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Chapter 52: In which our hero reaches a plateau

Nov. 29th, 2006 | 10:30 pm
location: @home
feeeeeelings: thoughtfulthoughtful
t00nz: Cities of Foam - Oleambi

Well, it's been a month since I last posted.  That sure was unexpected!  Time to get a collection of links in no particular order off my chest:

Make Google dance for you (no, srlsly)
13000 people cannot be wrong
The power of Flickr and Google Earth come together in one epic evolution (go go Photosynth, I choose you!)
How to ransom a wallet over the internet
Every Topic In The Universe Except Chickens (Qwantz readers keep going)
Hello computer, how are you doing today? Oh good, a major scale - that means you're in top form! (non-nerds move on)
Guitar hero - on your chest
Everything in the universe about Zoggs

NOW, on with reality:

Today, I was thinking about programming and permutations.  We haven't covered permutations in Geometry, yet, but I was idly toying with flimsy's Ziggurat idea.  Instead of doing Geometry Proof review, I worked out a pseudo code algorithm to generate all the possible combinations of 1-15 letter words composed of a-z.  So, you shove all these words (I'm too scared to work out what the total number would be) into a database, then you use them to create all possible permutations of, say, 20 word sentences (this is a pretty ridiculous number, I know).  Finally, with this gargantuan database in hand, you create a hotornot/Google Image Labelling-like web app.  Interested visitors are shown a pair of sentences, and asked to vote on which is more powerful.  Far more often than not, they're both rubbish, but the user still has to choose one.  Anyways, these would be marked as unusable, and they would not be voted on again until the first "round" was finished.  You can read the rest of the Ziggurat link to find out how it all ends, but I'm pretty intrigrued by the idea of distributed permutations and then having people sort out the rubbish.  I'd love to try to get a distributed 50x50 pixel image permutation generator going, but it would require a lot of concentration, something which I don't feel inclined to give the idea.
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Chapter 51: In which Big Questions are posed

Oct. 24th, 2006 | 11:51 pm
location: PartyPoker.com!
feeeeeelings: exanimateexanimate
t00nz: Delerium feat. Jael - After All

I smashed a piñata today. It was surprisingly easy, yet the thrill of success was tempered by my foreknowledge of the prize inside - a digital camera. Three short, quick strokes with the obscenely plastic bat; that's all it took to vanquish the fell beast. But lo, a divine message appeared:

You did it!

Click here to receive!

The Digital Camera!

Click to tell your friends about it!


I wish life were as rewarding and forgiving as banner ads. Every day I discover new ways to win extraordinary prizes for a minimum amount of effort. Lassoed the bull? Hooray, a new iPod! You hit George Bush with three eggs? That sort of skill deserves a free SUV! Decided between "Awesome" or "Terrible" for Steven Harper's opinion rating? A 50" plasma TV is on its way!

Do people actually click on these? Do they really have no concept of an effort/reward ratio? Are there actually human beings who are outraged to discover that the digital camera inside the piñata isn't real?

Then again, maybe life is far too similar to a banner ad. Big promises all over the place, but when it comes time to put its money where its mouth is, life is just another big jerk. I'm sorry, Mr. Matthews, but you didn't let enough of your friends know about this amazing offer, so you won't be receiving your plasma TV. Better luck next time!

Or maybe life is actually one big pyramid scheme. The people who have it made are the ones who've figured it out - they passed on the revelation to all their friends, and now everybody involved is rich and prosperous. Except for the children in Africa, of course. They're too busy trying not to die to bother with the real secret of life.

I just received an email. Apparently my wife is complaining about me being on for only a few minutes. Viagra Soft Tabs can change everything, however!!!!!! I'm sure my wife is worth it, but who has time for erectile dysfunction in this life of disappointment?

I just received a second email. Andy and John, the directors of MSN, are angry at me because I have reserved more than one account for myself. There are only 578 names left because of selfish people like me. I hate people, they are dumb and inconsiderate and never think about the long term ramifications of hitting the piñata. The piñata is a metaphor for Gilligan's Island reruns - Gilligan's still not going to escape his island, just like you're not going to get your free digital camera.

Life itself is a piñata. The more you hit, the more frustrated you get. The lucky kid, the popular kid, will get all the candy inside in one swing after you've softened it up for him. It's the one promise, the only prmosise, that big jerk life comes through on. Count on it.

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Chapter 50: AN EXCLAMATION!

Oct. 23rd, 2006 | 01:14 am
location: irc
feeeeeelings: irc
t00nz: irc

<@ahaahhtahahighfiveadued> flimsy said that religion is a bunch of people who basically agree on the same tihng but can't agree on what kind of hat to wear
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Chapter 49: A Conversation Ensues

Oct. 21st, 2006 | 04:39 pm
location: online
feeeeeelings: amusedamused
t00nz: Coldplay remix + Windows sound effects!

