## April 30, 2004

Ever had a goal you aspired to achieve, only to have it shattered?

I am as a boat with out a rudder in strange seas,
A sailor with out a familair star to guide him home,
to safety, love, and warmth.

I am adrift with out aim or purpose.

Alien feelings crashes over the bow,
slicking the planks, drenching me
in coldness and despair.

Lethargy haunts my steps.

the sun has darkened,
the moon obscured,
the world has fallen into darkness...

*sigh*

For all the pain it brings, I can not help but fall for another.

## April 28, 2004

Got my phy1901 and ma1001 assignments back. 12/15 nand 28/30 respectively. Nothing great. Ticked off about physics, silly mistakes :(

Nothing of great import happened lately, so I'll keep the spam to a minimum.

Cheers,
Steve

## April 26, 2004

YAY! Due to my frequent ranting and spamming using blogger, I am now a beta tester for gmail!! :D

I finnished pandora's star a few days back, now reading Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan.

As promised, here is a quick review of pandora's star:

Characters
True to his earlier work, Peter F Hamilton has again created a large selection of characters representing almost every cross section of the Commonwealth, the universe he has created. Characters are deep as oceans, and their development is often surprising, and is more of a roller coaster ride, as you are contantly re-evaluating your personal opinion of each character due to new information and development. My personal favourites would have to be Ozzie and SI.

Story
What else can you expect from Hamilton but a great story? Plenty of twists, half truths, hidden meanings, mystries to keep you hooked, all of this tied together by a very colourful and solid setting. The extrapolations of effects of living for ever, FTL, human expansion in to space, and evolution of alien species, and a dash of mysticism create a story that has its roots deep in sci-fi, yet reaches high fantasy.

Summary
If you like sci-fi/fantasy, you have to read Pandora's Star. Its a ride that will carry you far into the future and across space, into a world that could very well come true one day for our children, a world so details you can almost reach out and touch it. Along the way, you will come across romance, courage, greed, the full spectrum of human emotions expressed in suituations beyond our times and yet familar to us in every day living. And if you finnish it before the second book is out, read Night's Dawn, and see how far the worm hole goes.

Cheers,
Steve

## April 24, 2004

Project update: A small logic bug in sky class has been fixed. Corals are now dying en-mass, Victor, fix it ASAP :-) Source has been uploaded.

Tim, if you are reading this, finnish what you have to the point it compiles, and send it over by email.

Cheers,
Steve

Project update: Organism interface is now an abstract class. Tim, finnish what you are doing, and get it to compile, and I'll integrated it into the project. Victor, look into your bleaching equation, I want those corals to live for more than 10 years. Additionally, continue to ask ocean for nutrients ( sim.getOcean().getNutrients()), that will reduce the biomass from the plankton.

Source has been uploaded. Line count:
root@Geofront::~>wc -l /share/tmp/*
230 /share/tmp/Coral.java
17 /share/tmp/Environment.java
203 /share/tmp/GridDisplay.java
192 /share/tmp/GridPanel.java
428 /share/tmp/Ocean.java
141 /share/tmp/Organism.java
74 /share/tmp/Plankton.java
351 /share/tmp/Simulation.java
180 /share/tmp/Sky.java
80 /share/tmp/Starfish.java
53 /share/tmp/TimerListener.java
1949 total
root@Geofront::~>

Thats it for now, have a nice long weekend!

Cheers,
Steve

## April 22, 2004

Nothing much happened today. Study for math, and then spent a lot of time reading ctrl-alt-del comics. Its one of the rare few comics I enjoy :P

Tim/Victor, no code updates. Also, please do not modify any of the interfaces, or any of the code I have written. If you need something done, let me know.

Math quizz tomorrow, wish me luck!

Cheer,
Steve

## April 20, 2004

Just realized there was another glaring omission from the functionalities of the Ocean class. I should have implemented it at the start, but got carried away with the spread() method. Oh well, the code as updated again today, but only in the Ocean class, so Tim/Victor, no need to change any of your own code.

Now, to some of the otherstuff I had, and subsequently lost:

A storm is coming
A poem I wrote after I was inspired by a great shot my friend robbie_the_seal took.

