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scenes from a weekend - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
June 9th, 2008
08:06 am


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scenes from a weekend
I'm doing most of my celebrating of my birthday stretched out over this next week, so thank you all for your kind wishes. The biggest part of the celebration of me is waiting for this upcoming Friday, so I don't have a lot of wild stories about this weekend.

I do, however, have a few geeky ones (imagine!):

  • Flash - ah-ah, he saved every one of us. No, not that Flash. Not the guy who can run really fast, either. The Adobe (was Macromedia) software tool. I bought myself a copy of this in part as a birthday gift to myself. In part, too, as a means of learning work-related skills. I got around to installing it over the weekend, but it refused to recognize my license. I'm sick and tired of copy protection (DRM? Same thing?) schemes that place a significant burden on legitimate users. It's about time for code wheels to make a comeback.

    I called up customer support over the weekend, and some guy with a thick not-American accent guided me through determining that he couldn't help me, but encouraged me to call tech support Monday between 6am and 5pm California time. I'm pretty sure California doesn't have its own time zone, but we'll let that one slide.

    Around 6:30 this morning, I did, in fact, call the number he gave me, and "Ben", a guy who seemed to speak the language as well as I do, helped me through a scorched-Earth scheme for removing all the Adobe products from my machine and reinstalling. I seem to be up and running, at the cost of a weekend's worth of lost opportunity for me (honestly, I wouldn't have spent the whole weekend in front of the computer, no, really!) and over an hour of Adobe's time. Seriously, people, I'm not in love with your software, and FlexLM bugs aren't helping any.

  • Kieslowski for the three-fer - My "see the good movies of my lifetime" project trundles on. This week's movie was Trois Coleurs: Rouge. I'll start off with the Mallory Keaton quote "I hate reading movies", which isn't entirely true for me, but I'm ready for some more Beef-and-Potatoes American Cinema. TC:R is the third in a trilogy of movies, each coming from one of the colors of the French flag. That much I got, and I knew that there was going to be some sort of connection to the Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite motto, but only after watching the movies did I watch any commentary about them, which unlocked a certain amount of symbolic significance that I hadn't clued into while watching the movies.

    As much as I'm appreciating checking off these films, I'm recognizing that I'm not a real film connoisseur, and I probably won't ever be. There's subtlety and nuance that I'm not into. And that's OK.

    And now, I'm done with all the AFI top 100 movies, and the Amazon top 250 movies from the 90s on. I lurch forward, backward, into the 80s. Coming next from NetFlix: Glory, Do the Right Thing, and Full Metal Jacket.

  • puzzly bits - my current puzzle distraction is Eternity 2, a puzzle of 256 square tiles. There are, conceivably, hundreds or thousands of solutions. There are trillions of dead ends along the way, though. The interesting bit here is that when you solve the puzzle, you get to submit your solution, and at the end of 2008, if anybody has a correct solution, the first person gets $2 million. I could find a thing or two to do with that sort of money.

    To help you out, you can also purchase clue kits - easier puzzles, that when solved, allow you to go to the Eternity 2 website and get the position and orientation of a piece in the contest puzzle. Over the weekend, I solved clue puzzles 1 and 2. I now see that clue puzzles 3 and 4 are available.

    Showing you this picture of Clue Puzzle 1 won't get you (much?) closer to my $2 million:

    nor will this picture of Clue Puzzle 2 help you:

    but it does illustrate that, yes, I am using machine intelligence to extend my puzzle-solving reach. The team that beat Eternity 1 used a pretty sophisticated computer search scheme, and they were employed to design the Eternity 2 puzzle. At this point, I'm just hoping I can be lucky and stumble across one of the solutions before the deadline. 204 days left, according to the website.

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:June 9th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
Um, how does that clue puzzle give you a location? (If that gives it away, just answer generally.)
[User Picture]
Date:June 9th, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
Each of the pieces is numbered, and you can either mail in the numbers, or enter them on the eternity2.com website. I did mine online, and it gave me immediate feedback, validating my solutions. It then (both on the website and through email) provided me with a piece of information, like "in the main puzzle, place piece 112 at location C9 in this orientation".

[User Picture]
Date:June 9th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
Have a great birthday week!
[User Picture]
Date:June 9th, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
thank you!
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