Tuesday, May 09, 2006

New Chapter

First of all, the fact that it feels like a new chapter of my life has nothing to do with any epiphancy or revival. The only reason is that last night, in the midst of the excruciating muscle pain and insomnia, I actually finished the Hidden Star Village Arc of Naruto. It means that I've watched the entire 150+ episodes on Naruto over the last month! Well it hasn't been pretty and I was addicted to it, and it contributed to a lot of personal problems in the past month. But, to be honest, I haven't found an anime as captivating as this for a long long time. Usually I haven't been addicted to TV since Dai Chueng Gum but my whole life was almost consumed by Naruto. Now I consider myself a Naruto expert and can even sing in Japan or say "Kage bunshin no jutsu" from my dream.

More importantly, I watched ALL the episodes from youtube! What's so amazing about it? Usually to watch long series you either download it from the internet or watch it from some remote Chinese site that feature 1000+ popups and annoyed you to a point that you swear you will never do it again. Youtube, a clean, and fast free online video provider, usually hosts short films that run from around 5 min at max. But some "generous" web-surfers are kind enough to upload the entire series of Naruto online!!! The entire series, can you believe it? (Note: as far as I know, the only other anime features in youtube as an entire series is Prince of Tennis. But it's pretty boring and I have no intention in getting myself addicted again...) Since it's so "innocent" and accessible, whenever I have nothing to do (or try to do nothing or try not to do anything) I would go to watch some Naruto episodes. Well.... that goes the whole month! (P.S. For those who're interested in Naruto, it's the most popular Japan anime/manga now and it's been compared with Dragonball in terms of the plots and its popularity.)

Now that I got it over with I can actually vow that I would come to the lab every night to work. But another side-goals that I add over the summer, besides programming in Lisp, finishing the MPCC, is to develop a logical solver for Sudoku~ The hard about Sudoku is not that it's hard to solve, but that you have to do many tedious bookeeping and once you mis-wrote something, everything would go wrong (as I discovered today). Most computer solvers use the brute-force approach or the Kruth algorithm but I am hoping that it's possible to develop one that uses good strategy besides computational prowess. So, anyone who've played Sudoku... can you please give me some strategy that you found in solving the numbers?

Btw... the Ephesus coffee house is looming... I wonder how it's gonna turn out~ But enough for now. Maybe after the coffee house I'd do a full review :)