June 26, 2004

Truth.

There was a girl in Vietnam, squatting in the shit and waste of her village, pouring water from a tin cup into mud in the rain.

She knew the truth.

There was a man in a building, coming down from cocaine, smashing his head against a mirror, laughing at the rivets of blood running down the glass.

He too, knew the truth.

There was an old soldier, who lost his legs and arms in the war. When ppl ask why he did it, and what it got him, he said "See where my arms and legs are? Thats how I like it".

He sure as hell knew the truth.

There was a beggar woman I saw on the high way once, picking up the shit people throw out of their cars. Then she would find a over pass, and dump them all back down again.

She tried to find the truth.

I saw a thirsty man once, begging for water in the rain. Some one finally gave him some, he sat down, lifted his feet off the dirt, and washed them. Then he smiled and said "thanks".

He wanted to deny the truth.

A man with no arms jumped off a building, claiming he can fly. He laughed all the way down, and I think he is still laughing.

He saw the truth.

The truth isn't out there, its right in front of you, if only you would turn around and see.

I am still turning.
Steve

June 23, 2004

Song of Susannah, bookwarez, and hour glass axels

Song of Susannah
Just found out today the 6th book in Steven King's Dark Tower series is out! I have been eagerly anticipating this! Can't wait to see what happens. Now if only my palm cradle wasn't dead... *sob*

Not a big fan of Steven King normally, never read any of his horror/crime books, but he weaves an amazing tapestry that is the world of Roland, gunslinger. I would recommend -any- one with even the smallest liking for fantasy to read it. Its a ride you are unlikely to forget.

bookwarez
Now I didn't mind paying for Song of Susannah, but at $80, no thanks. So off I go to my usual source of bookwarez, and *gasp* Couldn't join the channel! After a little reading, the following process is required to log onto #bw:

  1. join #bookwarez
  2. type !bw to receive invite to #bw. Type !rules too.
  3. after you have got the invite, join bw


Everything is as per usual.

hour glass axle
Went to the 2nd hand outlet, and found they have sold/lost that toy I was going to use my for physics competition entry :-( So on the way home, I was naturally thinking about a solution, and suddenly realized something: the driven axle doesn't -have- to be a cylinder! If it was like a hourglass on its side, with the rubber band looped around the middle where its narrowest, and winding around out towards the edge, then the amount of torque supplied would gradually increase! This means
  • at first, there is small torque, as radius is small, but high acceleration, as rubber unwinds faster
  • then as the rubber band unwinds up the sides, torque increases, acceleration decreases, as rubber banks now unwinds slower.

This combines to give the result I was hoping for earlier with a 2 drive system: fast acceleration, then slow but high torque drive up the ramp. Now if only the exams can be over quicker!

Back to physics study. ma1001 went alright, lets hope phy1901 does too!

Cheers,
Steve

June 22, 2004

Taylor polynomials and series

I really bloody hate them...

*stab*

It just doesn't click with me :(

Hope the one tomorrow isn't too hard, I am good with everything else. I hope...

Good luck!
Steve

Out with the old, in with the new

All soft1901 files on this server have been removed in order to make room for new stuff. As such, all old links will be broken. If you need any of it, drop me a line.

Cheers,
Steve

The bubble bursts!

SpaceShip One's maiden flight went with out a hitch! Horrah! Time to start saving for my trip into space! :D

Congratulations to all the people behind SpaceShip One, from the engineers to the cleaners, the millionaire sponsors to space-crazy average Joe. With out your desire to explore space, this would most likely remain a dream until the end of my days.

view from spaceship one
Look at the view. I would give much to see that.

Any who, back to more immediate and life threatening concerns: exams!

Cheers,
Steve

June 21, 2004

An Ending and a Beginning

Today signals an end to late nights. Partially due to the fact I need to get my sleeping pattern in place, but mainly due to something else...

I think I'll miss those nights.

Kevin came over, and we had a blast mucking around at bi-centennial park. Plenty of pictures (none of me, as usual), I'll try and make something nice out of it.

Tomorrow will signal the beginning of an new era in space flight in my opinion. Commercial civilian space slight. SpaceShip One launches tomorrow, and if they succeed, I might actually realize my dream of getting into space!

spaceship one
God speed!

This head ache and sore legs is driving me to distraction. Time for sleep.

Cheers,
Steve

Kevin is coming!

