## Two of every set…

My youngest brother and I have birthdays with a difference of 18 months and 14 days. While that’s not a mathematical marvel in any way it’s been interesting in finding pairs of famous people that either share exactly or are close to our birthdays.

The birthday problem asks for the probability that, in a set of n randomly chosen people, at least two will share a birthday. The birthday paradox refers to the counterintuitive fact that only 23 people are needed for that probability to exceed 50%. This isn’t representative of anyone having my exact birthday which is 1 in 365, but also my brothers birthday which is also 1 in 365. Combining those odds (1 in 133,225) and finding a pair of people considered famous or well-known in some way makes the odds out of this world.

Except the odds seem to favor our pairing, and thus the following…

## Still trying to listen to Skype Voicemails…

This is a follow-up and a “get what I’ve done down” to Listening to Skype Voicemail .dat files.

I got back on the “Lets get these 70+ Skype voicemails listened to” bandwagon…

## I Envy You, Alan Rickman

I recently learned about a book of Alan Rickman’s diaries that was published after his death titled “Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman“.

I, like many others, used to have a diary as a child. Mine started around 1995 when I was in 8th grade. I used to write 2-3 times a week in my 4″x6″ 3-ring bound diary, and there always seemed to be pages begging for more of my life to be etched into the pages. My later months when I was 16 found me burning the book and throwing it and the seared pages into a fast-flowing brook in Kennedy, New York. All those memories, committed to pages and easily referenceable now gone like the leaf travelling down the stream.

Alan Rickman, born 1946, started to keep a detailed progress of his day-to-day starting in 1992. He was 46 at the time. I’m 41, with a slap-in-the-face-2-weeks until I’m 42, and I’ve decided to begin to keep a diary as well. I’m not going to go buy journals with intricate designs from shops, no. I’m going to do it my own way.

https://github.com/mjheick/diary is my project, and it’ll be hosted. It’s currently in the infant stages of development, but I do have the database mockup done and I can add to that as frequently as I’d like to until the frontend is done.

I feel I have to do this, in my own way, in the style of how Alan Rickman detailed his life. The fact that he did it from 46 to his final breaths amazes me. My Grandfather did this as well until his last breaths, and then my Grandmother continued it on.

I feel nothing of value can be acquired of my legacy except by the people that stumble across it and find value for themselves in it, and that’s enough of a driver to do something as simple as this.

A quote from Alans diary sits with me:

14 September

11am Three minutes’ silence which we shared with Kiss Me Kate cast.

Supper at home. Watching more coverage. Still trying to understand something. Cannot remove the fact of 4 million starving in Afghanistan not to mention the innocents in Iraq. There is such political naivety in the US that it only takes one image of five Palestinians dancing in the street to obliterate the bigger picture.

Madly Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman

## Listening to Skype Voicemail .dat files

Continued at Still trying to listen to Skype Voicemails…

Like thousands of other users I religiously used Skype to communicate with many friends and coworkers back in the early 2010s. It was a great platform, with the ability to send messages fluently from computer to phone and vice-versa, as well as make long and drawn out video calls. You could purchase a telephone number from anywhere in the world to have a presence in that country (as I did), and with it you gained voicemail. It did everything perfectly except save voicemails in a reusable format.

I’m not the only person that has a need/want to listen to these types of audio. There are forums of people who have their own needs, such as fathers voices and passed family members. The common solutions proposed are “download VLC”, “use Microsoft Word and run a repair”, or use a “DAT player”, all are non-functional or stupid solutions. There is a ton of common use cases for these old files and the technical solutions are far and none between.

Skype voicemails, once listened to, were downloaded from the Skype servers and stored in the users Skype profile as a dat file. Unfortunately, “dat” files are a general file format and have no immediate player that can open and listen to those files.

Time to dig in. Challenge Accepted!

## Liars Dice

Thanks to the Pirates of the Caribbean I’ve been introduced to this game that uses dice and a wager component, with the movie using “years of service” as it was the only thing the pirates aboard the Flying Dutchmen had as currency. As a young 20-something I used to Play 7’s and 11’s, where if you rolled 7, 11, or a pair you’d get to tell someone to drink. A simple game that I don’t want to pass to my youth just yet, and I feel a simple gambling game is better to pass along.

Liars dice is easy: