Posts

Localization of Chess for Android

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Version 4.0 of Chess for Android, available at either Google Play or as direct download, focuses on localization and internationalization. All user facing text (except the chess notation and engine messages) has been translated into the following languages. English (the default)Dutch (translated myself)German (many thanks to Philip Stutz)Hebrew (many thanks to Haran Talmon)Polish (many thanks to Michal Kaczmarek)Spanish (many thanks to Krizia Lopez)Swedish (many thanks to Anton Hansson) If you spot any mistakes, if you would like to see support for other languages or, even better, if you would like to help with further localization, please drop me a private note.






Scrolling utility for the micro-KIM

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I had been working on some general utilities for the micro-KIM, and used some spare time during the long weekend to finish a scrolling putchar utility that can output letters and digits to the 7-segment display in a scrolling fashion (some letters needed more improvisation than others, but my daughter Karina helped me designing all the letters and converting them to hex). Here is a demo.

DeepBrutePos for Android

Folkert van Heusen is developing a chess engine, called DeepBrutePos, and he also wrote a version for Android. The engine is written in Java, and he used the Android SDK to develop a version that acts as a chess server, so that it can be imported as network socket in Chess for Android (a rather unusual, but nifty use of that feature).
I conducted a quick test with one of the first versions. Below the results of a one-second-per move tournament from both sides of all Nunn opening lines on a Nexus One. I was hoping for better results for Folkert, but hopefully he will release a strong version soon. Good luck!
                       1        2          3         4         5        6                   
1 BikJump v2.1P        *     17.5- 2.5 20.0- 0.0 20.0- 0.0 20.0-0.0 20.0-0.0 97.5/100
2 fairymax48q       2.5-17.5     *     10.0-10.0 12.5-7.5  18.5-1.5 20.0-0.0 63.5/100
3 umax48w           0.0-20.0 10.0-10.0     *     12.0- 8.0 20.0-0.0 20.0-0.0 62.0/100
4 Chess for Android 0.0-20.0  7.5…

Chess for Android v3.3

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I just released version 3.3 of Chess for Android, available at Google Play or as direct download. The new features include: Ability to modify filenames of regular and tournament games.Information on network status during socket setup. In the older versions, regular games and tournament games were alway appended to, respectively, the files games.pgn and tour.pgn on SD card. The new feature allows users to change these defaults through a "Change pathnames" menu. The pathnames can even include subdirectories, provides these directories exist.

The second feature displays information on the network status during socket setup (mobile connection, Wifi, etc.). In the version without network permissions (the default on Google Play), a proper warning message is shown instead.



Monitoring Stations in the Bay Area

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Below a more detailed view of all monitoring stations in the Bay Area that are part of the radiation network, where my station shows in slightly darker yellow. The station near LLNL usually shows a similar CPM rating, while the one in the South Bay usually shows a bit higher CPM. As long as my station is up, you can also view this real-time map.

Radiation Network

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I purchased GeigerGraph for Networks from Mineralab, and joined the radiation network, which is a network of volunteers all over the world with radiation monitoring stations that report local CPM (counts per minute) ratings. In the graph below, you can see my station in the East Bay in slightly darker yellow.

I can highly recommend this software. The maps show active monitoring stations all over the world, and one can obtain more detailed information for each station. The software also generates graphs or spreadsheets of measured data, and allows specifying alert actions, such as sending an email, when CPM ratings exceed a certain maximum. The software can also post a real-time map on a server.

Geiger Counter Continued

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I investigated the large variation observed in the graph of June 6. While babysitting the monitoring software, I noticed that occasionally the software would report bursts of over 200 CPM, even though the Geiger counter itself never measured such a spike. Two "faulty minutes" in one hour could easily explain the 400 clicks variation. Therefore, I first tried different serial/USB converters (settings were always as specified by the GC manufacturer), since low quality converters are notorious for messing up signals. But I noticed faulty burst even for expensive converters. Then I tried my only computer that still has a serial port. Now, no more faulty bursts occurred during several test runs.

After that, I redid the 24 hours experiment. The results are shown below. A much more stable graph, reporting around 700 CPH, or .1 μSv/hour, which translates into about .9 mSv/year.

I am glad I am now able to perform more reliable measurements. If anyone has suggestions on debugging the…

Geiger Counter

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I got a Digital Geiger Counter for my birthday (yes, I know, geeky). As a starter use, I measured the background radiation in our house in the East Bay over the past 24 hours. The results appear in the graph below, plotting the "counts per hour" and correspondingμSv/hour over the past 24 hours. The worst-case measured .2 μSv/hour translates to about 1.8 mSv/year, which luckily seems a bit below the worldwide average background dose.


Solar Eclipse 2012

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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.



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.