Tag Archives: java

COMP 401 == fun

I have been taking a Computer Science class this semester to hone my self-taught programming skills. I’m really glad that I decided to go through with it. It was nice to be back in the classroom, and the Prof, Dr. Stephen Weiss, made it quite enjoyable.

Dr. Weiss has been around for a large percentage of the entirety of Computer Science, and translates all of that experience into really cool lessons, asides, and tangents in the class. Before taking the class I had no idea how punch-card or tape-based systems would sort a large set of values (or do anything, for that matter). In teaching basic sort algorithms by relating them to historical systems like this, Dr. Weiss puts a more imaginable perspective on what is really going on behind the aluminum and gloss of my little lappy.

The kicker that tied this together came on Tuesday, when he described the Turing Machine, which is an incredibly simple theoretical machine, first described in 1936, that can do anything that any computer can do, from punch-card machine to MacBook Pro.

All of the assignments could be approached as puzzles, which made completing them particularly satisfying. I just finished the final assignment, a 9-square puzzle solver. You start with nine cards with values on each edge, then rearrange them, position and rotation, so that all the touching edges add up to 0. There are 49*9! (=95,126,814,720) possible arrangements, which, if you went through all of them, would take even a modern computer a while. So the problem is to eliminate possibilities as you go, which is called pruning. Here is the output of my solution:


I finally figured out how to put java games on my mobile telephone.  Here are the good free ones I’ve found so far:

  1. 糸通し
    (Thread the Needle) – Like a flight simulator with thread instead of a
    plane.  Who knew a one-button game could be so thrilling?
  2. 3D-SFCave – Same idea as above: press the button to climb, let it go to fall.  You can play this one in your browser too. (via boingboing)
  3. カードパック2005 – Three kinds of solitaire, standard stuff
  4. StopTheMadness – Four-way tetris that I’m pretty sure is impossible to play because of poor game design, but I keep going back.

(I also tried this game called Human Fly about a boy with stretchy arms that likes to see how far he can fling himself.  I was shocked from my naïveté when I finally figured out it was a striptease.)

These will give my keitai some more purpose in life once I leave Japan.  Does anybody know any other good mobile java games?