Turtles and Random Bits

I was brushing up on sorting algorithms and came across this one whose goal is to kill turtles. How uncouth!

Speaking of turtles, I’ve received two comments on dealing with TortoiseSVN’s terrible caching program. sawce replaced its executable with a dummy that exits on startup. Damaged Soul says simply removing the executable does the job as well.

Not speaking of turtles, I think I may have to start a new segment on “disappointing software.” My Motorola Q decided to format itself this week, and I had to reinstall everything. The first thing that I always install after wiping my smartphone is a program to play Go. Go is extremely difficult for computers to play, so I don’t expect much from an embedded processor. The best program I’ve found so far (that works) has been Pocket GNU Go.

I always forget its name though, so while searching for it I found a (relatively new?) program called Go Mobile. It bragged about having good graphics so I tried it out. By the third move or so it seemed to crap out. I don’t have a screenshot but the move looked like this (the triangled white piece):

To make a Chess comparison, that move is like skipping your turn and then giving a random piece to your opponent. If you’re going to make a Go program but you don’t want to bother writing playable AI for it, why not embed one of the existing solutions?

The lack of good pocket programs for Go is disappointing. Even the GNU Go port I use is very old, it’s an entire major release out of date with the PC version. Contrast — about seven years ago I had a Palm 3 (black and white, 2MB of RAM) that had an amazingly complete chess program.

3 thoughts on “Turtles and Random Bits

  1. Damaged Soul

    Wow, what a horrible move. If the computer played like that all the time on igowin, I’d get to 1 kyu in no time.

  2. BlueRaja

    The chess program that comes with Windows Vista is just as bad:

    As far as I can tell, the only difference between the level 1 and the level 10 computer is that the level 10 takes a lot longer to think. I know people who have just barely learned to move the pieces who don’t have any trouble beating it.

  3. dvander Post author

    Very amusing video. I tried the Vista chess game once on Level 1, it was the only computer program I ever managed to beat, so indeed something must be wrong :) I never imagined that level 10 was just as easy though.

    Graphically it’s very nice. I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft (for whatever reason) made it easy on purpose. Amusingly I see a lot of YouTube videos where people are confused at the computer playing En Passant. I guess it’s nice that Microsoft decided to bring a fairly intellectual game to the masses (sorry PM, I don’t think Minesweeper counts!)

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