Sorry for the lack of updates. I hate when blogs say that, but publishing less than once a month defeats the purpose of a blog. I blame what I always have: my insistence that what I publish be Significant (the last two posts were more than epic enough), even when it goes against the interests of a) myself, and b) my readers (are there any there)?
But let’s continue. What am I up to? Oh, yes! These are things I’m working on in school, and am likely to write about (if I ever do, in fact, write):
Many Project Euler problems are made easier if you have a good facility for generating and detecting prime numbers. Usually when I see such a problem, I would immediately switch to Haskell, but the other day a problem took about a minute to solve (way too long), so I ported the functionality to C.
In both, I’m doing a simple trial division algorithm: a number is prime if no other number divides it. A simple glance at Wikipedia shows you only have to test up to and including the square root of the number you’re testing, and the nature of primes means you really only need to test factorization by other primes.
Exam season is a royal pain, but I find ways to entertain myself. My most recent delight has been Project Euler: I discovered it late last semester, and took a break until about November to tackle some Facebook puzzles. But with the gaps between commitments getting smaller and smaller, and with a desire to use some more unorthodox languages (Facebook doesn’t accept Scheme or SML submissions, for example), tackling 15 or so of the easier Project Euler problems proved fitting.
I recently solved Problem 54, an unusually straightforward implementation problem (most problems require some mathematical insight, this was a straight-up write-it-out problem). In Problem 54, they provide a file with 1000 games of poker, and you must determine how many games the first player wins.
Almost as contentious (maybe more) than asking a programmer what their favorite editor/language is would be to ask them what the most important books are for a budding programmer to read. Every smart programmer I know has a small list of books that are essential (they claim) to know anything important about programming, software, etc.
Taking the union of all such books would yield a stack taller than you are. I’m doing my best to ferociously play catch-up.
In a financial confusion (new cards invalidate old ones, internet companies), the former host of morepablo.com dropped me and my site after a single, spam-collected e-mail.