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Random sequence generator with some specifications

Let's say I have things 1, 2, 3 and 4. I want a sequence of 20 numbers which are either 1, 2, 3 or 4. I want to use all of these numbers an equal number of times, and once that number has exhausted its chances I want it to stop being used in the sequence. Is there a free program, or an easy way to do this in Excel / Google Spreadsheet?
posted by codacorolla on Feb 9, 2014 - 6 answers

What was academia like before different IT revolutions?

I've been working on putting together an annotated bibliography for my adviser over the past few days. I'm struck by how much work it is in terms of finding all of the articles, saving them, and then tracking backwards and forwards through citations to find related material. However as I've been doing this (and, in fact, each time I do any sort of review of the literature) I wonder what life was like before you had giant relational databases of material, not even counting things like writing up the report on a type writer. So, my question: if you've been in academia for a while, then what was life like before word processors / large relational databases of literature / instant collaboration and communication through email? And what sort of changes have you seen with the job as technology has advanced?
posted by codacorolla on May 24, 2013 - 20 answers

Is this a spambot, or is my memory bad?

Earlier today I got a message from an address and name I didn't recognize with no text and "Hiii@" as the subject. 'This is clearly spam' I thought, and marked it as such. About 15 minutes later I get a gchat invitation from the same person. I shrugged, and decided to answer it. The conversation seemed real enough, and there was no enticement to do anything like click on a link or buy some scammy product. I'm racking my brain and still can't place the name. Is this a spam bot, or a real person? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 26, 2013 - 7 answers

Gamemaker Resources

I'm working with a group of kids to help them learn the very basics of GameMaker. I'm looking for libraries of sprites, backgrounds, and sounds to help them in the creation process. Are there ready-made libraries for educators out there. If I have to cobble it together on my own, what are good places to get the basics for making simple 2-dimensional games? Also: are there any good premade game templates (shooter, platformer, puzzle games) that we can use to get their ideas down? We're more interested in the story-telling process of game creation, and not so much the learning to program part. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Mar 25, 2013 - 3 answers

Help me not poison myself

I just made this recipe. It's been cooking for about 2 hours now. I went back on the site to check and see what the comments were like out of curiosity, and saw that the first comment directly recommended against using frozen chicken breast, as that can give bacteria the opportunity to build up as the crock-pot warms to temperature. I checked a few other places and they seem to agree that frozen meat in a crock-pot is a bad idea. I've already committed the ingredients to this meal, and I'd prefer not to waste them. Is there anything I can do to make this safe to eat?
posted by codacorolla on Mar 3, 2013 - 17 answers

It had a jacket that said "do not pet"

As I was walking through the student union today (that's a sort of food court / general conference room area in the center of campus) I came across a K-9 unit with a dog that was sniffing people as they walked past. Down the hall there were three other officers watching. Is this just trolling to catch people with drugs, or is it likely that they were trying to find something or someone in particular?
posted by codacorolla on Dec 10, 2012 - 12 answers

Perhaps this Santa is too Secret

Secret Santa gift for a girl that I don't know too well. I can't provide too much information, but she's 21, college educated, has a fairly bubbly personality, and likes the Ravens. What are some good generic gifts for someone in this age range with this extremely vague set of descriptors? I'm trying to avoid gift cards. Price range is $20 to $30 dollars. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Oct 30, 2012 - 25 answers

Actually PHP, your mom is an unexpected T_ELSE

PHP / Wordpress filter: I need to hide some aspects of my site behind if ( is_user_logged_in() ) functions, but being a newbie to PHP I don't think I'm getting the syntax right. Specific code is beneath the jump. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Aug 31, 2012 - 4 answers

She's full of seeeeeecrets

I've recently been watching Twin Peaks again, and I've been wondering... to people who actually watched it air in its original run, what was it like seeing something like this on TV? Did you have watching parties that I've heard so much about? Was the reveal of the killer and the twists and turns along the way surprising? Did you watch until the end of the second season, and were you disappointed when it got the plug pulled on it? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Aug 3, 2012 - 66 answers

