Categories: "The Life"

Jetzt ist Sommer

05/14/10 | by Comp615 [mail] | Categories: Welcome, The Life

So, it's summer officially! I'm already in Deutschland (Germany), and very nearly over the jet lag. I hope to update you with fun anecdotes from my trip and photos periodically over the summer. I'm also working on getting the photoblog we did last summer going again, so stay tuned on that front.

For now, I'll recap my first day or two in Hamburg (and Germany). Hamburg is a nice port city in northern Germany. I was surprised to see how busy the port is, there's tons of cranes and containers all over as the city has a direct connection to the north sea. I also got a chance to see the World Press Photo exhibition which is currently up in the lobby of German Publishing company Gruner & Jahr. A lucky find wandering around.

We also stopped by the tunnel which runs under the harbor (~1 mile long). It's defunct now since it used a car elevator type lift, but still a lot of fun to walk/bike down. The weather has been standard European weather, cloudy and cold. This didn't seem to mar the festivities which occurred on Fathers Day yesterday.

The Germans are great, however, because this in not your typical fathers day. As it turns out, it falls on a Thursday and is actually a national holiday (Stores and schools close). This holiday should actually be called Bro Day, because literally the entire holiday entails guys getting together and getting smashed. That's it.

I frequently saw two guys carrying a case of beer between them down the road. One guy struggled to keep control of his bike as he flipped our train off with one hand and tried to steer with his beer in the other hand. Sounds like a great holiday doesn't it?

Well that's about all the excitement so far from Germany. For the next month or so I'll be roaming around the country, and then I have an internship in Munich. So stay tuned for more fun and fotos from Germany. Bis spater!

Photojournalism Project

05/02/10 | by Comp615 [mail] | Categories: Photography

This weekend was the opening of our class' gallery featuring everyone's work from the semester. It was fantastic to see the incredible variety of projects people worked on. It's also amazing to see how far our projects have come from the second week of school where no one had a clue about what they wanted to do. It was incredibly hard to narrow it down to 10 photos for the show after shooting hundreds this semester, but the end result looks pretty cool!

In order to try to give you an idea of what it looks like, I've created a gallery-esque type thing on my photo blog. Please go check out my project (Click to advance) and let me know what you think!


An Advertisement for Solid-State Drives

04/26/10 | by Comp615 [mail] | Categories: Technology

Quick lesson in computer technology: Conventional hard-drives consist of very delicate moving parts which means if you drop your computer it is the part most susceptible to damage. To test this, I dropped my computer and the hard drive broke. My experimental data indicates that SSDs need to get much cheaper very quickly so that I can continue dropping my computer. Lesson learned, wait to drop your computer till you get a SSD. Have a good end of the semester!

ZooElite AI Development: Beta!

04/12/10 | by Comp615 [mail] | Categories: TTD AI

Well this has been a long time coming, I'm happy to officially announce that ZooElite, an AI built in Squirrel on the NoAI framework for OpenTTD has reached it's (pre-)beta stage. Note that this isn't a Google Beta, but an actually beta. As defined by Wikipedia:

"Beta" is the software development phase following alpha, named after the Greek letter beta. It generally begins when the software is feature complete. The focus of beta testing is reducing impacts to users, often incorporating usability testing. The process of delivering a beta version to the users is called beta release.

In addition, I'd like to clarify what exactly an AI is for the slew of people who have reduced this project to "Making a game that plays itself". AI stands for Artificial Intelligence, which in this context is intended to be an intelligent player of this game. The game does not play itself, persay, what we've done is created a computer competitor that has a unique style of play. So when a human is playing the game, they could play against one or multiple AI competitors. So we've created a program that takes into account the current circumstances of the game and tries to create as profitable a company as possible.

Anyways, this means that we have what is basically a fully functional AI. A few of the financial subroutines need to be tweaked, and perhaps we'll try to add some upgrade and save/load functionality, but otherwise...woo! Click here for a screenshot of what it does. Ignore all the extra signs and such, those were for debugging. Not too shabby!

Even after this screenshot, I spent a few more hours today debugging certain errors and trying to make more bus route optimizations. There should be one or two more major changes which will increase profitability and help with rapid expansion, but we'll address those in the next week or two. Till then, Cheers!

ZooElite AI Development: R&R

03/01/10 | by Comp615 [mail] | Categories: TTD AI

Rest and relaxation...oh I wish...nope, this time it's RAILROADS!!! Last time I showed you how we placed bus stations, this time I'm going to give you an inside look at where ZooElite decides to put railroad stations. This is all subject to change, but the general idea will stay the same. Full info after the jump!

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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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