Programming On A Calculator

posted on 2005-08-01 at 22:29:00 by Joel Ross

There's a post on Engadget about porting Doom to the TI-84 and TI-83, and it brought back some memories for me!

You see, when I was in highschool, I never had a computer - at least not until my senior year. But I did have a TI-85 calculator.

So I started messing around with their programming language. I'm not even sure what language I wrote in, but over the course of 3-4 months during classes, I wrote two programs for it. The first was a set of casino games - blackjack, a pseudo-roulette game, and craps. You could share your money between the different games, and I thought it was pretty slick.

The second was more involved. It was a text-based football simulation. It took the longest to write, and it actually had a form of AI - if you had a short yardage play, the defense would plan accordingly - defend against a short yardage play.

Of course, it wasn't very good. You could easily turn a huge passing play on 3rd and short because of the flawed AI. But it was fun anyway!

That was my first programming environment. What was yours?

Categories: Personal


RossCode Fantasy Football League

posted on 2005-08-01 at 22:07:28 by Joel Ross

I'm starting a fantasy football league, and looking for teams. The feedback wasn't as good as I'd hoped it would be for my fantasy football league, so I'm going to open up league membership to friends of friends too. If you want to join, and have a friend who wants to join, feel free to invite them too!

So far, I've gotten a commitment from just 3 people - which leaves the league at 4 teams, including me. I have a few others that I know that may be interested, but I'd like to see a larger league than 8 teams this year!

But I guess it's time to supply some more details, eh? I decided to go with Fox Sports. I looked at the NFL one (thanks for the suggestion, Erik), but I thought the interface for Fox was cleaner. The league is live, and you can join the league here. Here's the key information:

League ID: 28804 (this is pre-filled using the above link)
Password: rosscode2005

So now you can join. But what about drafting your team? Given the distributed nature of the league and time constraints for me, I don't see a live draft as very feasible, so it's going to be an automatic list draft. I would much rather do a live draft, but given the difficulty of finding a time that works for everyone, I don't see it happening.

Next, rosters: It's a pretty standard league - your starting roster will consist of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, a WR/TE, a kicker and a team defense/special teams. You'll get 6 bench spots. And of course, if you have a reason before the league starts that this should be changed, let me know because it can all be changed.

Scoring: I basically took their defaults. I like it better than what I used with Yahoo last year because it gives players who don't score as much a more prominent role. Here's the scoring details:

TDs: 6 pts
2pt Conversions: 2pts
Ints: 2 pts
Yds: 1 pt for every 25 yards. This will result in twice as many passing points as last year where it was 1 for every 50 yards. I'm also considering - and soliciting feedback - adding a bonus for a 300 yard passing game. Probably just a few points - 3 or so.

TDs: 6 pts
Yds: 1 pt for every 10 yards. Again, this will result in twice as many points as last year where I used 1 point for every 20 yards. Again, I'm considering a 3 point bonus for 100 yard games.
2 pt conversions: 2 pts.

TDs: 6 pts
Yds: 1 pt for every 10 yards. Again, this will result in twice as many points as last year where I used 1 point for every 20 yards. I'm not really considering a 3 point bonus for 100 yard games, but that's up for discussion too.

Fumbles lost: -2 pts

Kicking (Field goals)
1-39 yards: 3pts
40-49 yards: 4 pts
50+ yards: 5 pts
Extra points: 1 pt

Defensive Scoring
Defensive and special team TDs: 6 pts
Sack: 1 pt
Safety: 2 pts
Interceptions: 2pts
Fumble recoveries: 2pts
Blocks: 2 pts

Total points against
0: 15 pts
2-5 pts: 12 pts
6-8 pts: 10 pts
9-11 pts: 8 pts
12-15 pts: 6 pts
16-21 pts: 5 pts
22-26 pts: 3 pts
27-31 pts: 0 pts
32-36 pts: -3 pts
37+ pts: -5 pts

Scoring should be higher this year than it was last year, which is good. I'm actually pretty excited. Now I just need to get enough people in the league! If you're interested, please go ahead and join and identify your team in the comments. My team is the RossCode Raders. And remember, the more the merrier!

Categories: Football


RossCode Weekly #011

posted on 2005-08-01 at 01:00:18 by Joel Ross

There's not a lot of news this week, but the news there is, is pretty big.

Yahoo acquires Konfabulator, a nice tool that lets you put widgets on your screen. It's also now free, instead of the $20 it used to cost. I'm not sure where Konfabulator will go, but how soon until we see a "My Yahoo" widget?
Not only did Yahoo get in the Widget business, it appears they are building a Technorati killer - a blog search engine. Why wouldn't they be? Everyone else is.

Speaking of Technorati, they've released a mobile edition. For those who can't get enough "ego searches" and need to get a fix on the road!

Google's customizable homepage now supports RSS. It’s pretty weak - it's definitely not an aggregator - it only shows headlines. But I suppose it's a step in the right direction. Now, if just I could get RSS feeds in my Gmail account.