Kevin is BACK IN SYDNEY, and on his way to my place! Horrah!

No idea what we are going to do once he gets here... but we will think of something!

*celebrates*

Cheers,
Steve

June 20, 2004

Year 12 pictures

Found some nice pictures from year 12 today, made them all into a nice album for your viewing pleasure.

However in order to accommodate the 80 or so pictures, the following albums were removed:
  1. P4EE Launch
  2. Tony's 18th
  3. Paul's 19th
  4. My computers

In the remote event some one wants them, drop me a line.

Back to study, need to brush up on my waves.

Cheers,
Steve

June 19, 2004

Cats, ciphers and cursors

All things starting with C
Cats
Cat was up to its usual tricks: standing up right on my desk, front paw on the window frame, looking curiously outwards, while busily slapping my in the face with its tail. I noticed between one swipe and the next, it was making peculiar noises, and thought initially, it was communicating with another cat, one outside the house. To validate my astounding application of logic, I had a look.

I couldn't have been more off the mark.

My cat, was imitating the call of birds. Here it is again, to remove all traces of doubt: birds. I'll try to get a picture next time, and a sound byte too! Maybe it was trying to decipher whatever ingenious system birds employed, so it can in turn, inform fellow cats world wide of the bird's evil master plan to take over the world.

There is a cold war right under our noses!

/off with the tin foil hat

Ciphers
Don't worry, this is not one of my rants on encryption etc etc etc , but rather, a nice quote I came across when reading a paper on why digital rights management is bad:

Schneier's Law: "any person can invent a security
system so clever that she or he can't think of how to break it."


Cursors
The wonderful little magic picture that is our virtual hand in computing. Where would be with out it? For some of us, its an extension of our hands, in cyberspace. Its only natural we want it to look good :-)

Whilst hunting for a replacement cursor set, I came across xsx's fine work. Just what I was looking for. Its big, bright, has lots of nice colors, and its also translucent.

que "oooooooooooooooh" "awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww"

If you (un)fortunate to be running XP, get it, it will make your life a little brighter :-)


Thats more or less it today. I was going to work on img2text some more, implement run length encoding, and use of a index for the colors, to reduce over all size, but didn't get around to it.

Any who, back to my hole...
Steve

Diced, sliced and deep fried

Thats how I'll be for the physics exam! Gah, I *hate* waves! DIE *stabs waves equations*

Lets hope I pass, and lets hope all my further studies never ever touch up on waves, or driven oscillators, or damped AND driven oscillators. Ever.

*sob* back to trying to work out this derivative *sob*

June 18, 2004

Compromise

neophyte (fubar bb, on the right) argued that
:{
was the -real- Dr Zoidberg emoticon. After wasting much bandwidth, and the massacre of hundreds of packets, and genocide of millions of innocent photons, the following compromise was reached:

It shall be declared, that from this hour forth, Dr Zoidberg Emoticon is defined as
(:{E


Woop woop woop!
Stev e

Dr Zoidberg emoticon

Yep, I am bored. So here it is, the world's first Dr Zoidberg emoticon
(:E
woop woop woop

Back to my shell,
Steve

knoppix and mbr fun

Here is how much fun you can have with knoppix and mbr:
  1. To screw your mbr, run
    knx-hdinstall
    and elect to install lilo into your mbr. Now this might just be me, but lilo won't install, complaining something about my video card, and device 0xf00000 which I did not commit to memory.

  2. To fix your mbr, run
    cfdisk
    as root by typing
    su
    find your bootable partition, and simply do
    install-mbr -e <partitions> 
    
    /dev/<your master hard drive>

    Only works for IDE as far as I know. For me, it was partition 1 and 3, and thus the invocation was:
    install-mbr -e 13 /dev/hda
    For more informaton,
    man install-mbr

Here endth the lesson.

In other news, a nice boot manager is bootman in beos. It also has an easter egg. Hit 'M' when selecting your OS, and be prepared for a epileptic fit of the fractal variety.

Back to the bat cave!
Steve

Debian install @ 1am

Lets see how well this goes... Wish me luck!

The insane,
Steve

June 17, 2004

Prime patterns

I was looking at 293 (in a list of primes) just then, for a piece of erm... poetry I suppose I was writting, and realized something:
  • largest remainder of 29 when divided by a prime smaller then 29, is 1.
  • now make it 290, remainder becomes 20.
  • add 3, make remainder 13. 293 is a prime!
  • largest remainder of 293 is 1 (293%2).
  • add 1. 29311 is also prime!

