Programming Problem: Pangram

Feb 15, 2017

Goal: write a method to determine if a string is a pangram.


A pangram is a phrase using all the letters of the alphabet.

  • The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
  • The five boxing wizards jump quickly.
  • Bright vixens jump; dozy fowl quack.


For this problem let the alphabet consist of only letters ignoring case, and let’s assume our input may include punctuation, digits, or spaces.


Give it a try in your programming language of choice, and try to be brief. Test negative case by removing words from the pangram. Below I share my solutions in Swift and C#.

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How to Update Meshes for Skyrim SE

Feb 8, 2017

Goal: scan mesh files (nif) to ensure compatibility with Skyrim Special Edition and update unsupported meshes.

This tutorial is aimed at the beginner using “Blades Hakama” by atomec as an example, and assumes familiarity working with folders and files. I do not cover HDT outfits here.


There are alternative tools available including automated batching.

What’s a mesh? It’s shape data that may be a piece of armor, a wall, a backpack, or a weapon. The files have the extension .nif.

Note: you do not need to scan or update FaceGen nif-files. Let Creation Kit generate new FaceGen data. See “Convert Old Skyrim Mods to SE” for more about FaceGen files.

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Convert Black Sacrament Armor to SE Step-by-Step

Feb 7, 2017

This tutorial example converts “Arise - Chapter 1 - Black Sacrament Armor” by AmethystDeceiver for use with Skyrim Special Edition. The same steps apply to basic mods that only require converting ESP and BSA files. Loose files may be included, and this example contains several.

Remember: For personal use only. Please do not repost converted mods without the author’s consent.

This tutorial shows a complete step-by-step conversion of “Black Sacrament Armor” for use with Skyrim SE. Mods like this that include new meshes (not including FaceGenData) should be scanned to ensure 64-bit compatibility. If a mod includes custom NPCs then Creation Kit will generate the new FaceGenData for you.



For installation of Creation Kit 64-bit, see “Convert Old Skyrim Mods to SE” (article #2).

important notes

  • BSA-file must be spelled exactly like the ESP-file (you may have extra BSA files for textures).
  • BSA archive follows the same folder structure beneath the “Data” folder (meshes, textures, scripts, etc).


Goal: create ESP-file(s) and BSA-file(s) compatible with Skyrim SE.

These steps will work in general for a mod archive containing ESP and BSA files without new animations or NPCs. Review “Convert Old Skyrim Mods to SE” to see what to watch out for when converting a mod in general.

  1. Unpack the zipped archive to an empty folder for inspection.
  2. Use BSAOpt to Unpack the BSA-file to an empty data-folder.
  3. Check files that may need extra tools to update.
  4. Load the ESP-file in Creation Kit and save.
  5. Pack new BSA-file using Archive (included with CK) from your out-folder.
  6. Place all necessary files in your Skyrim Special Edition Data folder.
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2017 January Miles

Feb 1, 2017

  • cycle: 34 miles
  • run: 64 miles



For more bike and hike photos, see my Instagram.

Previous month

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Respect US Constitution

Jan 31, 2017

Let’s set aside our views on specific issues, political opinion, and party affiliation. We all share a common interest in preserving our freedom. Understand that some news publishers may choose to focus on stories their readers want to hear in pursuit of profit. Journalists are fallible. So, look at the evidence and check the sources. We should also consider the analysis and opinion of experts. Some of us want changes in the government, but we must also respect the Constitution making such changes possible and agreeable to the people. Let’s focus on the evidence and expert analysis concerning recent events in the US, in particular the EO on immigration/travel ban and the president’s conflict of interest.

As you recall from your elementary education (or Schoolhouse Rock!), the US government balances the power with three branches: Executive, Judicial, and Congress. Respect for the US Constitution means each branch should respect the others.

Conflict of interest

The US Constitution includes “emoluments” clause to ensure federal officials serve only the interests of the people. Congress may authorize a transaction. By owning business in other countries, the president is in violation. In a press conference, Donald Trump stated management of Trump Organization would be turned over to his son, appoint an ethics officer to review new domestic deals, and any proceeds from foreign dignitaries would be donated to the people. However, none of this satisfies the clause. Trump may profit from foreign interests without congressional oversight.

The Executive Order for the seven-nation immigration ban doesn’t include countries where Trump Organization has business interests. See Who Hasn’t Trump Banned? People From Places Where He’s Done Business - NYTimes


“I don’t see how this in the slightest bit avoids a conflict of interest,” said Frederick J. Tansill, a trust and estates lawyer from Virginia who examined the documents at the request of The New York Times. “First it is revocable at any time, and it is his son and his chief financial officer who are running it.”

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