Programming

Here you’ll find some of my thoughts on software engineering and programming.

  • Math and games June 30, 2017
    Origami, folding paper into fascinating shapes and recognizable objects, is a form of gaming.  Now, computation geometry is being used to help folders perfect their ...
  • Artificial Intelligence is tops at Go May 26, 2017
    MIT Technology Review reports on how AlphaGo defeated the top human Go player in the world.  Now A.I. researchers are looking at even more complex ...
  • Keyboard lock up after sleep on Windows 10? May 12, 2017
    I’m not sure if this is due to the latest version of Windows 10 or not, but it started happening after the last update I ...
  • Traffic flow and robot vehicles May 12, 2017
    Anyone who drives has faced a traffic jam where they have to ask themselves, “why is the traffic backed up?”  Often, it isn’t obvious at ...
  • AI and bluffing January 30, 2017
    I’ve recently been following the progress of computer AI in playing poker.  One area of interest is that the AI responds to bluffing.  Bluffing is a major ...
  • AI rights for robots? January 13, 2017
    At what point do political scientists and others need to consider the future of robot or AI voting rights?  In the New Scientist, Zoltan Istvan takes ...
  • Playing surgeon December 29, 2016
    “Microsurgeon” (Imagic 1982 and 1983) is the first, or one of the first, video games related to healthcare.  I was never a doctor, but I ...
  • Do coding skills = foreign language skills? December 23, 2016
    On December 5, 2016, FloridaPolitics.com cited that “Florida lawmakers could once again consider whether computer coding classes should be counted as a foreign language credit.  ...
  • The social impacts of robots December 16, 2016
    When I attended UC Irvine and studied computer science, one of the most influential courses I took was “Social Impacts of Computers”. To this day, I ...
  • Network devices not showing in File Explorer December 9, 2016
    Normally, when you have Network Discovery turned on and then click on the Network folder in File Explorer in Windows 10, you will see devices and ...
  • Video gamer creates VR surgical simulator December 9, 2016
    Nice to see ComputerWorld giving recognition to a video gamer (Sam Glassenberg, founder and CEO of Level EX) who designed a VR surgical simulator. Funny how ...
  • Microsoft Edge tab previews December 3, 2016
    I’ve been using Microsoft Edge quite a bit since extensions were added this year.  Mostly I find it fast and simple, a nice browser.  But ...
  • Microsurgeon interview in Retrogamer issue 163 — January 2017 November 11, 2016
    “Microsurgeon” (Imagic 1982 and 1983) is the first, or one of the first, video games related to healthcare.  It’s been mentioned in numerous magazines, featured ...
  • Robots like to play games too November 11, 2016
    For years, we’ve read about chess, checkers, and more recently GO and Jeopardy, played by computers with artificial intelligence.  The new trend seems to be ...
  • Accidentally dismissed Microsoft Edge tab October 28, 2016
    Sometimes I’m in a hurry, and if I click once too many times on the browser tab to close it, I’ll close the one next ...
  • License Plate Games for Windows and Android devices October 18, 2016
    Now (October 18, 2016) you can get my free License Plate Games app through the Windows and Amazon stores, in addition to the Google Play store. Full rules ...
  • Family Tree Solitaire for cribbage? June 24, 2016
    My version 1.0 of Family Tree Solitaire uses poker rules for scoring family hands.  But there is no reason why I couldn’t use other card ...
  • Family Tree Solitaire on the web now May 5, 2016
    Now (May 19, 2016) I’ve also posted quick/short rules for the game on my website in text format for printing.  There is also a pdf ...
  • Family Tree Solitaire April 30, 2016
    Now (May 19, 2016) I’ve also posted quick/short rules for the game on my website in text format for printing.  There is also a pdf ...
  • Indie games 2016 March 26, 2016
    When I started developing games in the late 1970’s, every game was like an independent (indie) game.  Handheld games required at least 3 or 4 ...
  • Women in game design and development March 11, 2016
    This week featured International Women’s Day 2016.  Many women have been inventors, yet — as the Microsoft video below shows — many young girls do not ...
  • Historic Go match between expert human player and AI March 8, 2016
    I just blogged on NEWWorthy (with streaming video of the Go match today) about the historic tournament this week between Google’s Deepmind AlphaGo AI player and ...
  • My trip to UC Irvine February 29, 2016
    UC Irvine in California is a great school (take a look at the terrific ratings). That’s why I’m both honored and humbled to receive the Hall of Fame ...
