February 25, 2004


February 25, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Take a short break from my usual chaotic female dark elven wizard
character and try out lawful human valkryies. Don’t do too well.
Magic? What magic?

Go back to elven evoker and try the same old thing. Oh, good, ring of
slow digestion. That’s really handy. Spellbook of wizard lock? What
the heck? What am I going to lock?

Pick up elven dagger quickly. Ooh, artifact weapon very handy.

Leisurely go through the first few levels. Make friends with almost
all the pets I find. No problem with food. Head down normal branch and
get to around level 8 before heading back to do the Mines.

Run into my old bones files on a _very_ scary bones level. See, I
spent time as a green dragon in one of my past lives, so I had a
couple of baby green dragons hanging out at Minetown. Hostile. Plus
assorted pets from my other past lives. Shudder to think of what would
happen if pesky monsters found all those wands that wizard characters
leave lying around. Run until main grave is found.

Forget that I can’t E-word on a grave. ARGH. Step to one side,
scribble E-word, and whack away with Sting. Grab loot – all cursed,
of course – and dump it on altar in Minetown, which is unfortunately
not co-aligned. Have not seen co-aligned altar all this game, and am
resigned to fact of life.

Run into my other bones file in the temple. Wand of fire picked up
earlier very useful – burn E-word nto ground near altar (remembered
not to try to write on altar!) and dump stuff there. Have to make
several trips back and forth as stupid previous evoker died on top of
altar. Pick up useful-looking uncursed/blessed things. Pseudo-identify
cursed bag of holding from vanishing contents; salvage a couple of
uncursed spellbooks from it (wheee!), including +oSleep.

Discover sleep is absolutely wonderful spell as can whack away at
sleeping monsters for a number of turns before waking them up. Hope
they’re dead before then.

Jump through hole in temple to rest of Minetown, followed by two tame
cats. Wander around collecting stuff.

Oops. Magic trap. Telepathy very good thing as hate the idea of
killing my pets.

ACK! Bloody Green-elf has a /oCM! Scribble E-word a few times
(having it as a keyboard macro Really Helps!) and go after that
blasted elf. Hurry to grab wand before other monsters get bright
ideas. In meantime, this section of the mine has gotten Really

E-word saves the day.

Find towel. Pets think it’s okay, so drop the blindfold I’d been using.

Wander around some more. Decide to see what monsters are still on the

Oops. Right. Dropped the blindfold and picked up a towel a few turns
back, which meant that my blinding device was now at (m) instead of
(n), which meant…

Uh oh. Accidentally put on an un-IDed ring.

Uh oh. It’s stuck.

Oh no! Cursed ring alert! Run up the stairs quickly. If I can get this
ring off in the Minetown fountains (apologies to the guards!), then I
might still be able to survive…

Find myself changing into a vampire on the way. Uh oh. Ring of
polymorph. While this isn’t a half-bad form, I’m going to have to
periodically drop all my stuff if I change to a weak form…

I scrawl the E-word with my fingers. Hey, that’s pretty cool.

Change into a vampire bat. Do nothing for a few rounds, as can’t move
a handspan with all my loot. Can’t even cast spells.

Change into a vampire. Hey, high strength can be quite handy sometimes.
Continue running for the fountain.

Dip the ring into the fountain. Whew! It glowed!

Slip the ring off and wander around as a vampire waiting for my form
to return to normal. Tell myself to remember to use m instead of n to
blind self.

Head down to Mines’ End. A quick !PoOD tells me that someone’s already
cleaned out the gem cache. Fortunately, the culprit is standing right
to me, so I zap the dwarf with force bolts until he implodes. Grab
whatever loot there was.

Head back up.

Wander around.

Take off armor (can’t rip that apart now, only set I have), put on
uncursed poly ring, and wait. Turn into gray dragon. Ooh. Am satiated
and have ring of slow digestion, so have fun laying gray dragon eggs.
4 hatch.

Take off ring and return to human. Am followed by 4 dragons. Other
pets died some time ago.

Get teleportitis. Was hoping for teleport control, but can’t have

Go to big room. Uh oh. Wands on the floor. Make run for all the wands
within reach, then beeline for the down-staircase. Darn, Sokoban
stairs on this level too, but shouldn’t go up there while still no
teleport control or rock-bypassing attack like magic missile.

Go down. Have to leave pets behind, sniff sniff, but nasty troll with
poleaxe is very convincing.

Wander around. Decide to go back up, having remembered that bones file
left cursed magic whistle that will still work some of the time.

Uh oh. Former pet dragons no longer tame. Darn! They were so nice at that.

Run up, run down to Minetown, grab whistle, and try to dunk it in
every fountain found. Eventually uncurse it.

