Pat Brice


A very funny man passed away on Sunday:  Pat Brice.  He was tremendously funny and that was about all I knew about him.  He worked with a friend of mine (Jordan) on a few projects and I came to know his online humour through little clips that Jordan used to send me while he was editing them.  All the Blerds and Visitors Locker Room guys are quite funny.  I'm not sure if their Friday show at the Apollo is going ahead at this time but I will certainly miss Pat.  You can find some of Pat's work here.

Disco Dancing!


Next dance party I can guarantee you that I'm doing this:

Oh, check out Slagsmålsklubben (6 Swedish Guys with Synths) while you're there.

A few notes


Once again, been super busy but…

  1. Moved in!  Been living here (sleeping, eating, gaming) for one week now.  Fun times!
  2. Playing a lot of Risk since there isn't at TV.  Next Risk game is probably going to involve Eric, Geoff, and Lenny (you're going down Lenny).
  3. Weather is good.
  4. Work is hectic.
  5. Chad has been working like mad on new things (expect things).
  6. Bills arrive fast and organization now is key.
  7. Network is up and running, going through the walls sometime during the week.
  8. Algorithm optimization…it's minor and overall the problem is NP (I believe) so it doesn't do anything overall but it does help some cases…still, it adds cost…so it's not worth it…think people THINK!  I will be happy to continue discussions and shouting matches about your "new fangled way to find prime numbers".

That is all, talk soon! 

Algorithm optimization


I was watching this maze page solve itself (press the solve button) when optimization came to mind.  You see, this maze solver seems to be brute forcing a solution by always turning left (initially) until the last turn results in a dead end.  It then backs up to the last turn and tries the next turn in the sequence (left, straight, right).  The technique mentioned is pretty good for mazes and there seems to be nothing one can do to speed it up but there are a few cases that one can do to aid in selecting what turn to make.

For instance, if one knows what direction they're heading in (known), start and end points (known), and the height and width of the maze (known) then a quick and easy optimization is to determine if one has reached the top of the maze and also if one has reached the bottom (or has one reached left and has one reached right).  By knowing if you have reached the top and bottom in the same traversal then one knows that any bottom turns must be towards the exit.  No solution will exist where you must backtrack all the way back past the top point and then turn right (you've cut off a portion of the maze).  In essense you are starting a new maze with the top point the new start (yes you may be able to move left slightly up to the bottom most touch point but not past it).  The same goes for left and right boundaries with reference to upwards and downwards movement.

This is a very small optimization but it can save a tremendous amount of time chasing a dead end.  Basically, if you reach the bottom of the map and you are in a path that has reached the top don't take a turn away from the goal.  If no turn towards the goal exists at the bottom then backtrack to the last turn that allows a turn towards the goal (end point).

Such small benefits are what keep programmers up all night. 

So yeah…

Moved out I guess…Eric came over and we played Risk.  Then I worked…it's still warm in here so I'll have to clean out the computer to see if that helps.  Not as warm though.



All set up and ready for action…back home for dinner now.

I have interweb!

I tested the interweb connection earlier today at the new place and it's connected.  The computers shall make their move now.


goldeneye:/# uptime
14:09:55 up 405 days, 11:59,  1 user,  load average: 1.37, 0.43, 0.15



I didn't realize how many games I had until I started moving…it's nowhere near as large as Omar's collection but it's large nonetheless.

In other news, I may have a very "neat" phone number for my land line.  More details as to its neatness once I confirm that I have it. 



It would be a good idea to get to bed early so that you can wake up nice and relaxed for the good day but…oh…let me just implement this one feature…

…oh…while I'm at it I may as well pass forward the linking error messages…

…oh…let's just test it…

…oh…to test this fully I could just manipulate the database or I could just implement this small other feature…

…oh…there's a lot of dead code in here…let's just clean it up…

…oh…there's a feature change I need to add so let's write it up…

…oh…it's 4 am. 

The day…

So, today is it.  The day that I've been talking about for a while…no, it's not demo release day (although that day will too someday arrive).  It's the day when I buy a house.  People have been asking me if I'm excited and guess what?  I'm not.  Yes sure it's a big step but the whole process has been quite sedate.  Back in April the agreements were signed and the bank approved me.  Then for a few months, nothing really happened.  Last week I had the electricity, water, and gas accounts created (15 minutes total including hold time and one call to the wrong company).  I obtained insurance inside of 10 minutes as well and aside from a 5 minute trip to the bank and a 20 minute visit to the house there wasn't really much to do.

I suppose one of the reasons I'm not in much of a panic or excited is that I haven't packed anything yet.  The move is within town and I have many days to move so there's no real sense of urgency.  The first real tangible step shall be this morning when I pay ze money…and then nothing.  Later on today I will get the keys and at that point I think things will get real…mad real.  After that I shall plant a tree in the backyard (but not before plenty of photographs to document the house) and I guess…well, that's the plan so far.

So, await word on more.