All posts by tasuki

High poetry

on: oooo kurwa
on: stary
ja: hej
ja: jak tam?

on: no kurwa
on: chyba sie wybiore
on: do tego muzeum modern artu
on: w takim stanie jestem : D
ja: ^^
on: no poezja
on: moge pisac wiersze normalnie
ja: pisz
on: ciekawe jakby sie po tym
on: gralo w go
ja: najlepiej tutaj pisz
on: hahaha
on: zapiszesz : D ?
ja: tak
ja: bedziesz mogl jutro przeczytac

on: ok
on: Pisze o psie
on: o korze
on: tka sie nazywal pies
on: kora
on: Kiedy bylem calkiem maly
[długa pauza]
on: Mialem psa ktory sie nazywala kora
on: a nie
on: kurwa
on: to sie nie rymuje
on: to nie
on: no to moze lepiej nie bede pisal
on: kurwa
on: ciekawe jakby sie gralo w go teraz

Bringing my blog to new heights.

Flickr inspiration

A lot of people who aren’t that much into photography think that I make amazing photos. I don’t. I just make a lot of photos. Then delete most, because they really suck. I publish those that suck slightly less. Read on to see photos that rock.

I’ve been spending time on Flickr and would like to present you few of the many great photographers I follow. I believe these are the best of the best. Don’t forget to click to see moar and bigger pictures!

Aremac

Aremac is the master of colours, ideas, simplicity and clarity.

Handrail with shadow Looking up!

Dropped Tree Friends

Deep Tracks Steigleitung Trocken

Brickstone Personalities Crossroad

Sister

Sis is nuts. She wins photo contests. Not flickr contests – real contests with real prizes, judged by famous photographers.

ladybug Fragile flower

Snow in Brno Sunrise on a meadow

just for fun.. Striped

Spider's beads Splash

Jason Lee (jwl)

Some people insist that children photography is boring. Jason shatters the myth.

101 uses for gaffers tape Laundry day

pumpkin Big & Small

If I lived under the sea sea sea...... Mirror Mirror on the wall....errr grass

What's cookin? Dinner Time

Lady Tori

I’m a sucker for good bokeh. And Lady Tori delivers the highest quality.

It's not easy being green Pure Morning

Cold Wishes Filling The Day With Joy

Break You Down Vintage Life

Soft Dreams Misty Morning

Ben Heine

…of the pencil vs. camera fame.

Symphony Urgent Landing

Pencil Vs Camera - 30 Pencil Vs Camera - 29

Pencil Vs Camera - 19 Pencil Vs Camera - 3

Pencil Vs Camera - 11 Pencil Vs Camera - 12

Katarina

A bit over the top kitschy HDR. But Katarina can pull it off better than most.

Endless view A new day-winter landscape

All's well Over the mountains and the sea.....:)

What if the world would have two suns... :))) Lunar world

Sky arc II Green velvet

It’s just six amazing photographers, but the post is already getting too long, so I’ll cut it off.

If you want more, go see images of Mattijn, Monkeyman, Dimitri Depaepe, James Neeley, Miguel Rita, Sparth, isayx, kktp, Cornel Pufan, Philip Klinger or Ali Shokri.

LSG 2010

Intro

I’ve happened to be the organizer of LSG 2010. While I had often been helping to organize various types of events, I’d used to be just a grunt dragging the heavy boards around. LSG 2010 was my first time doing high level organization. Perhaps it’s time to reflect on it a little.

Before LSG

First, I fought hard for getting access to the lsg.go.art.pl domain without success (big no thanks to PSG for that). That greatly hindered my initiative to organize LSG. Actually, I almost gave up. What can you do when you don’t even have the domain that has been used for many years and everyone knows about it? They just redirected lsg.go.art.pl to some PSG site, which didn’t even bother to link LSG 2010 site.

I decided not to give up when Jacek, the owner and manager of Alaska, contacted me and proposed that we could organize it together. He was taking care of accommodation, food, money and non-go side events. I was taking care of everything go-related.