New physics lecturer
Our lecturer for mechanics, Dr Lewis wasn't there when I rocked up for my lecture, and I wasn't the only one who then took around alarmingly, and started to back out of the room :-P I would love to name the new lecturer, but I can't even pronouce her name, let alone spell it. She is from India/Sri-Lanka, so if my friend Ruwantha Wediikejsdflaslshfljksd's name is anything to go buy, its a mouth full.

Pandora's Star
I am no longer with out a book! Pandora's Star is thus far another fine example of sci-fi as it should be. Coming from the author of Night's Dawn, Peter F Hamilton, I expected no less. I'll put up my opinion (and comparison to Night's Dawn) when I have finnished it :-)

Submissions Senate Select Committee on FTA closes
Today is also the 20th of April, the dead line for submissions to the Senate Select Committee on FTA. I sincerely hope most of you have submitted your opinions on the matter (especiall where copyright and IP laws are concerned), so we can at least try to preserve the freedom we enjoy as Australians.

Cheers and good health.
Steve
Damn it, wrote a whole new entry and lost it. *sulks* Until I can be bothered, the new code is up.

Bah!

## April 19, 2004

Well, looks like my ankle wasn't so bad after all. Managed to limp to uni, and after a few hours, developed a gait that took the pressure off it. I needed to turn my ankle ~20 degrees west on the down stride, which kinda made me look retarded... Just as well table tennis doesn't start again until next Monday :-)

Any who, I fell for one of the most common mistake in programming: seeing the trees not the forest (now if the damn trees would MOVE, then I can see the forest). Started doing this very clever vector class for handling ocean currents, then realized all I needed to do really was employ the branch of mathematics I dislike the most: statistics. Haven't managed to actually take ocean currents into account yet, but the ocean.SpreadSeed() function works.

Here are some screen shots of it in action:

[What it looks like after the first breeding period]

[Mid way through the simulation, 3rd breeding period]

[Almost at the end, 5th breeding period.]

I stop it there and then because it was getting out of hand. Ideally the number of coral are kept in check by the starfish, but since that has not yet been fully implmented, the problem of expoential rise in calculations is experienced. This is somewhat headed off by restricting the reproductive age of coral to under 1000 days for testing purposes. This might be a problem, although the population over all should be a constant once the simulation is properly balanced.

To Victor/Team, sorry, but the Organism interface has been changed again. Its not much, so what ever algorithms you might have came up with should still work 100%. Please take note and integrate, or send me what you have, and I'll do it.

Also implemented the Plankton class to provide extra food. Please make sure corals get energy from sunlight, ocean, and plankton. Ocean currents will be implemented ASAP.

The code has grown somewhat. Below is the class usage diagram and the current line counts:
steve@Geofront::~>wc -l /share/tmp/*
183 /share/tmp/Coral.java
17 /share/tmp/Environment.java
201 /share/tmp/GridDisplay.java
208 /share/tmp/GridPanel.java
348 /share/tmp/Ocean.java
57 /share/tmp/Organism.java
124 /share/tmp/Plankton.java
345 /share/tmp/Simulation.java
151 /share/tmp/Sky.java
165 /share/tmp/Starfish.java
46 /share/tmp/TimerListener.java
1845 total
steve@Geofront::~>

No physics lab tommorow, I finnish at 10am!! W00ties :-)

Cheers,
Steve

## April 18, 2004

I can't help it! I was just looking through the source, and noticed a few things I can make better, and here we have, a
new source update, with general UI improvements and optimisations.

Promise this is the last update for tonight... :-D

Cheers,
Steve
Yay! Victor made a huge effort, and got his Sky class finnished tonight. It has been incorporated in to the project source.

Well done mate :-)

We are ever so close now. A few more classes, and finding the proper co-efficients, and we should pass this with a HD.

Numbers and screen shots:
steve@Geofront::/share/tmp>wc -l *
108 Coral.java
17 Environment.java
184 GridDisplay.java
208 GridPanel.java
265 Ocean.java
34 Organism.java
323 Simulation.java
151 Sky.java
104 Starfish.java
43 TimerListener.java
1437 total
steve@Geofront::/share/tmp>

Another 200 lines, closer to the target of 2000 :-)

[class relationships as of today. Can't arrange it with out crossing lines any more]

[GUI with 2 added labels, cell highlighting, and a small grid size (500x500 as opposed to the default 800x800)]

Previous screenshots no longer works since atomicscript disabled hotlinking. That should be all for tonight. Unlikely to be any new development. I'll write the plankton class tommorow.

