Older blog entries for fzort (starting at number 199)

3 Jan 2012 (updated 3 Jan 2012 at 20:44 UTC) »

It's been a while. Oh crap, is it really 2012 already?

So what have I been up to?

I've been wasting investing a ridiculous amount of time trying to learn Japanese. It's a nutso language, especially the writing system. Seriously. And I used to think that English was weird. Being able to read, say, a sci-fi novel written in Japanese without a dictionary is looking more and more like a pipe dream. I should have gone with, say, Mandarin instead, which looks a lot more sane (and more useful these days). Anyway, along the way I wrote a couple of programs to help (?) me with my learning (??).

The first one (which I still use every day) was a flash card program to practice vocabulary and kanji. That one's not too interesting.

Then I wrote a Missile Command clone to practice kanji. Here's a YouTube video. And here's the code.

Then I wrote a typespeed clone with kanji. (YouTube video. Code.)

Then I wanted to try out Android programming and started to write a Tetris clone with kanji. (YouTube video. Code.) Yes, of course I'm not using Java. Java, as we all know, sucks. There's a tiny Java wrapper but most of the code is under the jni/ directory, and I can compile a stand-alone Linux version with SDL/OpenGL.

I started to use C++ for my personal coding, which is a lot more fun than C. Unfortunately my C++ code has yuck-inducing raw pointers all over the place (oh hi ncm).

This concludes our blogging for the year of 2012. Thank you, you've been a lovely audience.

(Actually, I have a Japanese-language blog somewhere else but I'm not telling you where it is! Muhahah!)

4 Oct 2011 (updated 5 Oct 2011 at 02:37 UTC) »
23 Mar 2011 (updated 24 Mar 2011 at 12:44 UTC) »

I uploaded my kanji Missile Command typing game thingie to GitHub (the ugly code is here). Is there a license like the WTFPL, but, er, nicer?

I really want to finish this game. However, my desktop machine at home decided to finally bite the dust this week, after many years of heroic struggle. Gah.

22 Mar 2011 (updated 23 Mar 2011 at 00:06 UTC) »
ncm: I thought that apenwarr's diary entry was a bit puzzling, too. I don't hold a candle to Avery's hacking superpowers, but isn't that, er, trivial?

  r = parse_factor();
  if (get_token() == '*')
    r *= parse_factor();
  return r;
  r = parse_term();
  if (get_token() == '+')
    r += parse_term();
  return r;

Should make * have higher precedence than +, right?

18 Mar 2011 (updated 18 Mar 2011 at 23:33 UTC) »
cdfrey: I'll openly stereotype and state that I consider the Japanese some of the nicest, kindest, hardest working, least selfish people on the planet. Of course, every group has its bad apples, but I get a bit envious when I compare certain aspects of their culture with that of my own country. Do you know of any other place where schools, both public and private, are cleaned by students and teachers [1]? (Maybe that's why they never litter.) Stereotype it may be, but one that is supported by their admirable behavior throughout this catastrophe (no looting, people helping each other).

I don't want to have anything to do with a spiteful god that punishes such people.

I'm sorry for my earlier offensive (and quite crackpotish) diary entry, but a comment I read somewhere really pushed my buttons. I understand that one can be a Christian and not think that way [2]. I was going to delete that diary entry, but I suppose that now it's a bit late and I'll just have to own it up.

And yes, I donated to the Haiti relief efforts, too.

[1] when I commented on this to my Japanese friend, she was quite surprised. "What do you mean? It isn't like that in your country? Who does the cleaning, then?"

[2] I still love you, Don Knuth.

17 Mar 2011 (updated 21 Mar 2011 at 16:36 UTC) »
cdfrey: that's true. I don't know why I bothered.

We should do something about the spammer problem. For a site meant for hackers, this is an embarrassment.


Each and every news article on the web covering the events now unfolding at a certain far-east country is littered with comments written by religious wackos, who seem to be convinced that this is all the doing of a bearded Galactus-like superbeing in the sky, outraged at the refusal by the population of the aforementioned country to accept and embrace their religion of love and compassion. (The claim that it's a religion of love and compassion, while apparently at odds with the implication that their imaginary friend has just murdered tens of thousands of people on a whim, is to be accepted without questioning, because a horrible book written by pig-ignorant savages before flush toilets were invented says that it is so.) The same crackpots wrote similar things about the recent disaster in Haiti. (You know, voodoo.)

Up to now, I've always evaded the question whenever someone mentioned religion, careful not to offend anyone. But you know what? I'll finally get out of the closet and say it: I'm an atheist. That's right, I'm not even agnostic. If accepting your religion in order to go to heaven means I'll have to endure the company of you nutsos for the rest of eternity, I'd rather burn in hell. You make me sick to my stomach.

By the way, I've donated today.

16 Mar 2011 (updated 16 Mar 2011 at 01:36 UTC) »
redi: sorry, I missed your answer. Thank you very much!

I searched for open source English grammar checkers, naively thinking that they would work by fully parsing English, but most of them only do pattern matching to look for common errors - like LanguageTool, used by OpenOffice. They are peephole optimizers, not complete parsers.

Except for Link Grammar, used by AbiWord. This one does parse English!

Even though it doesn't answer my original question (it thinks that "explain me something" is okay), it is quite cool.

proclus: no offense man, but your photograph isn't that interesting. Do you really need to post a link to it so many times?

15 Mar 2011 (updated 15 Mar 2011 at 13:55 UTC) »
chalst: we're all hackers here. Shouldn't we feel ashamed for doing the machine's job?

My alter-ego^H^H8191 talked about writing a patch for mod_virgule that adds e-mail confirmation when creating a new account. Maybe we should at least have something like that!

Blacklisting would be nice as well.

Not sure if StevenRainwater is still accepting patches.

14 Mar 2011 (updated 14 Mar 2011 at 23:24 UTC) »
dangermaus: thank you very much for sharing that article! I'll translate your conclusions (and comparisons with the Chernobyl catastrophe) to Japanese and post them to my Japanese language blog. Hope you don't mind!
11 Mar 2011 (updated 12 Mar 2011 at 21:40 UTC) »
redi, long time no see!

My English grammar book simply says that, after a ditransitive verb (which takes a direct and an indirect object), the indirect object can either come in a prepositional phrase after the direct object ("She told something <to me>") or directly after the verb ("She told <me> something"), implying that the relevant bit of the yacc code for English looks like this:

: ditransitive-verb direct-object preposition indirect-object
| ditransitive-verb indirect-object direct-object
| ...

That doesn't seem to be a general rule, though. Maybe I need a better grammar book!

Your etymological explanation makes sense. Thank you!

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