  • New in AI January 18, 2016
    MIT Technology Review recently wrote about “This AI Algorithm Learns Simple Tasks as Fast as We Do.”  If the algorithm — Human-level concept learning through ...
  • Intellivision Truckin’ interview December 31, 2015
    My “Truckin'” interview (Episode 23) with Intellivisionairies was recently posted. While I was developing “Microsurgeon” (Imagic 1982), I was driving back and forth on the I-5 freeway ...
  • How does Pi = 1000 * 8080? December 6, 2015
    The Raspberry Pi Zero is $5! It comes with a 1GHz processor, 512MB of Ram, HDMI, USB, and other nice features. I remember in the 70’s ...
  • When will we see Microsoft Edge browser extensions? August 19, 2015
    According to a couple of different websites we won’t see Microsoft Edge browser extensions — for better security they’ll be HTML5, not Active-X add-ons — until sometime ...
  • I was a video game developer, a real job April 10, 2015
    A story appeared recently in TechCrunch entitled: “Dear Teacher, A Video Game Developer Is A Real Job And Should Be Celebrated“.  I couldn’t agree more! If ...
  • Neural Networks and Games February 6, 2015
    When I started programming in the late 1970’s, computer chess was the challenge of choice for eager hobbyists looking for ways to show off their ...
  • The slide rule October 31, 2014
    I, and my classmates, used a slide rule in my physics and math courses at UCLA.  I could have purchased a HP pocket calculator for around ...
  • Infographics can be wrong October 31, 2014
    When infographics show data in an interesting way, they can help one quickly comprehend the results.  That’s assuming that the visualization correctly portrays accurate data ...
  • Is poker the face of future AI? August 8, 2014
    In the past, chess was the target of AI (artificial intelligence) programmers.  I wrote a 4k chess player in assembly language on my old Intel ...
  • Introverts on Mars August 1, 2014
    The Atlantic recently published an article entitled, “Extroverts Don’t Belong on Mars.”  So introverts do?  If so, then some software engineers might fit the bill.  As the ...
  • A Beautiful Path July 11, 2014
    30 years ago I designed and developed “Truckin'”.  I wanted players to deal with travelling salesman or shortest path problems, without thinking of that as a ...
  • Eternal hope for the driverless car? June 6, 2014
    Are we all so in love with the idea of a car that will drive for us, that we underestimate how long it’s going to ...
  • Disc golf inspiration May 26, 2014
    I’ve always enjoyed a good hike in the park, and more recently discovered the sport of disc golf.  I had played and enjoyed Frisbee golf ...
  • A few thoughts on programming May 16, 2014
    Computerworld recently offered “the stories behind 13 programming language names”.  Dr. Dobbs, no youngster when it comes to reporting on programming languages, offered this piece ...
  • Music for Robots May 9, 2014
    As a science fiction writer, game designer, and software engineer, I find the use of robots to make music fascinating.  Robots performing with musical instruments is ...
  • E.T. found! April 28, 2014
    I was at Imagic Corp. making Intellivision games, including “Microsurgeon” (1982), when it was announced around 1983 that Atari was rumored to have literally dumped ...
  • Candy Crush is NP-Hard April 11, 2014
    Interesting mathematical research out of Australia on the game “Candy Crush”.  Turns out in order to achieve a given score in a fixed number of swaps, the game ...
  • Mattel Intellivision at 35 March 27, 2014
    Mattel Intellivision is 35, and writer Graeme Mason looks back in U.K. magazine “Retro Gamer” issue #127. My memories on developing for Intellivision are ...
  • Genealogy and handwriting detection March 21, 2014
    Mocavo announced that they are introducing online transcription using handwriting detection techniques.  As a genealogist and programmer, I will be interested to see how well this works.
  • Stephen Colbert on security March 7, 2014
    I got a kick out of Stephen Colbert’s recent humorous comments on security.  I particularly enjoyed his opening bits — so to speak.
  • When taking a break from my creative efforts, I enjoy disc golf February 28, 2014
    I have several science fiction story ideas from last year that I plan to work on soon.  I’ve also had a few game design ideas lately ...
  • A knot is just a knot February 21, 2014
    Who knew there were so many ways to tie a tie?  Researchers published a paper called “More ties than we thought“. Speaking of ties, I’m currently ...
  • Google may benefit games needing map data February 17, 2014
    According to reports, Google plans to make real world map data available to video games developers, with a full API expected in 2015.
