12/16/15 - Our Christmas Advent Calendar

Our Christmas Advent calendar game is online again. Just click the link and use the arrow keys to explore our Christmas village. The lights come on, and the trees light up as you explore. You can explore on a cell phone or tablet using the touch screen. It is sort of minimal, but sometimes you only have time to enjoy Christmas on the go.

Keywords: christmas, software


05/04/15 - A Computer Programming Joke

A lot of training programs start by asking the students to "Look to your left. Look to your right." and warn them "One of you three is going to fail."

Software is a bit different. The admonition is, "Look to your left. Look to your right. You guys on the ends, you had better fix your code." If you've ever done any image or array processing, this will seem funny to you.

Keywords: software


06/20/12 - Dungeness Spit - Good for Walking

There are two challenges involved in walking the Dungeness Spit.

First, you have to get the tides right. At high tide, all you have to walk on is a narrow strip of sand, rocks and driftwood. This gets tiring after two or three miles, and the lighthouse is about four and a half miles away. That's why we use Tidefinder to figure out the promising tides, during the daytime and under three feet.

Second, even when the tides are low, the going can be very rough when the beach is mainly small stones rather than sand. Usually, the sand is washed out in the winter and builds up through the summer. Some years, the beach stays rocky, but this year the sands have returned, and at low tide, there is usually a sweet strip one can walk on. It's hard work, but it's much easier than it could be.

Things look good this year, so tide and sand permitting we'll be making our way out to the lighthouse this summer.


The sandy beach

Driftwood and stones

Footprints in the soft sand

Keywords: dungeness, dungeness spit, software, summer, tides, winter


03/09/12 - Volvelleteer Updates

We've done a few updates to our volvelle making program Volvelleteer. We've fixed a few bugs and cleaned up the interactions. It also works better with more modern Windows systems. Volvelles are those pairs of rotating cardboard disks, one with little windows in it that show a variety of information as you turn the back disk. Volvelleteer is a tool for making these given a table of text or numbers. If you are curious, check out Volvelleteer or check out our Kaleberg software page to see what other goodies we have lying around.

A volvelle in the making

Keywords: software, art, science, kale


01/23/12 - Some Chemistry Software

We've updated our ancient Period Table of the Elements - five downloads since 2006 - to include a simple chemical equation solver and balancer. If you know what this means, then this post is for you. If you actually might need such a thing, then this post is probably a godsend. So, assuming you are one in a billion, follow the link and take a look at the latest update from Kaleberg Labs.

Keywords: software, science, kale


11/15/11 - Parabolator

We've been tutoring some algebra, and we're up to quadratic equations. That means parabolas. We've thrown together a little program to explore parabolas by manipulating the parameters in the vertex form of the equation. If this means anything to you, download the program and play with it.

Insert a picture here

Keywords: software


05/24/11 - Constructomatic

We've been doing some geometry tutoring, and one thing seems to have led to another so we threw together a little program for doing geometry constructions. You put them together from points, lines and circles, and then you can interact with them. If it sounds intriguing, give it a try.

Keywords: software, science



07/18/10 - New Software From Kaleberg Laboratories - The Kaleberg Concordance Generator

There doesn't seem to be a simple program for the Macintosh which counts how many times each word is used in a text file, so we wrote one. It's the Kaleberg Concordance generator, and one of a number of fine Kaleberg Laboratories software hacks.

Keywords: software, kale


02/11/10 - Sunrise, Sunset

This isn't a software site, but Kaleberg Laboratories does maintain a few little pieces of software. There's our equation solver, Equato, a computer teaching tool, Cardiac, a program for making volvelles, and a number of tide forecasting and tide finding tools. One surprisingly popular program is Sunrise Sunset which simply produces an iCal calendar giving the times of sunrise and sunset. It is just an old basic program rewritten. You type in your latitude and longitude, your time zone and a few other particulars and out scoots an iCal calendar ready to use. Apparently, a fair number of people have some concern with when the sun rises and sets. Now and then we get feedback about the program, usually noting that it is broken. The latest note was from an Australian who reminded us that they do daylight savings time a bit differently in the southern hemisphere, so we've added a Down Under option to account for winter and summer being reversed. It still doesn't support British double war time, but the updated version is now more useful for people on the other half of the planet.

If you have a Mac, you can download the program here.

Keywords: software, science, kale, australia



01/07/09 - Easier Internet Search

Do you tend to do a lot of internet searching, but not using Google? We do. We're always searching for things at Amazon, IMDB, Bookfinder, Wunderground, Ebay and so on. In the old days we had to go to the site, wait for it to load, and then we could enter our search. Nowadays we use Gimme! We hit F3, type in the search site, then our search and hit return. Up comes the search results in our browser. If this sounds useful, you can find out more and download the Macintosh version here.

Keywords: software


01/08/08 - New Software - Sunrise, Sunset and iCal

For the past few years we've been using TideCal to compute good times and tides for hiking the beaches of the North Olympic Peninsula. If you look at the left hand sidebar on this page, you'll see that we use TideCal to predict upcoming hiking tides.