I thought many people would never find out without access to the official site, but I underestimated two factors: word of mouth and Benerit. The first doesn’t need much explanation. The second one – Benerit – was responsible for even more. He not only answered questions from people about why there’s no LSG site and redirected them to the new one, but also sent an email to everyone who has ever attended LSG. Combined, this led to almost everyone knowing, though some people found out too late.

Jacek handled registration. Artur would be taking care of the “other board games” part of LSG. Myszcz promised to help with tournament organizing in return for free accommodation and food. Kamyk helped organize the playing material. Two weeks before the start, Hajin wrote she’d come as a teacher. I got lucky.

LSG itself

I came to Alaska on Saturday, two days before the start. Kamyk wasn’t too sure how much material was coming from there, but in the end it ended up really well (we weren’t missing anything). It turned out that Myszcz wasn’t all that experienced with tournament organizing, which led to Kamyszyn joining our organizing team. I couldn’t be happier about that – having Kamyszyn organize the tournaments meant that I wouldn’t have to worry at all.

As for teaching, aside from miss Hajin [3p], who was the main teacher, we got plenty of volunteers. Among them were Jun Tarumi [5d] with unforgettable lecture about fully cut keimas, Leszek Sołdan [5d] the Polish champion, and myszcz [1d] the Chinese opening expert. I only had one lecture, and as fisz was ready to help me, we played an “open” game – playing on the magnetic board and immediately explaining what we were thinking about. I think it was quite a success.

I scheduled 4 rounds of simultaneous games, which is quite a lot considering the whole event lasted practically only 11 days. I think that was a good decision, as everyone wanted to play against Hajin. The first simul was Hajin, Jun, fisz and me playing together against everyone else. It was a lot of fun (and we won most our games!). The other three rounds of simuls were individual, with each of us getting 6-8 opponents. I found out I got very weak in simultaneous games.

Tournaments were a bit painful in the beginning, but we managed to improve the process quite a lot – instead of running to the shop whenever anything needed to be printed, we simply used a projector to display the pairings and other information. I say simply, but it took 6 hours of hard work to get everything needed for the projector to be set up the way I needed. After that, Kamyszyn and Myszcz were handling tournaments themselves – I didn’t even have to be there. There was no one shouting “RUNDA” but nevertheless, most people got to play their games. No one was forced to play in the tournaments – participation was completely voluntary.

After the initial confusion, which was really tiring for me personally, my workload suddenly became much lighter. Aside from creating the daily schedule and making sure that our whole organizing team was on the same page, I didn’t have much concrete work to do. Except for solving emergencies, answering complaints, and responding to the same question 100 times a day (I swear it was the same 5 people asking all the questions, repeatedly).

I didn’t micro-manage and did let people help me, which worked out pretty well (because the people helping were awesome). Aside from volunteer teachers mentioned above, we had even volunteer organizers. Ela organized shooting tournament and drew the board for LSG 2010 signatures. Fisz organized volleyball and ping-pong tournaments. Kotasia made the torus tourney. I’m sure there’s many events I forgot. :)

Aftermath

There were no major disasters. Worst thing that’s happened is that I left two boards with two ING clocks (cough, good riddance, cough) outside overnight. They were pretty much gone after it had been raining throughout the whole night.
Beers and other small stuff were getting lost, but we never found out who did it. People have started locking down their houses.

All the people who brought playing material left after one week. Jacek, Kamyk and volunteers are making sure the material doesn’t get lost after LSG. Some of it might stay at Alaska.

Thanks

I was told that I should thank PSG. Organizing Polish summer go school is Polish Go Association’s job. That PSG failed to do so and a Czech guy living in the Netherlands had to help is surprising. Well, I’d like PSG to thank me first for doing their job. Whatever. Thanks to PSG for paying for Hajin’s stay and for most generously allowing their playing material to travel to Przystanek Alaska.