Cheers,
Steve
Bah, made a speeling mistake in the simulation source code. Its been updated to fix it.

Signed up for the Interactive Fiction Competition, and Amby have agreed to write a short story for me to use! Many heart felt thanks :-)

Cheers,
Steve
Early morning update: made small changes to the soft1901 project source code to make it scale better.

Uni starts tommorow. My right ankle is still rather swollen, but I should be fine for tommorow...

More later (if any).

Cheers,
Steve

## April 17, 2004

I was too tired last night, but I managed to build 31 levels in Jenga Xtreme *snicker*

Here, I took a picture before I destroyed it. It was a very difficult shot to take, as I had to hold it in my right hand in such a way it did not blocked the lense, yet had enough leverage to depress the button, and hold it steady. I believe I created a whole new yoga position just taking it.

This morning, I realized how much hair my cat produces. It was sitting on my desk (on top of my uni assignment of course, being the only thing on my desk), and did that cute thing where it brings up one hind leg, and scratches itself behind the ear (wish I can do that). Due to the position of the sun then, I saw a stream of hair shooting out at an angle approximately -27 degrees to the horizontal, every bit as massive, lethal, and dangerous as a coronal mass ejection, just much more frequent. Picture if you will, a coronal mass ejection, replacing everything (electrons, ions) with cat hair, and make the sun the size of my cat's head. Thats what it looked like. An awe inspiring sight it was, enough to put the fear of cats into every man's heart. I'll try to take a picture next time.

For Tim/Victor, the code has been updated once again. Some optimisations and bug fixes, should be a tad faster. Also the cell information now tracks the last clicked cell, which is also highlighted.

Also, please, signed this petition against the IP laws the Free Trade Agreement will bring to Australia, and do send a rational letter to your local mp and Senate Select Committee on the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the United States of America. In my opinion, its vital we never see the likes of DMCA in our country.

Cheers,
Steve

## April 16, 2004

Ah, the warm fuzzy glow of making something work WAY ahead of time. The simulation is now 90% done, visualization is done, GUI is done, its all done done done. All that is left is to write some basic algorithms, but that can be done slowly. The important thing is that the frame work is done, which is 90% of a project IMHO.

Tim/Victor, get the source and start looking through them.

Here are some numbers:
steve@Geofront::/share/tmp>wc -l *
103 Coral.java
175 GridDisplay.java
191 GridPanel.java
259 Ocean.java
34 Organism.java
301 Simulation.java
100 Starfish.java
43 TimerListener.java
1206 total
steve@Geofront::/share/tmp>


Thats right, I added another 400 or so lines to it. The GridDisplay class got a rather heft update due to the addition of extra buttons and such. Simulation class also took a hit due to the simulations dialogue. Its surprising how much code it takes to get a few buttons going in java.

I expect the line count to reach 2000 by the time we are REALLY finnished. Here are some screen shots.

[The start up options dialoge]

[Classes relationship diagram, nicely arranged so the lines don't cross :-)]

[Grid display using a 50x50 map and 800x800 display. There is a pattern because I cbf'd typing 50 semi-random lines consisting of 0,1,2]

I think I'll take a break now. Been up since 8:00am, only 5 hours of sleep :P

Cheers,
Steve
*YAWWWWWWWNNNNNNN* Gosh its late, but I wanted to finnish it before I slept :-) I just couldn't sleep with it not working :P

Any who, a supposely 4 week'ish assignment is now 80% done, in less than 8 hours! :-) We have 8 none passive classes, more than enough to satisfy the requirements, and cool stuff like inheritance, interfaces, and polymorphism. I forsee many long hours explaining the code....

Here is some numbers that might interest my team mates:
steve@Geofront::/share/tmp>wc -l *
84 Coral.java
67 GridDisplay.java
121 GridPanel.java
236 Ocean.java
29 Organism.java
217 Simulation.java
84 Starfish.java
43 TimerListener.java
881 total
steve@Geofront::/share/tmp>


Yep, 881 lines to explain to you... considers yourselves warned :P Get a head start, and read chapters 9, 11, 13, 14, and read the source.

