Ahead, yet Behind

There are another two or three days of class yet and as of 9:00 this morning, I’ve completed all labs for this term. I’m ahead. That’s good.

So what do I do with the extra time on me hands?

Put my feet up and chill?

Help everyone else out?

Or instead tackle the missed projects from last term that I was behind on. Yeah, I should address the missed projects.

Emojis are Hard…


American English speakers, listen up — and, yes, this does tend to be primarily a monolingual American issue, so I’m calling you out. Why? Because languages are more than just twenty-six letters and a few numerals along with words and concepts more complex and expressive than “fuck” with every other utterance.

Sharing a sad tale of fear, isolation, and sorrow and following it with this 🤣 or this 😂 won’t convey the message or meaning that you think it will. Those are “rolling on the floor, laughing” and “tears of joy”.

Unless, of course, you’re a fan of Sadism or perhaps Schadenfreude. Self-schadenfreude? Is that a thing? I’m reminded of a line from Prisoner of Azkaban, “So you’re gonna suffer, but you’re gonna be happy about it.”

If you insist on including a few emojis in your statement, perhaps what you mean to use is this: 😢 or this 😭

And, while I’m at it — because it seems that people still have some difficulty with this new-fangled interwebs-fad and the whole emojis concept — this is the flag of the nation of Liberia: 🇱🇷

While this is the American flag: 🇺🇸

Wow, we really skewed things when we gave Latin/English/Americans an extra 146,859 characters more than the 26 letters in the English alphabet.


And Now for Something Completely Different

Not long ago — in the 32-bit days of MacOS, the OSX days — it had a feature built-in to the Keychain Access tool that would create pronounceable passwords.

They removed it.


So, I came up with a trivial bash-based solution. https://github.com/w1lnx/passphrase

And, as its ReadMe says:

Quick tool to generate meaningful memorable password phrases.

Presently in macOS 10.15.5, the Password Assistant offers only these four options with (examples for reference):

  • Letters & Numbers: BWib0hGLZg0N…
  • Numbers Only: 3311049148…
  • Random: x*B{m6MNH…
  • FIPS-181 Compliant: wehritirby…

Every one of them will generate a password that is either quite difficult for a human to remember, or, paradoxically, trivially-simple for a computer to brute-force. See also: xkcd #936

This is an expeditious interim solution.

Uses the word list that is included with all macOS / OS X versions and randomly selects a word length and uses generally-safe characters to separate them.


Only need to run the passphrase.sh script:


Also, seriously, just read the shell script before you run it. It’s not very long at all and not at all complex — it does contain some rather uncommon bash terms.

But if you’re scratching your head for a password when you create a new account somewhere, rather than rely on the old standards of ‘changeme’, ‘password1’, ‘12345’, or ‘correct horse battery staple’ (or any other amazingly common passwords), just type passphrase.sh and it’ll create and present to you a sufficiently-random password that you can just copy/paste into the account creation and your keyring.