Broken Sword 5

Broken Sword 5
Broken Sword 5

I was a backer at KickStarter for Broken Sword 5 and I would back a Broken Sword 6 if they even think of that. I like adventures. I recall the first ones I played, like Space Quest. They helped a lot on learning English. I know it is nor perfect, but it helped a lot. This new type of adventures are mouse oriented. You listen to the characters, and if you want, you might read what characters say. But your iteration is with the mouse, acting on specific places of the screen. That makes these games a little more restricted.

Regarding Broken Sword 5, I would say it is smaller than previous games. Or that, or I am older, and it seems smaller to me. Also, it seems more simple. Usually you do not need to leave the current scene for your actions and continue in the game. Nevertheless, I had some difficulties in three or four moments. One because of my lack of English lexicon, other because my MacBook Pro wasn’t with enough contrast, other because there was a little detail in the drawing that I did not notice, and just once because I wasn’t thinking correctly in-game.

The story is, again, about religion. But that isn’t relevant. It is interesting, and you get engaged on it. It is not a linear story, leaving always a little of surprise. It also as some good jokes. From time to time I get tired of the dialogues, but probably that’s just me

The Big Bang Theory – Season 4

The Big Bang Theory - Season 4
The Big Bang Theory – Season 4

The cool things about The Big Bang Theory are maintained: we have Kaley Cuoco (Penny) and Geek Jokes. And things get better. Now, we have Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) and Aarti Mann (Priya). Ok, Mayim Bialik can also be cute, but not as Amy Fowler.

News on this season? A few. Leonard breaks with Penny, and gets along with Priya. Howard continues with Bernadette, and Sheldon keeps the intellectual relationship with Amy. And the poor Raj keeps alone… or mostly.

Keeps being funny to watch. Preparing for season 5 soon or later.

The Big Bang Theory – S03

The Big Bang Theory - S03
The Big Bang Theory – S03

Well, to change a little, this time I do not share a picture of Penny, but of this pervert scientist. Let me know where to find one like this.

Regarding this series, the main idea is Penny and Leonard being committed in some kind of relationship. Of course that ends mostly at the end of the season, just in a way the next season can grow in interest somehow. Other than that, there are mainly two episodes I really liked. The first one if the one presented in the picture above. It was fun. The second one explaining how Sheldon and Leonard met and agreed to those apartment rules.

Also, in this series we know that Sheldon likes Ubuntu. So, not so smart as we think he is…

Samsung note 10.1″

That’s right! I just bought an used Samsung Note 10.1″ tablet and I am loving it. Forget the idea that using your finger is the best approach to usability. Yours hands were not designed to write with your finger. In school you learnt how to use a pen and you used it for long periods of time in school and probably you- still use it from time to time in your work. Then, why not to use it to write in your tablet? Yeah! I know that your calligraphy is not the best, and you are ashamed of it. But, in the other hand, why not taking the chance to make it better. Probably if you tablet software can interpret it then other people might too.

Enough of trying to convince you. I still think that a tablet with a proper pen to let you write like you learnt in school is great. Of course it still fails when I try my artistic letters, but frankly it is very good. I congratulate Samsung by keeping their note line in the market, this is so great I can’t stop writing.

Help! Somebody take this tablet far from me, or I will not be able to stop and sleep. I’ll continue writing all night text and more text, most of it useless…

Octave Wonders

Was looking around the Octave language… and requested help about the fact function.

Display an amazing and random fact about the world’s greatest hacker.

I decided to experiment:

Richard Stallman once used GDB to reverse-engineer Windows 7 into a free operating system – able to run on GNU Emacs!

And tried again

Richard Stallman won a Suduku that started with only one number in each line

And now I wonder, I will I be able to work again?

Watching 720p matroska on ASUS Transformer

Yesterday I decided to try and watch a series episode on my Eee ASUS Transformer (TF101). First, notice that I rooted it, and it is running CyanogenMod, with Android version 4.1.2.

The episode was stored on a SD card. It is not a fast SD card (class 4), but should suffice. The file was encoded with Matroska (MKV) in 720p. So far, so good.

Asked a friend about what player he would recommend. he said there were two, but just reminded of one name: MX Player.

Nevertheless, I didn’t like to notice that MX Player free version has advertisement, and therefore decided to try VLC. I use it on my Mac, and I like it (and its icon), so, why not test?

VLC installed cleanly, but when playing, it wasn’t able to render a single frame. From 5 to 5 seconds it changed the frame, but full of noise and encoding blocks. Gah, #fail.

Then, if VLC doesn’t work, let’s hear my friend suggestion, and try MX Player. Installed the free version, and then, needed to install the codecs package. Didn’t like much this approach… it could download the codecs itself, why to hide them in an app. Nevertheless, it installed with more or less effort. When playing, it was able to render the image perfectly, with acceptable number of frame per seconds (don’t ask how many, I don’t know, but enough to watch smoothly the video). The problem was that I could just watch the video, as there was no sound at all. No, it wasn’t a volume problem. Neither an option. As far as I could get after googling a little, there are more people complaining that MX Player doesn’t play sound when watching a Matroska file. Weird. #fail.

In one of those googling, somebody said he converted the Matroska file to MP4 with Handbrake. That is too much trouble for someone like me. But somebody else said that BSPlayer had a free version for Android that worked. Righto! Downloaded it, it installed cleanly and played the video at first. #win.


After buying the Samsung Galaxy S3, I installed FlipBoard. The idea is pretty cool, but I am having some trouble using it.

First, it crashes from time to time. I couldn’t find out when/why does it crash, but it seems that it is related to the way it checks for new news, and some extra touches in the screen.

Then, I can’t understand how it updates. Some RSS feeds have news for more than twelve hours, and the application doesn’t show that news. Talking about RSS, it is not intuitive how to add them. At the moment most users consult personal blogs, and not just about a hundred of known websites that the developers find interesting.

And why does the Cover News are only selected from the standard news sources, and not from the RSS feeds supplied by the user?

Javascript Reversi

In the last two days I engaged in developing Reversi, just to learn how the minimax algorithm works. To make it easier to share, and remove GUI toolkit dependencies, my approach was using HTML (a simple page with a 8×8 table), three images (empty cell, black or white cells), a CSS file that fills empty cells or used cells, and highlights movement possibilities, and a couple of JavaScript files (jquery, a reversi-board.js file to handle the board as an object, a reversi.js file to handle the interface between the board and the HTML file, and finally a minimax.js file to handle the minimax algorithm.

At the moment the game is playable, and not too slow. The code can be optimized to make it faster. In the next couple of days I might do that.

Also, regarding the AI code, it can be made better. In one side, the minimax algorithm can try to analyze more moves in advance (only three at the moment), in the other, the board evaluation function can be made better as well.

If you wish to play, go ahead:

Lego #5866

Lego #5866

Not only children like Lego. I love them. I usually buy Technic, but I like most themes, like City or Creator. This Christmas I found this box being sold at Lidl at a good price, and couldn’t resit buying it.

These Creator sets are interesting, as they include instructions for three models. This one also includes instructions for a forth model, available online. At the moment I just mounted the Helicopter that I show above. Easy construction techniques, as expected for this kind of model, but show that Lego designers just do that: design. They need to learn to play. Take the Copter, play a little with it. You will notice that the undercarriage pieces (that I point above) aren’t well fixed to the Copter body. During mounting, those pieces detach half a dozen times. And it is not that difficult to fix. With two or four more pieces it would get solid.