Big thanks goes to Jacek, Mariola, and Alaska team for organizing accommodation and meals, to Hajin for coming (and to Korean Baduk Association for paying her flight) and teaching, to Joon, Leszek, myszcz and fisz for helping with teaching; to kamyszyn, myszcz, Artur, Ela and kotasia for tournaments; to Janusz Kraszek for a box of prizes, to Kamyk and other people for making sure we have the playing material and to everyone else who helped make LSG a success!

Summary?

It’s easy to organize something when you have the right people to help you.
I think everyone had fun at LSG, that’s what matters the most in the end.

Bonus: Photos!

You made it! Either you’ve read through (doubtful) or you scrolled down here or you got the magical link… anyway, here goes!
I’m not quite sure if there’s a public list of all photo galleries from LSG 2010, so I’ll create one here:

As for my gallery, it’s nothing amazing, but it’s still pretty decent by my standards. The pics I like the most are: 1, 5, 10, 12, 32, 33, 35, 58, 61, and 64.

If you know about any gallery missing, please do leave a comment!

Dotrc aka ~/.*rc

If you don’t understand the title, you might just as well leave — this post is going to contain close to no useful information for you.

I’ve been spending a lot of my time in the shell recently. Mostly splitting my time between bash and vim, usually in screen.

I’ve always had a reasonable .bashrc, and my .vimrc used to be above average as well. But I invested some extra time to research more possibilities the dotfiles offer. You can preview and download my dotrc at github.

Here are some of the highlights, whatever I consider the “best of”.

My .bashrc is unremarkable, I just have a lot of shortcuts for the common everyday stuff. Perhaps the only thing worth noting is title setting for screen:
PROMPT_COMMAND='echo -ne "\033k`echo $PWD | sed "s:.*/\(.*/.*/.*\):\1:g"`\033\\"'
I actually wrote that myself, it shows the innermost three directories that you’re in. Showing running command in title is useless, as that’s in most cases either bash or vim (rarely also mysql). Showing the full path is useless, because long titles get cut off. Showing only the current directory name is not so great either, as it leaves you without context. I’ve settled for last three so far, but two might also be useful in certain situations.

Perhaps the best tip of all, reduce amount of tab hitting for completion by 50%. Put following to your .inputrc:
set show-all-if-ambiguous on

Next in line is my .vimrc (sorry, no .emacsrc, emacs sucks). Except for the usual stuff (nocompatible, colours, incsearch, etc.), I use few very useful and not very well known tricks.

set so=10 " show 10 lines of context (above and below)

“so” is short for “scrolloff”, which makes sure you have some space to breathe.

Last but not least, the Esc key is real far, hence:
set tm=400 " timeout for shortcuts

inoremap jk "pressing j and k together escapes
inoremap kj

Have I missed any useful tips & tricks?

Exposure bracketing

I have an old Canon 20D. I’m pretty happy with it, the large pixels behave well in low light conditions and it’s got reasonably comfortable handling. There’s just one thing that’s been really bothering me, and as far as I know, all the other cameras suck just as much as mine.

Exposure bracketing was implemented by someone who hates HDR, photographers, and humanity altogether.

I use continuous shooting mode (hold the button down and the camera keeps shooting as fast as it can until it chokes). First, I have to press the button and hold it for exactly the right amount of time to get three pictures. In the beginning, it used to give me a headache, but after some time I got used to it. It’s stil an inconvenience, but a rather minor issue.

There’s something I don’t get at all: Why do I even have to shoot more pictures to get more dynamic range?

If the wonderful RAW format had for example 32bit depth instead of 12 or 14, we wouldn’t need bracketing at all! You would just take the longest of the exposures, and the camera could record all the data without overblowing the highlights. Or, if that is too much hassle, it could make 3 “virtual” RAW files — by simply taking a snapshot of the sensor’s state at three different times during the single exposure.

Given the amazing feedback I’ve been getting here lately, I don’t expect an answer. But I do wonder — is there anything in the way? Or are camera manufacturers incompetent?

PS: Yes, HDR is an instrument of the devil. If you look at my recent pictures, you might see that I realized that aready. But sometimes, sometimes I like to go to the dark side…

Double elimination tournaments

Let me start by saying that I really like the concept of a double elimination tournament. So I might be biased in my analysis.

