Archives for January 2020

January 2020 (6)
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Delphi-Oriented Generics, or, what a DOG.

The other day I got an email from Embarcadero promoting a blog post that Marco Cantu had written about generics in Delphi, and in particular with regard to generic collections. Now, me, I wrote a book a little while ago (first published 19 years ago!) about algorithms and data structures for Delphi, and I’ve been hovering on the fence about redoing it using generics instead of pointers. Problem is, I’ve moved away from Delphi to C# and JavaScript and so would the presence of generics help me to swing back into the fold? […]


486 bag refunds?

So I went into Whole Foods earlier on this week to get something for dinner, clutching my reusable bag. Whole Foods have this scheme whereby if you have a bag to put your shopping in, they’ll refund you 10 cents because they’re not going to have to use one of their paper bags. To which you can then ask for them to put that 10 cents to their promoted charity of the week. It’s called a Donation Bag Refund. […]


Solving Sudoku with backtracking

I’m pretty sure that the puzzle game of Sudoku needs no introduction. A 9x9 grid formed as a 3x3 grid of 3x3 boxes, with some digits from 1 to 9 in there, and you have to solve for the empty cells such that there are no duplicate digits in each row, column or box. I enjoy playing it, sometimes I’m pretty good, sometimes … not so much. Of course, these puzzles are not generated by hand, they’re generated by some program, but how? How do you solve a Sudoku puzzle programmatically? And how, using that knowledge, can you generate a new puzzle? […]


Knuth’s Fascicle 5 has arrived

Or to give it its full title, The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 4, Fascicle 5. Fascicle 6 on Satisfiability was published first, and these two form the first 2/3 (well, perhaps, we’ll see) of Volume 4B of Donald Knuth’s lifelong oeuvre. […]


Pollinated Cat

We woke up this morning to find our youngest cat, Alpheus, covered in something … yellow. What the heck had he got into? After some searching around the house, we came to the conclusion that he’d basically messed around with a flower display we had on the kitchen counter. He was covered in pollen. […]


Enter the Twenties and blogging

Like it or not, I view 2020 as the start of the decade, the decade of the 20s. […]