Monday, November 21, 2005

Ajax Puzzle, Firefox Extensions

Everyone seems to be talking about Ajax these days. By chance I was recently forced to learn Javascript, so I threw together a page that may count as using Ajax.

My page is a number crossword I encountered years ago. It might be too simple to be considered Ajax, but it is similar to the puzzles at, which do use Ajax. Anyway, dropping the word "Ajax" should get me a few extra hits at least!

I only checked the page in Firefox. It may look weird in other browsers. Speaking of Firefox, I like this list: Best Firefox Extensions

And speaking of my favourite number puzzles, I'm fond of the "Alice bit the white rabbit" cryptarithm:

A L I C E +

I haven't been able to track down the source of this gem.

I renamed this page from "Insert Blog Name Here" to the backronym BL:OG. The "Openly Geeky" phrase was supposed to be a play on the words "openly gay", but they have more in common than I first thought: declaring yourself as either one discourages the opposite sex from pursuing you!

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Party Tricks

This page is developing a life of its own. It's getting updated frequently with useless random information. I'm embracing the inevitable and intend to make it look like what it has become: a blog.

Geeky party tricks:
  1. The Doomsday Algorithm[Wikipedia article]: calculate the day of the week for any date instantly.
  2. Do Cube Roots of 9-digit Numbers in Your Head

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Elements of Style

I had heard of William Strunk's Elements of Style long ago. I finally saw what all the fuss is about when I found this online HTML version of the book [alternate link].

Much of this 1918 work is still relevant today. I was surprised to find that many misused and/or hackneyed words and phrases have been around for many years.

When I write English, I borrow techniques I use to write code. I start with a syntactically correct body of text that gets the job done. I then revise and optimize: I reword, rephrase, replace and remove lines, aiming for clean, concise, efficient and effective writing.

The analogy isn't perfect. With prose, I'll throw in extra words if I like the way it sounds, but for code, I'll sacrifice style for performance.

Some of the rules in Elements of Style seem to achieve the same goals, though they are explained from a nonprogrammer's viewpoint!

Drums, Engines, Sudoku, Poker Chips, Dodecahedrons

Some links I don't want to forget:
  1. Drumkit implemented in Flash
  2. Animated Engines.
  3. Sudoku at I've lost a lot of time here recently. I only recently discovered these frustrating puzzles, but according to the Wikipedia entry on Sudoku, they've been around since 1979.
  4. Poker chip tricks have also been eating up my time of late. Note there are different ways to do poker chips tricks.
  5. 12-sided calendar: print and construct your very own dodecahedral calendar.

Web Authoring Notes

My notes on creating web sites are slipshod and haphazard. This would be fine since I wrote them for myself, but it's getting to a point where even I'm having trouble wading through the chaos to find information I want.

I've started reorganizing that part of my site. Some of the material
is more suitable for a blog than a reference.