Showing posts from June, 2009

ICFP 2009 contest blog - Team Blue Iris

I just threw in the towel on the ICFP 2009 Programming Contest.

The problem this year was a set of 4 sub-problems related to orbital mechanics, plus a virtual machine spec. The virtual machine was used to enable the problems to be specified exactly, without worrying about differences in the order of math operations.

Implementing the virtual machine was easy and fun. Unfortunately, actually solving the final sub-problem required learning too much math and physics. I was able to solve problems 1 and 2, and make an entry for the lightning round. And I brute-forced a solution for problem 3. But now, 56 hours into the contest, I am giving up on problem 4.

I can see the general outline of how to solve it, but it would take sharper tools than I have now. For example, I'd like a way of solving Lambert's equations, but I'm having trouble deriving the code on my own, and the best example I've found while searching the web is a 30-year-old NASA Space Shuttle Fortran program. Also, …

Dandy in JavaScript

This weekend I wrote a JavaScript version of my old Atari 800 game Dandy.

Check it out: Web Dandy

It was my first JavaScript application. It was about as easy as writing the Python version. I have only tested it in two browsers so far (Firefox 3.0 and Chrome), and only on one platform OSX. I have already run into differences between the two browsers: Firefox 3.0 for OSX seems to double-post keydown events.

No sound or multiplayer yet. Oh, and I use the CANVAS tag, so I think older browsers (like IE 7) won't work.