And erm, thats kinda where it breaks down...

A quick search for 29311 in the prime list shows up a few interesting things... I need to ponder this more. Also realized I had some mistakes... this is very snarky math :S

June 16, 2004

Say hello to kevin

Meet Kevin C, or Kammy C as we call him at school.

Another victim of img2text, which incidentally has been updated to fix another minor bug.

Freely give what ye have freely received,
Steve

One man clean up squad

This is just fantastic. Some one put the cat's litter box under a cardboard box yesterday, denying the cat access. Whats a cat to do when it just has to let it all out? Use the pot plant in the living room of course. And who has to clean it up?

No prizes for guessing.

Never have I been so thankful for the invention of long chain hydrocarbon polymers, or plastic for the sane. I think however my sense of smell has suffered a irreversible setback, and now registers everything as cat poo.

Blood and bloody ashes!
Steve

June 15, 2004

img2text and robbie_the_seal's blog

comes img2text. Wrote it years ago for some reason I can't remember, found it again 20 minutes ago hidden away in documents/dev/archive/old projects/. Had fun with it, made a few web pages, and fixed some bugs with it :-) Silly me, had strcmp() inside an if, instead of !strcmp().

I am really losing my edge ;-)

Found out today robbie_the_seal (good friend, photographer, poet, all around top bloke) has a blog with livejournal. Oh well, not every one is perfect ;-)

Thats it for now, I better go and entertain the guests that just arrived.

Cheers,
Steve

new shiny blueness

screen shot

shiny and blue.. gotta love the side bars. There is one on the left too, but its hiding, as it should be :-)

Garbage collections days, xchat, SMP

Garbage collection days
Yesterday was a public holiday here in Sydney. Queen's birthday to be exact. And you know what? The garbage truck never comes around on Mondays, and thats probably why. All public holidays I can recall are long weekends, this means if the garbage collection day was Monday, 2 things would happen:

  1. Garbage people take a day off, resident are left with a full rubbish bin.
  2. The Council pay extra for garbage people to work on a public holiday.

Now since the first poses a health risk, and no sane MP would -ever- let his/her voters be stuck with 2 weeks of rubbish and a bin design to hold 1 weeks worth, it means therefore, option 2 must come into effect.

Now of course, the government in its infinite wisdom didn't want that to happen. So they came up with an ingenious idea: never have garbage collection days on mondays. Clever isn't it. This way, they never have to pay workers extra holiday pay (except maybe for Christmas, Easter, and New Year, but I am sure those are all long weekend style too).

Of course all it takes is for ONE region to have its garbage collection on Mondays to sink this consipracy theory.

xchat
For those won't don't know it, xchat is an irc client, written for X windows system on *nix systems. Now, its also available for windows. This means no more dependence on mirc, and I can sleep at night, knowing I am morally safe ;-)

SMP in OpenBSD HEAD
Yep, thats right, every one's favorite secure-by-default one-remote-hole-in-more-than-8-years server operating system, openbsd is getting symmetrical multiprocessing support, according to this entry.

System admins rejoice!


Back to doing past papers... it redefines fun...

Cheers,
Steve

June 14, 2004

Home sweet home

Nothing like the fresh smell of a new install. Nothing like getting back 4 years of customisation. This is the computing equivalent of home coming.

Home sweet home.

I'll leave you with a small fortune I saw last night:

Optimisation tips for coders
  1. Don't do it.
  2. (for experts only) Don't do it yet.



Cheers,
Steve

June 13, 2004

BeOS and my new computer

How ironic. The first OS to be running on the new computer, is not windows or linux. Instead its an OS that died before its time, an OS that was better then windows or linux. This OS, is BeOS.

Long story short: a bunch of really smart people (Be Inc) decided to make an OS that had none of the problems of older OSs, like windows and linux, one that was built using all the new funky stuff computer science, and general experience have taught OS designers. Thus BeOS was born.

It was in a word, amazing.

It was fast, simple, elegant. Every geek's dream OS. But it didn't make it to the masses. Why? Because it was commercial, and had to keep people paid, like windows. But unlike windows, it didn't already have a monopoly on the desktop market. It didn't already have agreements with just about every OEM on the face of the Earth to have it installed on any new machines build. With such small market share in desktops, Be Inc went under due to lack of profits.

