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Today, is a palindrome date
of the form DD-MM-YY or YY-MM-DD. There are only 30 such
palindrome dates in each century and they are always in November.
Today, is also my 49th birthday and my seventh
square year birthday. It is the first time that I celebrate
my birthday on a palindrome date of any kind. Most likely it will
also be my last one.
Going into the city
Today, Li-Xia and I went into the city.
After having bought some fruit, we went to McDonalds. At 14:15, I
bought two books from bookshop De
Slegte. The first book is Plato and a Platypus Walk Into
a Bar... by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein. I have read
this book this summer (report)
but I gave it to my nephew Xuan-Xuan. Now I saw the last
for € 3, while on July 8
I paid € 5.99. The other book is Theo Colenbrander: Tapijtontwerpen by Arno Weltens which contains
carpet designs by Theo Colenbrander. In the evening, I started manually
digitizing the first design with the use of MS Paint: the result. A fragment of this is displayed on the right.
Later we also bought the DVD The Golden Compass for € 3.99
and watched it in the evening.
Carpets of Theo Colenbrander
Yesterday evening, I spend some time scanning the first carpet
design in Theo Colenbrander
Tapijten. I had to download and install a driver on my netbook to scanner of our MP520 printer/scanner. I was thinking about writing
a program to process the scan. I searched for an open source
replacement of MS Paint, and I downloaded:
In the text of the book, I read that
Richard Mills had taken the initiative to produce the carpets again.
The book said that he started the website www.richardmills.com.au for this purpose, but when I
looked at it this morning, I noticed that it is his personal web
site. I could not find anything about the carpets. But when I
googled a little, I found www.colenbrandercarpets.com, from which the carpets can be
ordered. It seems that they already have digitized many of the
designs. It is a flash web site and it is not obvious how it
works. I haven't found out how to order a carpet. Somewhere it
states that the production time is about half a year, because
the carpets are hand made. I guess that they will cost anywhere
between ten to fifthy thousands USD/Euro.
an abstract game invented by Christian Freeling, which is a mixture between Symple and Go. Hence its name.
It is also an entry for Recre.Games.Combinatorial: Official Abstract Game Design Contest
(login required), which poses the following game designs:
- Win Condition: winner is player with majority stones on board when
board is full.
- Capture by Conversion: stones convert to the opposite color during
the gameplay by some mechanism.
- Playable in the iggc sandbox: this means the board for your game
must use a square or hexagonal tiling.
- Game should be for 2 players only.
If you combine this with the grow rules from Symple and the capture
conditions of Go, you get SyGo. The capture by conversion, removes
some forms of game play found in Go, such ko and snap-back. The game
is clearly less complex than Go and I also do not consider the
combination of the Symple, Go, and capture by conversion very organic.
Complexity of SyGo
Last Friday, I remarked that SyGo was "Clearly less
complex" than Go. As a response to this remark,
on Tuesday, November 16, Christian
Freeling wrote a response on his blog (in Dutch). I responded to this with an email and he replied
again. When I made that remark, I was thinking about the possible number of
games. There are several reasons why this 'theoretical' complexity of Go is
larger: First of all, SyGo puts some limits on the places where stones can
be placed during the growing phase of the game. At first sight one might
think that making multi-stones moves increase the number of possible games,
but it decreases the number, because if those stones where played one-by-one
there are many more sequences in which those stones can be placed. Also in
SyGo the number of stones never decreases, while with Go it can. And
although in real games this never happens, it is possible to repeatingly
capture all stones of one of the players. Players can even alternate in
capturing all stones of each other. But the theoretical number of possible
games is strongly reduced for stronger players. Often there are only a
limited number of good moves. And then there is also the preceived complexity
of a game. Having to make multi-stones moves is generally speaking preceived
as more complex. Yet, I think that with multi-stones move games, it is
often the case that the choices are localized and that in those cases when
the individual moves are related, it is possible to balance the effects.
Yet, if you have only one stone to place, the dilemma may be greater.
The theoretical complexity of Draughts is far less then that of Go, but don't say this to a seasoned
Draught player facing a complex position.
Christian noted that strictly speaking SyGo is not a mix of Symple and Go. It uses principles of both games. I am charmed by the idea
that Symple is such a strong game yet has such symple rules, like Havannah and that I was not convinced that the added complexity of
rules of SyGo would make it such a more complex game. Christian felt that
the rules where not that more complex. I have to agree with that, because
there are games with far more rules. Christian also remarked that, as Mark
Thompson calls it, Symple lacks 'drama'. Once you get behind, you have lost.
And he argues that that makes SyGo a better game than Symple.
I also reasoned that SyGo is less complex than Go, because it lacks
Ko fights. But I
have to agree that in Go additional, and often arbitrary, additional
rules, besides the basic rules are need, read: Comparison of Some Go Rules. And one can argue for
a logical set of rules
as John Tromp does.
In that respect SyGo is a cleaner game. Christian is also arguing
that SyGo may be more appealing to the modern player, because it is a
fast and dramatic game.
This afternoon, when Li-Xia and I went to De Bijenkorf I found the childrens book Juffrouw Pots by
Tosca Menten on the 50%-off table. Normally, I do not buy children books,
but I know Tosca from the time that I lived in Woerden and even visited
her at home several times. At 14:38:43, I bought the book for € 6.99.
