Archive for month: May, 2016

My Fizz Buzz solutions…

May 26, 2016 | Programming Languages, Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

Joel Grus blogged about a job interview where he was asked about the ridiculous Fizz Buzz question that apparently some companies use to weed out complete frauds from their job interview process. The task is to create a program which prints the numbers from 1 to 100, but where all numbers which are a multiple […]

Shower (or should I say “cow-er”) Thought of the Day…

May 25, 2016 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

I just recently found out about the /r/showerthoughts subreddit, where people vote on pithy sayings. I thought this might be a fun thing to have to replace the aging and relatively static “fortune” file that I use. I used the Python “PRAW” library to fetch the top entry for the day, and then optionally pass […]

Some random pictures from the Maker Faire…

May 21, 2016 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

Code for generating a random Latin square…

May 17, 2016 | Games and Diversions, My Projects, Puzzles | By: Mark VandeWettering

The other day I mentioned that generating random Latin squares was a bit more complicated than I thought, and that an algorithm by Jacobson and Matthews was the way that people typically did it. I worked up this implementation based on a couple of different descriptions of the algorithm (the original paper was behind a […]

Atinlay Aresquares…

May 16, 2016 | Games and Diversions, Puzzles | By: Mark VandeWettering

My last post dealt with a solver for KenKen puzzles. Once you have one of those, then the obvious thing to work on next (in your copious spare time) is a generator for KenKen puzzles. It didn’t seem too hard. You’d begin by generating a random Latin square, then divide it up into “cages”, assign […]

KenKen puzzle solver…

May 12, 2016 | Computer Science, Games and Diversions, My Projects, Puzzles | By: Mark VandeWettering

Lately, my lunch hours have been spent working on the NYT Crossword with my lunch companion Tom. While I find that the Thursday crosswords are often beyond my ability to do in the allotted time, between the two of us, more often than not we manage to plow through them. Slowly over time, we’ve begun […]

A couple of cool solar powered FPV planes…

May 10, 2016 | Radio Controlled Airplanes | By: Mark VandeWettering

Just a pointer to a cool project which appeared on Hackaday: a solar powered FPV plane that can fly forever (or at least until the sun goes down). Pretty spiffy! The comments show a link to this solar powered plane developed at ETH: It was in the air for 81.5 hours, and had a continuous […]

A story from SIGGRAPH past…

May 5, 2016 | My Stories | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve been meaning to write down this story for a while, because it represents a time when I was booed away from a microphone by a crowd of two thousand people, and I always think that stories like this are fun. Back in 1996, I attended SIGGRAPH in New Orleans. I remember flying out early […]

Solving the N queens problem, again…

May 4, 2016 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

Backtracking is a better technique, obviously. The version from earlier today was actually not very clever, and took half an hour to find the 73,712 solutions to the 13×13 checkerboard. This version is less code (just 91 lines, compared to 107 for yesterdays) and finds all the 13×13 solutions in just 2.5 seconds (a speed […]

Solving the N Queens Problem…

May 4, 2016 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

A question on Quora set me thinking about solving the N Queens problem, which is to list all ways that N queens can be positioned on an NxN checkerboard such that no queen can attack the other. I seemed to have misplaced my implementation of this that I did in Python, so I decided to […]