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August 12, 2012


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Joined July 09, 2006
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Tank Master
July 17, 2006
Cannon Man
August 10, 2006
Sattelite Orbit Mimicker
September 13, 2006
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Did I show this to you?
Posted on July 17, 2011 at 04:57

It's been a long ass time since I've done anything here. I found this text file in my file manager though, it's a python program for simulating solar system formation from a random collection of particles representing a dust cloud. It was the first real program I wrote in python, which has since become my favorite way to write programs, though I never gave it enough effort to really learn (I can still write better games in game maker than I can in python) because I'm a chemistry student, not a computer student, and crap gets in the way. I was so inexperienced with python that I didn't even know how to define a function at the time, when I needed to do something more than once, I would copy and paste whole sections of code. The damn thing took 24 hours to run on my laptop, and the output was a series of numbers that had to be entered in a spreadsheet for data analysis, so animations were out of the question. I did it for an independent research physics course and took it the state academy of science meeting and got the best poster award in the undergraduate division. Now I am a grad student and my posters don't win awards.

For those few of you who remember, I also wrote an even earlier gravity simulator in game maker where you made a satellite orbit a planet. It was only slightly higher quality than most of my crap.

With the new layout and such I don't know If I'm breaking some rule about short blog posts or whatever, so I will try to fill some space. In fall 2009 I started a medicinal chemistry phd program. I am in the summer of my second year there and am in the middle of the predoctorate examinations, which I need to pass to continue in the program, I will pass, but it's still hard work. I got married a year ago too, so that's pretty cool.

Other than that my time is mostly wasted on minecraft. I have even written a couple programs for it, not mods, but programs. One takes a list of coordinates and places labels on an oblique angled cartograph, good for marking landmarks, but most servers have some google maps based program for that. I did it based on math from my isometric map engine, and you had to identify two points by their pixels in the cartograph to calibrate the map. Using the same math and calibration, I wrote another program for getting the minecraft coordinate from a pixel in the cartograph, so you could see something interesting and teleport there. I also made a program that makes a schematic that is supposed to be a 100 cube block of smoothstone surrounded by bedrock, and inside this bug cube are smaller cubes that could be empty, or have grass and trees, or lava, or buildings, and it was meant to be fun for SMP, but the small cubes are distorted and I can't figure out why, it's like someone just shoved the top half of the cubes over by a block or two.

I have referenced several things in the post, and I will try to link to as much as I can to provide proper context, lets see if I remember how to do that.

Solar System Simulation
Satellite Orbit Mimicker

My god, it's been over 5 years since I joined. That's more than 20% of my lifespan,

i'm still here?!
Posted on August 21, 2010 at 01:52

i haven't even logged on in well over a year and now I decide to look and my stuff is still here!

Wow. you guys must have a lot of free harddrive space.

I am in grad school now, doing a med chem program. I still occasionally do bad programming. I took a statistical thermodynamics class in the chemistry department and actually did some programming and simulation of a DNA molecule in water.

After getting bored I redownloaded game maker and messed with it some. I made a way to create semi-realistic road networks because I didn't want random crap or a constant grid, or have to make each one by hand. It works ok. Maybe I can improve speed some, it's fast, but the road peices are all objects that have to run a large series of if statements every step to determine what image_index to use, and the roads don't do anything yet, just sit there and look like roads.

Does anyone know if there are any other random road generation scripts out there?

parsing a string to an array
Posted on July 01, 2009 at 17:18

I am writing a program in python for a genetics professor I had for class. It takes the coordinates of a gene on DNA, and draws an arrow showing the position and direction of the gene on the genome. I thought converting the numbers to an image would be the hard part because it needed scaling and wrapping from one line to the next, but I was wrong.

When I first wrote the program, I simply hardcoded the data used to draw the image. It worked well enough for me, but if I want to make it usable for others, I will need a GUI that takes the numbers from the user and formats it for the image. This is harder. I am trying to convert a string to an array. The string follows this format:
"1-2, 3-4
5-6, 7-8"

and the array should have this format: [[[1, 2], [3,4]], [[5, 6], [7, 8]]]

Of course the numbers could be any number. I have been trying to get this to work for weeks, and I can't get it to parse right. I haven't found any built-in functions for this sort of thing, and I have tried several techniques, such as using nested for loops that search for digits, commas, or hyphens, and tries to build a number and add it to an array, but it just does not work right...

