Pong, for Leap!

Stay tuned, I’ll post it on my site at some point, along with 2048 for Leap.

In other news, I’m going to give up blogging for the remainder of Lent. So far this year I’ve averaged 1 post a week, so I figure if I’m going to break that pattern I might as well come up with a good reason.

Lent is my reason.

See ya’ll


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A friend lent me his Leap Motion device!

So much happiness. So little time. This post is dedicated to my poor boss – I promise that, no matter how little I may work now, I will pay back your tolerance someday. Hopefully later this week, probably this summer.

Check out 2048 for Leap here:


You control the game by swiping left, right, up, and down.

It’s shockingly easy to setup, considering what it does – it took me around a half hour to get their examples to run, and then it was only another hour to figure out their API enough to get 2048 wired into it. And most of that hour was me playing 2048.


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Awaken the Lyst!

Correction from last week: The peak time is not around midnight. It’s actually closer to 6 in the evening:


Google Charts, to the rescue. That chart displays the logins (remote and local) from the past week, pulling from about 700,000 records. (1 “record” is 1 user logged in for 15 minutes)

The past week has been productive, so a just quick list of things that now exist.

First, my Solar Calendar generator:


I’m pretty sure it actually works :-)

Enter some dates, and it gives you a PDF that you can print, cut up & fold to get your very own solar calendar. I have one on my driveway which I’ll be testing to see if all of my math works out. Hope & pray.

Secondly, after 9 months even, Lyst is back!


I’ll keep y’all posted, but it should stay up this time.

I’m considering making (in the next couple of weeks) a hosted Lyst engine… You can upload your own media and run your own game on Lyst (hosted on Pillow hardware, though, so I’ll charge if your game starts really eating my bandwidth. I have to eat somehow).


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Spring Break!

This week I started work on a system to record the usage of the assorted labs at UT’s CS department. It’s a similar system as what they have at http://utcslabs.org/, except that mine actually works and will remember data going into the past.

As a preview snapshot, here’s a graph of the number of total logins at UTCS versus time:


It has a little bit of noise in it, but the interesting thing to note is that the peak login time is ostensibly around midnight at 160 concurrent logins, dropping to between 5 and 20 logins just before noon. Note that 3/8 and 3/9 were the weekend before Spring Break, so they have an unusually low count.

Before 8:00 in the evening on 3/6 I only have data from a testing script I was running on one machine, which is why the logins remain under 20.

Anyway, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. I have the rest of the iceberg lying around – I’ll bring it out to show you guys sometime.


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Past the Speed of Light

Without going into too much detail, I’m working on a game. One of the integral parts of said game is that you rule a galactic empire, having to deal with speed-of-light delays between your colonies.

For debugging purposes, I created a ship that could travel faster than light. One of the ramifications of this is that it arrived at its destination, and then was able to create a colony that received word of the creation of an original colony.

Here’s a logfile:

Colony e5b formed.
Player recvd Colony e5b formed!
Colony e5b got message (0.0) Colony e5b formed!
3.17097919838e-06 0.0 1.4959999997e+11
++ Opened connection to, sending greeting...
Message to be delivered in 0.0791317858955yr
Ship will be flying for 19285484.875s (0.611538713692yr)
Message to be delivered in 0.0yr

0.13528665652 0.601966741023 98797977505.4
0.673519152714 0.629773332851 -69553597599.1
Arrived at destination!
Colony 419 formed.
Message to be delivered in 3.26153980636yr
Colony 419 got message (0.0) Colony 419 formed!
0.807892567225 0.664797974393 52719255672.8
3.23784246575 0.642405806125 13575646097.4
Colony 419 got message (3.26151699645) Colony e5b formed!
3.37323693557 0.674383636046 -1.02979295778e+11
3.9138413242 0.672729053375 1.26840029864e+11
Player recvd Colony 419 formed!
Colony e5b got message (3.26151699645) Colony 419 formed!
4.04931823947 0.65659168686 1.43277662497e+11

On the lines which are just a triplet of numbers, the first number is the number of years since the start in a fixed reference frame.

When the simulation starts, the first colony (e5b) is formed. Then I launch a ship to a destination 3.26 light years away, but the ship will only take 0.6 years.

So, 0.6 years later, we see the ship arrive at its target and create colony 419. Piece of cake.

But then, 0.5 years later, colony 419 receives the message about colony e5b being created. The ship literally passed through the news of e5b’s creation, and when the ship stopped at 419 the message caught up with the ship again.

Then, another 0.7 years later, we see that the original colony receives the news of colony 419 being created.

Anyway, I thought that was cool.


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CS314, GitHub, and Jenkins

What do these three have in common, you ask?

I’m using all three together.

GitHub is giving out free private repositories to people with .edu email addresses. I have one, but I don’t use it except when I want free stuff from companies.

Jenkins is an open-source Java continuous integration system, which means that it “continually integrates” code. That is, whenever I write code it automatically compiles and tests it. On Ubuntu, you can apt-get install jenkins (after you add the PPA), and it will install and start on its own. I didn’t have any hitches on my server, even installing the Git plugin and hooking that up to my GitHub repo.

Now, whenever I push my code to GitHub, Jenkins will automatically download it and run my test suite. Granted, with this assignment’s massive test file it takes 15 minutes to run on my old server, but it does run and show a little red dot when it fails and a little blue dot when it succeeds.

