My favourite locations on the Mandelbrot set fractal

Posted by tomachi on September 15th, 2019 filed in Visuals

It's pretty cool that each of these images is defined (minus colour palettes), with just four floating point values:

  • -0.777120613150274923773
  • -0.777120273471042550002
  • 0.126857111509958518545
  • 0.126857366062765260933

You can make similar ones at the link below...

Firey pattern

Firey pattern

Top Spikey Spires

Top Spikey Spires

Smooth Deep Brot

Smooth Deep Brot

Red Yellow Blue

Red Yellow Blue

Generated by Tom Atkinson using software:

Firey pattern:

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<image_size width='1600' height='900'/>
<palette colorType='RGB'>
<divisionPoint position='0' color='0;0;0'/>
<divisionPoint position='0.17' color='1;0;0'/>
<divisionPoint position='0.83' color='1;1;0'/>
<divisionPoint position='1' color='1;1;1'/>
<palette_mapping length='1000' offset='0'/>
<max_iterations value='50000'/>


Smooth Deep Brot:

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<image_size width='1600' height='900'/>
<palette colorType='RGB'>
<divisionPoint position='0' color='0;0;0'/>
<divisionPoint position='0.2' color='1;0;0'/>
<divisionPoint position='0.4' color='1;1;0'/>
<divisionPoint position='0.5' color='1;1;1'/>
<divisionPoint position='0.6' color='1;1;0'/>
<divisionPoint position='0.8' color='1;0;0'/>
<divisionPoint position='1' color='0;0;0'/>
<palette_mapping length='1000' offset='0'/>
<max_iterations value='10000'/>

Red Yellow Blue

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<image_size width='1600' height='900'/>
<palette colorType='RGB'>
<divisionPoint position='0' color='0;0;0'/>
<divisionPoint position='0.2947882736156352' color='1;0;0'/>
<divisionPoint position='0.3583061889250814' color='1;1;0'/>
<divisionPoint position='0.6612377850162866' color='0;0;1'/>
<divisionPoint position='1' color='0;0;0'/>
<palette_mapping length='1000' offset='800'/>
<max_iterations value='50000'/>


Finder Empty Bin Fail: The Infinite Hardlinks Permobug

Posted by tomachi on September 15th, 2019 filed in Mac, Rants

Recently, a situation has developed on my computer involving trash items that I can never delete. It's a permanent condition, hence why I made this elaborate video and blog about it. In the process I discovered a bug in Automator, namely that it can not help to automate emptying the trash! That is a fairly bad look considering these are apps at the core of the macOS: Finder and Automator.

A million folders that will not die now live forever in my Trashcan... 🥶

357 folders inside folders in my Trash!

So I wrote a script that would rsync (backup) an enormous folder with images (~6 GB of renders for AminoSee DNA Viewer) on my disk to another location on my disk (same disk, the internal PCIe storage on my MacBook).

I used the rsync with hard links, this would create two exact copies of the 6 GB folder:

rsync --archive --verbose --stats --hard-links /Users/tom/AminoSee_webroot/output/ /Users/tom/Dropbox/Sites/

I would then go and delete half the images from the website copy (so as not to upload them), but keep the full archive to make network syncs faster. Prior to this I was continuously deleting around 3 GB of images and then re-syncing them across a network, so to be more efficient, and cut back on network and disk thrashing, I keep a full copy local, and run the "sync and delete" locally with hard links.

This also cuts down on my laptop disk thrashing: I do still occasionally sync and blow away the very same 3 GB of images every few days, but to re-create is very fast if I am using this.

Recursive Folders Inside Folders

Prior to getting this setup perfect I made a botch by point rsync and telling it to copy the parent into the child infinitely. Finder can't clear it, and Automator can't automator the mouse clicks:



Clipboard Not Working on macOS 10.14

Posted by tomachi on September 4th, 2019 filed in Mac

So I tried to used RightQR for the first time since "upgrading" to macOS 10.14 after holding out for so long. The clipboard does not work. This is a mission critical failure as there is no other method to extract the scan data:

clipboard failure macos 10.14

After a reboot I will post a bug at bug at if it still isn't going. Hopefully my computer will behave.

I also do not like some changes to the way the keyboard input works. Especially regarding the combo: Command-option-control-Equals and Command-option with -=  (magnifier). It interferes with the app "Spectacle" which I use to organise my windows. Dark mode is freaking awesome though. And I find that Finder and Activity Monitor crash much more on Mojave, with more reboots and logout/ins.

It's no biggy but I there is a subtle difference depending on the exact order the keys go down on the board and I find it annoying to think to do it the right way (all at once fast not progressively).

PS bring back the 3.5mm" jack.

Bug report:

After copying to clipboard scan data from Right QR ( Version 1.2 (1.2) Copyright © 2012-2013 Ripe Apps Inc. All rights reserved. Last modified: 1 August 2017 at 10:09 PM ) I am unable to paste.

Pasting causes no text to appear.

