Friday, July 30, 2010

Mac dev vs. Linux dev

I'm so comfortable on Linux, so adjusting to a Mac has been...well, surprisingly easy overall.

Ran into a snag today, however, when I tried to use gcc to compile a simple C program and there were permission problems.  I'm not EXACTLY sure how I solved it, but basically I had to copy a whole directly and put it elsewhere:


had to be copied to


As nice as Macs are, this reminds me of how a default Ubuntu installation does not contain the necessary C header files.  Not a big problem by any means, but it will be good to document it here for when I have to set up a Mac lab for programming classes.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I need to learn more about the Google Web Toolkit.  So I'm studying that now.  Think I'll make a version of Light's Out or something.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

MacBook Pro Report #2

What a sleek machine this is.

I don't know if my productivity has increased all that much, as I still seem to be in the holy-crap-you-just-connect-it-and-it-works phase with videos and garageband...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

MacBook Pro Report Day One....

Today I got a brand new MacBook Pro that I will be using to teach Computer Science with.  For the last several years I have been exclusively using Linux, as it is my preferred OS.  However, I pushed for and got a new Mac lab approved for this coming year.  Although Linux was my home choice, the labs at school were all running Windows, and not running it very well. 

So after LMAOing for a while using Photo Booth's special effects, I got to work.  This puppy is gonna hafta be a strong programming machine, and what I learn on here will transfer to the new lab.

Earlier today I was visiting two of my students that have a summer internship with a local high tech firm.  One was writing some Python code on a Mac and commented about the default 8 space tabs.  Well, my first priority in setting up my MBPro, then, would be to get Vim configured correctly.

After struggling a little with those pesky End Of Line errors you get whenever going between Macs, Linux and Windows, I got Vim to do all the syntax highlighting and code completion that I have it do on Linux.  I posted my workaround to our programming forums, and called it a day.

Next step: install and configure Eclipse, Scratch, Alice, and so on....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Genetic Algorithms: Summer Fun!

Just thought I'd drop in for a second and post about what I've been up to.

Today I wrote Java code to attempt to reproduce a Genetic Algorithms study that Melanie Mitchell talks about in chapter nine of her excellent book, Complexity: A Guided Tour.

Right now I'm a little brain fried after using both Python and Java to find an easy way to convert a five digit string version of a base three number to a decimal version. Maybe you've done something similar this Summer? :-)

The project in short description is simply a way to use evolution to produce the best algorithm for a near-sighted bot that picks up cans in a large room. It's not the situation that matters as much as it is the method: Genetic Algorithms.

Image is from the Complexity page at Wikipedia.