Blog

This is my blog. Sometimes in these posts I’ll talk about research or art projects I’m involved with, sometimes I’ll just ramble about other stuff which is keeping me up at night. If you’re interested in a certain topic, click on a tag to see just the posts with that tag:

If anything here sparks your interest (or your ire!) then get in touch (twitter, email) or discuss on HN.

NGA Un-tour: The Hidden Gallery

For the last year or so my team has been collaborating with the good folks at BOHO Interactive and the National Gallery of Australia on something which launches tonight—the NGA Un-Tour.

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So this is how it feels when the robots come for your job: what GitHub's Copilot 'AI assistant' means for coders

I wrote a piece for the Conversation about GitHub’s new Copilot AI programming assistant. You can head over there to read it if you like.

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Redacting craiyon prompts with imagemagick

I’ve been messing around with craiyon (formerly DALL-E mini), because who hasn’t been doing that recently.

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Pulling apart Zoom attendance csv dumps in tidy R

My team ran some Zoom training last week and today I needed to figure out who actually attended across all the days, and for how long.

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Scar trees & living typefaces

Yellow box tree on ANU campus. 📸 ANU Photography, 2016

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Teaching the world to Cybernetics

If you’re the sort of person who lurks on people’s LinkedIn accounts, you may have noticed that I’ve recently become the lead of the Experiences Team at the School of Cybernetics. My team’s mission is:

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Running an AI neural style transfer model under Singularity

I’ve recently been given access to a beefy AI server (6x RTX3090s!) which is managed via SingularityCE, whose homepage boldly asks and then forgets to answer the question: “What is SingularityCE?”

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Cybernetic futures explained (maybe)

One of my current projects at the ANU School of Cybernetics is to develop tools & procedures for futuring. This post is an attempt to get my head around how these things fit together (spoiler: they do!).

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Livecoder-in-the-club as a system

Using cybernetic and systems thinking concepts to answer the question: what’s actually going on in a livecoding gig?

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Cutting ruby CI pipeline times with pre-installed bundles

I (and, increasingly many of my colleagues) are using Jekyll to create open (CC-licenced), hackable, acessible course websites & teaching content for our classes. We use a self-hosted GitLab server for all the websites sources, and then build/deploy them with GitLab CI. It works well, it means I don’t have to fight with our LMS to do interesting things, and it means I can open my learning materials to everyone (not just those who are privileged enough to be able to pay the fees to study at the ANU).

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openconnect setup for institutional VPN access

My institution’s IT policies have recently changed and port 22 is now blocked from off-campus. That’s a real pain if you use ssh to push/pull from our on-prem GitLab servers (which I need to do all the time).

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Feedback in livecoding: cui bono?

Pre-reading (and watching) for fortnight 5 of the School of Cybernetics Master’s program

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Moving to the School of Cybernetics

Some job news—I’ve just accepted a position in the new School of Cybernetics in the ANU College of Engineering, Computing and Cybernetics. I’ll finish out my teaching this semester in the School of Computing then I’ll make the move in July. For those not familiar with the ANU org-chart or acronymicon, there are multiple Schools in each College (so I’m moving Schools but staying within the same College).

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LENS'21 final gig 2pm June 6 @ sideway

LENS '21 final gig poster

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ACMC'21 + Synthmoot: Connections announced for August 26-28

Great news on the local computer music conference front: the Australian Institute of Music is hosting the ACMC conference in Sydney/Melbourne/online at the end of August ‘21. I’ll be there—and if you’re a computers-and-music-adjacent artist then you should think about submitting a paper, artist talk or performance as well.

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A short list of Extempore livecoding tricks

Yesterday’s LENS class discussion turned into an AMA of how I do certain things when I’m livecoding in Extempore. As promised, here’s a blog post where I’ve put together all of the things we’ve discussed (with a bit more explanation). If you’re in the LENS ‘21 class this’ll hopefully be a helpful complement to yesterday’s class discussion. If you’re not in the class, then maybe you’ve always been curious about certain things I (over)use in my livecoding sets? This is maybe a bit too niche to go in the general Extempore documentation, but if you’ve got any questions then you can hit me up on Teams (for LENS students) or the Extempore mailing list (everyone else).

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benswift.me analytics/tracking update

I haven’t had any sort of client-side analytics (e.g. Google Analytics) on benswift.me for a long time (since around 2012 I think—several iterations of the site ago). I use an ad-blocker myself, and the whole tracking & analytics thing just strikes me as a bit gross.

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Bulk-add students to MS Teams from a csv file

My institution now uses MS Teams for lots of things, including organising classes & communicating with students. It’s not perfect, but it’s not terrible, and the pros & cons of Teams as a pedagogical platform are best left for another post.

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ANZSRC FoR Codes 2020 edition

The Australian Research Council (well, technically the Australian Bureau of Statistics and their NZ counterparts) have updated the Field of Research codes which Aussie/NZ academics use to classify their work.[^interdisciplinary-complaint]

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Simple pdf papers/reports with markdown, pandoc and bibtex

I’ve long raged against the machine of my institution’s default LaTeX template for dissertations and other reports, which is:

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