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Letters to the World


Does this make me look old-school?

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 9:51 pm

News flash: Some high school graduates have never seen record players or heard of Atari.

Wow, I’m starting to feel old. I mean, sure, I just graduated from high school last year. Nonetheless, I actually had a record player when I was young (heck, I often listened to my dad’s and my sister’s old LPs!). No 8-tracks, though–that’s just a bit before my time. But I did, however, play Pong, along with other such classics as Pac-Man and Frogger, on the family’s Atari 2600…

Of course, there are people within my generation that aren’t entirely out of touch with the ’80s. After all, I know of quite a few people who, though they’re still in high school, have seen and/or heard of most of these things first-hand.

But then again, I’ve also discovered that there are kids who’ve never heard of the Speak & Spell, or if nothing else, recognize it as “that red thing from E.T.“. How sad. 🙂

Trivia à la Markov

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 2:58 pm

Trivial facts can be entertaining. But they’re only more entertaining when they’ve been scrambled through a Markov chain algorithm [Link changed 2006-05-24 to Wayback Machine, as the original post has disappeared]. (“What’s a Markov chain”, you ask? Well, here’s a description of the process.)

Want to create your own Markovized texts? Perhaps the most famous Markov chainer is the punnily named Mark V. Shaney, for DOS/Windows systems. There’s also a version of Mark written in the Python scripting language (note: for more recent versions of Python, you’ll have to change all occurrences of “rand” into “random”), as well as a GPLed C source by Tim Musson that’s based upon it.

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