Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Solar Eclipse 2012

We made a road trip to Mount Shasta and back to view the solar eclipse 2012, Armed with a home-made pinhole camera made by two shoe boxes, we watched the eclipse in a safe way.


Monday, May 21, 2012

The Checker Maven

Bob Newell's The Checker Maven is a very interesting online publication on Checkers and Draughts. This week's issue features checkers applications for Android.

Bob looked at many checkers programs but concluded that the only two application that merit consideration are Checkers Tutor, by world class checker programmer Martin Fierz (author of CheckerBoard and the Cake computer engine), and .... Checkers for Android by yours truly! I am honored to receive this special mention by The Checker Maven.

You can find the summary article at the main page. A more elaborate overview, including interviews with Martin and myself and be found in the full article.

Many thanks to Bob for posting this article.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Checkers for Android

Revisiting checkers programming, I just released version 2.5 of Checkers for Android, both at the Google Play and as direct download. New features include:
  • simple animation of captured pieces
  • added a slight delay in single-move response
  • added transposition table to engine
  • more time controls
The new animation and delay will hopefully make it more clear what move was just played. The transposition table should improve the engine strength a bit.

UPDATE: version 2.5.1 improves the animation as shrinking pieces (some users thought the older fading pieces were "drag delay"!), adds more endgame knowledge, and shows kings more clearly.