rolisz's site

The Expanse

The Expanse poster

I'm a huge sci-fi fan. I love sci-fi TV shows, but in the last couple of years, most of them have been... lacking, to put it gently. But finally, Sy-Fy made a new great show: The Expanse, based on a novel by James S. A. Corey.

The Expanse is a space opera, set two hundred years into the future. Humanity has colonized most of the solar system, but they haven't managed to get any further. Most asteroids have colonies on them, either for mining(Ceres) or for growing food (Ganymede). Mars has broken free of Earth control and the two are in constant political struggle with each other, continue.

Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof

The last time I went to the theater was sometime in elementary school. I think it might have been The Lion King, but I'm not sure. I definitely don't remember anything that happened on stage. I vaguely remember the chairs and some of my classmates.

But about a month ago, my wife told me that the theater from Oradea will be doing The Fiddler on the Roof and that they still have tickets. She was going to have an exam that day, so what better way to relax than to go to the theater?

I have seen the movie twice and I really liked it. continue.

Regular Expressions for Objects

For work I recently needed to do something that is very similar to regexes, but with a twist: it should operate on lists of objects, not only on strings. Luckily, Python came to the rescue with REfO, a library for doing just this.

My usecase was selecting phrases from Part-of-Speech (POS) annotated text. The text was lemmatized and tagged using SpaCy and it resulted in lists of the following form:

s = [['i', 'PRON'], ['look', 'VERB'], ['around', 'ADP'], ['me', 'PRON'],
 ['and', 'CCONJ'], ['see', 'VERB'], ['that', 'ADP'], ['everyone', 'NOUN'],
 ['be', 'VERB'], ['run', 'VERB'], ['around', 'ADV'], ['in', 'ADP'],
 ['a', 'DET'], ['hurry', 'NOUN']]

From these sentences we want to extract human continue.

Real estate cohort analysis

After in the last post we looked how to get the data, now we are going to start analyzing it. The first question we are interested in is how quickly do houses sell. We don't have access to actual contracts, so we will use a proxy to measure this: how long is an ad­ver­tis­ment for a house still displayed. We are going to estimate that this is roughly the time it takes to sell a house.

We will do a cohort analysis, where each cohort will be composed of ads that were shown for the first time on that day and we will track what continue.

Scraping for houses

Having moved back to Romania, I decided I would need a place to live in, ideally to buy. So we started looking online for various places, we went to see a lot of them. Lots of work, especially footwork. But, being the data nerd that I am, I wanted to get smart about it and analyze the market.

For that, I needed data. For data, I turned to scraping. For scraping, I turned to Scrapy. While I did write a scraper 5 years ago, I didn't want to reinvent the wheel yet again, so I turned to Scrapy because it's a well-known, much used scraping framework in continue.

Synology and Docker

After more than a year of using my NAS only to collect dust and the occasional backup, I decided this month to start self hosting various web apps on it. Synology has a visual Docker interface, so I installed that and I started trying to install my first app: Monica, which is a personal re­la­tion­ship manager (I love to track things).

Un­for­tu­nate­ly, modern technology has not yet solved this problem of deploying apps seamlessly. :(

Installing from the Docker registry

Installing Monica from the Docker registry

Installing the Monica Docker container was fairly simple: you search for it, click download, set the en­vi­ron­ment variables in the GUI, carefully copy pasting their names from the doc­u­men­ta­tion, continue.

Man versus nature

Me hiking

Some friends in Oradea are big hikers. They had plans to go to Curcubăta Mare, the highest peak on a 500 km radius, being at 1849m, but they were always foiled by weather. Finally they decided to go last Saturday, because the tem­per­a­ture had risen slightly and the forecast wasn't too cloudy. They invited me to go along, so I joined the group of 5 people.

We went by car to Vârtop, which is a ski resort. On the way there we saw some beautiful winter landscapes. I didn't know that Romania could be so amazing in winter. You definitely don't need to go 1200 kilometers continue.

N.T. Wright in Cluj

NT Wright and his translator

N.T. Wright, one of the world’s leading New Testament scholars and an expert on Pauline theology, was invited by Edictum Dei to hold a conference in Cluj last week. I found out about it the day before, when there were already no more tickets available. But, I persisted, asked around and managed to find some friends who could lend me some, so I went to the first session, out of three.

The first topic was based on his book “The Day the Revolution Be­gan”ti­tle case and in it, the professor explained the meaning and the power of the cross and how today, many people mis­un­der­stand it. continue.

Dell XPS 13 review

While I worked for Google, I had a work Macbook and that was enough for my personal usage as well when I was travelling. But now, I needed a new laptop, so a month ago I splurged on a shiny new toy. Facebook proved itself useful for once: I asked for rec­om­men­da­tions and got a lot from my friends. I wasn’t too impressed by my previous Macbook and Lenovo seemed to have ruined their laptops. But one laptop that caught my eye and quickly convinced me to buy it was the Dell XPS 13. The bigger question was which model to buy: the 2018 one, which continue.

Goals for 2018

Because of my move to Romania, I decided to postpone any big goal setting until I’m finally here. Packing, driving 3000 kilometers, unpacking, dereg­is­ter­ing from Switzer­land and reg­is­ter­ing in Romania all take un­pre­dictable amounts of time, so I just thought about what goals I want and they will be my Martisor’ res­o­lu­tions.

Most of the things will stay similar. For example, my get to 82 kg goal is still there, for a third year in a row. This time it will stick, I promise! But, now that I’m no longer at Google and I no longer have the “all your in­tel­lec­tu­al property belong to us” clause in my continue.