Archive for month: March, 2010

A small experiment with a C compiler

March 31, 2010 | Checkers, Computer Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’m still somewhat baffled by the performance of my checkers program. I keep pondering that perhaps it would be a good idea to take all the lessons I’ve learned, burn it down, and try again with Milhouse2. After all, in the words of Tom Duff (who may not have said this, but should have) “any […]

Two questions regarding the performance of Milhouse…

March 31, 2010 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Just a couple of quick notes for future investigation: Milhouse uses a windowed search with a “soft-fail” alpha-beta search routine. If the value returned is outside a fairly narrow search range, milhouse re-searches the high region or the low region. These re-searches turn out to be incredibly slow. Not sure that I understand why that […]

How not to write a Sherlock Holmes story…

March 30, 2010 | Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

I interrupt your normally scheduled ham radio and computer checkers postings to frankly just rant about something: I was listening to XM Radio’s old time radio channel, and there was an entirely forgettable Sherlock Holmes story. I’ve previously mentioned that much of the Sherlock Holmes fiction not done by Conan Doyle is crap, but I […]

jCheckers Beats Milhouse

March 29, 2010 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

After watching a couple of games where Milhouse appeared to get behind, but then pulled out a draw, here’s one where milhouse got behind, stumbled, and lost. I haven’t had the opportunity yet to study it in any detail, but I’ll archive the game here for future analysis: [Black “jcheckers”] [White ” milhouse”] [Event “sparring […]

jCheckers released

March 28, 2010 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

Martin Fierz, author of the truly excellent checkers program Cake, has released a checkers program in Java. I run Cake on my PC, and also at times under Wine on Linux, but it is nice to have a version which can run on Mac/Linux without any hassle. jCheckers. For fun, I fired up Milhouse and […]

Proposed change to Part 97.113

March 26, 2010 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

The FCC has a notice of proposed rulemaking whose purpose would be to amend Part 97.113 to allow radio amateurs who are participating in government sponsored drills to be compensated by their employers. I am actually not a fan of this idea. While the Part 97 regulations acknowledge the value of radio amateurs to provide […]

Moon Bounce Day (Where do I aim the antenna?)

March 25, 2010 | Amateur Radio, Amateur Science, Astronomy | By: Mark VandeWettering

A few years ago when the amateur satellite AO-51 transmitted a beacon message on the 50th anniversary of Sputnik, it was enough to rekindle my interest in amateur radio (which had lain dormant for nearly a decade) and got me working amateur satellites. On April 16, 17 and 18, there is an Echoes of Apollo/Moonbounce […]

Classic Board Games for Computer Implementation?

March 25, 2010 | Checkers, Computer Science, Games and Diversions | By: Mark VandeWettering

So, my experiments with my checkers program Milhouse have been fun and interesting. There is still work to be done: I don’t think a machine that can’t properly play first position can be reasonably said to be a good checkers player (even though I still make errors while practicing it myself against Cake), but I’ve […]

Milhouse vs. the iPhone

March 21, 2010 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

I woke up at 5:30 or so this morning, and couldn’t get back to bed, so I thought some more tinkering with Milhouse was warranted. Musing about yesterday’s reading, I realized that I had a bit more work to really try it out: I’d need to write a code to handle regression learning. That seemed […]

Can I derive an adequate evaluation function for Milhouse through random play?

March 20, 2010 | Checkers | By: Mark VandeWettering

As I have mentioned from time to time, I have an implementation of a middling checkers player program that I’ve called Milhouse. Every few months I take time out to play with it and decide what I can do to make it better. Recently I’ve been pondering the possibility of implementing drop-out expansion to make […]

A Shorter Quine in Python

March 20, 2010 | Computer Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

Quines are programs that when run produce themselves as output. Previously I had written a fairly longish one in Python. I was reading Russ Cox’s latest blog article (more skimming than reading actually, it’s neatly subtle) but it said something obvious that I hadn’t clicked on before: the repr function takes a value, and converts […]

Building Yagi Antennas

March 19, 2010 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

I previously made a half-assed “cheap yagi” just using some aluminum wire and a scrap of wood from the garage, but I’ve been thinking of making something a bit more permanent. What I needed was some practical information on tools and techniques, and this is so far the best article that I managed to find, […]

QRSS VD – The Free, Open-Source, Cross-Platform QRSS Spectrograph by AJ4VD

March 14, 2010 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Saw this drift by on the KnightsQRSS mailing list, looks very promising. Also makes me think that I should have gotten my own program ready for release. Sigh, I’m a bum. >>> QRSS VD – The Free, Open-Source, Cross-Platform QRSS Spectrograph by AJ4VD «

Can I ever stop doing math?

March 13, 2010 | Math | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’m still trying to shake the worst of a cold, so the XBox 360 is getting a bit of a workout. I usually only play video games when I’m sick and/or tired, just as some relaxation and diversion. Games which are too involving, requiring long quests aren’t really in the mix for the most part, […]

March 13, 2010 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Once again, Roger G3XBM has provided me with links to interesting and inspiring reading. Roger is now interested in experimentation below 9khz. He found this very interesting blog called: