Post 8 – Mass Post

So I’ve been working in a cubicle a little more than 40 hours of week. Not ideal, but I’ve been learning quite a bit and enjoy the work I do despite the workplace environment and politics. If anyone is interested, I’m officially a Java Developer intern, but in actuality I write many reports using SQL and Visual Report Designer, a shitload of development standard documentation, dabble in SAP development, minor script writing for server cleanup and what not, and in house SOX testing – aka intern work. I’ve successfully neglected the two responsibilities I committed to during my time in Massachusetts: create a website for UCF’s SDS and UCF’s new bike coop. It’s not that I’m working all the time (which I am), it’s that whenever I’m not working, I’m putting together my uncle’s new house (which I’m indebted to for free rent and him putting up with me not having a car).

Either way, I should be getting to those shortly.

I’ve only visited Bikes not Bombs once, briefly, with LeAnn. We only got to the shop, but I was very impressed. Hopefully I’ll get to visit the actual coop and learn a thing or two and bring something of use back to ‘The Hub’ (the suggested name of the center of Spokes Council).

Other than that I program and play video games during the precious few hours of free time I get every week. I’ve been playing Torment and dabbled in an older (not that Torment isn’t old) RPG’s named Albion. Torment is an isometric RPG using the D&D Planescape campaign. It’s a wonderfully engaging and in depth game, and has great focus on character development through dialogue (just under a million words of dialogue and story in the game). I am more and more interested in game development now that I am officially changing my major to Computer Science.

If you are a math nerd and want to spend some time playing with cellular automaton using Conway’s Game of Life (Java applet to play here). One guy designed a Turing Machine… I went from there implementing some variations (and a few helpful articles) in the wonderful method of procedural generation to create those roguelike dungeons. Speaking of procedural generation, I’m very excited about Spore. Open ended gameplay seems like such a great idea that’s only begun to be tapped. You have your Sim game franchises and GTA (both of which were wildly successful), but with 7th gen consoles and PC technology continuing to advance to the point of cheap TB hard drives, desktop quad core processors, and movie size game production open ended gameplay has amazing potential (although with procedural generation, you really won’t need a new TB hard drive).

When I first heard of Spore last year the spark of game development was reignited in me and has been simmering until now. I find myself reading Tigsource and Gamasutra regularly and playing older games that I’ve missed out on.

I began J.M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians per Phil’s suggestion. I’m only about a quarter into it, but so for it’s very good.

The two dogs that inhabit the house we are fixing up are very tiny. One is small and brown. The other is Gandalf:

This post’s bike picks:

Dave’s Schwinn from FGG
Tim’s 1984 Suteki Track 10 from Old Ten Speed Gallery

I’m off to look at an old Schwinn Varsity to fix up. I think I want a simple, maybe goofy, old style fixed gear using this as a template.

On a final note, please suggest some music. Too much Little Wings and Deer Tick lately. Maybe.

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~ by blitzgren on June 24, 2008.

7 Responses to “Post 8 – Mass Post”

  1. 80 percent of that was so nerdy that I cant fathom its meaning…

    Music: These are music suggestions that I have been listening to daily…

    Keren Ann- you would love her..I LOVE HER, her French stuff and English stuff is great

    Ever head of the Weakerthans? I like them and have been listening to them more recently…

    Also, for your hip-hop pleasure, I say KRS ONE

    For your beat/feel good pleasure, search Matthew Herbert

    And there always my two faves…Jeff Buckley and Ani
    let me know if you need a mix CD sent up, and I can do that

    love you babe

  2. the cellular automation is interesting, i started toying with that a little bit.

    I don’t really understand the turing machine- what it is or what it means. Is it just a complex cellular formation that produces a perpetual pattern of motion? I didn’t look at the page for long, but it didn’t seem very explanatory.

    And spore, eh? Have you seen these. . .

    . . .weird.

    Listen to, the new Bonnie Prince Billy “Lie Down in the Light.”
    and Leonard Cohen.

  3. I don’t understand Turing Machines aside from it being a string of symbols (whose range is finite) and a processing unit that changes it’s state based on the symbol it’s on, it’s current state, and it’s instructions on what to do for the combination.

    The cellular automation of that is absurdly complex to me. But what he did with it was very specific formations that use guns and what not to represent 1 and 0, and collisions of these ‘bullets’ to represent logic. For example: http://rendell-attic.org/gol/pictures/notxor.htm
    is a NOT XOR gate, which will produce a 1 only if it’s 2 inputs are the same (00 and 11 produce 1 while 01 and 10 produce 0) In the animation, you notice that the formations shooting off gliders (bullets) represent the 2 1-bit data inputs, and the middle gun represents the 1-bit data output. When the input is 01 or 10, only one of the gliders will reach the middle gliders at a time, and it destroys both. However, if the input is 00 (no gliders from either side), the middle gliders are free to exit, or 11 (one glider from each side) where the two gliders destroy each other before they affect the middle glider.

    At least I think.

  4. Hey Ryan, check out Fionn Regan (I really like the song Put A Penny In The Slot), and the Fruit Bats album Spelled In Bones (the Earthquake of ’73 is one of my favorite songs right now). I don’t know how many Avett Brothers records you ended up downloading, but Four Thieves Gone is one that I have been listening to a lot. I hope these help.

  5. Ryan, spore is cool but sporn is cooler. Look it up.

    Computer science, eh? Yeah, I switched from Aero to Mechanical.

  6. I’ve been listening to and enjoying The Smiths lately thanks to Chris W. (check ’em out if you haven’t already)

  7. […] c++ library to create a map that is procedurally generated (Conway’s GOL which I’ve mentioned before) to create wall and floor object. Floor objects will hold several randomly place ant objects that […]

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