Tags / Fun

Simulating Pub Skittles

to discover optimal playing strategies

Two years ago I created a 2D simulation of the game of pub skittles in an attempt to find the optimum strategies for playing. The simulation used parameters measured from our home alley. (We play in the Malmesbury skittles league at the Volunteer Inn, Great Sommerford.) Different alleys have different characteristics. For example different sized and shaped pins, different balls and different conditions of alley. I had some success with this simulation. [Read More]

Flocking Boids

Today, after a little over eight years, I present a sequel to NetKernel PingPong. Like it’s predecessor, FlockingBoids aims to find that delicate balance between executive toy and technology demo. Finding cool new technologies was the easy part - we’ve got HTML5 (canvas and websockets), JSON, Box2D, and of course NetKernel, your rock solid high performance plumbing. Finding time for executives to play was a little harder… What it does FlockingBoids is a web app that performs a mathematical simulation of autonomous boids which interact in a two dimensional world according to realistic laws of physics. [Read More]

ROC Hockey

As respite from soap-boxing, this week I have a technology demo that was built to provide a testing ground for some new technology I’ve been working on - state machines. State Machines have long been used for embedded systems as a programming abstraction that provides a tight language for programming systems that have well defined modes. They fit a certain class of problems very well and can help provide robust solutions in scenarios where other approaches rapidly become riddled with corner cases and become difficult to test. [Read More]

Sand Ripple Patterns

This, perhaps surprisingly, is a subject that I now know far too much about. As part of a side project to recreate an old rendering of a beach scene I wanted a heightmap of some typical sand ripples - you know the ones you always see on every beach and desert. They look mostly like period waves but have interesting joins and branches kind of like magnetic domains. Anyway, even the power of Google couldn’t find anything at all. [Read More]

What Is NetKernel?

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you will wake up at your desk and believe what you want to believe. You take the red pill, you will stay in Wonderland, and we show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Homage to one of the best movies ever. The situation is the same. Are you ready to know what NetKernel is? [Read More]

Scratching an Itch

Some of you may know that recently I’ve been really digging into the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology of self organisation. Thanks to Tom Geudens for putting me on that track! I’m not going to bang on obsessively about it as it seems that can be a common tendency, suffice to say I found good geeky tools to use and so far so good it really seems to work. The one takeaway point to me is this: if you can get written down and out of your head all the thoughts and ideas of what needs to be done both long and short term then these thoughts don’t keep springing into your head at inopportune times. [Read More]