Categories: "The Life"

Mid-Week Rant

02/23/10 | by Comp615 [mail] | Categories: The Life

Two things that have come to annoy me recently that I want to bring up.

First, I was trying to find flights today to go abroad. Naturally I started with Delta which has its hub in Detroit and which I know (when it was Northwest) had about 6 flights daily to Amsterdam. Northwest literally used to have 2 flights to Amsterdam within 15 minutes of each other.

Anyways, so I got on Delta and the first thing that comes up is some random flight connecting through Toronto. Come to find that the direct flight which is about 20% booked cost $1500 one-way. Are you kidding me? This is for something still 3 months out too. I want Northwest back. Needless to say I will be flying an alternate airline, although the DTW terminal still rox my sox.

Second, the RPI Men's Hockey Team. I've been waiting to rant about this one for awhile. During hockey games, the teams traditionally line up on their blue lines during the national anthem. Well there I am listening to our nice national anthem when the line, "And the rockets RED glare" comes up. Suddenly the entire team/audience decides that they are going to scream out the word red. Maybe they had a random vocal spasm, or maybe they just got so excited that they heard their school's color red in a song that they couldn't contain their enthusiasm. Apparently the RPI team/audience thinks it's cool to make the national anthem all about them. Whatever the reason, they might as well be screaming out "TOOL", because that's what the whole stunt is, toolish. Congrats RPI on having a school color that coincides with a word in the national anthem. Glad to hear your enthusiastic about the red WHITE and BLUE. (Oh hey, we're two for three!)

Can you tell that it's one of those little things I really hate? Anyways, that's what's currently bugging me. I'm de-bugging (nice segway) the train building portion of our AI: ZooElite right now, so look for a post about that later this weekend!

ZooElite AI Development: Bus Stops

02/11/10 | by Comp615 [mail] | Categories: TTD AI

So ZooElite, our AI for Transport tycoon I mentioned earlier is now in full development. One of the first things I've been working on is determining the optimal placement for a given number of bus stations in a given city. This little info bit will explain how I'm choosing station placements. Read on for details!

Full story »

Intelligent Geographic Transportation Networks

01/22/10 | by Comp615 [mail] | Categories: TTD AI

So for this post I had to create a whole new category of posts called TTD AI, in the future, the whole series can be found HERE. Anyways, this semester I am doing independent research with a friend on Intelligent Geographic Transportation Networks. At least that's the mouthful of jibber we can up with to describe this project. In reality, we are creating an AI (Artificial Intelligence) program for the game Transport Tycoon. Because I will be posting a lot this semester about my progress on the project, I wanted to give some background on what we hope to accomplish, what the game is about and why we chose it, and why any of this matters. More after the jump!

Full story »

Finals and Oatmeal

12/03/09 | by Comp615 [mail] | Categories: College

So now that my week from hell is over, (as are two of my classes!), I thought I'd share some fun stuff from today. First, I awoke this morning to find a nice email from the police chief, who usually reports robbings and stabbing in my inbox. Naturally, I found this hilarious, but fake given the gmail address and link at the bottom (Which I scored 49 in btw).

Although I soon realized the threat was real, when I saw, with my own two eyes, a man clearly trying to protect his bananas and running in fear while being chased by a rather large escaped monkey and two researchers trying to recapture the monkey through Commons Dining Hall. The threat is real...maybe...

A Message to the Yale Community:

I write to inform you that five rhesus monkeys escaped from the neurochemical research laboratory of the Child Study Center (230 South Frontage Road) at 5:07am on Thursday, December 3, 2009. All members of the Yale community are urged to exercise caution in their movements about campus until the animals are recaptured. If you or anyone you know comes into contact with one of the monkeys, seek medical attention immediately. The animals are infected with the Motaba virus, a hemorrhagic fever native to central Africa; Yale-New Haven Hospital staff is ready to administer the E-1101 serum, but it must be administered within several hours of infection. Subjects escaped on S. Frontage towards Central Campus and were last seen near George and Church. If you have any information regarding this case or should witness suspicious activity, please report it immediately to the Yale Police at 203-432-1374.

James A. Perrotti
Chief of Police

Yale University Official Message
NOTE: This official Yale University message can also be viewed at:

Thankfully that link led me to a beautiful new fun site called, you should check it out. After figuring out how many monkeys I could take out, I clicked around and found some fun info here:

Enjoy browsing around! Happy Finals Week / Reading week!

Yale's (Online) Secrets

10/26/09 | by Comp615 [mail] | Categories: Web, Technology, College

Just when you thought you knew everything Yale had to offer, here come three of Yale's best kept secrets to help you make the most of your time online.

Yale File Transfer
I use this site probably once a week. It allows you to avoid those annoying email size limits by uploading them to a website and then sending a link to download them. I've used to to send tons of picture archives to YDN and a bunch of other stuff.

The best part of this one is that people outside of Yale can use it to send things to someone at Yale. It requires a NetID login. To use it click: "A Yale person who wants to send files...". Enter the recipient, and get started sending massive files.

Email Aliases
Perhaps the best thing I've ever found at Yale. In case you didn't know, my email is actually charles.croom, but through this nifty utility you can use up to three aliases. So I use charlie.croom, which means my email address is intuitive. I could also get chuck.croom, etc. For anyone who goes by a name different from their given name...this site is a MUST. It takes a couple days to go through, and you have to be on the Yale network to get to the site, but it's well worth it. Enjoy nickname.lastname!

Mailman Lists
How many panlists are you on right now? Heck, you probably don't even know all the panlists you're on. Panlsits are basically a collection of email addresses that get combined into one "panlist" nothing special. Enter Mailman. Mailman lists are the same thing, except you can specify a HUGE number of options. Prevent people not on the list from sending mail to people on the list, handling replies so that you don't get double messages, prefix all message subjects with [organization], digest messages (meaning people send 100 messages to the list per day, but these all get lumped together into a "daily digest") and tons more.

If you are sick of dealing with panlists, step up to the big leagues and try a mailman list. It's what YDN Photo, the VQ, and YDC use. Everyone on the list will appreciate the subject prefixing as they can immediately identify what the message relates to.


Hopefully these power user tips will help make your daily Yale life less hectic. Let me know if there's any other tips like these that I haven't found out about. I'd love to hear about them.

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A collection of musings from my time at Yale along with some thoughts about my "Freshman year of life" in San Francisco.


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