Can a robot/android suffer Post Dramatic Stress Syndrome? That is the case with 347, the android belonging to the main character in Starforgers. Devon is forced to leave 347 on the remote moon where she was stationed as a Stellar Ranger, when she joins the Star Force. 347 witnesses the death of everyone on the moon when the bad guys invade. It records the death of Devon’s boyfriend and in the process becomes disturbed by the situation.
347 starts to behave erratically and eventually winds up trying to do harm to humans during a key piece of testimony it gives before the Senate on the home word. I want to have some fun with this and sort of combine psychology with my knowledge of programming and see if we can get the android to experience a bit shift for the worst. In a nod to Asimov, my android will wig out and allow harm to come to someone.
347 actually recorded Devon’s boyfriend getting blown away right in front of his visual receptors. The droid actually has caked brain goo on it’s head casing. Something about the explosion combined with the trauma, flips some bits in his main routine and he starts to loose it.
Every once in a while I come across a web site that I feel needs to be spotlighted. This time it’s AE7Q. This guy has created a host of search tools using the FCC’s ULS system. I found his site while I was searching for how to make the slant bar through the zero in my call sign. See The Story of Zero.
This is the latest image from Hayabusa the Japanese spacecraft orbiting the asteroid Itokawa. The spaceship caught its own shadow on the asteroid’s surface. It reminded me of a scene from Star Wars. The most interesting thing Hayabusa has found on Itokawa is a noticable lack of crators.
I just checked out the bright green and yellow kid’s laptops that the MIT Media Lab has debuted. It looks really cool. I want one. Some folks have suggested that they allow US geeks to purchase one if they buy it for $400.00 and then donate the remaining funds to the needy kids. That’s an Idea I could get behind.
I started wondering how they plan to update millions of kids laptops if there were security flaws found in them. The notion of Amazon or some such web site getting DDOS attacked by millions of windup PC’s for exactly ten minutes is amusing to me.
Still, I’d love to have one for around the house. Be a cheap little web browser or notepad that I could use to get into my server and do anything from programming to surfing on. Also be great for entertaining the kids on long car trips. Leapfrog are you listening?
This is a test to see if a Gnome Blog Entry Poster actually works.
In learning a new programming language, I will often make a one-off program to explore the language and get real-life experience in using it. With Perl, I created a programmatic version of a game I play with my kids as I am tucking them in at night. It’s called, “Thinking of an Animal”, and it’s designed to get them thinking about animals and what they look like and how they are all different. There are many versions of the game such as Thinking of a Safety and Thinking of an Airplane.I used the idea to write a Perl script that interacted with the console and provided positive feed back to the player. It was interesting to anticipate what the user would do and to conceive of the data structures to make the program more elegant. I still need to redesign certain subroutines so that they can be reused and ultimately, I will integrate it with a data base so the animals can be easily added to and expanded upon.
This game will also be useful when the kids start learning to read and can make better use of their computer time. You can download and mess with the program if you like, it’s completely open source and ready to be hacked.
Thinking of an Animal
My friend Dave (K1ZH) came over today and helped me fix up my 6 meter FM Genave radio to work with a tone generator on the local repeater. We studied the schematics and suffered through a power supply failure but managed to get it going. The radio was designed by my father, Gerry McConnell back in the mid 1970’s. It has ten crystal channels one of which allows for repeater use.
A good friend of mine secretly purchased the crystals for me from the original supplier to Genave. So finally the radio will hit the repeater. A quarter wave mag mount antenna on my Honda and now I’m on my way.
The tone generator is a little black box that sits on top of the Genave with electrical tape straps. I’ll have to devise a proper mount for it next.