November 28, 2007

Hello again, Internet.

This update was due a couple of days ago, but I've been busy. With what, you ask? With being in love, I answer. I've been dating for a few days, and the girl (whose name is Marie) is very sweet. I don't want to prognosticate on the outcome (it may tilt either way, but I hope and think it will tilt the right way), so in the mean time I'll stick to geeking it out.

When I started working at Datakjeden, things were a huge mess in the back (where there's a repair shop for laptops, desktops, and miscellaneous other things that the store sells). Things are still a mess, but orders of magnitude less so. I don't think I can attribute this to any Herculean effort on my part, but I hate mess and love order, so it's natural for me to want to reduce chaos and increase neatness. Also, little birds are whispering to me and they tell me that things really were a whole lot worse before I came. I don't know whether there's correlation or causality going on here, but in any event things are getting neater and that makes me happy.

I have two new intellectual heroes! Massimo Pigliucci (a biologist) and Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard (a theoretical astrophysicist). Maybe I should make a list of real heroes, to mirror my fictional ones?

My Links page now has drastically smaller images, because I realized that links, not images, should be the stars of that show. I also added two new sections, Cerebral (into which I created Science and moved Books) and deviantART (which links to individual artists that I like). I also added pinouts.ru (a huge repository of pinout schematics for electronic components), richarddawkins.net (a fan-driven site for the biologist and author Richard Dawkins), Growing Up in the Universe (a children's lecture on evolution by Dawkins), Decorum (a web comic), Charles Darwin Online (a repository of stuff written by or about Darwin), and talk.origins (a very good explanation of what evolution is, and the details and history of the evolution/creationism debacle).

As for books, I've read The Human Body: Its Structure and Operation by Isaac Asimov, Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor by, uh, Isaac Asimov, Flatterland by Ian Stewart, and Sphereland by Dionys Burger. As for essays, I've read a couple of more.

I haven't had all that much time left for gaming, but I did play (and finish) Assassin's Creed, and I'm now working on the achievements. It's a very good game, but the story gameplay is repetitive. It's a good thing that the general gameplay is good and that the achievements are fun. I haven't yet played Halo 3 (sorry), but I will.

While making my life easier by messing around with PHP and the Links page, I learned that PHP doesn't support function overloading! However, it does do default values for arguments. Here's how it works. Well, here's how it doesn't work:

function func($foo) {
  func($foo, true);
  ...
}

function func($foo, $bar) {
  if ($bar) {
    ...
  }
  ...
}

Uh-oh. Overloading the function with a different signature won't work. Oh, fie. Here's another way of getting the desired result, with default values:

function func($foo, $bar = true) {
  if ($bar) {
    ...
  }
  ...
}

Now you can go ahead and call func('Shizzle') or func('Shizzle', false) as if it was overloaded. Still, real overloading would be more fun...

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