Did some one say screen shots?! Well what do you know, I have them right here in my pocket:

[console output... not really useful, since it slows down the JVM if I spam debugging messages]

[classes and their inter-relationships]

[the current displays. Its not going to win any awards, but it works. Ignore the gif artifacts :-)]

For those of you wondering, yes those are in fact gifs. Unisys' patent expired here last year :-)

Any who, must sleep now, tired as sloth after a marathon.

Cheers,
Steve

## April 15, 2004

Evening update: simulation runs now, which is good. Need more testing, but appears to be rather stable and bug free. Tim/Victor, take a look, and try to follow it. If in doubt, ask :)

Cheers,
Steve
*sob* Finnish the 3rd book of the Aurian Saga, and I can't find the 4th any where :-( Now I am all out of reading material...

I won a game of chess against Chris just then, but thats mainly due to the fact he was 1/2 asleep during the main stage of the game. :-)

Work on soft1901 assignment 2 has started today (put your worries to rest Victor/Tim), and is going fairly well actually. Should have the 2/3 done by tonight, and will work on the rest tommorow (ocean currents and weather conditions).

Pictures are still awaiting censorship: patience is a virtue :)

Cheers,
Steve

## April 14, 2004

Ah, finally, got all the mudane assignments finnished (math1002 assignment, and the shoddy soft1901 advanced task X). Time to really work on the soft1901 assignment 2. Should be loads of fun :D

Ankle is still rather buggered, still limping around the place like a 1 legged kangeroo. Hopefully it should get better by the time uni starts again. If not... well, I have had worst time getting around with broken bones.

For those of you wanting pictures from the bbq, you have to wait until Shailla has "censored" them first ;-)
Any who, back to work :-)

Cheers,
Steve

## April 13, 2004

Had my 19th's b'day celebration bbq yesterday, and it was GREAT. We talked, laughed, frolicked on the grass (well some of us did...), played various games of cards/balls/basketballs/jenga XTREME (*chuckle* Ah kev, I'll miss your wit).

Many thanks to every one who turned up, your company was much appreciated, and made my day. The gifts were all very thoughtful, and will be well consumed/used :-D

Now that the celebration as over, I need to get stuck into my various assignments, and do some catching up.

Cheers,
Steve.

## April 10, 2004

He also brought me the AMD 2600! Surprinsingly, he actually brought what I needed, a barton AMD XP. I had my moment of doubt when I can not find *any* technical information on the packaging, but after I deciphered the mysterious OPN numbers, it was clear I I had a barton on my hand. *dances*

So, all I need now is the nf7-s and some DDR400 ram, and I should have a brand new spanking computer to work with. This old girl has serve me well for the last 3 years, but unfortunately its age is finally showing through. It shall be reborn again as a distcc/povray/seti/folding/fileserver.

In other good news, my team mates for soft1901 (Victor and Tim) acutally turned in their research in time! Fantastic work it was too, all the information I need to start writting the simulation. Should have it done by the end of the easter break if all goes well.

Cheers,
Steve

## April 09, 2004

Matrix solver updated. Win32 binary now included. Let me know if you want/have written a gui/binary for other plateforms

Ah, finally finnished my matrix solver. Took me a little longer than I expected, but it works, and I am rather happy with the code. A little more testing and polishing here and there, and it should be alright. The file is source only, email me to get binaries.

Tried out the electric lawn mower today... it was... an interesting experience. At least now the garden looks somewhat larger due to lack of random stalks sticking out the ground and lack of weeds.

Any who, happy a happy easter break, and come through it in one piece :-)

## April 07, 2004

Hrm, Tuesday, still no presents *waits* ;-)

Finally learned about Gaussian Eliminations today. Which means now I can write my own matrix solver. I have started in fact, 1/2 an hour ago, but its getting a little late, and I want my sleep. Perhaps tommorow, but definitly before Saturday.

Got called to work today from 4-6, had my right index finger smashed when I was re-shelfing in the cold storage room, which made it hurt a lot more than it should have. Its perfectly fine, althought it sure didn't feel like it at the time! Teaches me for not wearing gloves :P

Caught an hour of the Simpsons on 10, after so many years, it still bring a smile to my face :-) After that, I worked on the last question (9-89) of my phy1901 assignment, and solved the cursed thing after much frustration. Take _THAT_ rotational dynamics! The key was using the same radius when calculating the moment of inertia for the 2 wheels despite them being of different radius since the toque applied is only applied at radius R1 for b), R2 for c), which also explains the results, where velocity in c) is greater than velocity in b), since the torque is greater, "re-torque" is also greater, and the string unwinds faster.

