Archive for month: April, 2008

COMPASS sounds pretty chirpy….

April 29, 2008 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Last night I went out with my FT-817 and a little voice recorder and tried to pick up COMPASS and CUTE on 437.275Mhz as they passed over my location. I had been told that compass sounded a bit chirpy, and indeed, there was no mistaking it when I heard it: each code element ranks up […]

Welcome back, Frank Thomas

April 28, 2008 | Baseball | By: Mark VandeWettering

Slugger Frank Thomas got let go from Toronto, and got resigned to come back to Oakland and smack some balls around for us. I couldn’t be more tickled. It’s the first inning in the A’s versus the Angel, and big Frank comes up and smacks a ball to right that Vladimir Guerrero misplayed, and Frank […]

Sabernomics » Simple Rules to Speed Up the Game

April 28, 2008 | Baseball | By: Mark VandeWettering

The Sabernomics blog has some suggested rule changes that might serve to speed up the game. I haven’t blogged about a baseball related topic in a while, so I thought I’d toss my two cents worth in. First of all, I’m not certain there is a pervasive problem with baseball games taking too long. How […]

Cubesats away!

April 27, 2008 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, the satellite launch that I’ve been waiting for happened. On the first pass I thought I was setup to record the Delfi C3 telemetry, and even thought I heard a signal, but it turns out it was probably just a local birdie. The second pass of the satellite cluster was only a 9 degree […]

General Decimal Arithmetic

April 27, 2008 | Computer Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

While trying to find out if Python included some built-in capabilities for dealing with BCD numbers (it appears not) I encountered this rather interesting page about decimal arithmetic. General Decimal Arithmetic

AO-16 gone quiet…

April 27, 2008 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

The news is that satellite AO-16 has gone quiet. We’ve been assured not to panic: Hello all, There are reports at that AO-16 has gone silent. Should this be the case, there is no cause for alarm. Over the last month AO-16 has gone from full illumination (0 minutes of eclipse) to over 250 […]

Total number of checkers positions…

April 25, 2008 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

I might actually get to constructing an endgame database for checkers sometime soon. To start, I decided to try to write code to reproduce the table that appears in Schaeffer’s paper on solving checkers. It basically is just a five nested loop that computes a big sum of some fairly obvious combinatorial terms. So, I […]

Another satellite recording…

April 25, 2008 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

I heard via the amsat-bb mailing list that RS-22 was still transmitting telemetry, but might be interrupted by low batteries during eclipse period. I haven’t tried to listen to any Russian satellites, so I thought I’d give it a try. My satellite prediction software yielded this data for this morning’s pass: RS-22 will be visible […]

Is this an easy, hard problem, or a hard, easy problem?

April 23, 2008 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve been entering puzzles from various checkers books that I have lying around as test cases for my checkers program milhouse. Oddly enough, I found the following puzzle to be fairly interesting. White is to move and win. The answer to solving it (as obviously contrived as it is, it would be very, very hard […]

Upcoming Cubesat Launch…

April 22, 2008 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

On the 28th of April, a PSLV-C9 launch vehicle will carry a bunch of tiny cubesats into earth orbit. Mineo Wakita posted a list of their frequencies to the amsat-bb, which I am reposting here. Ultimately, the Delfi-C3 sat will probably be the most interesting to amateurs (it includes a linear transponder) but getting telemetry […]

QR-Code Generator

April 21, 2008 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

QR-codes are a kind of 2D barcode that you can see around from time to time. I wanted to bookmark this code generator, just for fun. QR-Code Generator

Graham Kendall – Game Playing Research – Checkers

April 20, 2008 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

A brief history and bibliography of checkers research.

Some statistics on historical checkers games…

April 19, 2008 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

As part of my ongoing checkers work, I downloaded the Open Checkers Archive and wrote a simple bison/flex parser to read in the data. I am not illiterate when it comes to bison and flex, but it’s usually long enough between uses that it takes me an hour or two to tinker these things together. […]

WebSDR on 40m and 80m in JO32KF

April 19, 2008 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Read about a system called WebSDR on the softrock mailing list, and boy, is it ever cool. It is a software defined radio that is hooked to the internet. Multiple listeners (17 at the time I was on) can separately tune over portions of the 40m and 80m band, and have the sound streamed to […]

Checker game from the past…

April 18, 2008 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

I dusted off my copy of Schaeffer’s book One Jump Ahead: Challenging Human Supremacy in Checkers and reread the description of the match between Arthur Samuel’s checker playing program and Robert Nealy. Samuel’s program managed to beat Nealy, who advertised himself as a master, but in fact he makes a number of rather questionable (I’m […]