1.126 programming, groceries

Monday 4/6/2020

Well, CV may be slowing down. Back on Day 1.118, Sunday 3/29, the world count was 700K, having doubled in 7 days. I predicted 1.4M on Saturday, but it only reached 1.37M today, so doubling in a shade over 8 days. Next double, 2.8M, would be expected on a week from Tuesday, 4/14. We’ll see.

Today I went for a run after breakfast, between rain showers. It felt good. Spent the morning in an old occupation: cleaning up and upgrading my Python programming environment. It’s been more than a year, maybe two, since I had to fiddle with environment variables and versions of stuff. I had to google some things to remember how to accomplish stuff in the terminal command line.

The point here is that I’ve decided to go through the new online textbook, Crafting Interpreters. I read a blog post by the author, describing the four-year saga of writing it. He walks through writing an interpreter, coding it first in Java and then in C. Now one might think that interpreters are old hat to me, since I worked on a team building one, APL\360, more than forty years ago (1975-7, about). However the challenge here is to repeat his Java code, approximately line by line, in Python instead. It could be of interest to others; anyway it will be fun to do.

Does this mean I’ve given up studying Lisp, as I mentioned several times last year? Yeah, Lisp just isn’t fun.

After supper I tried another game from the bundle, Europa Universalis IV. It turns out to be one of those games in which are you are a ruler trying to grow your province in a medieval Europe, to quote from Wikipedia,

The gameplay requires the player to lead a nation by finding a balance of militarydiplomacy and economy. The player does so through their choices as sovereign of their nation, and through the spending of resources available to them: Prestige, Stability, Gold (Ducats), Manpower, Legitimacy for Monarchies, Republican Tradition for Republics, Devotion for Theocracies, Horde Unity for Hordes and Monarch Power (Administrative, Diplomatic, Military).

Very complicated. I started through the tutorial. The Pale province of Ireland has risen in rebellion. Select your army in London, make them hike over to Wales, get them to board your fleet, direct the fleet across the Irish sea, direct the army to attach the peasants. Watch as little toy soldiers exchange blows. I can see where this is going. Meanwhile there will be some other disaster in Essex or Yorkshire, and you’ve got to build forts and farms, and it will get more and more complicated. The graphics are fairly cute, the gameplay UI is usable, but it’s too thinky. I have another game, Galactica, that is similar in overall concept except it’s about planets, not provinces. I’ve played that a couple of hours and could play more. This one I don’t want to continue in.




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