Pranking Mac Salespeople (and wasting your time)

This is really stupid, but also a good excuse to get to know your terminal.

Most computer stores sell Macs these days. Most salespeople are good at their pitches and bad at computers. Most stores have their Macs running so you can try them out, tempting you to buy one. All Macs have python and netcat installed. I wonder if that can be hoisted into a good old geeky prank?
Spoiler: It can. That is exactly what this post is about. It is also a major waste of time for everyone involved. Please read on. If you’re more into visuals, here’s a youtube clip of me wasting time.

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Why do your assignments when you can make python do them for you?

I have gotten into writing my own tools, whenever I realize it’s an option.

I will try to document my process of doing this, starting with one of my favourite projects. It’s not pretty, but it did the job for me.

Anyone who has taken a good course on linear algebra knows row operations. They’re fun, they’re easy to program and you can solve systems of equations with them. It’s all great, up until the point where you have to write them.

If you’re an unlucky fellow, you will do this by hand, and no amount of petting the wildebeest will help you. If you’re a, until now, little less unlucky fellow, you will do this with \LaTeX. It’s cumbersome and boring and I grew tired of it within 10 minutes. I guess it’s time for a tool, huh?
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