Author: insecure_automaton

Little bit of this, little bit of that.

Twin Galaxies records

One of my 2023 goals is to rank on the Twin Galaxies records boards. I’m likely going to have to do it in what I call the “Tim Ferris way” though – by technicality haha…

Then again, there are a lot of really high scores already, at least for the games I currently own. Maybe I’ll just have to shoot for next-to-last rank for Gopher on the Atari 2600.

Interesting read on the technical aspects…

…of the Galaga no-fire cheat:

Pygame, a game dev framework for Python 3

I mentioned in a previous post that one of my goals for 2023 was to program 12 games to help keep my programming brain limber and my skills sharp. I also mentioned that I suspect most of my dev work for that goal will be in Python 3: that’s what my shop mostly uses, it’s flexible, and it’s what I’m comfortable with.

Luckily, Pygame exists and is great for the types of games that I’ll be working on as part of my goal. And…there are plenty of tutorials out there so I won’t struggle too much.

At the beginning of every year, rather than…

…making formal new year resolutions, I set a list of goals. Most I have no intention of fully completing but they allow me to have something to look forward to and structure my “wants” against my “needs” and actual availability haha…

I try not to limit myself and what goes on the list can range from the must-do to the super-superfluous.

One of my goals for 2023 is to improve my programming skills and, really, just keep them sharp since I’m in a leadership position that doesn’t really allow me to dive into the hands-on, individually contributing, technical aspects of the work we do.

What better way to keep programming skills sharp than to program games? So, 2023 goal #3 is to program 12 games. I’m stating at the outset that my intent is to be language-agnostic though I suspect most, if not all, will be in Python 3. May even take a crack at racing the beam with some Atari 2600 assembly programming.

Without further ado, let me introduce game #0, Pong-23.

I had a helluva fun time working on it over Christmas break. It doesn’t really count towards the 12 game goal since I finished it the penultimate day of 2022, but it helped get my brain limber. Let’s figure out what’s next!

Pong gameplay screenshot
Pong gameplay screenshot

ChatGPT’s all the rage now, of course…

Some ideas to run by ChatGPT Assistant for Python automation help:

To save a link click, basically boils down to:

  1. Ask Assistant to plot a linear regression
  2. Use pywhatkit to send a message on WhatsApp
  3. Use smtplib to send an email
  4. Scrape data from Books to Scrape using Beautiful Soup.
  5. Finally, generate an Excel file use openpyxl.

Transcript of interview with Eric Bowman, one of the Sims developers

Eric Bowman – Programmer of The Sims, Currently SVP at TomTom (#37)

Collatz conjecture insanity

They say working on the Collatz conjecture will drive a mathematician mad. Paul Erdős, in speaking of the Collatz conjecture, once said, “Mathematics is not ready for such problems.” Read more:


Collatz conjecture step frequency from 1 to 1e6.
 Collatz conjecture step frequency from 1 to 1e6.

Procedural generation of Pitfall! worlds on the Atari 2600

Evidently, each unique room was generated w/ only 1 byte(!) of data: