Older blog entries for bgeiger (starting at number 170)

16 Oct 2003 (updated 16 Oct 2003 at 04:44 UTC) »
Busy busy busy. Things to do, people to see, professors to ignore.
computer woes
I think the people at the Apple Store are jerking me around.

I got my first Powerbook a few weeks ago. After a couple of days, weird bright splotches started showing up on the screen; it looked like the rest of the screen was dirty and those were the only clean spots. (Yes, I cleaned it.) When I brought it back to the Apple Store where I bought it, they arranged for a replacement.

The replacement was even worse. Not only did it have the same splotches on the screen, but the Superdrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) was faulty and the hard drive kept making "I'm about to die" metal-clunking noises. Back to the Apple Store.

Anyway, I'm currently on my third Powerbook, and this one doesn't have the keyboard attached properly. (It's an aluminum Powerbook, so the keyboard isn't detachable.) The hard drive is clunking, and the screen has the same splotches! It's going back Thursday.

I still suck, but lately I feel I've been sucking less.

Learning tesuji is tricky, but the basic ones Tanaka-san taught me have already helped immensely. And I'm already giving some people handicap stones.

initial d
Yes, friends, I'm addicted to yet another game. Initial D. The best racing game since... well, ever.

The gameplay itself isn't groundbreaking, but it's extremely solid and very fun. The force-feedback feels almost like I'm in a real car.

The groundbreaking part, however, is the card system. You can buy a card from the machine (at the arcade I frequent, it's $1) that will save your race history and preferences, along with the customizations you've made to your car. This card is good for 50 races, after which time you can transfer the data to another card.

Oh, and did I mention the music? (No, I just checked.) Apparently, it gets its music from the anime of the same name. The genre is hard to describe... I've heard it called "eurobeat", I've heard it called "J-pop"... I just call it "damn good".

Programming Languages: Took the midterm Monday (13 Oct 2003). I think I did fairly well, except for one question on the written portion: "What do you know about scope and lifetime of variable give an example" (all [sic]). I defined the two terms, then wrote a skeleton Pascal source file and sketched each value for each variable.

Database Systems: Midterm here, as well, on Tuesday... same professor, same ambiguous question style, same general uselessness.

Operating Systems: Midterm (sensing a trend?) today (Wednesday). This was the most difficult, by far. Not only did we have to answer a number of questions, we also had to write two C programs by hand. At least they were fairly simple. (The test was open-book, open-notes, closed-laptop. I forgot my books and notes.)

music videos
A few of my friends make anime music videos. I've decided to give it a try. I already have an excellent song/video combination... granted, it's not anime, but it's animated nonetheless. I'll announce it when it's done and not a moment sooner.
with all this romantic atmosphere, disaster's in the air
cmiller: The idea of using an apostrophe instead of a real acute accent is acceptable, IMNSHO, in ASCII text, but virtually nowhere else. As for the rest, apostrophes aren't that hard to figure out. I can almost forgive someone using "her's" or "it's", because those are exceptions, but using an apostrophe for a plural is just wrong.

People don't realize that by writing improperly, they're reflecting on their own intelligence, or lack thereof. I certainly wouldn't want to buy from someone offering "BBQ chicken's".

My personal pet peeve "is" when people "use" quotation marks "for" emphasis. Among the glaring examples around here: the old-fart's resort I live in has a sign near the pool that says: "Pool" closes at "dusk". And most people who do this honestly believe that quotation marks are intended for emphasis...

I'm pretty sure I'm one of the few people around here ("here" meaning "this physical location", not "this site") capable of using both the semicolon and the word "whom" correctly.

So far, so good. Most of my classes don't suck.

  • Programming Languages
    We're going to be covering Pascal, C++, Common Lisp, and Prolog. These are understandable, except for using Common Lisp instead of Scheme.
  • Discrete Structures
    There's still some concern over whether this class will be continued, since there are only 8 people enrolled. I hope they don't cancel it, because it's a prerequisite for damn near everything else.
  • Database Systems
    This one sucks. I figured it would be an implementation-level class, but instead it's a course that would be better named "Database Organization". And we're forced to use Access. Suckage.
  • Operating Systems
    This is going to be a fun class. Tons of work, but entertaining nonetheless. The professor speaks with a very thick French accent, but it's much better than the Ben Stein-esque presentation I had been lead to expect.
Thanks to Labor Day, I get to attend a Monday night meeting of Go Orlando. Last Thursday, I played against a 4th dan. He gave me 13 stones, and I still lost by quite a bit. And still, a small voice in the back of my mind tells me that he wasn't playing to the full of his ability...

