Category Archives: Personal stuff

Just upgraded to WordPress 2.8 beta

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This site just got updated to WordPress 2.8 beta. If you see anything that doesn't work properly let me know.

Well, that is... anything except for alglist.ning.com, my hosted database of cube algorithms. Unfortunately it has been down for a while, and it looks like it has no intention of getting up.

I have emailed pointless times to ning.com that they should get it together and help me to get my site back, but they refuse. At a certain point in time they simply disabled the use of PHP on the site, without letting me know. Now they simply disabled my site, naming it "we're taking a short break", like they're doing some kind of maintenance. But the fact is that that same message has been there for over a month already. Not so short!

I am currently developing a new site that is much more fantastic then alglist.ning.com ever was, so I'll keep you posted on that.

Website update

The last couple of weeks I have been working hard updating my website www.vanderblonk.com. It's been fun, but I'm hardly ready, there is so much more to do. Let me give you a little breakdown of what has been done and what you can expect in the (near) future:

  • There is a new home page
  • The applet has already been greatly improved, e.g. you can now enter any parameters of the applet in the url.
  • I placed google ads. I know not everyone likes ads, but I think everyone mature enough in our field (speedcubing, programming) knows how to disable them. I get a lot of juice from wikipedia of which I am grateful.

And soon:

  • I will make some help text available for all the new awesome options (which I am not revealing yet)
  • Not very useful to you, but I will integrate the style of the home page in all of my pages, it's still a collection of pages, and not a real site this way. Let me know if you like it.

Things I have been addicted to

  • Rubiks Cube - been to the World Championships, done that
  • Windows Solitaire - I am on the World Ranking list
  • Galaga - when I was younger
  • Donkey Kong - same here, of course
  • Virtua Fighter (I and II) - spent a summer holiday beating everyone
  • Various Cookies - shame on me
  • Milk - after sports
  • Running - now that was healthy!
  • Keepie Uppie - over 500
  • Aikido - every day
  • Pencak Silat - every day, school grades went downhill

Unfinished business

I always have so much unfinished business, not only in my programming tasks, by the way. Luckily at work, there is a manager breathing down my neck, but at home sometimes I wished I had someone to whip my back whenever I 'forget' about a pet project.

Here's a list of the programs I always wanted to write, but were afraid to finish:

  • The cube-solver. I always wanted to write a program that would solve the Rubik's cube. And I haven't. Of course my ambitious goal was it to be Artificially Flavoured Intelligent, so it could solve it without the tedious job of me typing in the solution. In fact Cyrill Castella has done just such a thing. And though credit goes to him I am amazed.
  • The neural network. In my crazy days I thought I could make money if my neural network program could just predict the stock exchange future. I never got the hang of neural nets and I still don't. If someone is so kind to explain them in a language my 3 year old nephew could understand I'd be glad to listen.
  • Ligretto. At one point, when I was about 28, me and my girl Anne were both addicted to Ligretto. I am sure that if you try it out, you'd be addicted too. And actually, I did program the basics once (an animated game played by the computer against itself), one night when I stayed up until dawn. Of course, when dawn comes, I am usually so tired and my brain is so messed up that I usually mess up. I accidentally deleted the program. Yes you heard it right. I never got it back.
  • My own home page. Now I must say, I have had a home page in the past. It's just never been the professional looking, feature packed website that I envisioned. The page you're looking at now is the closest thing.

Things I actually did finish, but which took me a very long time:

  • The ultimate maze-finder. A genetic algorithm that could find it's way out of any complex maze, without being told how.
  • Lingo. This is the famous 5 (or 6) letter word finding game.
  • RubikTimerTalks, the talking stopwatch. I don't like looking at the screen when I am cubing, so I wrote something that actually tells me how far along I am.

Things I am "working" on

  • The cube profiles for Dan
  • RubikTimer.NET, a new version of RubikTimer. I hope to actually get somewhere with it.
  • The cube study page, a web page where you can study algorithms

And of course I've always wanted to write a novel, and I have several unfinished ones lying around....