Monthly Archives: June 2006

Using the internet

I’ve been looking for a quote to demonstrate my opinion of most people using MSN/AIM. ESR has it:

Being a native English-speaker does not guarantee that you have language skills good enough to function as a hacker. If your writing is semi-literate, ungrammatical, and riddled with misspellings, many hackers (including myself) will tend to ignore you. While sloppy writing does not invariably mean sloppy thinking, we’ve generally found the correlation to be strong — and we have no use for sloppy thinkers. If you can’t yet write competently, learn to.

I think that I shall agree with that. The Internet in general seems to remove people from the concept of spelling correctly. My main complaint is people using the letter “u” instead of the word “you”. This is unavoidable on chat, however, it doesn’t stop me from hating it any more. Instead of the writing being easy to read through, disseminate and understand, one has to decipher the meaning of multiple abbreviations and other such stuff. And it’s thoroughly annoying.

There are multiple benefits about taking the time to write full words: You look like less of an idiot, you’re more likely to think about what you’re trying to get across, and people will probably take more time to understand what you’re trying to talk about.

Not a bad trade off for two letters, eh?


Go Socceroos

It is my duty to beat Hannah to this post. The Socceroos drew, and hence, won the right to progress through to the Round of 16 in the World Cup. woohoo!

I was at school, to watch it on the large projector screen with friends – it was definitely worth it. Highlights of the match include:

  • A Croatian getting three yellow cards
  • Harry Kewell finally scoring
  • Multiple Red Cards to Croatia
  • Kicking the Croatian Goalie to try and force a goal
  • And much, much more. All in all, a fantastic match.

    ProgComp ’06

    From: Geoff Whale @ CSE, UNSW:

    Soon, Chris. We’re just deciding how many finals places we can afford to offer. Your team came in third, which is a confirmed finals place. How could we deny anyone with the excellent judgement to use a wonderful language like awk 🙂

    So, it looks like we’re going to Sydney! Woohoo!

    ProgComp 2006

    UNSW ProgComp was today (it was also in the middle of our School Holidays, but that’s a different story.) The competition, on the whole, was generally easy – but the real difficulty lay in the interpretation of the problem.

    After a lack of competitions for a few months, it took a while to get back into the swing of things, definitely not helped by the standard of Question 1 – not hard, but extremely fiddly. We left it until last.

    Question two involved converting suburb names to legible abbreviations, by removing vowels in certain places, and spaces. I did this question in AWK, as its Regular Expressions engine would prove useful – it did. After getting used to the Syntax, I had it solved within 10 minutes (far too long).

    Question three was a simple question, which required decoding of a string encoded with “Run Length Encoding” – similar to the stuff they do with ZIP files. It was just a matter of reading in several lines, and not stuffing up ;). Solved using C++, in < 5 minutes.

    Question four was a simple number processing one – process a round of World Cup tipping for one match. It was an easy task at first, except that my typing was below standard, and I mistyped a few variable names – wouldn’t have been a problem if I’d used C++, but I used AWK, and as such didn’t get variable name warnings as I ran the program. Solved, and happy!

    Question five involved validating (and optionally constructing) magic squares. C++. I love it when “Difficult” questions can be solved using nested for loops looking over arrays. We decided not to do the extension, and instead, go back to question one.

    Question one is one of those questions you hate to see in programming competitions – State Machines. There’s no real set logic to them – you just write code, and add extra logic to remove errors in your output. A real doosey for the first up – C++, 18 minutes.

    All in all, we were fairly successful (we hope). And we’re now looking forward to a trip to Sydney during the September Holidays!

    All truth comes in short verse

    So the real wisdom comes on T-Shirts… I’ll have to get one printed.

    COBOL was designed so that managers could read code.
    BASIC was designed for people who are not programmers.
    FORTRAN is for scientists.
    ADA comes from a committee – a government committee no less.
    PILOT is for teachers.
    PASCAL is for students.
    LOGO is for children.
    APL is for Martians.
    FORTH, LISP and PROLOG are specialty languages.
    C, however, is for programmers.

    –Al Stevens

    Today’s Ramblings

    Today was the fruition of one of Dad’s blank promises – he has outwardly broadcast his wanting to go to the Strathgordon/Lake Pedder area since I was 3-ish. Well… today we actually went. Weather was lovely around here, and as such, we didn’t think too much about how it would be on the other side of the Mountain – Ch.9’s rainfall map even said it was going to be dry statewide.

    Well… unfortunately for us, it was cold, windy and wet at our final destination, and as such, we spent less than an hour in the general area. I did take one or two good photos, but unfortunately, none of them are of the lake itself – the fog was so dense you couldn’t see anything worthwhile.

    A good trip – Dad can now shut up and say that he’s actually been… As for the rest of us (i.e. Me), an interesting car trip, not much else more.

    “Waitress of the Year” Award

    I hereby give my nomination for Waitress of the Year.

    I was at Marti Zucco’s in North Hobart today, and was asked what drink I wanted. Being the sane person that I am, I ordered Coca-Cola (specifically). As a Coke-enjoying person, I was secretly thinking to myself what revenge I would seek if I were given Pepsi.

    Amazingly enough, the Waitress came back after I ordered and informed me that they no longer sold Coke, and whether Pepsi would be OK instead. Naturally it wasn’t – so I’m glad that I got the option to fix up my order.

    So, for saving me from torture of taste-buds, by allowing me to change my drink, I salute you!