The world wept. (well the geek world did)

And now, BeOS can only be found on computers of geeks like me. A shame, when my mum should be using this. And every one else for that matter.

There is however light at the end of the tunnel. And its not a train approaching. yellowtab is developing BeOS' child: Zeta. Its up to RC1, and soon, shall be unleashed upon the free world. To some geeks, this is like the second coming of Christ. I can't wait.

On to my new computer: its faster, quieter, prettier. Had some problems with installation of hardware. The case, in order to maintain the cool all black front panel, required the removal of face plates on both the CDR and DVD drives. The provided pass through cables designed to allow connection of speaker and microphone via the front panel were 5cm too short. A shame. A few scary moments, when I thought I broke something, or did something wrong, but all has turned out well. XP and debian 3.02r2 will be installed today, or tomorrow. Also going to up the fsb to 200, giving me effective 400 external clock for both CPU and ram, giving me 3200+ speeds :-D

Horrah for new hardware! Old hardware for sale, let me know ;-)

Cheers,
Steve

Burrs, paintballs, backups.and ADSL

Went paintballing yesterday at action paintball, and despite the initial stuff up, delays, the pain, frustration, running, sliding, swearing, it was great fun! I would love to go again, and probably will when John's young adult group thingy organises one. There is a certain satisfaction in shooting people back after they have owned your back the previous round. *grin*

Not only was it fun, but it also gave me a clearer picture of what real war is like. Replace paint balls with real guns, replace the momentary pain with instant death (I got hit on the head a few times), intense prolonged pain (shot in the back, side, arm, let, and groin. That hector protector was worth every cent), replace the slight confusing with utter confusion and panic, and thats 1/4th of the way to experiencing a real war.

Maybe if we still fought wars with swords and arrows, we will have less of them. No longer will your enemies by a speck at the distance, another co-ordinate in the targeting system, not some inhuman, artificial abstraction of human beings. Instead, they will be people who will look at you with hatred, perhaps pity, mayhap resignation, even respect, but they will be living flesh. They will wear faces you will remember, faces to haunt your steps, your dreams, faces you see when you look in the mirror, when you look into yourself.

Perhaps then, we will all know the folly and price of war.

/rant

Oh, and it was a professionally ran exercise. Friendly people, great equipment. Definitely recommended. Paintballs also hurt, a lot, especially in the neck. A neck protector is definitely recommended, even if it makes you a little hotter.

*nurses his bruises again*

Now on to burrs! Burrs are fantastically complex puzzles. I made a 3 piece burr, whilst being simple in construction, it foiled plenty of people's attempts to take it apart, and re-assemble it. IBM's site astounded me. How on earth does one go about writing a program that solves burrs!? I can not even begin to imagine how one designs a 6 piece burr. This is the start of a wonderful addiction...

Backups are almost done, once they are, I'll probably drop off line for a day or two, until the new system is up and running again. Mmmm, more speed... *grin*

Oh, and I applied for ADSL again, this time through a friend. Hopefully it will pull through this time. 56k just doesn't cut it any more!

The world is your oyster,
Steve

June 11, 2004

Lazy Friday afternoon

Here I am, in the Carslaw computing labs, wasting time... Elec1101 lecture finished 10 minutes ago, for the last time this semester. Another half an hour to go until table tennis. First time I have played in 3 weeks!

A quick break down on stuff that happened:
new computer
All required components were acquired by Wednesday, building started the same night. All that is left now is backing up everything I can't stand to lose, and reformat.

Had a nervous time applying the thermal paste to the barton 2600+ die, and mounting the some what large HSF. Been a long time since I last build a computer from the ground up!

chasis for physics comp
Coming back from uni the other day, I walked past a second hand shop, and saw the perfect chassis for my physics comp entry! Ah, what luck :-) The nice lady has kindly agreed to keep it for me, and I'll pick it up next Tuesday. I wonder what other bits and pieces they might have inside that could be of use. Love junk hunting, hehe.

assignments and such
Got my soft1901 task Z back, along with ma1002 assignment 2. Both full makes :-) Hope I do as well during the exams!

ctrl-alt-del comic
Viriix (aka Aj, Adrian) pre-ordered the first ever ctrl-alt-del comic for me, horrah! Can't wait to get my hands on THAT book. By far my favorite online comic.

