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Diary, August 2011

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 21  22  23  24  25  26  27
 28  29  30  31

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Castro playing Havannah

This morning, I received an email from Timo Ewalds, the author of Castro, a Havannah playing program, which seems to be strongest at the moment. (Timo is the founder of Nexopia. His profile on LinkedIn). His program was the strongest of the six Havannah playing programs developed during the CMPUT 655 - winter 2010 course from the Department of Computer Science of University of Alberta (which I mentioned on July 18). After this he continued developing his program further. Currently, it runs as a bot on Little Golem. Havannah playing bots on Little Golem with there descriptions:

(Source: Havannah 2012 human vs. bot challenge.) See also this discussion about Castro.

Timo also pointed me at the master thesis Knowledge-Based Monte-Carlo Tree Search in Havannah by J.A. Stankiewicz, which was done at the Games and AI Group of the University Maastricht. It is possible that another strong Havannah playing program may result from this.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Repeating sequences

In the past week, I spend a lot of time (probably too much) in developting a program for analyzing the phone spell digits sequence in the novel Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. The program underwent many changes while discovering structures in the sequence. It became clear that the sequence (spanning about two and half page) was largely created by making copies, trimming those copies and making some (possibly involuntary) mutations. I worked towards a program describing the copying (with changes) as clearly as possible in written language. This took a lot of time. The final program can be found here and the results here. Now I still have to interpret these results and make an attempt to reconstruct the order in which the copies and mutations where made.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Around noon, I finished reading Called Out of Darkness: a spiritual confession by Anna Rice, ISBN:9780307268273. Last Sunday, I started reading the book after I bought it last Saturday for € 8.95 from bookshop De Slegte. The book is an autobiography with respect to her faith. The first half she deals with being an orthodox Roman Catholic in her first twenty years of her life. She became famous for writing vampire fantasy and being an atheist. But than the book describes how she became a christian again and rejoined the Roman Catholic church and went to write some novels about the life of Jesus based on the new testament gospels. Her conversion to christianity seems to be based on an deep inner conviction and not so much on rational arguments. Her faith appears very genuine, and somehow, I am not surprised by the fact that on July 29, 2010, she publicly renounced her dedication to her Roman Catholic faith (which is not mentioned in the book), because she is one of those rare independent thinkers who arrive at their convictions all on their own. An interesting book to read.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


This afternoon, at 12:34:50, I bought the book Oeroeg by Hella S. Haasse, ISBN:9789059651012, from the books department from de Bijenkort for five Euro (including 50% discount).

I also got three Star Trek novels (from The Original Series) which she had bought in the United States. These are:

Sunday, August 7, 2011

More Havannah bots

Today, I got an email from Marcin Ciura informing me about two othere Havannah playing bots on LittleGolem. These are, with their descriptions:

The current ranking of the five Havannah playing bots at LittleGolem is:

Monday, August 8, 2011

Demolishion roof Grolsch Veste

In the past two weeks, they worked hard to demolish the collapsed part of the roof of the Grolsch Veste as can be seen in the picture on the right. What surprised me that they also removed the corner of the new extention which did not have visible signs of being damaged. I guess they wanted to be on the safe side.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Today, I went to ZomerGo, a five day Go tournament in a relaxed atmosphere. Only one round is played per day with a playing time of one hour. We are staying in De Windwal in Lunteren. I arrived five minutes before the registration would end, but everybody was still waiting outside and registration started only about half an hour later. The first round was only played around four o'clock in the afternoon. I played against Michael and already got behind very soon, and lost the game, but I did enjoy the playing very much. It is the first time that I played since WinterGo last December. Everything was delayed, and dinner was served around nine o'clock in the evening.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

ZomerGo - Day 2

This morning, I played against Francien in the Go tournament. She got some control over the center of the board, but I managed to invade it and ended up winning the game. We played without clock and finished our game well within the theoretical maximum of two hours. Afterwards we played another game, which she won. Than we together played against Thomas, but we lost with many points, more than one would expect from our playing strength. It seems that cooperations did not really made us stronger, maybe because we were focussing too much on tactical moves.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Copy analysis

This morning, I finished the copy analysis of the the phone spell digits sequence in the novel Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Yesterday, I found a small mistake in the corrected OCR. It seems that the author has created the two and half pages of phone spell digits by making repeated copies of earlier parts and introducing some errors (on purpose) especially for the first part and inserting some words, in particular the digits for the word "love". However, there are some exceptions, as sentences 34 to 39 seems to be copied from sentences 44 to 49. Also there are two overlapping regions from which the sentences 93 to 103 could copied from. This could be purely accidential, or it could be that the sentences 90 to 117 where copied from an earlier part where the author later removed some scenteces from (at the start or the end).

Below the results are presented. Each sentents is identified with number prefixed with 'S'. The period notation is used to identify a specific character in the sentense. Ranges within a scentense are placed within square brackets. For all ranges the last scentense or character is to be included.

(Corrected copy analysis.)