Sticking with Google for a moment, it appears that back in 2003, Google applied for a patent of ads in RSS feeds. It'll be interesting to see what comes of this. Feedster offers feed ads, as well as a few other companies. If Google gets this patent (or has it - not sure), will they attempt to enforce it?
I'd be remiss if I didn't miss the two biggest news items of the week: betas of both Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 7 were released into the wild. Well, not the "real wild" but to MSDN subscribers. Remember last week when I asked if the July beta would be for MSDN subscribers and the (reported) August 3rd would be public? Could I have been correct on that speculation? I guess we'll find out this week. Either way, everyone seems to be talking about these betas. There's even talk about what the IE beta 2 will include - shouldn't some of that be based on what comes from beta 1?

More Vista news. On the same week that it's released in beta form, there's rumors that the release date (reported last week as June 2006) has slipped to Q4 of 2006 - sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Somehow, I think the Xbox sales will outpace Vista if that happens.
Lastly, AOL has released their own aggregator. Now, we just wait on Google's. I haven't looked at AOL's, mainly because I think it's going to be too simplistic - like everything else AOL does, it's got to appeal to the masses. While that's great for my grandma, it's not what I'm after. And that's fine - I don't think I'm AOL's target market anyway.

Categories: RossCode Weekly


Hear Me Talk About the MSU Fight Song

posted on 2005-07-31 at 23:32:56 by Joel Ross

Well, Jason Salas called me out repeatedly on Digital Pontifications, his podcast, and I finally answered Saturday night. He's included it in the August 1st episode. It's at about the 20 minute mark if you're interested, although it'd be worth it to listen to the whole show.

For that matter, subscribe to the show. It's well worth it!

Categories: Podcasting


Spammers Be Warned!

posted on 2005-07-29 at 23:37:47 by Joel Ross

This is kind of a bitter sweet story. While I like to see spammers get punished, this seems a little harsh. I guess spamming in Russia isn't quite as good an idea as this guy thought it was.

Categories: General


This Is Sportscenter

posted on 2005-07-24 at 00:21:13 by Joel Ross

I recorded This Is Sportscenter last Thursday, and finally got around to watching it tonight. Basically, it's a behind the scenes look at what happens leading up to and during an episode of Sportscenter. If you get a chance to see it (I'm not sure if they'll replay it or not, but maybe they'll do another one. This is the second one they've shown), I would recommend it. It's a two hour show - the first is spent going over what happens during the day to get the show ready, as well as what happens the hour before the show airs, and the second hour is what happens while the show is happening.

It's amazing how smoothly Sportscenter runs each and every night when you see the behind the scenes look. There is constant commotion going on, and the anchors aren't affected at all by it. The highlights sometimes barely get in, and still, they come off flawlessly. There were miscues during the episode, but I didn't even notice them until they were pointed out afterwards.

Oh yeah. Their server room (the quick shots they showed) is quite impressive. 6 million feet of cable!


Categories: Sports


Podcast Studio

posted on 2005-07-23 at 00:01:19 by Joel Ross

Jeff Julian and John Alexander have started something new for GeeksWithBlogs - podcasting. And they plan to offer services up to the members, as well as interview bloggers. The first interview show is up, and it's pretty good.

Ever since being interviewed by Jason Salas, I've been considering starting a podcast. I have an idea, but I don't have the space nor the bandwidth. If Jeff and John get this up and running and like my idea (I've already emailed them!), then we'll see what happens from there.

Who knows - I could be podcasting soon. Now that's a scary thought!

Categories: Podcasting


Cyclomatic Complexity

posted on 2005-07-22 at 23:55:24 by Joel Ross

I was introduced to the concept behind CC a while ago, as well as how to measure it, but I never saw any hard numbers about what was an acceptable complexity - until now. Bruce Mcleod has a very nice post that includes a table from Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute about just that. Basically, if you're under 10, you're golden. Up to 20, you're OK. Up to 50 - that's complex. Over 50 and you're in trouble.

Bruce also points out something I missed. If you're into unit testing, measuring your CC gives you the minimum number of tests you'll need to fully exercise your code. That means to achieve 100% code coverage, you need at least as many tests as your project's total CC. Cool!

I was on a project that used some existing code, and I ran some metrics against it. Do you think it was bad that one of the methods had a Cyclomatic Complexity of 406?

Categories: Development


BizTalk Server 2006 Beta Released

posted on 2005-07-22 at 23:37:58 by Joel Ross

How's this for coincidences? Yesterday I was talking to Brian about my current BizTalk project. He asked if we were moving to BizTalk 2006. I said no, but the beta was coming out soon - probably this month.

Well, I got home, and lo and behold, according to Sam Gentile, it was released yesterday - probably right around the time Brian and I were talking about it!

Categories: Software


Rockford Lhotka Coming To Grand Rapids

posted on 2005-07-22 at 15:06:15 by Joel Ross

On August 9th, it looks like Rocky will be in Grand Rapids at the West Michigan .NET User Group. I've never met him, but I've read a few of his articles (even commented on his writings here and here). He'll be talking about creating distributed object-oriented applications in .NET.

It should be a good talk. If you're in the West Michigan area, check it out. Here are the details:

The Waterworks Pub in the Waterworks Building - downtown Grand Rapids
August 9th, 6 P.M.

You can always go to the West Michigan .NET User Group webpage too.

Categories: General


<< 1 ... 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 ... 124 >>