Link of the Week
14-Feb-2022 Paper IO 2
A simple, addictive on-line multiplayer game. My favourite variety is World Conflict. Capturing capitals adds an extra layer of strategy. There is a slight flaw with this variety though. When you get large, you have an advantage over your opponents. So, past a certain size, it is only my carelessness that causes me to lose. Not the skill of my opponents. For spoilers, here's my strategy on how to win.
8-Oct-2022 AI Generated Images
I've been playing around with Stable Diffusion's AI Image Generator. It fun to play with, and also useful for creating unique images for games.
24-Aug-2018 GingerGM : An exciting grand master chess player
I used to find chess constricting and dull, but after watching GingerGM (aka Simon Williams), I realise the fault was mine, not of chess itself. I was choosing to play dull positional games. GingerGM brings excitement to chess; sacrificing pieces, and charging Harry the H-pawn for devastating mid-game mates. Maybe I'll take up chess again, in the hope to emulate his style of play.
24-Aug-2018 KingCrusher Chess Commentary
First came DeepMind's Alpha Go, which bested the top human go players based on an AI neural net that was trained using the top human go games; an outstanding accomplishment. But then came Alpha-Zero, which used the same neural net approach, but it trained itself, with no help from human play, or any human knowledge of go theory. Alpha Zero was even stronger than Alpha-Go, and was soon teaching us new insights and strategies. Later free software advocates took DeepMind's white paper, and re-implemented the idea, giving rise to Leela (Go), and Leela Chess Zero.
KingCrusher is an excellent chess commentator, and has a particular interest in Leela Chess Zero. At the time of writing, Leela Chess Zero is already vastly better than the best human, but weaker than traditional chess engines. However, unlike traditional chess engines, it is still leaning (by playing itself), and as it isn't based on human ideas of chess strategy, it can give us new insights into chess. For example, Leela loves Thorn Pawns (pronounced Fawn Pawns, by KingCrusher). Can we expect human GMs to learn from Leela? I thing so. Exiting times!
4-Apr-2016 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know
I am always striving to become a better programmer. Here's an excellent set of short essays on how to achieve that. I used to be a big fan of O'Reilly Books, and still have a several dozen of their books. However, now, when I want to learn something new, I don't use books, and instead dive straight in, and with the help of google (actually StartPage.com) learning new languages or tools doesn't require dead trees.
6-Jul-2016 Implicit CAD
I love using OpenSCAD to design 3D objects for my 3D printer, however, there's something fundamentally wrong with its approach. (Plus it can be unbearably slow). I stumbled across Implicit CAD which looks like a much better design. Time will tell if it will replace OpenSCAD.
I've been using my own script based 3D modelling software called FooCAD for some time now. I find FooCAD vastly better than OpenSCAD and ImplicitSCAD.
6-Jul-2016 Mega Processor
As you can see from the huge gap in the dates on this page, not many things impress me. However, here's a guy who has designed and built a microprocessor, without using integrated circuits. Oops, my mistake, it is a Mega Processor, not micro at all!
I don't often heap praise, but here goes. The Rii Mini is a really nice mini keyboard with a built in touchpad. If you've got a PC hooked up to a TV, this is great. Buy one! Warning : The "Alt" is actually mapped to "Alt-Gr", which is very annoying!
20-Apr-2010 Spice Up Unix Scripts
If, like me, you like to use shell scripts to customise your computer, here's some excellent tips to make them a touch more professional.
Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.
5-Mar-2009 Nibbledish Community Recipes
A beautiful on-line, community based, recipe book containing thousands of recipes, complete with pictures.
17-Feb-2009 Pirate Party Leader Visits Google
The Pirate Party is a political party that understands copyright, and has sensible policies, and even a chance to get them implemented. A 50 minute party political speech that is intelligent, interesting and inspiring. I'd vote for them!
30-Mar-2008 Ubuntu 8.04
Ever six months or so, a new version of Ubuntu is released. This one is a little special, as it is a Long Term Support release (which means that it will be supported for several years, rather than the normal 18 months).
