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Diary, January 2017

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1   2   3   4   5   6   7
  8   9  10  11  12  13  14
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 22  23  24  25  26  27  28
 29  30  31

Sunday, January 1, 2017


There is some excitement in the Go world, now that a new bot has surfaced on Tygem go server in the past days with the name Master(P) or Magist(P), which seems to win consistently from all top professional players in games using 20 or 30 seconds thinking time per ply. It is being discussed on Reddit and Life in 19x19. Ke Jie, who at the moment is considered to be the strongest player, remarks that Master(P) is much stronger than Chinese Xing Tian bot that he believes is now on the same level as AlphaGo when playing against Lee Sedol last March. Ke Jie is very impressed by the progam and it makes him make statements like (translated): "the computer tells us that all human beings are wrong, I do not think even a person touches the edge of the truth of Go." It has not been revealed who is behind this program, but people are suggesting that it might be AlphaGo or another program by Google DeepMind, maybe the program that was developed without using a database of human games like the one that was used to kickstart AlphaGo, as was announced by Demis Hassabis. The Japanees program Zen is also becoming a stronger. It seems that the coming years there will be a fierce competition between a number of Go playing programs, leaving human players behind. It should be mentioned that human professionals also have become stronger. Notably, Lee Sedol, became a stronger player after playing against AlphaGo, because AlphaGo has challenged his ideas about how to play the game. Often you need a stronger player in some field of expertize to point out your weaknesses, as you are blind to them. For this reason the development of strong Go playing programs is going to change how we as humans think about the game.

Monday, January 2, 2017


This morning, there was a thin, non covering layer of snow outside. This is the first snow of this winter. At some places it stayed due to the low temperature. It only snowed around here in the East and in the far South-East.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Petit Ariston

I showed my Fractal Jigsaw at TkkrLab. The man who on November 8 brought the disc for the old music playing box, came to talk with me. The music playing box is called Petit Ariston and was produced by Fabrik Leipziger Musikwerke between 1880 and 1910 (according to information on a German wikipedia page). I showed him my result and he showed the (Dutch) website where on the forum page about mechanical instruments without pipes he has several items about his attempts to reconstruct and/or rebuild the Petit Ariston and the music discs. He also showed me the fifteen PDF files with images of the discs. After he left, I installed the Poppler package, which included the pdfimages command-line utility to extract images from a PDF file, and I tested the script I developed earlier on the image of the first PDF file and emailed him the resulting SVG file. I also reinstalled (the same version) of texworks because it was broken due to a missing shared library. That is some of the pain that you suffer when working with a rolling release distribution like Arch Linux.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Master(P) = AlphaGo

This afternoon, Demis Hassabis confirmed in a tweet that Master(P) is indeed a newer version of AlphaGo. All the games that were played can be found on the German go website:

Friday, January 6, 2017

Four books

At 09:44, I bought the four MACK guides about their publications from charity shop Het Goed for € 0.50 each. The guides that I bought are:

Saturday, January 7, 2017


This morning, there was an inch of snow outside as was forecast yesterday. The forecast also said there was a big chance of black ice together with an orange weather alarm. It seems that many people did take notice of this warning, because it was unusual quiet on the road and in the supermarket. I did bike to visit Li-Xia and did not encounter any slippery pavement. When I arrived home in the afternoon, I was greated by a small snow iglo near the entrance to our alley.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Winter sale

Today, the winter sale started at bookshop Broekhuis with books offered at a discount of 50%. I wanted to be there at opening time, but I arrived on eleven minutes later. I spend some time going through all tbe books. At 10:21:48, I bought the book S.M.A.K. TRACK: a contemporary city conversation edited by Kathleen Cagney, Lieze Eneman, and Ann Hoste, written in English and Dutch, published by Roma Publications in August 2012, ISBN:9789077459836, for € 14.50.

Friday, January 13, 2017

More snow

In the morning, I measured 9.5 cm (almost four inches) of snow on the table outside in the garden. This gives a good measurement of the amount of snow that fell during the night. I already heard the dropping sound of water all around, meaning that the snow was melting. Not all of it melted away by the end of the day. During the morning, there were a few short periods of snow.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Fractal Jigsaw

Last Tuesday, I created the FractalJigsawPuzzle repository on GitHub for the program. Today, I commited a new version of the program, which has options for also generating a bottom with the svg command. It also allows you to specify a width, a height and a margin, and places both the puzzle and the bottom at an optimal size to fit within the specified dimensions (substracting the margin). I already wrote this some weeks ago, but last Tuesday, I also created a project page on the TkkrLab wiki with a detailed description about how to use the program.

(Fixed serious bug)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Animation for BYOB

I worked on my animation for an Bring Your Own Beamer (BYOB) event at Tetem on February 3. It is based on the eight by eight Street Tile Patterns. A preview can be found here. I also enlisted myself stating that I would like to display it on a small monitor instead of a beamer, because I think it better brings out the colours.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


At 11:09, I bought the book Basic Teachings of the Buddha: A New Translation and Compilation, with a Guide to Reading the Texts written by Glenn Wallis, written in English, published by Modern Library in 2007, ISBN:9780812975239, from charity shop Het Goed for € 2.50.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Christmas package

This evening, at TkkrLab, we spend some time packing stuff for our expected move to a new space. I found a part of a beamer and was allowed to keep it. The part only contains the optics. We also unpacked the Christmas package we received from Frack. Two people made a recording of the unpacking, so expect some YouTube video's to appear. The box contained an interestingly crafted Christmas card with a LED light and a wooden peace cut with a laser-cutter. It also contained some bitlair stickers. I took one. I also took some other electronic components: a Rev. 2.1 PCB for the WeatherDuino and a TMP68HC000P-16 processor chip.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Thin snow

When I biked to my office, I was met with some very thin snow. At some places it did cover the ground. But what is more remarkable is the fact that a lot of snow from January 13 is still present, especially on the fields. Some of the snow that has been piled up on the side of the roads, is almost rock hard due to thawing a little and freezing again.

Saturday, January 28, 2017


Today is the first day of the year of the rooster according to the Chinese calendar. The spring festival has begun.

Boekenbeurs Glanerbrug

Early this afternoon, Andy and I went to the book fair Boekenbeurs Glanerbrug with secondhand books. Andy looked a children comics, while I looked at the art section. I bought the followin books (and donated the change for a ten Euro bill that I used to buy the books):

This months interesting links

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