I haven’t posted in a little while, and thought an update was due, so today
I am posting two blog posts with similar content. This post will be
about something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now - build my own desktop.
Many people build their own PCs. Many of them do it because it can be cheaper,
and many do it to have something completely custom for themselves. For me,
it was a little of A, and a little of B. Despite having chosen the
parts myself, there is a chance someone has a build just like mine - and
if you only go by appearances, my build isn’t that unique. I have to fix that.
I’ve spent a few days now planning out more of my project. I worked on the language some more, and brainstormed ideas for blocks I would like to have in the program. I also decided to use phaser as the game engine for the building and simulation of robots. This decision was based off the presence of a physics engine and the ability to specify constraints on sprites, which will take off the heavy lifting of “constructing” robots.
For a little while now I’ve wanted to make a game to teach AI programming and robotics. Between school and my summer internship I was able to start it, and here I’ll outline some of my progress. The Project Idea What I want to build is a game in which robots are assembled by snapping together components. The robots are then programmed. The programs must define a run function, which is run every tick of the game.
Another semester is over, one that happened to be my first semester where I was allowed to take only Computer Science courses. So, I took Paradigms, Operating System Principles, CSE Service Projects, Hackers of the Bazaar, and Mobile Computing, and I did undergraduate research. The projects in Operating System Principles were all fairly straightforward, but the last one involved writing a file system of sorts which was cool, but there was no room to do what I wanted, so I will only discuss the other courses.
I am currently taking a course titled “Hackers in the Bazaar”, which is, by all acounts, the greatest class ever. Anyway, we spent class today playing classic video games brought in by students. I brought in a SNES and a copy of Mortal Kombat). Additionally, I spent about an hour and a half yesterday creating something a bit special for the occasion. My dad keeps his old Atari 2600 up in my closet, along with a chest full of games.
For the past five months, I’ve had an old IBM Model M sitting on my desk. Specifically, a 1390572, a 122-key monstrosity. Ever since spending the summer typing on one of these old keyboards I have wanted to get this keyboard working, because it is very loud and very fun to type on. I found a converter for about $40 online, but that doesn’t seem worth it. The keyboard has this weird DIN-5 connector, where the pins sweep 240 degrees; I’ve never seen any connector quite like it.
About a year ago my dad suggested that in the future, it will be very common to see virtual actors. That is, there will be actors who exist only as the product of CGI and speech synthesis. Additionally, he believes that very famous actors will be preserved in this way - replications of famous actors will be able to fill in for actors at any age and at any point. We are already beginning to see this, and as the technology begins more advanced I believe it will become more acceptable to replace actors with CGI.