After that, I went to the Go Orlando meeting and, if memory serves, won all of my games. This new strategy of being aggressive seems to be paying off.

"and the clouds parted, and a voice came down from heaven, saying, 'there's just something about you that pisses me off...'"
24 Aug 2003 (updated 24 Aug 2003 at 14:02 UTC) »
Again. I had completely forgotten about this place until I ran into cmiller at a Go Orlando meeting.

As I told Chad, "It's odd meeting someone else around here [Florida]. I thought everyone else was from New England or California."

Got four classes this coming term. I might have a fifth, due to the Florida Degree Incentive Grant, which is $300 per term but only applies if I have 15 hours or more. I have 12... but $300 just about covers 3 credit hours worth of tuition, and maybe even the book.

If I take another course, it'll likely be one of my few remaining Liberal Arts exit requirements, since there's a pretty strict hierarchy of prerequisites for CS classes, and I Want To Graduate And Get The Hell Out Of This School.

Right now, I'm taking these:

COP 4020   Programming Languages           M      13:00-16:50
COP 4600   Operating Systems                 W    18:00-20:50
COT 3100   Intro to Discrete Structures    M      18:00-20:50
EEL 4852C  Data Base Systems                T     15:00-17:50
Quite a load, and it could become heavier. I'm up to it, though.
Of course, since I have class on Monday until almost 9PM, I won't be able to attend Go Orlando's Monday meetings. At least they started a Thursday meeting each week.

As I said earlier, cmiller has been showing up fairly regularly, and we've played once. I gave him five stones and lost by 3 points. That's not bad, considering I've been playing since about February, and he apparently started about six weeks ago. I'm still weak compared to most of the players in the club, though; there seems to be a natural dichotomy between the "experienced players" and "everyone else". As far as I'm concerned, the criterion for being in the "experienced players" category is "I can't beat them even if they give me 9 stones." There are at least three people now who fit that criterion, and one who gives me 7 stones.

The time has come for me to get a laptop. I'm finally sick of using the school's insecure bug ridden public use crap piles.

I've shopped around, and I think the ideal would be a 15 inch Apple Powerbook.

"But... that's a Mac!" I hear you cry.

Yes, I know. I'm also in lust with MacOS X. A friend from Go Orlando has illustrated the benefits of MacOS X in a very clear way. He has a 400MHz 15" Powerbook, and it absolutely smokes my Wintendo, so speed isn't a factor. (Particularly considering they're up to 1GHz now, and are likely to be quite a bit higher once the new revision comes out.)

Ay, that's the rub... Apple has been very slow in releasing the new revision of the Powerbooks. I would have expected them to have announced it by now, to take advantage of the back-to-school sales rush, but nothing yet. I've heard rumors of mid-September, though, at some show in Paris.

I've been taking Wellbutrin whenever I remember to. It seems to be doing much more good than St. John's Wort ever did.
I still bang on dink whenever I get an idea. It's growing very slowly, though. I just wrote a couple of game clocks. (Actually, calling them clocks take some measure of imagination... they don't keep time by themselves, relying on something else calling their tick() method every second.)
This needs some explanation... by "game clock" I mean something that keeps track of how much time is remaining for each player, and only allows a player's clock to run when it's his turn.

I learned a couple of days ago that Python has a built-in SocketServer class, which I plan to use, as soon as I figure out how I'm going to queue and process commands.

o/~ girls don't like boys, girls like cars and money...o/~ -- good charlotte, "boys and girls"
2 Jul 2003 (updated 2 Jul 2003 at 21:01 UTC) »
Very little progress... I'm still working on hiragana.

tk: PowerJapanese seems like a collection of programs. I've only used the hiragana program so far; it intersperses 'flash card' segments with comprehension drills and general information about the language. It's actually not too bad. I'm sure I would be going faster if I worked harder...

Played another beginner on Monday. Even game, I took black, 6.5 moku komi. I lost by... you guessed it.... 6.5. It was a good game. I even have the kifu (SenseisLibrary:Kifu). I'll link to the SGF once I have it transcribed and commented.

Dink progress is still stalled... I'm probably going to rewrite large portions of it. As of now, it still has no user interface (I don't mean "no GUI", I mean no interface at all), no support for multiple games, no networking (and therefore no protocol), and no support for game logging or time controls. What it can do: play stones (via typing game.play(BLACK, (2, 3)) into a python session), remove stones with no liberties, and count score (in a very limited fashion). So little done, and so much time used... Dink is currently 488 lines long, including blanks and comments. Not much, and there's so much more to do...