Second, this post deals specifically with potential use of double elimination tournaments in settings of EGC/LSG side event.

What is wrong with the current approach

Current approach has two separate parts — qualification and finals. Qualification consists of several groups playing round robin system (8 groups of 6 people). First two of each group get to the finals, which is a simple single elimination (16 players in our study case). The total number of rounds is 5 + 4.

There are several related problems which stem from this concept. First, not all games are important. Some people leave halfway during the eliminations or just decide to resign the remaining games, as they have no chance of advancing to the finals anymore. This can influence who advances to the finals and has a negative impact on the tournament atmosphere. Second, the final only determines the winner reliably. Plus it just sucks that by blundering once, you get eliminated.

Why double elimination

Double elimination eliminates the unnecessary games. Every game matters. If someone decides not to participate anymore, his opponent gets a free win, but it doesn’t harm anyone but the one who quit.

You are free to lose any single game and can still win the tournament.

Double elimination is also much more accurate in determining the second to fourth places, which are available without any extra playoffs, with single playoff necessary to determine fifth and sixth place.

So where’s the catch?

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage is that double elimination of (up to) 64 players takes 12 rounds. That is considerably more than 9, and so the necessary extra time needs to be reserved. The reward is elimination of redundant games and much fairer results.

Another disadvantage might be that quarter of the participants only get to play two games. On the other hand, they can go to the beach and have fun instead of having to play.

Conclusion

Double elimination is particularly suitable for faster tournaments, where you can finish a round in under half an hour (and the whole 64-player tournament under 6 hours). The slightly asynchronous nature of double elimination allows for certain brackets to develop faster. On the other hand, there can appear bottlenecks when someone doesn’t show up. This can be taken care of by giving a default win to bottlenecker’s opponent, hence speeding up the tournament even more.

I would like to try double elimination for 9×9, 13×13, and blitz tournaments at LSG 2010. I’m all ears for your opinions on this idea.

By the way, have you already registered for LSG 2010?

On decisions

We have freedom and can make a lot of decisions — isn’ it great? On the other hand, we often have to make decisions. I generally don’t like making decisions. Making a decision means that I will most probably regret it sooner or later.

I use a regret-based approach to making decisions. I try to estimate the probability that I’ll regret the decision. Sometimes, that probability is 100% for one option, so the other option wins by default.

About a year ago, in early 2009, I decided to quit my work and explore Poland. I reached that decision by realising that if I don’t do it, I will regret it for sure. My vacation time ended up being almost three times as long as I expected, mostly due to unplanned trip to Korea, which was great. I didn’t really have enough money to go there, but I knew I would definitely regret not going. 2009 has definitely been the best year of my life so far.

I wish I could apply this approach to making decisions more broadly, as it rarely fails. There are decisions for which I am fully aware of the right choice, yet can’t follow through and end up choosing the bad one.

Moral dilemma short story

I didn’t invent this story, I heard it from a friend. It was about a year ago, so I might be slightly off in my interpretation.

The story

Once upon a time, there was a girl and a guy who loved each other (ooh, cheesy story). She lived by the river with her mother. The girl and the guy wanted to move out, and they decided to meet next morning at the other side of the river. It was agreed that if the girl isn’t there, it’s a sign that she doesn’t truely love the guy — he would leave forever, never to return.

On the evening before leaving, the girl went to the ferryman, the only person who could get her accross the river. The ferryman said he would take her to the other side of the river only if she slept with him. Dispirited, the girl returned home to her mother and asked her for advice. Her mother showed understanding but didn’t provide advice.

The girl decided to take the deal and slept with the ferryman. Next morning, she met her lover at the other side of the river. When her lover learned that she slept with the ferryman to get to the other side of the river, he decided to break up with her. The girl and the guy had a friend, who heard the story and saw the confrontation. The friend then slapped the guy for breaking up with the girl.

Moral analysis

We have five characters: girl, guy, mother, ferryman, friend. Your task is to rate the morality of their behavior. Please don’t rate according to emotionally tinted words, which I tried to avoid.