In other great news, I no longer have 8am starts on wensdays! Ben has decided he cbf coming at 8am, so nor would I :-) Its only soft1901 prac any way ;-) Oh, and apprently I have a quizz tommorow too. Hrm...I wonder if I should study.... nah :-)

Any who, have to sleep, need my energy tommorow to last through phy1901 tutorial AND table tennis at H.K. Ward. Last session before easter, next one would be after the 28th! :-S

Fare thee well and sweet dreams!

## April 05, 2004

19 years ago on this day (well not exactly this day), I was born. And it *had* to rain :-) Even my umbrella didn't stop it this time (God has found some one else who he hates more than me, horrah!)

Got together with some friends for a very enjoyable lunch at uni, bit of an informal celebration. When I got home, I found out my mum has invited a few family friends so over, so much for "quiet" celebrations. Any who, mum cooked my favourites, and it wasn't so bad, even when they started singing that blasted song :-)

Oh, and my cat threw up, green and purple, on the carpet. My mum went the same colors when she found out.

Oh, got my SOFT1901 assignment back, 20/20 *dances*. Also formed a group with Tim and Victor for the second assignment, which is going to be fairly interesting.

I'll put up a page with all the information regarding the Easter Monday BBQ in a bit. Links will be provided.

Cheers,
Steve

## April 02, 2004

Put off posting yesterday since it was April Fool's day :-)

So, about thursday: First I went over to Eastwood, to get a new motherboard (nf7-s) and ram (512 ddr400 kingmax/ston) from Frank, then decided to walk up to school to get my copy of Etchings, MCE's yearly publication. I hardly made it up the slope before I spied a santa looking figure struting down the hill, its doug, my old math teacher! Bless the man, he is the best teacher I have ever had, one of the rare few who can put up with my questions and musing :D We had a nice walk down to the station, exchanged the usual (or unusual, depending) pleasantries and so forth. All is well it seems.

Then on the station waiting for the train, I ran into Ms. Adams, my y11/12 English teacher. Another batch of ususal conversational topics (weather, uni, life). It brings back rather fond memories, that now seem so far away, almost in another life, another realm, another universe. These people, are my links to my time at MCE, anchors who stayed while I drifed on.

There was something else on thursday... oh of course! John, Eflo and I went to a new Thai place, not far from Newton thai for lunch. Nice food, immensely satisfying, and rather good price (\$6.00). To my misgivings afterwards, I ATE a chilli ring, John too I think, and we were both burning from the inside, so much, it hurts! Between the two of us, we downed about 3 litres of water in around 15 minutes. Not doing that again any time soon. It burns like fires of hell.

About today: nothing really happened, to my disappointment, this morning. Had rather interesting and involved electrical lab, and tutorial afterwards. Brought the 3rd book, Eye of Eternity out of sheer desperation to know the ending, and read it all through lunch. This time, I actually attended the elec1101 lecture, and glad I did it. Some fairly complex concepts. Met Tim from physics/software there also, a rather nice surprise. Showed up my solution to problem 1 of phy1901 assignment 1, and he thinks its right (and therefore it must be!). We have decided to collaborate on this one, to make life easier. Another rare occasion when I actually look forward to working with a partner on an assignment.

Had an excellent game of table tennis this afternoon too at H.K. Ward gym. I should go more often with my own bat, makes life so much more easier when you don't have to re-adjust to the different characteristics of random bats provided by the club. They are not bad bats, they are in fact very good bats, its simply they are different bats with different spin/bounce behaviour.

Made a new friend at TT, Len (as in strLEN(). hehe): a second year ITSys student, who is currently doing C and unix. Who ever said IT suxed at usyd is a moron ;-) Nice guy, who has a rather interesting style of play, and somewhat of an advantage as he arms, and hence reach, is somewhat longer than mine :-D Makes for an interesting game to say the least!

As a general announcement: my 19th birthday celebration wil be as follows: bbq @bicentennial @ 12am @ easter monday. Formal invitations will be given, this is just a general notice. Hope every one can make it!

*makes motions towards wish list down the page* *whistles* *cough*

Any who, have a great weekend!