This came up on IRC today (in a discussion, not spam). While I have little doubt that the techniques are effective, I have a hard time with the idea of trying it. It just seems like it goes against everything I've ever been taught. Why, oh why, is it so hard to reconcile conscience and libido? (Added 2 July, 5 PM: see "misogyny", below.")
Viz LLC licensed Hikaru no Go, with two episodes left to be fansubbed. Now I won't be able to see them for years, and even then, it'll be dubbed, and I can't stand dubs.

Woe is me.

chromatic: I know what you mean about anti-female sentiment, and viewing women as sex objects. I, personally, try not to be that way.

However, I have to agree with one of the replies to your post: "chicks dig assholes - I don't know why but that's the honest truth". I'm sick of seeing "playaz" with different women every night, while those of us who actually have some respect for women end up alone.

i'm not crazy, i'm just a little unwell
Sheesh, it's been over a month.
The trip went well. Got to watch Josh graduate from high school, but I didn't run into some people I was really hoping to meet with again. I ended up staying in Georgia an extra week.
Absolutely no progress... mainly because I've been out of state for quite a while. There are a few things I'd like to rewrite, but I've been too busy and/or lazy to do so.
While up in Georgia, I found a movie that I had bought on my last trip: Angus. I finally got around to watching it again today. I find hope in that movie; it tells me that no matter how bad things get, it may be possible to turn even the cruelest situation into a beneficial one.
I'm still trying to find an affordable, regulation-size Go board. My small Korean set is usable, but the stones feel a bit flimsy.
I'm tempted to sell or donate my queen-size bed (it came with the house) and get a twin-size bed, or even a futon. I need more room in my room.
it's like glass, when we break, i wish no one in my place
Grades are back.

Data Structures (EEL 4851): A.
English Composition 2 (ENC 1102): B.

dink and go
Progress on dink is creeping along. I think I have the easy part done. Now, to the part I have trouble with: interaction with users. Not only do I have to figure out what is needed, but I also have to learn networking (something new to me) and probably write my own SGF library, too.

I have more and more respect for Bill Shubert with each line of code I write.

Meanwhile, on the real KGS, I'm still bouncing between 22k and 24k, though I think I'm overrated; I barely play, and I still get stomped by most everybody. It's a cycle: when I play, I get stomped, which discourages me, which makes me play less, which makes me worse, which makes me get stomped worse...

Still trying to get ahold of PowerJapanese. Still drilling myself on kana. Still frustrated at my lack of progress.
I've decided to start eating healthy again. Today was a miserable failure; I had 4 McDonalds cheeseburgers. In a row. But dammit, they were cheap!

Anyway, eventually I'll start eating healthy again. Maybe tomorrow.

Going to visit Mom and Josh again. I promised Josh I'd make it up there to see him graduate from high school... after all, he did watch me graduate from college... twice.

I'm gonna get all spiffed up for the ceremony (dress code is casual... most people there will be wearing jeans). After all, I want to be able to have them look at me and have an implied raspberry: "I'm doing better than you are! Nyah nyah!"

Too bad most of them will probably earn more chasing chickens than I will working in the computer field, these days...

they say freak when you're singled out
raph: Ah, at least I'm not the only one here who enjoys Hikaru no Go (SenseisLibrary:HikaruNoGo). I'm up to episode 18. and getting them gradually, about 2 days per episode. (Dialup is the suck.) I haven't seen the Naruto anime, but I don't really like the manga.

I agree, though, that fansubbers do a good job. I can't complain about the HnG episodes I've seen; everything seems right on cue, and it all makes sense. The only problem I've found is that subtitles conflict with my usual style: I typically don't watch the screen often, focusing more on the sound and speech. However, since I don't know Japanese...

My KGS rating continues to creep upward, even though I've been too busy and/or distracted to play recently; however, when I do play, it shoots downward like a rock. I gave 4 stones to a 26k and lost; it knocked me down to 23k.
More and more progress. It's more work than I expected.

Right now, I have a mostly-functioning board. I can place stones (and automatically strip stones with no liberties) and count score, mostly.

I'm still trying to figure out how to handle eyes in seki. If I want to follow the Japanese rules, I need to handle this. Of course, few other servers do the same, so it may be something I can get away with ignoring.

I've been taking St. John's Wort for a few days. Incredibly enough, although I haven't felt much of an effect, I've noticed a change in my behavior. I even cleaned up my room, for crying out loud; I don't think I've done that in the two years I've lived here.
I've been listening to country music.