31-12-2007 Epson Stylus Photo R285
I recently bought a printer, which can print directly onto CDs/DVDs. I am very impressed with the Epson Stylus Photo R285. It does as great job at printing on CDs. Linux support is excellent - just plug in and go - no messing about with driver disks! It uses some kind of light sensor to position paper (or a cd), so it can print to the edges of the media very accuratly. Generic ink cartidges are easily available, so you aren't locked into buying the expensive ones from Epson. Each colour has its own cartridge, so you only need to replace what has run out.
UPDATE : The generic cartridges that I bought don't work! Hmm :0(
04-Sep-02008 Long Term Bets
In the world of instant gratification, its good to see people that are actively think in the very long term. BTW, the date above doesn't contain a typo - the year is given as 5 digits in order to convey the long term thinking.
28-Jun-2007 DNS exit
Thanks to the people at DNS exit for the free Dynamic DNS service, used by this web site right now.
If you are interested in GNU/Linux, Free Software, or are a geek with a sense of humour, check out LUGradio. Its a bunch of loud-mouthed English Free Software advocates who create a regular pod cast. Warning, may contain funny and offensive material.
If you are wondering about the big questions, such as "Who created the universe", I strongly advise you to read about FSMism. Once you see the light, you will never turn back. Ahhrrr. What's more, if you follow His most stickyness, you will also understand the cause of global warming
Music published under the Creative Commons license. That means there are few restrictions on what you can do with it. For those after a free lunch, that means you can download them for free. For those that are interested in creating music, that means you can take one persons work, improve upon it and re-release your version.
30-Dec-2006 Degree Confluence Project
The goal of the project is to visit each of the latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world, and to take pictures at each location. The pictures, and stories about the visits, will then be posted here. I think its a wonderful idea, marred only by the fact that the content is not published under the Creative Commons license, or any other free (as in speech) manner.
I found a site which links to the worst web sites, and stubled across some real gems. It started with http://www.badgerbadgerbadger.com/, and went on to http://www.weebls-stuff.com/toons/marrow/ and other classics.
22-Aug-2006 Mixing It
Nalin has been listening to Mixing it for years, and I've benefitted from some fo the gems that he has selected. If you are bored of the middle of the road music that you hear on Radio One, and all of the commercial radio stations, give Mixing It a try. Even if you hate 90% of the music, the remaining 10% will more than make up for it. Its on Radio Three on Friday evenings, but you can listen to it more conveniently listen to it anytime via the BBC's on-line radio player
16-Jun-2006 France Yoga Retreat
A friend of mine has small hotel / large house in France. She's planning on offering Yoga Holidays, so I knocked up a web site to attract customers. I've not been there myself, but from the pictures, it looks wonderful.
21-Apr-2006 Google Homepage
Google gets yet another item on my link of the week page! This time its for its personalised homepage (aka portal). Yahoo, MSN and many others have created personalised homepages, so there's nothing particularly new, but Google do it so well. You can drag and drop pieces from one part of the page to another - technically amazing, and lovely to use. Google programmers are in a league all of their own.
4-April-2006 Ask Oxford's faqs
Frequently asked questions about the english language from the people who know all the answers. Find out what rhymes with orange, and for the annoyed scrabble players, get a list of words with a 'q', but no 'u'.
Here's a beautifully crafted web-based hangman game, and if you think hangman is too easy, think again - The OED have brought together a collection of everyday english words that are tricky to guess.
14-March-2006 Google Mars
If you haven't used google maps yet, where have you been? On a different planet? That's no longer an excuse, because google lets you pan and zoom across the moon and now supply spectacular images of Mars too.
13-Mar-2006 13 Things that don't make sense
If you need reminding that science is about things we don't understand yet, here's 13 things that will get you thinking.
22-Feb-2006 Stare at the Sun
The internet is a great place to find images of our solar system. This site lets you stare at the sun without going blind.
22-Feb-2006 Scientific American Puzzles
Want a challege? Give these puzzles a try.
16-Feb-2006 banksy (Wall and Piece)
Banksy is an artist of the people. Most of his work isn't in galleries, it out on the streets. He does have installations in galleries and museums - he puts them there himself with the hep of double sided sticky tape. ("It's easier to get forgiveness than permission"). Banksy's advice: "Leave the house before you find something worth staying in for".
If you like the site, buy the book