Time to walk over to H.K. Ward Gym. It just *have* to be on the other side of campus...

Cheers, and enjoy stuvac !
Steve

June 08, 2004

Member of Fraternity of Petals Around the Rose.

<simpsons> I am a member </simpsons>

And the winners are...

Hrm, lets hope I could remember the results. Oh, and I am going to put my opinions on whether each winner deserved their prize. If you disagree, build a bridge, and get over it ;-)
  • Best non-GUI simulation group 2, bush fire! Good work team :-) (I am with them...)

  • Best poster, group 10 Harry Potter references galore... not real technical or design merit in my opinion.

  • Best GUI OCAR group, the only *real* 3d. I think train simulation should have won here.

Many thanks to Kathleen for helping with my presentation, and general look pretty all night ;-) Tim and Victor, being present in spirit, wasn't really that much of a comfort ;-)

It was a great night, and while I didn't win anything (I had snowflake's chance in hell), I am still glad I went. Putting "better to regret something you have done then something you haven't" into practice :-) Oh, and I was asked twice whether I have ADD. The answer is I don't know :-P

Oh, and my GTR case came, *finally*. As soon as I get a new psu, my new computer will be ready! First full format in 4 YEARS. Can you say OS rot? :P

Cheers,
Steve

ps. no more snarky greetings from jenny ;-)

Live from the event.

Aha, coming live from the event (soft1901 competition!). All the groups have presented, votes cast, fingers crossed, prayers said (and not answered, ha! God doesn't like you).

Any minute now the results will be announced.

*Hi mum* - from jenny

Ohh the tension, I think I am going to faint from breathing in all the perspiration... *cough*

Peace favour your sword.
Steve

ps. from jenny may the seeds of your loin be fruitful in the belly of your woman. << and I thought I had problems...

Petals Around the Rose

Stumbled across Pedals Around the Rose today. Took me 5 minutes to realize its NOT a math related puzzle, another 30 seconds to realize the solution.

Great little game, strongly recommend everyone to play it :)

ps. Hope you enjoy the new post layout!

June 07, 2004

Competition web page is up. *Yawn* Took me longer than I thought. As things tend to.

Have a look if you have time, let me know what you think, if you are so inclined. It has plenty of grammar problems and such, the usual when I write more than 3 words per sentence.

*Yawn*

I am going to sleep!

Cheers,
Steve
This just hasn't been my day :-S

Where to start... lets begin at the beginning. First, I thought I had an hour to do my physics computational exam for chaos, so imagine my shock when I was told I had 2 minutes to go 20 minutes into it... Yep, I fell off my chair, curled up into a fetal position, rocked back and forth whimpering "It can't be happening" until my 2 minutes ran out. Oh, I chewed the carpet a little too, for the fibers see.

After that little trauma, the next thing I know, I was playing chess again Tim. And lost 3 games in an hour, with out ever making a single good move. I guess my mind just wasn't on the job. In fact Tim started to suggest moves, as he got fed up with my dismal performance.

To add insult to injury, spirite was spilled on my beloved stm bag. Now my bag smells faintly of lemonade, and somewhat sticky...

Ben, my soft1901 tutor, some how also talked me into entering that blasted competition for soft1901. Goodbye Tuesday night...

Now I have to run off and hack together some nasty html/css for a web page. Isn't life grand ;-)

To relieve the boredom that comes with reading this blog, here is a politically incorrect joke:
What is blue and fit no more? A dead epileptic!

Going to dig myself a nice hobbit hole and hide in it now, after that one ;)

Cheer,
Steve

June 06, 2004

*waves to vesna*

Here be the files you seek. Good luck! :-)

update - and here are the rest of them. :-)

Cheers,
Steve

June 05, 2004

Ain't it frustrating, how you always find just what you need, when you no longer need it? inkscape is an accelerated version of sodipodi. Accelerated in a development sense. For starters, it can export to bitmap with out crashing!! GAH! If only I had this when I needed to do my soft1901 poster, I would have been spared much trouble! :-S

Give it a shot, its fantastic. So much so sodipodi has already been removed :) Need to clean up the computer to prepare for the upgrade. Mmmm... more speed...

