Blog 2


Nov 3, 2016

I spent a little time in the past week porting one of my blogs to Python using Django. If the website looks similar to these four blogs, it's because they are all the same codebase with a handful of tweaks to make it possible to unify them with my other blogs and journals. While they aren't all ported yet, I thought I'd write a quick blog to explain things. For a decade and a half, I've been blogging on a PHP website I wrote in 2002 for Javantea's Fate and improved over time. In 2011, I wrote a blog in Python with Django for my trip to Brasil. When I went to Mexico, I copied the blog and created a second database. When I bought j4va.com for fun and profit (not really), I first put up a copy of java.com with some interesting things in its place. Then when I wanted to turn it into a blog, I copied the Brasil blog and made a third database. Now that I finally want to unify my blogs, it makes perfect sense to simply use the same thing, but copy all the data from the all the blogs into a single database. It's so well-written, that I didn't really need a really bad intro page anymore. So now AltSci.com goes to that unified blog interface. There's a lot of logic that makes it happen, but I'll leave that unsaid.

Of all my travels, only one trip is not available on my unified blog. I decided to use MediaWiki for my Europe Blog and spammers destroyed that blog, so I don't have easy access to the data. Eventually I'll grab the data and post it to this blog. For now, the pictures and videos will do. You have to click on the videos to get them.

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Reverse Engineering Flash Games


Dec 7, 2014
Unproprietary 0.4: Nov 25, 2015
Unproprietary 0.5: Sept 11, 2016

unproprietary-0.5 [sig]
unproprietary-0.4 [sig]
unproprietary-0.3 [sig]
unproprietary-0.2.1 [sig]
Git repository: git clone https://www.altsci.com/repo/unproprietary.git

Lume is a simple point and click Flash game available from Steam and Humble Bundle. I got it as part of of the Humble Weekly Sale: Amanita & Friends bundle and played it because I was interested in playing a short puzzle game one night. Since it's only 30 MB, it's pretty much guaranteed that it's a short game. It took an hour or so to complete and had some excellent puzzles. One of the main features of the game is the graphics which were made by a good artist with good style. Today, I was able to reverse engineer the game in a short amount of time using some custom tools I wrote, so I'm going to release them and ask for pull requests. Reverse engineering file formats is not a difficult process, but it is time consuming and it is more difficult to automate, so tools that do the work for us are valuable. That is why I'm releasing this simple set of tools I wrote.

If you'd like to follow along, you can buy Lume on Humble Store for $5.99. It supports Linux, Mac, and Windows. Lume has a Metacritic score of 69 and a high score of 83 by GameShark. A sequel was released recently called Lumino City (5 days ago) and it has gotten good reviews. It looks brilliant but it isn't released for Linux yet.

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Natural Language in Small Wide World


Sept 1, 2016

Yesterday I published a small piece of software to Small Wide World's git to very little fanfare. It was a generalization of a bad piece of software I wrote the day before. It uses NLTK to perform a simple task: parse a simple sentence which follows the form "subject verb object" with optional additional information starting with "because". Examples of this grammar include:

GnuPG is software
IRC is a protocol
software implements a protocol
Javantea is human
AI3 is software
Javantea wrote AI3
Javantea writes software
Javantea writes English
Javantea reads German
Javantea reads Japanese
Javantea reads Portuguese
Javantea reads Spanish

nlp1.py creates this graph of the relationships:

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Cosplaying Luffy and Doc Ido

Aug 13-14, 2016

Today I spent a few hours sewing a piece in my Luffy costume. It isn't completely finished but you can see the results below. What needed to be sewn? The shirt was originally a tank top from American Apparel. While Luffy wearing a red tank top is absolutely acceptable in a pinch, it needs to be a 3 button vest to suit say Season 3 Episode 78 where they leave the island of the giants and Nami is sick, so they go to the winter island.

Javantea in Luffy cosplay
Javantea in Luffy cosplay

If you're incredibly lazy, sewing isn't necessary for this cosplay. If you don't intend to wash the shirt or wear it more than a handful of times (shame, shame!), then a cut shirt will actually look reasonably authentic. A really good reason to sew a cosplay is to reduce the likelihood of fraying. Many fabrics when cut will fray. The cotton from this shirt almost certainly will fray in the washer. If you've never sewn a garment, you probably didn't know that because a part of the professional sewing business is ensuring that doesn't happen. Exceptions exist, but Luffy's shirt is most certainly not frayed and you won't want yours to be either.

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