Has anyone done anything similar, or have any suggestions for making it work?

Here is what the final output looks like, in case you're interested. Sorry about screen stretch...

I make poor games. It's official.
Posted on June 05, 2009 at 17:59

I logged in today to see a new badge on my profile. A little black X that says I make poor games. I already knew this. I pride myself on it. I made the banner that says "I make bad games" and have been using it ever since I found this site.

If you don't believe me that my games are poor, look at my games and examples here. They're not technically terrible, the programming is ok, I don't do things poorly simply because I don't know or don't care, but because I think it's funny. My writable chalkboard example is horrible, not because I did a bad job, but because I just put a picture of a chalkboard on a gray background, you click it, and a message box pops up. You type what you want and hit enter. Then it shows what you typed on the chalkboard. It's terrible. Then I described it as great.

Sometimes I have done some pretty cool stuff. For example, my Cannon Man game was a good concept, you play as a guy with a cannon, and in order to fly, you have to fire the cannon, forcing the player to balance movement with killing enemies. But school came up and I never developed it beyond the one level I submitted here. Another case was my isometric map engine. It made an isometric tile based map with support for multiple heights, decorations, holes, and even 90 degree rotations, something not even Square did with the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance games. I even made a simple to use map editor. But after I uploaded the working example, I made some "improvements", updated the files, and broke the game... I was too busy with school to go back and fix it, and now I don't remember what I did to make in the first place.

My Satellite Orbit Mimicker has ok programming, it works, but it really doesn't do much than run a few satellites around a planet using gravity calculations. I liked enough to do an independent research project last fall in the physics department at my college. I wrote a program simulating solar system formation from individual particles and presented the results at the Missouri Academy of Science this year, and got first place. I also finally took a computer class, Introduction to Java, and got the top grade, beating out all the comp. sci. majors. I wrote a progam in my bioinformatics class that takes genetic data and makes a picture mapping the genes out on DNA. That proves I am not a terrible programmer, and have the potential to make very good and useful programs. I just choose not to use it.

But if you want to see my worst games, don't look here, look up my Shork account on yoyogames. That's where I put some awful things. Such as AYB. It shows a series of message boxes with lines from Zero Wing. That's literally all it does. Or my Video Quigi game. It starts to get bad right away with the misspelling of ouija, and doesn't stop until it opens a portal to Hell into your home. Not to mention that I never use a real screen shot on YYG for any of my games, relying on completely unrelated pictures I just happened to have on my computer.

So I accept my little black X with pride, and give great thanks to the 64Digits community for finally recognizing my immense talent. I hope to bring you even trashier trash in the future!

GM5 under Ubuntu
Posted on May 15, 2009 at 18:13

I have ubuntu linux. That's the biggest reason I have not done anything with game maker for over a year. I have tried learning python, took a java class, but I still like Game Maker. So I did some research, looked around, and learned that Game Maker will not work under WINE due to directX problems. However, directX was not implemented until version 6, so version 5 still works under linux.

With my newfound knowledge, I downloaded GM 5.3a from yoyogames and installed it. It worked, the examples worked, it was nice. Then I tried making a simple bouncing ball game to refamiliarize myself with the program. But to my dismay, when I hit go, the screen was blank. I checked the room, I had placed everything correctly, so I checked the controller object. I looked at the script I had written and it was blank. It didn't save. I tried again, double checked it, wrote scripts in a time line and as a script, all with the same failures. If I use drag and drop I can make it work, but d and d sucks.

Also when I open the help, I can't close the help. Get an error message.

Has anyone else had this issue? I understand linux is not too common, and understand that GM 5.3a is for dinosaurs. I just hope someone, somewhere has something I can try to make scripts work.

Posted on March 23, 2009 at 20:23

haikus are real dumb
haikus are really stupid
i hate them a lot.


64Digits is back and better than ever! The new motto is great too, "Driven by Laziness." Genius. To realize that the entire world is driven by laziness, then to build a whole website around it.

