Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Drove to Reno today

I drove for about 8 hours today. The trip was from home to the Smalltalk Solutions 2008 conference in Reno.

Sometimes I can't help wondering about the actual need to have things like DVD players in minivans and things like that. I guess people get bored too easily these days. To me, this trip was an opportunity to have fun.

I saw the changing scenery of roads I hardly ever travel on. I saw how the coast vegetation transformed into desert, then into the California valley, and then into the mountains again. Besides whistling to the new set of car CDs I made, calculating MPH averages every hour, setting the cruise control allowing for the 2% speed measuring error in my car, converting the thermometer readout from Fahrenheit to Centigrade and all that old school stuff, I also had a lot of time to think about an assortment of more involved matters.

One of those was integer arithmetic. Why not, right? And I am very happy I did that, because I realized how to implement Integer>>sqrtRounded using only Integer>>sqrtFloor. I did the proof in the car, and I implemented and tested it a while ago. I think the solution is beautiful... can you see how?

Also, I got frustrated once more because I could not find a beautiful and cost effective implementation of Point>>hash that I think will pass all the Hash Analysis Tool tests with flying colors. At least for me, the problem is harder than it seems. If you find a solution that is significantly less expensive than resorting to Bob Jenkins' lookup3 or something of that nature, please let me know.

I also thought about Assessments and exactly how to do SUnit prerequisites. Things should move forward on this soon.

This brings up something that I think is great and that sometimes I think is hard to explain or simply misunderstood. The nature of these problems allows work to be done on them without needing physical things. In a way, you carry fun stuff to do within you, wherever you go and no matter what you do. Plane trips, long drives, waiting for something to happen? They are all opportunities to have a bit of enjoyment. Being bored becomes a foreign state of affairs to you.

"Some say life is tough. That's nonsense. It is good to be alive. Life is exciting." --- The old man, The Village, Akira Kurosawa's Dreams.

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