Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The 2048 game should be renamed to 4096

Yes, it was quite addictive and a good way to spend time waiting. But soon, after a day or two, I won - getting a 2048 square . I tested my strategy and soon it was obvious that it's pretty easy if you have the right simple strategy. A day or two more I got 4096 and my personal high score to date is 45184.

I don't think I'll be addicted to it anymore because it's too easy.  And once you get to 4096, there's not a lot of difference to get to 8192. But I'm not too interested to find out, unless there's a new SAVE feature so I don't need to start fresh every time from 2.

The strategy is simply to keep the largest square at the corner, with decreasing value outwards.  For example, at the bottom of the board, you should have:

128 64 32 16

You don't want to move the corner 128 to the right or up. If you keep the 4 squares occupied all the time, the bottom row  can't shift right. And you never need to shift the row up if they are the largest numbers.

You keep the largest squares at bottom and at left when you grow the numbers.  And always target the smallest square 1st at bottom. In this case if you get another 16 over the 16 at right bottom, you immediately carry on to get 256 at the left corner.

Things are seldom ideal. But still you target the smallest at bottom and they will be improved.

Also you never put a bigger number on top of a smaller number. They will happen from time to time but this is the 1st you have to deal with.

That's about it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

XP going strong

Windows 3 starts to be useful, when you can start ditching DOS. Widows 95 is the 1st usable GUI OS. People keep reminding people that OS is just for loading applications. I'm 8/10 in that camp. For this reason I resisted upgrade until Windows XP. I built my own PC mostly so I have to pay extra for the OS if I want to upgrade it too.

I upgraded to XP for several reasons. It came out about 2001 so my 6 year old OS seems to be ancient at the time. XP merged the corporate/business NT line and the home user line 9x into one. It's a lot more usable, reliable and powerful, than W95 that is. I pay the OEM price for just the software so it's not a big deal. I said at the time just the bundled windows movie maker worth the price, providing a usable movie editor. My comment answers somebody asking should I upgrade. If you have doubts and have to ask, you don't need to.

And then it's same old same old. I was happy with XP. Even when I got the netbook with Windows 7, it's full of bulk ware and very slow. I saw no need to upgrade.

In 2011, I decided to move on to Ubuntu all the way. I played with Linux/Ubuntu for a couple of years via dual boot. Before that, I couldn't do without XP for proxies, VPN, encryption and such. Soon after I'm 100% Ubuntu with upgrades per 6 month. I need to go to XP very rarely. One XP only app is car diagnosis with adaptor, and the other is a cheap Fax modem just in case I need to send legally recognized documents fast. I still need them but they are compatible to W7 I think.

The problem of Ubuntu is that they are going the way of Macs, while the others are not that well supported without a profitable company behind it.

I brought Chromebook for my wife and kids so I don't need to do backup. (I never do much anyway.) I ended up using a lot myself. It's a lot faster than most of my computers. I "built" my last fast computer for video recoding and editing. There's no need for it anymore because people only capture short clips in standard formats.

Now you can't do a lot of things on Chromebook but ideal for wife and kids. They were using LibreOffice anyway. Using Google "Office" is a step "forward" without the need for saving. For me it's a super Linux machine with all the hardware compatibility problem solved because Chrome OS is Linux and all the hardware drivers are compatible with other Linux.

When I revisited my old XP boot partition, I'm surprised it's so fast. Much faster than Ubuntu now and comparable to the basic Chrome book on an ancient machine with rotating disks! I should do this more often. 

The free anti-virus software installed is still going strong. They are still near the top at industry performances. Though one of them seems to be giving up XP gradually, and falling down the charts.

I installed the British Comodo firewall to be paranoid. I need that hopefully to detect irregular activities on the computer. My model is that someone may have gained access to my computer and installed something to monitor me. They may sent information back to headquarter on a very low frequency so it's hard to detect. Comodo is doing well and got a lot bigger now. But they still are not too good for anti-virus so  can't have just one malware software.

Again, booting XP is a lot faster than Ubuntu and loading firefox there is a lot faster too. Should do it more often.