Buying a good theme

I'm currently shopping for pay themes for a Wordpress blog. A lot of theme websites have previews for their themes, but are rather limited in their implementation. Are there good review/forum sites for themes that aren't SEO backwash, or is there an effective search method to find sites that use a particular theme? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jul 12, 2012 - 8 answers

Wordpress Theme Work

I'm new to PHP and Wordpress development, but have experience working with HTML, CSS, Javascript, and XML. I'm currently building a Wordpress theme for a project and I'm feeling a little out of my depth. What is a good starting point for doing theme work? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jul 3, 2012 - 6 answers

Good idea? Huge mistake?

I've been accepted to a PHD program at the University of Maryland's iSchool, and will likely be researching social media and social gaming for my dissertation. I'm excited, love the program, and can't wait to start publishing work as part of the academic community, however recent discussion on Metafilter, and a smaller living stipend than I expected, have me second guessing what I thought was a great opportunity. Details inside... [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 6, 2012 - 13 answers

ISO: Reasonably priced, well fitting suit

I have to attend a wedding at the end of April. Upon taking my suit out of storage at my parent's house, and finding a hole eaten through the shoulder, I no longer have a suit. I'm looking at this suit from Indochino, but was curious if there'd be anything at cost or cheaper in the DC area, and any general advice when ordering from Indochino. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Mar 27, 2012 - 24 answers

Don't Be Evil, but do be annoying

Where did Google's advanced search feature disappear to this time, and why do they keep moving it around? Is there any way I can edit my settings so that it's always in a nice visible place? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Feb 27, 2012 - 5 answers

Facebook Advertising

I've volunteered to set up and run the Facebook page for a student social organization. I was looking for suggestions on how to best manage a Facebook presence. The page would mainly be focused in advertising events that the group will be hosting, as well as recruiting new members.
posted by codacorolla on Jan 11, 2012 - 3 answers

Broken Keurig

I have a Keurig B31. I love it, but it's already not working right after just a week of use. The problem comes when I put water into the resevoir, open up the head to put in a cup, close the head (which should then allow me to brew) but instead leads back to a cycle where it keeps asking me to add water, then open the head. When it's finally ready to brew it makes about half of what it should, and it also seems like there's water building up in the reservoir (which, according to the guide, shouldn't happen as each brew should empty whatever is in the reservoir). Is there anything I can do to reset the machine or otherwise make it work correctly? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jan 3, 2012 - 12 answers

Small but good

I have fifty dollars to spend on Amazon, and I'm looking for ideas beyond books, ebooks, music, or movies. If you had had to pick 3-5 $10 to $15 dollar items that would make your life slightly better in some way, what would you pick?
posted by codacorolla on Dec 25, 2011 - 34 answers

Games for Learning

I'm interested in how effective edutainment (specifically using games for learning) is, and especially interested in critical articles or books about edutainment as an industry. Much of the stuff that I read is very positive about educational gaming, but I have a gut feeling that there has to be a negative perspective as well. Can anyone recommend resources that deal with this?
posted by codacorolla on Dec 7, 2011 - 5 answers

Let's get corny

I'm participating in a Thanksgiving potluck this weekend. I've been assigned a corn based dish - possibly a casserole of some sort. I'm not a good cook, but can manage simple things. Does anyone have any favorite corn based recipes that are more involved than heating up frozen or canned veggies? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Nov 16, 2011 - 31 answers

I somehow doubt that I've won a thousand .dollar.Visa.Giftcard!

Recently spam mail from (what appears to be) the same source keeps getting through my Gmail account. I've never had a problem with this in the past, and the current crop all seems to be roughly formatted in the same way. I've been marking everything I notice as it comes through, but is there anything else I can do? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Nov 3, 2011 - 8 answers

Is this a big deal?

