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Thing of the Week

25 January, 2007 (11:09) | Hockey, Life In General | By: Brian

First, a big ‘Hello!’ to Amanda Vierling. She must have my blog in a reader of some kind since she almost immediately wrote to me after my last post. I just want to tell everyone reading this that Amanda is a terrific person for putting my up with my general laziness toward communication over the last ten years or so. She’s a sweet heart. Thanks Manda Panda!

Last night I played the first two men’s league night games in a row. It was at the Pond where I play defense for our ‘developmental team.’ We played a fun quick game against the Puckheads which has a few of my friends on it. We got to the end of the 3rd period only down one goal, so we pulled Jared out and tried to score with 6 skaters. Unfortunately the Puckheads managed to bring the puck back down to our end and scored an empty netter. It was a fun, clean game though, which was nice for a change. Tonight I have another late game at the University against the Cats’ long-time arch-rival, the Drunken Clams. We’re 1-1 with them this season in two very rough physical games. Should be another fun, rough one tonight.

Today’s ‘Thing of the Week’ is the blog/podcast: Java Posse. This is a really great podcast for Java Developers like myself. The four main speakers are employees of Google, Sun and Apple and collect news on things in the Java world and conduct interesting interviews with project leaders and authors in the field. They have a pretty amusing sense of style and dialog and are just very entertaining, especially when they’ve started drinking before the recording.

My latest “spare time” nerd project (no, I don’t have any more spare time, but it’s fun to pretend) is a fairly simple, but extensible Java interpreter for the esoteric programming language called Brainfuck. No, I’m not making that up, that is the name of the language. It’s a simple, Turing complete language that only consists of 8 operators and a memory space for doing work. It’s interesting mostly as a toy to programmers, but also useful for studying mathematical algorithms and for understanding how computers actually do work. For example, the classic program to print “Hello World!” looks like:

++++++++++[>+++++++>++++++++++>+++>+<<<++.>+.+++++++..+++.>++. <. +++.------.--------.>+.>.

Isn’t that scary looking? The purpose of the project is mostly so I can get a little practice with some of the new Java 5.0 language features and get myself into the habit of thinking about how to properly unit test algorithmic code. Eventually I’d like to put a simple GUI on top of the interpreter that would help debug programs by allowing the user to view the memory and program contents while stepping through an execution. I’ll probably get the major chunks of the execution algorithm done and then move on to some other programming project. I think I’m going to take a look at some of the Google Web Toolkit stuff and see how well it will integrate with my database on Techhouse.

Comments

Comment from tigger
Time January 25, 2007 at 12:18 pm

I totally think you made that last part up. Can you guess what this says: ++++++++[+++---][.+---+>] ? It says “I’m a tool”

:D

Comment from Brian
Time January 25, 2007 at 1:58 pm

I’m serious! If the Wikipedia says it, it must be true! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainfuck
There’s some interesting derivatives and implementation flavors there.

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