Feel free to use concrete numbers or fuzzy words, as you like. Feel free to explain your opinion.

If you don’t want to rate their behavior, you can cheat and just sort the characters from good to bad.

How I won the 23rd TwixT championship

Who is this post for? Who is going to read it? Who is going to enjoy it? Anyways…

First, a bit of history…

I learned to play TwixT in 2004. You can have a look at my rating graph. As you can see, after the initial jump, my progress was slow — TwixT never was the main thing in my life.

There are three types of tournaments on littlegolem: rated tournaments, monthly cups, and championship league. The league is by far the most prestigious. You can read more about littlegolem tournaments.

My first championship was third division of the third league — twixt.ch.4.3.3, the games look a little funny now. In the next championship I won 5.2.2 with one loss and proceeded to the first league. I finished fifth in 6.1.1, scoring 4 wins out of 8 games.

I had similar results in 7th and 8th championships, in 9.1.1 I even finished fourth. 10.1.1 was the first appearance of the amazing polish brothers, who finished second and third, but it was a small disaster for me — I only won two games and got demoted to second league. After that I continued jumping up and down between first and second league: 10.1.1 down, 11.2.2 up, 12.1.1 down (though I won against Klaus in a very short game), 13.2.1 up, 14.1.1 down, 15.2.2 up.

I got lucky I didn’t get demoted in 16.1.1 … 17.1.1 and 18.1.1 fifth places again. In 18th I had a very interesting game against Axel. I had a bad start, but managed to exploit his weaknesses to create a draw — but I blundered at 44 and let him connect with 45. In 19.1.1 I had my usual fifth place, but 20.1.1 saw me underperform and fall to 21.2.1. As a warm up, I finished fourth in 22.1.1.

History over, back to the present

The start of 23.1.1 looked like I’d finish in my usual fifth place. I lost against David pretty quickly, and I had a surprisingly easy game against Steven. Meanwhile, I was losing three other games — against spd_iv, Klaus and crclum. Against Klaus, I had a bad game from the start, but Klaus blundered with 39.t19 (s20 or u19 would have done the trick), giving me an undeserved victory.

My game against spd_iv wasn’t that bad in the beginning, but then something went wrong, though I’m not sure what. I think spd_iv could have just played 21.h7 for an easier win. But actually, his variation would have led to a win too, if it wasn’t for his unnecessary 25.d7 which I responded with the best TwixT move I’ve ever played. I think that made me deserve the win.

I have no idea what happened in my game against crclum. I was losing from the very beginning, and it was just getting worse all the time, but I still have no idea why. In the end, he just resigned in a won position (23.q7 24.r5 25.t5 26.v5 27.r4 28.t6 29.n6 leads to a win as does 23.q7 24.r5 25.v5 26.t5 27.t4 as does 23.r6 24.q4 25.p7 (spd_iv pointed out the last variation)). So, I was extremely lucky.

On early resigning

As for crclum’s resignation, I didn’t have the guts to ask him about it or point out that he could’ve won. While I admire early resigning and often myself try to resign lost games as soon as possible (it’s good manners and it shows confidence in one’s judgement), it’s better not to overdo it and resign won games!

Earth from above, in black and white

On my way from Korea back to Europe, I had an amazing flight.

My original flight got cancelled. But Finnair quickly found a ticket with KLM for me. Direct flight to Amsterdam.

When getting the ticket I asked for a seat next to a window. I thought that the guy didn’t understand or care what I said. He seemed completely oblivious to my request.

But as you can see, I got the seat next to the window.

The weather was great. There were amazing clouds as we flew over the yellow sea.

This is somewhere in northern China. That’s what the flight attendant told me.

The Gobi desert.

Slightly cloudy.

Patterns. If you look closely you can see few roads down there.

I’m really happy with how these pictures turned out.

This flight, especially the amazing Gobi desert, was one of the strongest experiences in my life.

PS: You can view bigger versions of the pictures in my photo gallery. Also, check out my flickr photostream.