I use this blog as a soap box to preach (ahem... to talk :-) about subjects that interest me.

Friday, January 28, 2011


In 1970, the German film director and producer Rosa von Praunheim made the film Die Bettwurst. The word Bettwurst, invented by Rosa, means bed sausage, and refers to somebody who never gets out of bed.

Anyhow, I saw the film decades ago, but I still remember the words of the following little song:

Die ganze Welt ist nur ein Arsch
und wir sind seine Fürze.
Ein Jeder stinkt nach seiner Art.
Das gibt dem Leben Würze.

Here is my best translation of it:

The whole world is just an arse
and we are its farts.
Each one stinks in its own way.
This gives spices to our lives.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sudoku - A Handsome Samurai

I have almost completed my book Sudoku Programming (if I have ever seen a plug...) about how to write C applications that can solve and generate Sudokus. As part of it, I have decided to explain how to generate Samurai Sudokus. I had noticed that they often have the shared boxes completely empty and wanted to do better than that. I am very happy with the result, and would like to share it with you. Here it is:

I can generate as many as I like and not necessarily fully symmetrical, even if I think that they are just beautiful. Each one of the five puzzles I used to ‘assemble’ the Samurai requires some non-trivial strategies like Y-wing, XY-chain, and X-wing. The presence of the intersections might/should reduce the overall difficulty of the puzzle, but I still expect it to be reasonably (whatever that means) difficult.

Obviously, I have got the solution, but you don’t expect me to give it to you, do you?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fortran and Eclipse on the Mac - Addendum

This is about updating Eclipse, PTP, and the Fortran compiler to their latest versions. Beth Tibbitts of the Eclipse Parallel Tools Platform (http://eclipse.org/ptp) told me how to do it via the Photran Information mailing list (photran[a t]eclipse.org).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fortran and Eclipse on the Mac

In this post, I describe how I installed a Fortran compiler within Eclipse on my 64-bit Macintosh running the Snow Leopard system (OS X 10.6.5).

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year's Tale

As soon as the starship enters the solar system, the board AI begins the process of thawing the crew. Despite the powerful zero-point energy propulsion, the trip from Tau Ceti 4 has lasted almost three decades.