The Exam Approaches

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This post was originally published in 2008
It may contain stale & outdated information. Or it may have grown more awesome with age, like the author.

I’ve been pretty busy lately, writing and reading about code. Not really for the right reasons though…

I have an exam, see. It’s tomorrow. It is going to be really hard, and the subject bores me. I think that’s why I’ve been avoiding it. It’s a bit late now, but I recently found out some good news: It’s OPEN BOOK, and THREE HOURS! These two things are excellent. The first because it means I can print all my notes and bring them, along with my text book (and computer?? (doubt that!) into the exam. The second because it means I have a lot of time to flick through the book/notes looking for likely answers. Like I said, it is a hard paper. I didn’t really understand what the teacher talked about in class, and I didn’t really understand the projects. I passed them all, even got 90% for a couple – but generally I didn’t know what I was doing.

The only assignment I really liked was the Genetic Algorithm one, which I actually thought was pretty fun. I plan to implement that algorithm in PHP, so I can show it off on my site. The only thing stopping me is that I can’t think of a “real world” application of the algorithm, which I think is important – no point saying “Hey! Look at what I can do!” if what I can do isn’t useful. The program we had to write took sets of characters, say ABC AB ABD AC, and had to output the smallest subset of given sets that contained all characters. The program I made did this well, it output the optimum subset every time, even if it was given only a limited number of generations. I was happy. If you think of a way to apply this to a real problem, maybe even to a RW related problem, let me know!

So, to avoid thinking about my exam, I’ve been thinking about RW problems, and trying to create (at least in my head, if not in reality) effective solutions for them. One example is the “Archive Annihilator”, which replaces the silly archive links list that is the only option in RW. Well, the only option aside from off, which is what most people choose after a year of blogging.

Also I have just finished hooking up js-kit’s awesome commenting system with GreyBox, which I’ll put in all of my photo pages. You can see an example of the final result on this page: Beijing Day #2; Great Wall.

I’ve got a few tutorials planned, one explaining how to embed multiple PhotoAlbum slideshows in a blog post, like I have done in my post about the Besta Ta-3000 electronic dictionary (I wanted to use the slideshow to demonstrate a) how one inputs characters and b) the “show stroke order” function of the dictionary). The second tutorial will be about creating the same comments in GreyBox system mentioned above.

Well… I’d better go and “prepare” for my exam now … (prepare = print out the notes and put them by my shoes so I don’t forget them).

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