Also, my food of February (before I forget): Chicken tacos from Changos, again courtesy of my boss. They were pretty good, except for the whole bit where the tortilla didn’t hold together long enough for me to get the chicken into my mouth. Other than that minor snafu, I might have them again if we meet at Changos again.


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Valentines 2014!

It’s Valentine’s Day again!

And Valentine’s Day is gone again. Another year.

Another year where I can pitch my Valentine’s card game. And what better way to express your love for someone than a fly-through-the-hoops video game?


Go play it Here. It only works for WebGL-enabled browsers.

The premise of this year’s program is that you fly an airplane through some heart-shaped hoops. The hoops are arranged such that if you fly through them perfectly, it creates a name with a heart around it. Like above.

Then, once you’re done, you can email it to someone (using Amazon SES, which is pretty okay), and say something like “I love you so much I played this game with you in mind!”

Or something like that.

There used to be an issue where the email was marked as spam, but that issue has been resolved with my new email address valentine at my home page.

The unfortunate thing about college is that midterms happen to be this week, so it may be a while before this is one GitHub. But it should be by this next weekend.

And with that in mind, good morning, good evening and good night!


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Girls! Chocolate! Chick Flicks!

The party is at my place on Friday!

Although through a series of unfortunate events I don’t actually have any of these, so it’s BYOGCCF. I do have root beer and vodka, though, which can be used for parties. I’m not sharing the root beer.

I have found the worst case scenario for convergent algorithms, courtesy of Wikipedia:


Found that on the Wikipedia page about convergent square root algorithms.

I would be remiss to not mention that Lupercalia is this coming weekend (Thursday through Saturday), and as I lead a busy life I will simply leave you with a picture from a development version of this year’s Valentine’s day app:


Stay tuned, I’ll release it sometime Thursday night or Friday midday. Depends on how I feel. In the meantime you can enjoy using last year’s app, and together we can wonder what surprise I have for this year…


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Random Baby Names

So, no snow today. However, power outages today. At least we get that part of a snow storm?

But, for my CS class (“Data Structures and Algorithms”), we have to write a program that does some trivial manipulations with baby name popularity records for the past 100 years. One part of the assignment is, and I quote:

“implement a method of your own that checks for names that meet some criteria of your own design. You must thoroughly document what your criteria is in the method comments. Part of your grade will be based on how original and creative this method is. Do not share this method with others or on the class discussion group. I don’t consider finding names that are palindromes very interesting.”

The method of my own that I chose checks for names that were generated via a markov chain that randomly generates names based on the data it found. Most of the names were kind of crummy: a, d, ba, he, ne, gr, paliamorisisela, binishakylirrryluarickandy, and so forth.

Here’s a histogram of name lengths (the X-axis is off by one):


Here’s a histogram of the name lengths found in the original data (both graphs are out of 1000):


But in the middle there are some actually kind of decent names. Shiendaba, Ckadesy (which if you remove the awkward C is kind of decent), Douly, Etheca, Farly is actually a name as is Amy, Lisha, Weteta, and so forth.

And to everyone who is considering mating with me, I *promise* I won’t name the kids Jongethay. No matter how much I hate children.

The other thing that my method does is correlate syllables with how popular the names were. For instance, the syllable “gab” appears in more highly-ranked names than, say, “mar.” As a matter of fact, “gab” on average is the most popular syllable, followed by “niel”, “zac”, “kait”, “nuel”, “leb”, and so forth. I don’t know why “nuel” and “leb” made it, it’s possibly a bug from my syllable finder. It’s a simple algorithm, scanning names for VCV, VCCV, and VCCCV and assuming those are syllables.

As I can say from my Visible Speech class that I took last semester, that’s a terrible way to find syllables. But it’s not a project worth spending hours developing a syllable-counter, just to get tied up in an assignment nobody’s going to read.

Anyway, I feel like Gabniel or Zackait are going to popular names in the coming century. I’m not so sure about Nuelleb, but I cannot tell the future more than I can tell what I had for lunch…

Speaking of which, as part of my venture to eat something new every month, my (very) accommodating boss at l5 took me out to Chango’s and I had a sort of fish taco for my new food of January. I could’ve done without the vast temperature and texture difference between the actual meat and the carrot shavings they put on it, but I feel like each ingredient individually would have been nice. Together, though, they confused my tongue and left me unsatisfied.


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Sorry for the late post. A lot of stuff going on in my life.

I live in Austin, in case you didn’t already know that.

And we got snow last Friday. Not only was school canceled but I spent the morning having a snowball fight with my siblings.

“Snowball fight” is a relative term. The snow was more of a white coating than actual snow, so most of the “fight” was us scraping large patches of driveway to get enough snow to coalesce into a snowball. But it was fun nonetheless.

Speaking of fun, my cat came back Sunday. She disappeared last Tuesday, and with all the foxes around here… I figured she was dead.

But I was wrong. When I woke up Sunday morning and came down the stairs she was at the foot of the stairs, staring at me as if she were saying “what are you staring at?”

Oh, cats. I love you so.

And one final rant. Sunday my power went out not once, but twice. So, if anything you use at pillow.rscheme.org is down let me know. The SSL certificate expired, by the way, so while you can still use HTTPS to access the site it’ll give you a warning.


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