I replaced my graphics card and power supply and nothing blew up! Hurray! I mistakenly loosened one of the screws on the fan to my heat-sink and now there's a distinct rattling coming from it. Boo! How big of a deal is this, and what's the best way to fix it? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Oct 3, 2011 - 11 answers

Getting back up to date

About a year and a half ago my graphics card crapped out. I'd like to replace it at a level where I can play modern games again, but not necessarily at the highest graphics setting. I've never replaced a graphics card before, so I'm not sure what I'm looking for in terms of purchasing and installation. Specs for my system inside... [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Sep 2, 2011 - 15 answers

It was a very neat book.

When I was a kid one of my favorite books was a manual on how to draw spooky Halloween scenes. It was printed in orange and black, and mostly everything was in silhouette. Can you help me find it? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jul 17, 2011 - 4 answers

It didn't even seem that loud at the time!

I went to a concert over the weekend, and probably stood too close to a speaker. I've had a light ringing in my right ear for around a day now, and have hadn't really experience anything like this before. I have no history of hearing loss, and have always tested well on hearing tests for various physicals/jobs. Sound seems slightly muffled on that side. Should I see a doctor, wait it out, or am I overreacting? I have insurance, but it's not very good. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jun 5, 2011 - 20 answers

I'm trying to figure out who did it

I'm looking for "manor house" mystery novels, that take place in a single location (including a manor house, but variety would be appreciated), and involve tracking down a killer. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on May 15, 2011 - 36 answers

Learning on the cheap

I have a summer without a full-time job lined up, live near a world-class college campus, and wouldn't mind sitting in on classes. I don't have enough money to actually enroll for non-credit, so I was wondering: what's the general policy is on sitting in on large lecture classes? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 27, 2011 - 14 answers

How do I get a good apartment at the right time?

I'm in College Park, MD for graduate school. My lease ends in August, and I feel like it's time to start looking for a place. I want to stay within a few minutes of campus (lived in Hyattsville before, and really liked that) but also want to try to get a place between $500 to $700 before utilities and cable. I've mostly just known people for the past few places I've lived, so I'm looking for some advice on when to start seriously looking, where to look, and other advice. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 19, 2011 - 6 answers

The Shining

I was recently watching The Shining and I was struck by what an amazing movie it is. I'm not very well versed in film theory, so I was wondering if someone who knows film can tell me, from a critical perspective, what makes it such a great movie. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 10, 2011 - 39 answers

Keeping the noise out.

Sometimes I need to get to sleep well before the 1 AM noise cutoff for the shared house I live in. SleepPhones seem to come up in a lot of Ask threads about this sort of thing. Has anyone tried them, and are there cheaper alternatives for comfortable, sleepable headphones? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Mar 8, 2011 - 5 answers

Which box to choose?

I've decided that I want to get an Internet TV box of some sort. I'd like to stay under 150 dollars, and would probably be using it to watch Netflix Instant mainly, but would be interested in other features as well. What can you tell me about the different models on the market, and which would be the best value?
posted by codacorolla on Feb 17, 2011 - 31 answers

It seems so desperate!

I've recently (sadly, I might say) started watching Storage Wars on A & E. Outside of the slightly gameshow aspect of the program, can anyone tell me anything about buying and flipping defaulted storage units? It seems fascinating beyond the trashy staged feel of the TV show.
posted by codacorolla on Jan 6, 2011 - 15 answers

Survey question

I would like to price out a survey for an academic paper. Is it possible to see how many people list a certain interest or profession on facebook without paying for anything up front? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Dec 7, 2010 - 4 answers

Help me beanplate a little.

Is it a reasonable reading of the film version of Fight Club to say that Marla Singer is another projection of the narrator's neurosis, and that she doesn't exist? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Nov 8, 2010 - 11 answers

Who is that mysterious clam?