I can see successful copy pastings of text content in CopyClip (v 1.9.2 2019) so I know other apps can still copy paste text! Perhaps CopyClip is interfering, as I do not recall running it under 10.13 (I may have done but that app mod date is 7/7/2019 which I reckon was after I installed Mojave). Potentially I should troubleshoot out that variable but I do not feel this is something I should have to do, and the clipboard is super important so i don't wantApple ruining the OS in coming releases, something I feel is highly likely with the announcement of dropping support for x86 32 bit binaries (why?).


Windows version of my cross-platform DNA Viewer app AminoSee Finally Working

Posted by tomachi on August 24th, 2019 filed in Science

Windows version of AminoSee DNA Viewer Finally Working

Available now on macOS, Linux, and now Windows, the beta version of AminoSee DNA Viewer. Shown is version 1.25.4. Experimental science software. Download Tested on Windows 7 32-bit in Virtualbox, macOS 10.14 and Linux Ubuntu.

Official Site:

Spare a thought for those poor billionaires in China

Posted by tomachi on August 15th, 2019 filed in Business, News, Politics

2 weeks ago this article appeared in news website Coin Jazeera Extract taken from CoinJazeera article..: (not 100% sure of the accuracy of this writing but if true, is amazing! The trouble is I don't think Warren Buffet would talk like that - see full article where he reckons big fake tits are a better investment - and the title is technically wrong as China are seeking the extradition from USA of Justin Sun; not extraditing him to somewhere, bad use of English)

CoinJazeera Article

The Chinese Communist party, known for imprisoning, torturing, and killing its wealthy citizens who screw up or flaunt their wealth, was eager to imprison the arrogant Mr. Sun and make him a statistic. In 2011 there were 115 billionaires in China. Since then, 72 have mysteriously died, with 15 murders, 17 suicides, 7 accidental deaths, 19 from illness, and another 14 executed for being ugly. Our reporters wondered if the fact that Justin Sun is still alive is because he’s not actually a billionaire or if he is just too good looking.

“Man of the Year” GQ China 2017
Our reporters have learned that several people connected to Justin Sun and TRON have disappeared or died under suspicious circumstances over the past year. Star Xu, CEO of the OKcoin exchange, which listed TRON, used to be all over the International Crypto circuit, until one day, no one ever saw or heard from him again. Rumor has it that he was sentenced to a lifetime of manual labor on a clickfarm farming gold in World of WarCraft for Brendan Blumer’s new sweatshop. Stanford professor and founder of Blockchain VC firm Dahua Capital, Shoucheng Zhang, was an investor in TRON, but died in a suspicious “suicide” last year, falling off a parking lot structure, most likely for refusing to return to China and kiss the tip of the penis of the Communist party. Could this be the fate of Justin Sun? 

Never forget - Tiananmen Square!

10 Reasons a Tactile Home Button is a Must

Posted by tomachi on June 27th, 2019 filed in Smart phones, Technology

picture of upside down mobile phone

upside down phone - how can you tell? what if your life depended on it?

  1. Can wake the phone with one hand and one finger - even wearing gloves!
  2. Tap the screen to wake? Then: phone keeps waking up in your pocket!
  3. Ability to answer the incoming call even if your screen is cracked
  4. Phone is still useful if you are blind or disabled
  5. So you don't have to keep flipping the phone around
    1. when you pull out of your pocket upside down
  6. So you don't accidentally press it twice
    1. Sometimes your finger taps but misses a touch button, and it requires a second tap attempt. This ambiguity is not possible with hardware, and in software even the slightest delay could potentially perceived as a missed tap, causing the speedy user to tap again.
    2. Within about 40ms is the maximum delay before the brain registers (about 2 clicks during alpha brain state). Probably these decisions are made based on the old industry standard 700ms for a "frozen app" perception upon a virtual button click, but that is an old standard, and this is a high performance mission critical button.
  7. Ability to rapidly switch out of phone app to perform another task during phone-call or full-screen
    1. How do you get to home when in fullscreen mode?
  8. Reduced accidental taps when typing quickly
    1. It is so distracting when typing extremely fast to suddenly be shown the home screen!
  9. Some Android versions you can get a task manager by holding the home button down.
  10. Phantom touch screen blindness. I've missed calls due to this on slow phones.
  11. Easy to tell  visually if the phone is the right way up when screen is off.
    1. Look at this image, is the phone the right way up? You sure about that?
    2. What if your life depending on it? What if you needed to make an urgent call in a stressful environment? Or if you hand had been chopped off? I can answer my phone with my teeth if I wish.
  12. Snooze / Wake / Dismiss alarm with home
  13. Screen must be active to work. Capacitive touch requires charge. They must use more power!
  14. A place to rest your finger that won't immediate do something unwanted!

no home button on samsung galaxy

That's all for now. Here is a video of  a Nexus 4 sliding off a completely flat surface!



Ask yourself - are any of these downsides user centric? Or Is this list more of interest to manufacturers:

  • Mechanical breakages and reliability
  • Screen real estate
  • Motherboard space
  • Waterproofing
  • Requires more force to activate (this can be a benefit!)

Most people would like a reliable phone, but even for those who shop purely based on ruggedness and reliability, information on the subject is sparse, with no standards to measure reliability of buttons. A standard does exist for waterproofing.

Further Reading