Monthly Archives: November 2009

resigned – the band

We were sent an invite to come see Resigned play (interesting name – does it mean “gave up”, or “was signed again”? I’ll ask them tomorrow) at the Water Rats Theatre.

Bronwyn commented, on seeing the dance-floor, that it was “very like Fibbers, except for the smell”. 😉 Fibbers (Parnell st) has a bit of a reputation – especially among those of us that have been frequenting the place more than 15 years.

I visited the toilet at one point there and can confirm that it out-fibbers’s fibbers. It was rank.

Having said that, the people that were there were eclectic. There were punks, industrials, grungers, rockers – hard to put a label on the place when everyone is so different!

Anyway – back to the band – I enjoyed it. I was expecting some hard punk, as “resigned” is a very serious name, but the music was actually quite interesting and not as harsh as I expected. There were interesting rhythms (listen to their track “Hangover”) that make you feel like you need to dance or at least admire it, and at no point did I feel they were copying anyone.

Their last track was dedicated to “someone in the audience”, and they played “Advert” by Blur. It was aimed at Bronwyn and a few other Coxon fans.

We spoke to Simon, Gary and John. The playing was perfect – no sign of effort from anyone; everything was “to a tee”. For example, while playing some tunes, I noticed Simon fiddling around with his effect pedals /at the same time/ as playing his part. Very cool. Not a beat dropped – I liked it.

John said that there was a bad gig a few weeks back where there wasn’t enough practice beforehand and it all fell apart, but it didn’t show tonight at all. Solid playing, and I’d love to see them play again.

We were handed a CD of their album which they refused to accept payment for, for reasons which agree almost with my own philosophy.

My belief is that people should be paid for what they do. Royalties are a bonus, but should not be considered as “earned”.

As an author of a book, this might fly in the face of reason, but the thing is – I wrote my book because I wanted to, and I enjoyed the act of its creation. Anything afterwards that I get paid is a bonus, but I don’t feel I’ve earned it (Yes, I’m very grateful for it (thank you!!), but I don’t feel I should demand people pay me if they accidently find my words online).

I suggested this to Simon, in the case that musicians should be paid for the gigs they play, and everything else is a bonus.

This appears to be the same model that large bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead are following recently – basically, it’s all free, but there’s really nothing that compares to seeing it live.

We haven’t gotten to listen to the CD yet, as this laptop does not have a CD drive, but I’m sure Bronwyn will have it on repeat for the next few weeks.

Well done, Resigned, on providing a very good night out, and we’ll talk to you tomorrow before Graham’s gig!

scramble solver

A few days ago I wrote a WordDrop solver. Today, I’ve amended that code to produce a Scramble solver.

here it is (code) – what I do is to have that page open, and the Scramble game open, in two windows side-by side. Then start a new game, type the letters into the top input box. That’ll fill in the grid. For “qu”, type “q” in the input box and correct it in the grid. Then click “do it” and cheat your way to a high score.

Also discovered a small bug in my binary search algorithm 😉 I’ve fixed it in this new script but couldn’t be bothered with the last one – I’m done with that.

cheating at worddrop

Yesterday, I cheated at WordDrop, which is a Facebook game. I already had the highest score of my own network of friends, so I feel okay about this. But now that I’ve cheated, the game’s no fun any more!

WordDrop is a game where an 11×8 grid of letters is shown, and you build up words from that grid, where each letter should be linked to the one before it, with longer words getting higher scores.

I wrote a little script which basically plays the game itself, and comes up with the longest words possible.

My current score on the game is more than 500,000, and that was for a single 10-letter word. The second word the program came up with was “reselected”, which was not in the WordDrop dictionary. I just stuck with the first word and submitted that. With one word, I got a score that was about 8 times higher than my previous high score.

my script, and all files – don’t worry about the .php file – I just wrote a small scripty bit to print out the table – just download the HTML and JavaScript if you want your own copy.


I’m really sorry about this break in the usual service. This came to me as I was walking to work and I had to get it down.

Wilson spotted House and ran up to him. “Doctor, I have an interesting one for you!”

House looked up from his TV. “How long?”


“How long have you been seeing Clare?”

“A week. Wait, how did you know??”

“Your sleeve. There’s a faint red smudge on it. That says lipstick to me. The fact that it’s on your uniform means it is someone at the hospital. The nurses and doctors do not wear cosmetics in case they interfere chemically with the patients, which leaves secretaries or janitors. We have no female janitors, and none of the janitors wear lipstick anyway, which leaves Janine, Clare, Rose and Sarah. Only Rose and Clare have been on-duty for the last few hours, and Rose is over 50.”

Before Wilson could reply, House added “You should probably break up with her. Clare has an incurable disease and will be dead within a month.”

“How do you know that?” asked Wilson.

“I’ll explain later. Now, what have you got for me?”

They walked in to look at some X-rays.

