What have I been up to (summer 2011)

2011-10-08 19:58:51 PST

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Well, aside from being pretty busy with work, I spent some more time playing with OpenGL and Lisp. I took my demo test of a spinning diamond up to the beginnings of a space flight sim. Now we have a ship that has a thruster that applies forward thrust, there is the beginnings of physics. The next logical step would be to add turning, but I wanted to do it with physics, which meant writing torque code and that’s about where I got side tracked and have stopped for the moment. Not super interesting yet, but not bad for someone who has never done 3D programming before. The code is at https://github.com/dballard/flight-sim.

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I then got distracted by the idea of a checkers AI by a few articles I read in August. I decided to dust off my Ruby and give that a go but it didn’t get too far before I realized that I was going to have to get side tracked from search in to aggressive pruning and heuristics. I was satisfied with the project even though it doesn’t really play because at it renewed me Ruby which had been shelved since some time last year and reminded me that search of this kind is bloody hard. The code is at https://github.com/dballard/checkers. It can simulate a full game to any depth if you have the time. If you have less than days or years per turn, it’s pretty much no good.

Now I’m getting further distracted by a few ideas in different directions yet again and I’m starting the Stanford AI class and Machine Learning class that they are offering online for free on monday. That should keep me pretty much tied up until years end and I’m looking forward to it all!

Also thanks to my Kobo Touch eReader I’ve been reading a ton, which is nice. I may have to give up my pace of a book every week or two for the next month or two to keep up with the new classes, we shall see.

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