inkscape

Any who, back to last year's ma1001 exam.
Sale of the century!
Selling a few things on atomicmpc forums, have a look, and see if there is anything you need :)

astonshell
As some of you know, I am a astonshell user. I love it, it fits my workflow like a glove. Nothing else would let me work as efficiently as astonshell+altdesk does. Well maybe OS X and KDe... Any who, it appears astonshell is in deep water. Well, gladiator software is. See, they are going to re-write astonshell, to support more features, like dual monitors, and some very cool user interface tricks too. And they want you to buy it. Again. See, when I brought aston shell v1, it said All future updates will be free. One naturally then expect A2, the code name for the new astonshell, will be too, for current owners of A1.

However a recent news item said otherwise. In fact, it managed to shotgun a few hornet's nests:

  • win9x support dropped - this is a Good Thing(tm) in my opinion. Support for legacy systems only serves to slow down innovation. *looks at IE*. Some people might not like it, but as far as I am concerned, they can keep using A1 on win 9x/me machines.

  • Lies, bloody lies! - this refers to the fore mentioned intention of gladiator software to charge people yet again for A2. Personally I don't mind a discounted price, since A2 is going to be completely different to A1. But then again, they did advertise all future updates will be free as an incentive for you to part with your hard earn money. Gladiator software needs to get its act together and decide. The main attraction of astonshell and altdesk is in the skinner/plugin community that produces themes and plugins that makes life beautiful. If that group banded together, and boycotted A2, Gladiator software is going to find themselves looking at a pie in the sky from the bottom of a well.


I saws the Olympic flame
What luck! I knew it was coming to syndey on friday, but didn't expect to have the proverbial snowflake's chance in hell of seeing it, but I did! First I heard from Tim the Wentworth footbridge was closed, and deduced it must be due to the flame, but still didn't expect to see it. After we had our lion's share of food, Tim and I went over to the physics building, and on the way, spotted hundreds of students lining City Rd. At that point, we decided to join the masses.

After much waiting and police passage, it finally came. It was bit of an anti-climax really, wasn't all that exciting. One man carried the torch, surrounded by several extremely weary looking people. But I suppose its better to have seen it, then to regret not to have.

Oh, and I got a Coca-Cola flag saying "I saw the flame" on it. Where is yours Tim? ;)

paintball
Going to paintball next saturday for Dominic's 18th! :-D Can't wait to starting shooting at various people };-)~ *evil laughter* *chokes* *goes blue in the face* *dies*


That shall be all for now, going to find some past papers, and prepare for the exams.

May you wake to find your worries scatted to the four winds!
Steve

June 03, 2004

Bah, over slept today. Missed my physics lecture, but caught sight of some one more pleasant :-) Blasted cat woke me at 06:00 for no good reason, and only left my face alone when I physically went over and opened my room's door, which I left ajar deliberately so it can exit on its own. To my latter pain, I closed it as well, which meant 40 minutes later I had to drag myself out of the warm nest of blankets, and open the door to let it back in!! There is NO pleasing this cat! :-S

Got my ma1001/2 assignments back, full mark for each. Needless to say, I am stoked. Brought myself 1/4 chicken and chips from my favorite chicken place to celebrate. Haven't had that in *months*

Still debating on whether to enter the soft1901 competition. Apparently there is a group in Glen's tutorial group that absolutely kicked ass, so I won't stand much of a chance.

Elec1101 lab test tomorrow, heard its a walk in the park. Hopefully I won't trip over something, as I tend to with simple tests.

Just realized lecture 17 notes are missing from the elec1101 hand outs, its going to make this week's tutorial interesting.

Oooh, I get the NF7-S tomorrow, which means I can finally upgrade after 3 years!!! Hope that nice case from auspcmarket.com get here soon. As doe said: "Once you go black, you don't go back". Any one want an Athlon TB 1G, A7PRO, GF3Ti200 and 512 pc133 sd ram ? :P

Well I am off to do my physics assignment. Don't want anything to be hanging over my head next week.

Cheers,
Steve

June 02, 2004

Found this nice quote that describes very nicely, why people like me, in some cases, enjoy coding.