Silly me forgets to bring magic marker from stash for uncursing also.
Oh well. Blessed scroll of remove curse would have been really handy.

Go down. Put on unidentified uncursed ring for kicks.

Wander around. Accidentally put on =oPoly

Get message: “What kind of monster would you like to polymorph into?”

Stare at message.

Whoop for joy. Poly _and_ poly control! That, and slow digestion, and lots of rations…


Save game quickly and take a step back. Do not want to accidentally
screw up game due to late-night play. Wheeeeeeeee. =)

Density/gravity map of orkut profiles geographically mapped across the US

February 25, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

and the z-axis luminosity is normalized and calcuate as sum [ 1/d.i^2 ]

Link from orkut channel on irc.freenode.net


February 25, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Ooooh, level 17: I get tele-control!

Teaching thoughts

February 25, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

One of my CS21A students wrote:

hehe. Thanks, I’ll try and make it there. Wow, you’re the only
prof I have who’s still very much excited about the class. :) My
other profs seem like they just want to bite our heads off and get
it over with. hehehe. j/k

I hope I can keep this up!

E-Mail from Jim I.

Eighth Workshop on Pedagogies and Tools for the Teaching and Learning of Object Oriented Concepts

February 25, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized


Note to self: check for proceedings.

E-Mail from JXrgen BXrstler

Eighth Workshop on Pedagogies and Tools for the Teaching and Learning of Object Oriented Concepts

February 25, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized


I wish I could do research like this…

Successfully applying object-oriented techniques requires a
thorough understanding of basic object-oriented concepts.
However, teaching and learning these concepts have proven to
be very difficult in the past.

Using traditional programming languages, concepts could be
introduced step by step. Abstract and advanced concepts, like
for example modules and abstract data types could be handled
as an afterthought. In the object-oriented paradigm, the basic
concepts are tightly interrelated and cannot easily be taught
and learned in isolation, making these tasks much more

Switching to object-oriented development is not just a matter
of programming languages. Focusing on the notational details
of a certain language prevents students from grasping the “big
picture”. Many traditional examples are furthermore not very
suitable for the teaching and learning of object-oriented
concepts. Many popular examples (like for example ‘Hello
World’) actually contradict the rules, guidelines and styles
we want to instil in our students.

Educators must therefore be very careful when
selecting/developing examples and metaphors. Rules and
misconceptions that students develop based on doubtful
examples will stand in the way of teachers and learners as

This is the eighth in a series of workshops on issues in
object-oriented teaching and learning. Previous workshops were
held at OOPSLA’97, ECOOP’98, OOPSLA’99, ECOOP’00, OOPSLA’01,
ECOOP’02 and ECOOP’03.


We solicit contributions describing experiences, ideas and
resources to support the teaching and learning of basic object-
oriented concepts. We especially welcome submissions on the
topics listed below, but will consider other topics as well:

– successfully used examples and metaphors;
– approaches and tools for teaching (basic) object-oriented concepts;
– approaches and tools for teaching analysis and design;
– ordering of topics, in particular when to teach analysis and design;
– experiences with innovative CS1 curricula and didactic techniques;
– learning theories and pedagogical approaches / methods;
– representation of learning resources;
– distance education / net-based learning;
– collaborative learning;
– guiding the learners;
– learners’ view(s) on object technology education;
– development of the learner’s competence;


This workshop will bring together educators, researchers, and
practitioners from academia and industry to share and discuss
experiences, ideas and resources to support the teaching and
learning of object-orientation. We also want to encourage
trainees or students to report experiences from the learners’
point of view.

People from other areas than computer science or educational
research in general are also welcome, but they should clearly
state how their work can be applied to the learning and
teaching of object technology.

Attendance to the workshop is limited. Participation will be
by invitation only, based on the organizing committee’s
evaluation of a position paper. The submission should be
accompanied by the author(s)’ main message and a desired topic
for working group discussions.

Contributions should not exceed 8 pages in length and be sent
to J=FCrgen B=F6rstler ([email protected]) no later than April 5. We
would prefer PDF format, but will also accept Postscript,
Word, or HTML files.

Each submission should be accompanied by (1) a short biography
of the author(s); (2) the author(s)’ main message/position;
and (3) a desired topic for working group discussions.


Position paper due: April 5
Notification of acceptance: April 26
Deadline for early registration: May 7
Workshop: June 14 or 15

E-Mail from JXrgen BXrstler

New feature in Java 1.5, which has been released

February 25, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

The new Scanner class provides the long awaited simplified keyboard
input! Finally no more need to rely on third-party classes or suffer
through painful declarations and conversions. Thanks to all of you who
have added your voice to those of us urging Sun to address this issue.
The Scanner class can parse input based on regular expressions as well.

E-Mail from John Lewis