Some time ago, I came across the
AGFL Grammar Work Lap, a parser for natural language processing
with some impressive parsers for several languages. The initial reason
why I arrived at this page was an old idea of parsing the Greek text
of the new testament. I found the AGFL page through A machine parseable context free grammar for toki pona.
(By the way, today, I found The State of the Koine Parser as of October 2008 and
which shows that I am not the only person with the idea of parsing
the Greek text of the new testament.)
Then I dreamed about the idea of parsing the text of Ulysses by James Joyce. I downloaded the text from Project Guttenberg and studied it a little.
Yesterday, I also found the Ulysses free audio-book. I started listening to the first part
while cooking, but could not really follow the text. But it made me
think about what "understanding" means. I came to the conclusion that
understanding is a (creative) process of finding a simple solution
within a certain domain that explains all phenonema. When we look
at a picture and recognize a face of a person, it means that in our
minds we have made model of how a 3D-model of a face under certain
lighting conditions can be rendered to the given picture. To understand
a novel like Ulysses would require a huge amount of background knowledge.
Even to construct an AGFL grammar using the Manual of AGFL system (PDF) that can correctly parse the text of
a novel like Ulyesses would be a huge task.
Last weekend, I bought some curly kail.
Today, I decided to fry it with tofu and napa cabbage. I first sliced the tofu in small cubes, added
some light superior soy sauce and fried it separately. Meanwhile,
I sliced one and a half union and two cloves of garlic. I also
cut the inner half of a napa cabbage that I had left over from
last week. (I usually start peeling the leaves from the outside
one by one and slice these. The inner half I usually slice as
a whole.) I first fried the unions and garlic a little, then
added 500 gr of curly kail, and after that had reduced in size
a little, I added the napa cabbage. For Li-Xia, I made some
smashed potatoes from what was left over from yesterday. The
combination of curly kail and napa cabbage tasted nice.
This evening, when I started our computer johan, I produced an error in the
nv4_disp driver during booting. Lately, the Windows
logo often also did not display. About 30% of the time, the
monitor stays black when starting the computer. I am getting
the impression that the NVIDA GeForce 8400 GS video card does
not detect the monitor and simply decides to give no signal.
Luckily, I managed to boot the computer in safe mode without
problems. But even then yellow patches would appear on the
screen with various scrolling operations, giving me the
impression of some serious problems with the memory used by
the video card. I first decided to make a back-up of the
hard disk to the Freecom
Mobile USB drive. Andy was a little
annoyed that he could not use the computer in the normal mode.
After he went to bed, I had a look inside. I tried to get the
video card out, but I failed to do so. Fiddling with the
card did not resolve the issue. I did find the Q293078 issue which suggested to switch of hardware
acceleration and disable write combining. When I booted the
computer after following this suggested, the problem seemed
gone. When I opened the display from the control panel, I
noticed that hardware acceleration was enabled, but that
write combining was disabled. I do not notice any delay in
the update of the screen.
Long list of authors
Today, I came across the article Charged-particle multiplicity density at mid-rapidity
in central Pb-Pb collisions at sqrt(sNN) = 2.76 TeV.
It is a 10 page article of which more than five pages are used
for the list of authors, the list of institutions they worked
at and the list of footnotes to these. Two of the authors is deceased.
One of them, I presume, is Prof. René Kamermans who unexpectedly
died on June 28, 2010. The other is, I presume, Giulio Dellacasa.
New graphic card
Yesterday, when I started our
computer johan for the second time, it gave the
same problems as last Monday and the
problems did not go away. Today, I went into the city with
Andy. We looked at several shops:
Finally, I decided to go for the MSI GeForce N210 with
512MB card from Paradigit. At 13:53, I bought it for
€39.95. I put it into the computer after we arrived
at home. There were some small glitches with installing
the drivers, but then everything worked smooth. Then Andy
was happy again.
In the past days, I worked on a program to reconstruct the
designs by Theo Colenbrander
from images of his designs. The programs samples an image based
on three points and the width and height of the destination
images. The program is based on the GFL SDK, on which XnView is based. A first version
of the program can be downloaded here. The source need to be placed in a directory at the
top-level of the GLF SDK source tree. After compiling it with
VC++ 6.0, the libgfl311.dll files need to be placed the Debug
or Release directory or in the search path, before the program
can be executed. One needs to open a file first, after which the
Grid dialog can be used to specify the three points (in doubles)
and the width and height. The three points specify the left top,
the right top, and left bottom corners.
I also have been thinking about developing a script language
for the image manipulation. I also got the idea to integrate
this with the MySample editor. Today,
I worked on a new version for this editor, with improved syntax
problems in the C++ highlight code. The sources can be found
One inch of snow
Around lunch time it snowed for about two hours giving a layer
of about one inch of snow. Not much,
but it is the first real snow this year. Last Friday and Saturday,
we already saw some specks of snow, Friday while the sun was
shining. At the end of the evening, the snow caused some problems
in the West of the Netherlands, resulting in a record number of
miles of traffic jams.
This months interesting links
| October 2010
| December 2010
| Random memories