"Regardless of the hardware, operating system, or language, all software developers share a common joy: that thrill of transforming lines of incomprehensible text into high-powered databases, sizzling graphics, and earth-shaking audio. In our world, we get a special kind of delight in the instant gratification of turning our thoughts into code that then magically instructs a machine to do exactly as we please with just the quick rumblings of a compiler pass. Unlike architects who dream but must wait years to see the resulting building, programming is the closest thing to magic to be found in a day and age when Merlin the Wizard would probably be sent home for violating the company dress code."

This is an extract from the book The Career Programmer: Guerilla Tactics for an Imperfect World, and must read for any one even remotely thinking of coding for a living. (I am not one of those, but its still a good read)

Cheers,
Steve
Horrah! Full marks for soft1901 presentation, and probably full marks for the code walk through (code was awarded full marks every other time). This makes the second soft1901 project a perfect project :-)

Our group was invited to participate in some competition, I might give it a shot if it can be easily done. Its next Tuesday, and frankly, thats too little time to prepare adequately.

Interesting stuff learned today:
fractals
Not that I didn't know about them before, just now I know more about them then before! Prepare for a fractual renderer once the holidays come around!

Fractals apparently stands for fractional dimensional objects, since fractals have an infinite parameter, yet finite area. Snowflakes for example, exhibits fractal properties, and additionally, finite volume.

chaos
Ah chaos, what a lovely subject. Apparently any none linear system can be potentially chaotic, since the initial states can not be known to infinite precision, over time, any differences in extrapolation of the system will become exponentially large, until such a point the 2 systems are no longer adequate approximations of each other. Cool stuff :-) Again, expect some code to come out of this knowledge!

directional derivatives
This is so cool! Now I know how to find the gradient of a point on a surface in some direction give by a vector u. It might not seem like much, but if one tried to simulate a ball rolling down an uneven surface, it becomes immediately apparent how useful it is! I always wondered how games like ground control find the path of least resistance for units moving over uneven terrain.

jenny's blog
Found another blogger in my software tutorial group! jenny's blog is extra cool because uses her own custom template! :-) *waves to jenny*


Now I am going to go and catch a nap, been working on too little sleep lately, and my sense of humor has degraded into such obscurity even I don't get them...

Cheers,
Steve

June 01, 2004

Going from design to dead tree is a wonderful process that every one should try once in their life time. Here is how it went, more or less:

  • went to print shop at ~3:50pm
  • arrived at print shop, clerk takes an age to get it printing properly
  • ~4:20pm, finally printed
  • discovered after careful trimming, right hand side is too small, scaling is off
  • realized there is no way it can be fixed by scaling the print out
  • looked at clock, 1/2 hour till closing (5pm)
  • race home on bike at record speeds, collected the following:
    • swore at for reckless riding: 3x
    • almost got hit by car: 2x
    • told to get off the bloody footpath: 1x
    • almost broke my neck clipping against various structures: 2x
  • get home at 4:40pm, ran up stairs, stepping on cat's tail on the way
  • fastest pdf creation ever
  • burn to cd, run back downstairs, tripping over cat
  • hop back on bike
  • another world record for getting from my place -> snap printing
  • get there with 3 minutes to spare
  • printed off left side 1x, right side 2x
  • crossed my fingers and hope it works out


Well as you probably guessed, it didn't :-( Somewhere along the pipe line, the right hand side is scaled a tad too small, off by around 4mm. In the end I settled for making sure the words were readable, sacrificing the neatness of the diagram. During application of invisible tape, right side rotated slightly, but by then it was too late to fix! You have no idea how much that drives me up the wall...

Oh, and the lastest and greatest source for soft1901 has been uploaded. This will be the source marked tomorrow!

Here are the line counts:
steve@Geofront::/share/tmp>wc -l *

184 AntlerCoral.java
241 BrainCoral.java
259 Coral.java
68 Empty.java
17 Environment.java
225 GridDisplay.java
190 GridPanel.java
74 Logger.java
756 Ocean.java
172 Organism.java
85 Outbreaks.java
107 Plankton.java
85 Predator.java
460 Simulation.java
204 Sky.java
447 Starfish.java
241 SunshineCoral.java
53 TimerListener.java
238 TritonShellfish.java
364 cloudcover.txt
365 daylighthours.txt
51 omap.txt
3 sim.txt
4889 total
steve@Geofront::/share/tmp>

Any who, sleep calls, tomorrow shall be a busy day! No physics tutorial however, so no table tennis either! (Not going to wait around for 3 hours).

Peace favour your path,
steve