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A couple of days ago, a Comcast technician came out and installed my brand new business Internet. I was promised 22mbps down 5mbps up. So far it usually is faster than that.
The next step was, as always, a reconfiguration adventure for my home network. I had a couple of really crazily busy days, but today I finally rolled up my sleeves and got to working on the new thing…
When I was rebuilding my crosshatch plugin for the GIMP as Script-Fu Scheme a week or two ago, I ran into a beautiful little problem. It seemed that sometimes I needed to take the
Last week was full of user traps I want to document when I get time. This week's trap, though, is really easy to describe.
I have been trying to use ConnectBot to be able to SSH from my Android phone to my machines at home and work. However, even after regenerating and installing good-looking public keys, I kept not being able to authenticate. The only real clue was in
You've probably spotted the problem right away. Took me a couple of half-hour sessions to figure it out. To be fair, there were lots of parts of potential fail-space to explore, so it took me a while to focus on this message. But still…
People keep pointing me at Sleep Sort in email and IRL; it is apparently a popular topic right now. To Sleep Sort an array of integers, you spawn one process per array element. Each process sleeps t seconds, where t is the value of its array element, and then outputs t…
An engineer solves technology problems by thinking things through.
I am sitting in a class administering a final exam right now and thinking about the problem of detached pages. It is not unheard-of for a page to pop off an exam between the time that a student completes it and the time it is turned in. If that happens to only one student in a given exam, it is easy to figure out. If it happens to two, it may be harder. So I have my students put their name on every page…
The oldest version of the "Heavy Boots" story I can find on the Usenet archives is from a 1993 post. But I remember the original posting, which claimed to be a first-person account, and was older yet.
Indeed, IIRC that account looked very like the first part of this one. This thing is findable a couple of places on the Interwebs, but I strongly suspect/recall its early Usenet origins. If anyone could point me at the original attribution of this classic tale, I would be truly grateful.
[Update, a few minutes later : Sure enough, one Russ Brown claims posting the first part of the story, but not the second, to Usenet around 1989, based on a 1981 experience. See the comments section here. I'll claim five memory points for this one.]
The mouseover text for today's xkcd is
Wikipedia trivia: if you take any article, click on the first link in the article text not in parentheses or italics, and then repeat, you will eventually end up at "Philosophy".
This actually works crazily well, for a surprising reason. Can you figure it out? I got it on the first trace.
The attached paper describes optimal play for the Netrunner card Social Engineering. Netrunner is a Collectible Card Game that has been out of print for around 10 years. Remarkably, there is still an active community of people playing the game and creating new cards.
This analysis has been sitting on my hard drive since my grad student days in 1997. This weekend I finally wrote some code to solve two-player hidden information games, and used it to check my work from back then. I was surprised to find that I had gotten everything substantially right, as near as I can tell. (Corrections welcome.)
The paper is in PDF format produced from LaTeX: it's a pain to do math in HTML.
One of the great joys of my life was playing Netrunner with my brother. I showed him this back when I wrote it, but I wish he could have seen the final version. I hope someone will find it amusing, instructive, or even useful.
OK, this is going to be a total geek-out. If you're not comfortable with Haskell, you should just move on. Also, I can't figure out how to conceal the answer here, so I'll just tell you what happened…