ZomerGo - Atlantis

This morning, I played against Hans in the Go tournament. He recorded the game (SGF file). We played very quietly for almost two hours. At the end Hans won with four and half points. I could have killed one of his corners.

In the evening, the game Atlantis was played in the main room with six people on two large tables put together. I watched the game being played a little. A Dan Go player remarked that he thought it was the most briliant game after Go. But then a 5 Dan Go player played against the latest version of the Go program Steenvreter (by Erik van der Werf with a five stone handicap. The program lost and at the end started to play very desparate moves. Next, I went back to the Atlantis game. After about half an hour, they decided to quit the game, because it was quite obvious who was going to win the game anyway.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Vulcan Academy Murders

Early this morning, I finished reading Star Trek: The Vulcan Academy Murders by Jean Lorrah, ISBN:067164744X, in which I started reading on August 6, the day I got it from Annabel (together with two other Star Trek books, which she bought in the United States for one dollar). I started reading the book, because I wanted to know the quality. To my surprise it was beter than I had expected. Of course, it is a classical 'Who did it?' story. But there are some interesting side stories, which makes it an interesting book.

ZomerGo - Disaster

This morning, I played against Peter in the Go tournament. At the start of the game there where no confrontations, and because I did not feel very happy about this, I decided to cause some excitement by an invasion. But this turned out into a big fight in the center, during which I was able to capture some stones. I was not really at peace and at one point felt my heart pounding. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I stayed up late last night, but I could not really find my balance. I also lost one group in the corner. At the end, I lost with about 45 points, while Peter had enlisted himself as two degrees weaker than I. I am getting the feeling that I am no longer a 10 kyu player. Or maybe he has become stronger because of paying attention during all workshops and discussions with stronger players. Afterwards I walked around the woods with someone else and that helped clear my mind.

In the afternoon, some games were discussed outside. I watched the start, but started to doze away, and went inside. Later when I returned, I noticed that the game I played yesterday against Hans was being discussed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First game of Atlantis

Yesterday evening, just before ten o'clock, they asked me to join in a game of Atlantis because they still needed one player. I decided to join. I mostly followed the example of the strongest player on the table. But that was also the idea, so that nobody would accidently getting killed by some stupid move. I tried to do some other things while waiting for my turn, but that did not really work. Around half past two this night we decided to quit the game, although we had not finished it. Already one person had gone to bed, and we decided that it would be rather clear who had won. I became third or fourth. Just before the end of the game, I took the picture shown on the top.

ZomerGo - Final day

This morning, I played against Philomeen in the Go tournament. Because of the difference in playing strength, I had to give her nine stones ahead an fourthy komi (points) ahead. Because she is a lot younger to me, I decided to play easy on her. At some points, I told her to be careful, but sometimes she still made the wrong move. I killed one group of her in a corner. When we started counting, I was surprised by the big difference. I did win easily, but it was the only game that I would not have mind to have lost. She took her loss easily and I hope that she did learn something from it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Interim report Grolsch Veste

Yesterday, the The Dutch Safety Board issued an interim report (in Dutch) about the collaps of the roof of the new extension of the Grolsch Veste. This report states (my translated from Dutch with help of Google Translate): The report has an interesting picture taken from above the part of the roof that collapsed, clearly showing the lateral movement of the edge of the roof. The report also shows two diagrams about the missing torque rods and braces. Red dotted lines indicate the missing parts. The finding presented in this report are in agreement with what I wrote on Saturday, July 9.

A colleague of mine pointed me at a page of Olthof about constructing the first part of the roof. The pictures on this page show how roof sheeting was applied before the construction was completely finished. Possibly the horizontal link bars where not installed so that the cranes could reach the farthest edge of the roof. This shows that the same construction order was used as with the earlier construction. But there is one difference, and that is that now there was a large video screen attached to the edge of the roof. There are some pictures taken half an hour before the collapse, which show that a crane was positioned close to the screen, suggesting that it was just being fitted to the roof, but that is not true. It already had been there for some time.

The Unseen University

Today, when at bookshop De Slegte, I found that there was only one copy left of The Unseen University Cut Out Book by Terry Pratchett, Alan Batley, and Bernard Pearson, ISBN:9780385609449. I bought one copy on Saturday, July 30. But I did not want to destroy that copy for creating the Unseen University. The last copy left was the viewing copy, and I only had to pay af the price. At 18:58, I bought it for € 6.49. It a little damaged, but that doesn't matter, because I intend to cut it to pieces anyway.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Today, I went into the city, and while walking from bookshop De Slegte to the day market, I crossed De Klokkenplas, a small sqaure in the center of the city. There I found a chestnut, one of the very first, below a large chestnut tree. Last year, on Wednesday, September 22, I also picked a chestnut from this tree.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rebuild collapsed roof

This afternoon, a colleague noticed that a new truss was placed on the roof of the Grolsch Veste. This truss replaces one of the trusses that was removed after a partial collapse on Thursday, July 7, 2011 of the roof of the new extention of the soccer stadium. In the past days, some parts of the concrete (on which the collapsed roof fell) have been replaced.

This months interesting links

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