And liking it.

Somebody shoot me now.

o/~ leaving home was the hardest thing we ever faced o/~ -- alabama, "high cotton"
I'm nervous. I bombed the final in Data Structures, and $DEITY knows what's going on with English. Here's hoping.
Still playing, still learning. Trying to figure out why I get stomped so badly so often.
It seems like I'm hitting the hardest obstacle first, with dink. It's tricky to represent a go board in any language (even though it sounds simple), but Python seems to make it particularly crazy. That's just for the game itself; I haven't even begun to think about the aspects of KGS that make it so great, like its advanced facilities for teaching games. In fact, I haven't thought about much, other than the very basic game mechanics (how to place a stone, capture stones, count score...).

Lots of semi-sophisticated design decisions required here. I guess there's no better way to learn than by doing, but I wish there were something I could work from...

There's a chance I could be going to Georgia this month; my brother Josh graduates from high school on the 30th. I'm really hoping to make it there for his graduation, after all, he did come to both of mine...
Lots of birthdays these days. I completely forgot my dad's, yesterday; Josh's is on the 3rd, and Tamie's is the 7th. I don't have anything for Josh yet, but I'll probably get him [censored because he might read this, I'll fill in later].

I honestly have no idea what to get for Tamie. This is where lack of social knowledge and intuition hits hard: I don't know how to choose an appropriate gift. I guess I'll just have to take my chances.

o/~ i know it sounds absurd, but please tell me who i am... o/~ -- supertramp, "the logical song"
14 Apr 2003 (updated 14 Apr 2003 at 23:03 UTC) »
Still running behind in English class, but I'm gradually catching up.

Data Structures is tough, but still boring. I've taken to watching Hikaru no Go (SenseisLibrary:HikaruNoGo) in class. An advantage of subtitles: you don't need audio to know what's going on.

Been playing on KGS lately (username "Phoon"); it's partly for the company and partly for research for dink.

KGS thinks I'm 23 kyu. A bit advanced, maybe, but roughly accurate... it's mid-beginner level.

Not much progress yet; I haven't had any study resources. Lately, though, I've been using flashcards to drill myself on kana.
Played DDR a few days ago, on the 1st Mix in DisneyQuest. I ended up with four large blisters.

I am seriously out of shape.

Remember that people shouldn't be rated purely on the contents of their diaries. If mglazer contributes to the open source community, then rate him as appropriate.

I have his diary rated at 1, and I suggest everyone else do likewise. It's not worth losing people over.

did you know me?
or were you too preoccupied,
playing king in your own kingdom?
but now the real world
has stripped you of your royalty,
and from your kingdom you're evicted...
     -- hoobastank, "remember me"

2 Apr 2003 (updated 6 Apr 2003 at 19:36 UTC) »
Let me try this: SenseisLibrary:BenjaminGeiger;

That should lead to my page on Sensei's Library.

Well, it's broken... (Hmm... fixed now that raph updated the intermap...)

I'm up to my ass in schoolwork. Since dealing with all of the random garbage involved with Grandma's death, I haven't had time to sit down and slog through my English work. (I tend to come up with code while on the run anyway, so Data Structures hasn't suffered too horribly much. Besides, the homework in that class is banal.)
Still more thinking than code. Had to come up with algorithms for scoring games that take into account things like eyes in seki (with Japanese rules, groups in seki aren't considered alive, and therefore cannot surround territory). The most basic parts elude me, however... basic ideas of how to represent a point, a move, a game...
I'm addicted to Hikaru no Go. I've been downloading episodes at the rate of about one per day, which isn't bad for dialup.
Watashi wa nihongo ga wakarimasen.
go and the car
Had a meeting Monday. I got whooped by one of the stronger players of the club. Even with a 9 stone handicap, I lost by 120 moku. Next Monday, we're going to go over the game, and he'll try to teach me enough to not lose that badly.

After the meeting, I walked out to my car to find a note tucked into the rubber on the window. It had the license plate number of the truck that hit my car. I didn't see the damage, since it was the passenger side of the car, and that side was facing away from the building.

Anyway, the rear passenger taillight assembly is broken, the right rear quarter panel is cracked (so much for "dent resistant panels") and the tailgate has a big scrape. Progressive estimated the damage at like $800, and we have a $500 deductible.

o/~ i take a look at my enormous penis, and my troubles start melting away... o/~ -- da vinci's notebook, "enormous penis"

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