  • Barbie’s dreamhouse February 17, 2014
    Since I am a Mattel employee alumni, having worked on game in the Mattel Electronics division, I will always remember fondly the company orientation day ...
  • Ken Melville, author of “It Came From the Desert”, passed away February 13, 2014
    In 1988, I developed programmer and authoring tools for “It Came From the Desert”, a Cinemaware classic video game based on giant ants. Ken Melville, ...
  • College hoops meets math January 25, 2014
    I always enjoy reading about, and sometimes trying, math or programming contests.  Kaggle specializes in big data contests where researchers and enthusiasts develop algorithms to ...
  • Don’t underestimate algorithms January 9, 2014
    Automobile insurance companies have offered discounts to customers who allow them to collect data on speed and braking.  Until now, the thinking has been that ...
  • Learn a bit about programming (coding) December 9, 2013
    I started programming (writing code) not long before handheld and video games came along.  A solid mathematics and software engineering education prepared me for careers ...
  • Mattel Handheld Football shown on “The Goldbergs” tv show December 7, 2013
    In 1979, I started work on Mattel Electronics Handheld Bowling.  It was great fun, and quite a challenge, to work on handheld games that ran on ...
  • UCI makes finals of ACM contest November 26, 2013
    As a UC Irvine alumnus, I want to congratulate the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences team of undergrads who earned a spot ...
  • Panono – Panoramic camera to toss November 13, 2013
    CNet reports on Panono, a panoramic camera to throw in the air.  It’s a bit expensive, but the images it makes seem to work particularly ...
  • Math and games November 11, 2013
    Hat Guessing Games and Traveling Tournament Schedules are a couple of trendy mathematics research problems that could possibly be the basis for new video games. Just about everyone knows that ...
  • Microsoft by the numbers August 13, 2013
    I like this “Microsoft by the Numbers” website.  Since I used to work at Microsoft, I particularly get a kick out of the fact that 554,000 pizza slices are consumed each ...
  • arXiv: Some new research in Mathematics July 23, 2013
    A few times a year I like to examine current research on mathematical topics.  I can’t say I understand all that I read, but I ...
  • Tech workers and affordable nice homes July 22, 2013
    Computerworld blogged recently about “Where can tech workers afford the nicest homes?”  The article does the math and shows a nice graphic that compares income ...
  • Debugging multithreaded applications July 22, 2013
    Dr. Dobbs, a software technology magazine I have followed for many years, reported on “Debugging multithreaded applications in Windows”.  It’s great that Visual Studio offers ...
  • Unity expands free mobile development May 22, 2013
    Computerworld reports that Unity added free mobile game development for Android and iOS.
  • How many ways are there to program a mobile game? May 17, 2013
    Reading online about how to develop for smartphones or tablets, there are about a dozen recommended mobile games development tools.  While Unity 3D seems to get the ...
  • Another nice piece on Big Data May 10, 2013
    Kate Crawford of Microsoft Research wrote a Foreign Policy Magazine piece called “Think Again: Big Data” (Why the rise of machines isn’t all it’s cracked ...
  • UC Irvine Team Micromouse May 3, 2013
    As a UC Irvine computer science alumnus, I congratulate the university’s Team Micromouse.  This group from the UC Irvine’s Bren School of ICS is the school’s first-time entry in ...
  • Game Developer magazine ends June/July 2013 April 17, 2013
    It was announced today that “as of July 2013, Game Developer magazine will stop printing its print and digital editions, and transition to become a section on ...
  • Reading, writing, arithmetic, and coding? March 23, 2013
    Reading, writing, and mathematics have long been the building blocks of a good education.  Now, with computers and chips showing up in just about everything, ...
  • Are game developers satisfied with their working conditions? March 21, 2013
    I made video games for many years, and while it was often challenging and involved countless hours, I really enjoyed the work.  Sometimes not so different ...
  • To code in C, or not to… March 20, 2013
    Dr. Dobbs magazine asks “Why Code in C Anymore?”  I love that the Editor in Chief, Andrew Binstock, said this about code in C: “…when you read ...
  • Is Beta testing history? March 20, 2013
    Dr. Dobb’s magazine states that “…the definition of ‘app quality’ is slowly morphing from functional correctness to user-perceived value…”  That may mean that Beta testing has ...
  • Javascript for dealing with data March 11, 2013
    Computerworld published a list of “Six useful JavaScript libraries for dealing with data“.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

(Spamcheck Enabled)