To further show how laziness runs the world, I'm gonna get a job working as a pharmacy tech for a while. You know why? Because I missed all the grad school application deadlines and have to wait a year. So I need a job to fill in the time and pay the bills. At least I did all my schooling on scholarships, so no loans to pay back.

So I will be equally lazy in helping to rebuild the site, so that it can live long and prosper.

3D modeling, how doth I do it?
Posted on December 25, 2008 at 04:15

I have been playing Final Fantasy crystal chronicals on the DS, I like the way the character models look. They're simple, low memory requirements, look good on the small screen. I got to thinking about trying a little 3d gaming of my own, with simple graphics of course. The biggest problem is I have no clue how to start...

With 2d graphics I can pop into paintshop or GIMP and have a nice sprite in a couple hours, get it into game maker or python, whatever I'm using and have good results pretty quick.

Damn 3d models need more work than that. I've tried downloading a couple programs, but getting started is hard when I have no clue what to do. So i'm asking your opinions on what program to use, and how to learn it.

I warn you, i have ubuntu, so I can't use every program on the market. I am also poor, so the free-er the better.

Thank you for your help.

Powerpoint and Program
Posted on November 10, 2008 at 01:54

I need some quick info on my seminar powerpoint. I have to present it tomorrow, it must be 40 to 50 minutes long. It's about adding synthetic amino acids to the genetic code of living things.

Natural organisms use 20 amino acids to build proteins that they need to carry out important chemical reactions or other functions. The properties of each amino acid is determined by its sidechain, the chemical structure that sticks off the backbone. Organic chemistry has methods for producing almost any amino acid imaginable, but it's harder than that to get organisms to use them for proteins. Genetic engineering has allowed scientists to create strains of bacteria that include artificial amino acids. This has the potential to improve our ability to study protein structure and function, or to create new catalysts for reactions vital to pharmaceuticals, biofuels, or other industries.

My other big project this semester is a solar system formation simulation using python. I started by setting a thousand particles at random positions in a sphere and calculated the gravity force between the particles, this simulation showed that they collapse into a large central mass with smaller bodies orbiting at all angles and directions. I then wrote two more programs to see what happened to these particles. The first had 2 planets, the first with a constant radius from the sun, and the second was started at further and further distances from the sun. I did this for the planets moving in the same direction and opposite direction, and timed how long they took to collide. The opposite direction orbits were more stable than the same direction orbits. The other program had two orbits set at angles to each other. The orbits twisted around each other, but never came into the same plane. So what does this mean for our solar system, where all our planets travel in the same direction and in the same plane? It means that whatever dust cloud we formed from had significant angular momentum. My simulation assumed a dust cloud with no initial angular momentum. So do these results imply that there are solar systems formed with odd orbits like the ones I observed? Maybe. There is no way to get a good enough look at other solar systems yet, and improved telescopes will be needed to confirm it.

Anyway, here's my program. You'll need a python compiler. IDLE works well. And I did this on a linux computer, the outputs may not work.

Posted on August 06, 2008 at 19:56

I had to get a new laptop. My old laptop was bought in fall of 2005 for $1200. last year I dropped a wheelchair on it and cracked the screen. This summer the wheelchair came back to finish the job, leaving me with a totally black monitor. Despite my love of gothness, a completely black screen is kind of useless, so when Aldi's was selling a Medion Akoya for $600 at the same time that our sales tax was suspended for a couple days, I had to get it. It has better hardware than my old computer and a working monitor, but came with Vista, which I refuse to use. I decided to install Ubuntu and wipe the bastard microsoft off my hard drive. The only problem is that I have no clue how to use linux...

My sound does not work. I think it's a driver issue, but I can't find a working driver because I'm not sure what sound card I have.

My wireless does not work. I have no clue how to start fixing that.

I can't play Starcraft yet, which is the only reason to even own a computer.

I don't think Game Maker works on linux, but Python does, so I'm ok with that.

And my job sucks too. I maintain bioreactors in an R&D lab for a multinational pharmaceutical company. We're supposed to making viruses and bacteria for vaccines, but someone screwed up an experiment so they won't be using the reactors for 3 weeks. I have to quit my job to go back to school in 3 weeks too. That means I have nothing to do at work for the next three weeks............ bored..... bored..... BORED!!!!!!!!7!!!!!!!7!!!!7!!!!!!!!

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