev/sda2 badapple
cd badapple
sudo rm -rf private/var/db/ConfigurationProfiles/*


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