<Revvy> ahahahaha
<Revvy> I'm listening to a coldplay remix I downloaded
<Revvy> and it sounds like the person recorded it through the WaveOut or something
<Revvy> because halfway through there's the windows XP alert noise pretty faint :D
<Sai`ke> :DDD
<Sai`ke> no msn sounds?
<Revvy> that would suck
<Sai`ke> of course :p
<Revvy> I should make a song out of the windows sfx
<Sai`ke> I've done that once
<Sai`ke> it turned out AWFUL
<Revvy> haha
<Sai`ke> but AWFUL on purpose
<Sai`ke> I think it was called LOKKS LIKE UR RITING A LETTAR or something
<Revvy> :D
<Sai`ke> house with the windows chord as afterbass
<Revvy> that's awesome
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Chapter 48: A Quote is Reproduced

Oct. 20th, 2006 | 06:57 pm
feeeeeelings: weary
t00nz: some Hybrid track

"Google and Earthlink [discovered] that dealing with the local San Francisco political scene is about as fun as being set up on a blind date with Mike Tyson after being rubbed down in meat sauce."
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Chapter 46: In which Aunt Jemima rescues our hero

Oct. 7th, 2006 | 10:34 am
feeeeeelings: filled
t00nz: Myst IV: Revelation - Main Theme

I went to the free Oktoberfest opening pancake and sausage breakfast this morning.  I have never seen so much Aunt Jemima maple syrup in one place.

Also, somebody had spraypainted "Oktokerfest" on the wall of a nearby warehouse during the night.
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Chapter 45: In which our hero munches on a healthy snack

Oct. 4th, 2006 | 03:45 pm
location: @home
feeeeeelings: accomplishedaccomplished
t00nz: Air - Voyage de Penelope

It's official. I've progressed farther on my revamped level editor in two weeks than I did in two months! I've just created the first "new" feature that isn't just re-implementing what was in my non-guichan editor. As a side benefit, this new feature (which happens to be a button labelled "Edit") demonstrates that my state-based system works properly, which was only theoretical up until this point. Hooray!
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Chapter 44: In which our hero is productive, for once

Oct. 1st, 2006 | 12:45 am
feeeeeelings: Productive
t00nz: A State of Trance 267

I like when I get the coding bug and actually get stuff done.  I don't think I mentioned it before, but I decided to rewrite my level editor using a real GUI library instead of my homebrew, hacked up, scary "everything is a button" system.  I settled on guichan, and I like it a lot after spending a bit of time with it.  It's basically what I was trying to do with my SDL-gui library, except it's actually planned out and stuff.

Now, it had previously taken me several months to get my editor up to a certain point - a working tile map, buttons everywhere, infinitely-resizing map, scrolling, a history and debug system and more.  I believe that I picked up the most recent release of guichan about 3 weeks ago, give or take a few days.  It took me close to a week to get just a basic ImageButton class moving and shaking in this new paradigm framework library, but in the remaining two weeks I have brought the revamped editor back to to the pre-guichan state in terms of interface and function.  This bodes well for the future.

Also, I need suggestions for a topic for my 700-750 word informal essay that's due in 9 days.
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Chapter 43: In which our hero discovers a new love for literature

Sep. 30th, 2006 | 10:33 pm
feeeeeelings: Amused
t00nz: A State of Trance 268

For anybody who has an idea what Theatre and Company is:

Go.  See.  BarefootInThePark.

NOW.

Seriously, it's one of the best plays I've seen in ages.  It ends tomorrow, it's got rave reviews and it's totally worth it.

For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, here is a consolation link:

The Chrono Trigger Mix Tape

Some crazy fellow mashep up hiphop acapellas and the Chrono Trigger soundtrack.  The result is intriguing and even brilliant at times (Milkshake and 1,2Step are my favourites!)  Make sure you get the version without DJ Epoch, because the voiceovers are a bit too obnoxious to be appreciated properly.

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Chapter 42: In which the protagonist develops an interest in literary pursuits

Sep. 9th, 2006 | 11:58 pm
feeeeeelings: productiveproductive
t00nz: Fischerspooner - Emerge (Junkie XL Remix)

My mum and I spent the morning in Stratford browsing used bookstores.  I bought two Wheel of Time books (I own the entire set except for Knife of Dreams now), Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov, Snow White and the Seven Samurai by Tom Holt, and Lost in a Good Book and The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde.  Came to $35 and dashed my hopes of buying a soundcard today as well.  I shall have to grab money from the bank and stop into Sherwood Music after school on Monday.  Until then, I'm pouring through The Eye of the World (Book #1, which is pretty fun after reading #3-11 in the past few months) and hacking on a couple fun projects I have going while I don't have homework.
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