Birthday, shapes, and scanner
Today is my birthday, and to honor this day, Microsoft and Google have both offered their humble gifts.
Microsoft's comes in the form of unveiling their new search engine, currently accessible (or, depending on network traffic, inaccessible) at: http://beta.search.msn.com. Great results, much improved over the absolutely horrid mess of a search they had when this thing was in its earliest stages; and that marked improvement means competition for the GOOG. Speaking of which, is it time to sell? GOOG is currently at pre-crash eBay/Amazon/Pets.com levels, with a price-to-earnings ratio that makes them seem as if they're larger than General Electric . . .
. . . but not to be outdone (although they might be anyway), Google has unveiled an update to its index, which has ballooned from 4 billion to just over 8 billion pages. This means that a search for "matthew wensing" now yields many more pages than it used to . . . and of course this means a bunch of other less important stuff. ;-)
Skip this part if you don't need any more reasons to believe I'm a tremendous geek:
In other news, my program for deciding if something is a rectangular sheet, rectangular strip, rectangular bar, square sheet, square strip, or cube based upon its three dimensional measurements turned out to be more exciting than I had once thought.
Turns out that, as I was hoping but hadn't expected, you can reduce it all to a single number: the slope of the line passing through the point 0,0 and the point defined by the ratio of side z to side x and the ratio of side y to side x—if slope (which is really is the rate at which the sides of the shape are growing in relation to one another) is greater than 2 or less than 1/2, it's a sheet; if that number is in between 2 and 1/2, it's a bar. At some point bars become cubes, so you have to code a special case for that, and also some sheets are strips, so you code a special case in those regions of the graph as well. But overall, very cool stuff! :-D I love turning tedious manual tasks into algorithms, thus liberating our group at work from all these chores . . .
My parents have gifted me an Epson 4870 Photo Scanner. This means big things for my photography pursuits—essentially I'll finally have a way to output digitally, which means I can start showing my work to others, which means I might actually sell some prints, which means I might actually start to get my little hobby transforming itself into a business.
That's a lot of 'mights' . . . but we'll see. I would love to leave the desk one day and be a full-time photographer, though.
Has anyone gotten this far? Or did you all quit reading up there? ^
Enough rambling, back to the slab!