At a bar I like to go to in Baltimore (The Pickled Parrot in Canton) there is an old National Bohemia beer sign above the bar. It features the Natty Boh guy, of course, and then an anthropomorphic clam, a guy who looks like a quaker (maybe a pilgrim), a turtle, and a pelican in a sailor's hat. Who are these characters? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Oct 16, 2010 - 9 answers

Looking for a good date location in Bethesda, MD

What's a good date restaurant in Bethesda, MD for a Friday night? Specific details inside. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Sep 29, 2010 - 15 answers

My computer is (sort of) dead

Could defragging have killed my video card hardware? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Aug 26, 2010 - 8 answers

Tumbling all over the place.

What are your favorite design / image / art tumblrs? I'd like to start building a collection of feeds to get cool images for inspiration. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Aug 12, 2010 - 9 answers

I really can't afford another 2 months rent...

I submitted a form to the property management outfit of my apartment in April to move out. Come July, my expected move-out month, they say they can't find the form. The woman I spoke to about this said that they'll see what they can see and try to work with me, but if they end up saying I have to stay for another 2 months (60 days is required notice period) what are my options? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jul 20, 2010 - 15 answers

I'm thinking fifty dollars, but...

I'm doing some simple computer work for pay, but unsure of what to charge. The work involves resizing some digital images, compiling a short word document to describe them, burning them onto a few CDs, which will then be submitted for a grant. I haven't run any figures by the person I'm doing the work for yet. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jul 13, 2010 - 9 answers

Maybe it's easier to just type the date four times?

I have a document that has 4 identical postcard sized signs that display a constantly changing date. I'd like to put a macro button in (either Word or Publisher) that will open up a dialog box and allow me to type in the date, and have it auto-populate into the appropriate 4 places. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jun 26, 2010 - 5 answers

Red + White = Meh

I'm currently using this USB capture device. The sound (regardless of the source, it seems) is always tinny and weak... maybe 1/3 the volume it should be. Would putting a preamp in between the source and the card improve things? Am I resigned to mixing sound in after the fact? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jun 18, 2010 - 4 answers

How did you get involved in electrical hobby work?

I’m coming from a non-technical background, and would like to learn more about circuit design and electrical engineering on a hobby based level. How did you get involved, and what resources are good for beginners? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jun 10, 2010 - 13 answers

Most of the previous questions were about getting rid of distortion in video

People have/make distortion pedals for sound. Do people also make distortion pedals for video? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jun 3, 2010 - 9 answers

I'm not going to mock videos from the 90s in a blog... honest.

I want to record from a VCR. What is the best Video Capture card for a PC? Specifications inside. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on May 25, 2010 - 4 answers

It's a pretty good song!

I'm trying to identify a song which has the main lyric of "chocolate kisses". Unsure of pretty much any other detail. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on May 9, 2010 - 5 answers

It has to give me a pony ride too!

I'm looking for a completely minimal blog/cms/wordpress skin. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 30, 2010 - 15 answers

Looking for graphic adult content... wait, let me rephrase that

What are your top five items for an adult graphic novel collection in a public library? Our system is looking at the possibility of creating a new section for adult graphic novels (right now we have the majority of them in YA, and the remainder interfiled through non-fic), and I was asked my opinion on new titles that we could buy to fill out the ranks. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 14, 2010 - 56 answers

"Tethering" is a word that doesn't fare well being repeated over and over.

What is the best current option for tethering a cell phone to a computer? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 7, 2010 - 17 answers

2 years and tens of thousands of dollars

I've been recommended for admission to the graduate program I applied for!! Just a few questions... [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Mar 25, 2010 - 12 answers

The ultimate nerd dream?

I have a ruleset for a board game and am working on prototyping it. I don't necessarily want to make money off of it, and I'm mostly doing it for fun. One possible option is to put up the ruleset online while copyrighting the basic idea - is this a good idea? [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Feb 17, 2010 - 8 answers

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