“The patient was brought in an hour ago. He’s wheezing, complained of diarrhoea and double vision and collapsed. We thought it was food poisoning until we took these photos. That’s when we knew you’d be interested.”

“These photos are backwards.” said House, instantly.

“No – I checked; they’re actually the right way around. I’ve ordered an MRI for him.”

“Don’t bother. I can see what the problem is. It’s food poisoning. Bring me to him.”

They entered the patient’s room, where he was getting undressed. House looked at his shoes, and then his chart.

“Professor Grant? What is it that you do?”

“Physics. Specifically working on teleportation.”

“I’ve heard that only works for small elements. You need to link them together somehow?”

“Yes. Quantum entanglement. But that’s not what I do. What you’re talking about is actually the cloning of attributes between two remote particles. Not true teleportation. How mine works is that we ‘map’ one part of the underlying foam onto another, and the originator ‘snaps’ into the new position.”


“Yes. See the universe is built on a network of tiny nodes, and all points are connected to all other points through these nodes. We have come up with a way to realise teleportation by controlling those nodes. We’ve even tested it successfully with large living bodies such as dogs and monkeys. You see, …”

“You can explain on the way. We can’t treat you here. We need to get to your lab.”

“What? Then you know what’s wrong?”

“Yes. Food poisoning. But it’s more serious than that. Wilson, look at his shoes.”

Wilson looked at the professor’s shoes.

“What? Oh!” he glanced towards the X-ray room, and looked startled.

“Get your car keys, Wilson – we need to get him to his lab quickly.” House held out the professor’s coat.

They were soon in the car.

“You couldn’t resist testing it yourself, professor, and that’s what caused the problem.” said House, as they drove.

“What? Explain.”

“As I understand it, your teleportation works by ‘shortcutting’ the distance between nodes in the universe. To put it in a simple way, it’s like taking a piece of paper making two dots on it, then realising the shortest way to get from point A to point B is to fold the paper in half so the dots are touching each other.”

“Yes, that’s right. But I don’t see…”

“Have you tried doing this with anything other than dots?”

“No… it’s just a thought experiment! Turn left up ahead.”

“Turn right, Wilson”, corrected House

House reached over and pulled a small notebook from Wilson’s inner chest pocket. He drew a large R on a page.

“What will this look like when the page is folded?”

“Ah. It’s so simple.”

They got to the lab, where an experiment was about to take place. A monkey was in a cage on a platform, and another platform was in a separate room, separated by a glass wall.

“Stop the experiment,” said Grant, “the good doctor’s diagnoses is correct, and his treatment involves me taking the experiment myself.”

“What? Are you insane? You can’t do that!” cried out one of the lab assistants.

“Yes I can. I did it myself last night after you’d all gone home. How could I resist? Besides, we know from all of our experiments that it works. Now, take the monkey away and start it up again.

A few minutes later, a hum gathered, and the cage was suddenly gone. In the other room, the cage and the professor reappeared.

“How did they do that?” exclaimed Wilson.

“Quantum electro-dynamically, my dear Wilson”, said House.

The professor stepped out of the cage, and strode purposefully towards to coke machine in the corner of the room. “I am famished!” he said.

“Okay,” said Wilson, “now explain what that was all about.”

House took out the page he’d been drawing on.

“See the ‘R‘? When you fold the page over, and “push” the R through to the other side, you get this:”, House drew я onto the page.

He continued, “The analogy passes into reality. When Professor Grant ‘folded’ in space from one platform to the other, what he did not realise was that he was reversing himself at the same time. He would have been immediately disoriented, and the air in the atmosphere would have started subtly poisoning him because it was now ‘backwards’ compared to what he was used to.”

Wilson said, “So, the food poisoning?”

“Life’s molecules have a certain ‘handed-ness’ to them. The proteins found in food are all oriented in a certain direction. When he ingested the food, his body was not able to handle it because all of the proteins were mirror-images of what were expected. If he had not come to us, then he would be dead within hours or days.”

Professor grant, stuffing chocolate into his mouth, came over and thanked House profusely.

“Thank you so much. It was such an obvious problem, given hind-sight, but we didn’t spot it with any of our test animals because we always did the experiment twice – teleport them from one room to the other, and then back. We’ll have to figure a way of doing this without the mirror-imaging if we’re to make this useful. I’ll have to think how to do that.”

“That’s easy! Your problem is that the particles – the protons, electrons and neutrons, are all arriving the wrong way around” said the doctor, who added “you just need to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow.”

notation viewer, day 2


Spent an hour and added new abilities – you can now view music in the bass clef (and notes will be placed correctly based on that), note stems will be automatically up or down depending on staff position, and you can zoom in or out.

demo (source)

If you want to try it with your own files, create a MusicXML export (I’m using Rosegarden and NoteEdit for my own stuff), and gzip it, then place the gzipped file into the “tests” directory (for example, here).

Next step is multiple staffs, to show left and right hands simultaneously.