Apparently, a number of people like using iCal, the Macintosh calendar program, but it is sometimes hard to find the calendar you want. TideCal will make a hiker's tidal calendar, while other sites provide calendars with holidays, sporting events, historical birthdays and other such wonders. Now there is an iCal calendar generator for people who just want to know when the sun will rise and set. We call it Sunrise Sunset.

In the traditional of fine Kaleberg Kludges, it requires that you know your latitude and longitude (try getting a map bookmark from Google Maps), your time zone offset, and if you aren't in the US, when daylight saving time starts and ends. We make no warrantees or representations, just software.

Keywords: beaches, software, tides, historical, kale


01/01/08 - The Adventure Trail

The newly opened Adventure Trail runs from Joyce to Lake Crescent, just east of the Lyre River crossing on the road to the Spruce Railroad trailhead. While we tend to be law abiding sorts and follow the rules, we couldn't help comparing this hiking trail sign with some of those End User Licensing Agreements that one finds on packages of computer software.

We have resolved to check out the trail in 2008, though early reports are that it is a good hiking and biking trail.


Click for a better view of the trail boilerplate.

Keywords: software


03/05/06 - Dungeness Spit: It's Spring and the Low Tides Are Back

We were back at the Dungeness Spit recently and we saw something we haven't been seeing much this winter. The beach is back. Low tides are happening during the daylight hours again, and they are real low tides, not the little winter dips.

There are some good tides coming up on March 21st and 22nd, and then from April 1st to April 4th, which is especially nice since that includes the weekend. In fact, the weekends of the 1st, 15th and 29th of April are all good Dungeness Spit hiking days. For more, check out the tide tables or, if you are a Mac user, our Dungeness good tides iCal calendar.

Dungeness Spit at low tide

Keywords: dungeness spit, tides, software, dungeness, winter


The Original Spacewar Article

09/01/05 - The Original Spacewar - The Saga Article

Computer games seem to have been around forever, but back in the 1970s, they were still in the future, at least for most of us. We were big Spacewar fans back in 1972 and 1973, when you had to sneak in at night to use the old PDP-9 at CIPG. Of course, the grand-daddy Spacewar ran on the PDP-1X, and it was in Saga magazine, back in November 1972 that the original article describing the game was published. Nope, it wasn't the CACM that announced the birth of a billion dollar industry, it was a much saavier publication. If you've ever wondered how all those space aliens got into your computer, here is the dirt.

Keywords: science, software


TideCal Software

08/05/05 - TideCal - Tides for iCal

We often like to hike out the lighthouse at Dungeness Spit or take the Cape Alava - Sandy Point hike out near the northwest corner. These hikes take you a long way along the water in the Strait of San Juan de Fuca or along the Pacific, and while they are always wonderful hikes, they are best done when the tide is low and the sun is in the sky. Sometimes we check the tide tables to figure out when to go hiking, but sometimes we forget to check the tide tables, and we don't get to some of our favorite beaches.

Now, Kaleberg Symbionts has a new software solution to this problem. It's a simple program called TideCal for Macintosh users that lets you generate an iCal calendar file with just the tides you want. We want low tides, between noon and 3PM, so we can hike and get back in time for dinner. In general, tides under 3 feet are best, so we've put those tides on our calendar. Maybe we won't take advantage of one particular tide, but now we won't miss out just because we forgot to check the tide tables.

Keywords: software, tides, beaches, cape alava, dungeness, kale


The Cave at Second Beach

07/01/05 - Solstice Tides

Thanks to the solstice, there have been some very low tides out at the West End beaches. This includes our favorite beach, Second Beach. At the south end of the beach there is a small cave that you usually cannot even get to at high tide. At low tide, the entrance is accessible from the beach. We went on a day with a particularly low tide, as you can see on the left, with only 0.8 feet of water. (If you want to plan your own low tide visit, check out our Tide Finder program, or our tide table for La Push).

Aside from being able to explore various caves, the low tide also brought up a lot of starfish. You can see them bunched up near the waterline on a mussel rock. We have never seen so many starfish stacked together like plastic toys. We could also see a lot more anemones, and not just the dull sand covered ones, but lovely blue-green ones, in the shallow tidal water. We only saw one eagle, but we were quite impressed with Second Beach nevertheless.
Seastacks at Second BeachHuge Number of StarfishBlue Anemones

Keywords: tides, second beach, beaches, la push, software, eagle


06/01/05 - Tide Finder for Finding Good Tides

While there are many programs for producing tide tables, there do not seem to be any programs for finding a suitable tide. For example, if you want a low tide during the day for exploring Cape Alava or walking the Dungeness Spit, you have to wade through listings of high and low tides. Tide Finder program is based on FlaterCo's XTide 2.6 package, and provides a Mac OS X friendly user interface for specifying a tide search. You specify a tide reporting station, a range of dates, a desired range of times and the desired tides, high or low. It gives you a hit list, a calendar and a tide graph.

Keywords: software, tides, beaches, science, cape alava, dungeness spit, second beach, dungeness