Category Archives: Uncategorized

I Believe

I believe that Black lives matter.

I believe that as a White, middle class American, I am tone deaf despite my best intentions.

I believe that it's better to make mistakes and to learn from them than to stand by and not use my privilege to improve the world around me.

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Markov Chain Text Generation

With the recent postings elsewhere about Markov Chains and text production, I figured I'd take a stab at it. I based my code on the code at the latter link. Instead of the King James Bible and Lovecraft, I joined two million words from sources found on Project Gutenberg:

  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood, by Charles Dickens
  • The Secret Agent, by Joseph Conrad
  • Superstition in All Ages (1732), by Jean Meslier
  • The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, by Edgar Allan Poe (five volumes)
  • The New Pun Book, by Thomas A. Brown and Thomas Joseph Carey
  • The Superstitions of Witchcraft, by Howard Williams
  • The House-Boat on the Styx, by John Kendrick Bangs
  • Bulfinch's Mythology: the Age of Fable, by Thomas Bulfinch
  • Dracula, by Bram Stoker
  • The World English Bible (WEB)
  • Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
  • The Vision of Paradise, by Dante
  • The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce

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Goldilocks and the Three Phones

iPhone 2g, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4
iPhone 2g, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (Photo credit: reticulating)

I stood in line for a few hours the day the iPhone came out in 2007. I had been using various cell phones before then, but the iPhone was revolutionary. I didn't have to wade through sales pitches and confusing marketing to figure out which features I needed to pay for. Everything was included for a single price, and the price only depended on how many minutes I needed each month.

Cell phone companies have recovered some ground. Monthly fees depend on how many minutes AND how much data you want, as well as whether or not you want to tether a laptop or other device to the phone (that was always off the table with the first iPhone). If you want to upgrade more often than every two years, that's another new monthly fee. Not quite as bad as before the iPhone, but getting more complicated so you don't realize just how much you're paying for spotty service. Until we have real competition in the cell market, this will be our future.

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Semester Goals for Fabulator

A hanging flower basket on the street in Victo...
Image via Wikipedia

Now that I'm finished with the move from Texas to Maryland, I'm starting to plan the next four or five months.

This spring will be spent getting the Fabulator engine and Radiant extensions ready for DHSI.  If you are interested in getting hands-on with the system, join us in Victoria for a wonderful week in June.  I can think of few places that are more enjoyable in June than Victoria, BC.

I'll also be posting some documentation or tutorials here to help explain the language at the heart of the Fabulator system.  I'm considering a few changes that I'll announce in a few weeks when some other plans start coming together.

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Picking Up Here

If you've been following my Tumblr, welcome to my personal site.

I'm starting a new job at the University of Maryland, College Park, on January 10th.  The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) is bringing me in as a software architect for a number of exciting projects.  I figure this is a good time to freshen up the site.  I'll dig up the older content at some point and post it here as an archive.

One of the projects I'll be working on is Project Bamboo, specifically, Corpora Space.  I'll continue working on some of my open source work from Texas A&M University that I've posted about on another blog.  The running commentary I wrote there will continue here.  Some names may change as code is brought into the Bamboo universe.

The new year promises to be full of wonder and surprises.  I'll try to keep you up to speed here.

World of Warcraft, Part 1

This series of posts writen for the Emerald Dream forums tries to walk through the design of World of Warcraft and Emerald Dream. We will explore how WoW is designed and where guilds fit into that design. We will also take a look at how guilds should be organized based on similarities to real world organizations. Finally, we will take a look at Emerald Dream and its structure with a focus on understanding why it is designed the way it is. Hopefully, by the end of this series, everyone will have a better understanding of how everything works and how they can best fit in. We want everyone to feel that they are part of a family.

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extensible State Machines

One of the problems in web application design is the disconnect between traditional programming languages and the statelessness of the web. There are ways to work around this, storing session information in hidden fields, setting cookies and tracking session information there or on the server. There are languages designed for the web such as PHP and ASP. Traditional languages are made to work with the web: Java and Perl being two big examples. But none of these capture the nature of the client/server model fundamental to web applications. All of them require some reinvention of the wheel each time an application is built.

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