Saturday, January 25, 2020

P vs. NP - The Biggest Unsolved Problem in Computer Science

https://youtu.be/EHp4FPyajKQ

A crude chess program in order to look 10 half moves ahead would take the hypothetical 25 moves possible and do roughly 25 to the 10nth power calculations, which would take a very long time. However, the alpha-beta algorithm eliminates mathematically unnecessary calculations making this more like 5 or 6 to the tenth power, which is a huge difference.

What surprises me is that program Stockfish reduces this to more like 2 to the N power, which is considerably less. Exactly how it does this I'm not sure, although I have some idea.

I would contend that looking deeper in chess will always involve an exponential increase, by definition. To not be exponential means that we could look infinitely far ahead and completely solve chess. This is kind of the point of the video.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Worst Console Launch Ever: Google Stadia -

Almost 30 years ago, one of my coworkers thought that the internet would get so advanced that we would be able to stream videogames, and we wouldn't need consoles.  I didn't think that this was realistic.  I still don't.  There is a huge advantage to having local hardware.  For $400 or $500, you can get a pretty good gaming experience from a box in your home.  It is going to be significantly better in 2020 with the next generation of consoles which are predicted to have about the same cost.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0OYCMkr-_Q

My 2017 iMac has slightly more powerful graphics than a Sony Playstation 4 Pro.  The latest tablets and phones are also powerful enough to make good gaming devices.

AMD has plans to introduce new APUs in 2020 and 2021.  This will make building a decent gaming computer cheaper, maybe costing $700 to $800.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Rampage

My $74 Rampage cabinet. Took us 2.5 hours to put together. There is nothing on here that I couldn't do on a SNES Classic. However, there is an advantage to having real joysticks. Three of them. I plan on modifying this using a Raspberry PI so that I can play Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Mr. Do with real joysticks. These games are harder to play with joypads because they require quick and accurate movements. I've done most of the work on the Raspberry PI already.

On this table it is a bit too high. I plan on buying the riser which costs $45, but it is frequently available cheaper, so I'll be looking for a sale after Christmas.

I use the Walmart app to check the prices on Arcade1up products. The prices change frequently and items tend to be heavily discounted when Walmart decides to close them out at a particular store.

What’s New in Chrome 79, Arriving Today

https://www.howtogeek.com/450613/whats-new-in-chrome-79-arriving-today/

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Re: 2017 iMac freezes up

Multicore Benchmark on my laptop: ~3000

This is really good for a refurbished laptop that I paid $89 for.

Multicore Benchmark on my old iMac: ~5000

The latest $150 Amazon tablet also benchmarks at this. It is an amazing world we live in.

I still use this machine to analyze chess games and openings. Because the display tends to quit, I access the machine remotely.

Multicore Benchmark on my new iMac: ~8100

Ideally I would have built a new AMD machine and gotten up to 20000. However, I needed a Mac to do the work that I am now doing.

I am suspicious of the combo drive using an SSD as a buffer to the hard drive. If something went wrong there then it would definitely freeze the computer.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Monday, November 18, 2019

2017 iMac freezes up

A few months ago I purchased a used 2017 iMac and installed Windows 10 on it. For the most part, this has been a great machine. However, there is now a problem. The computer will appear to run slow and then eventually freeze. This usually happens while using Google Chrome.

I am normally good at dealing with any kind of software problem that comes up, but this could be something going wrong with the hardware, like the RAM, the SSD, or some controller board. Hardware is mostly outside my area of expertise, although I did buy some new RAM chips that I have not yet installed. I could try taking out the old RAM chips and put in the new RAM chips and see if the problem persists.

On the software side maybe there is a virus, which seems unlikely because I have Norton which normally takes care of these things. It is possible there is a driver issue, but that also seems unlikely. I would not expect Google Chrome to be the problem, but I would not rule it out either. I could try a different web browser.

I need to reboot the computer into McIntosh mode and see if the problem happens again. If it does, then it is a hardware problem. However, if the problem goes away, then something is wrong in the Windows 10 world and I would consider erasing the Windows 10 partition and reinstalling the operating system, which is a time-consuming task.


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Intel Could Take YEARS to Catch Up… - Ryzen 9 3950X Review

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The $89 Gamestop Premium Refurbished Nintendo Wii U is a steal | Plus Gamestop Black Friday Deals.


This offer might be interesting for some gamers.  I'm don't particularly trust GameStop on their refurbished items.  They have a reputation for doing a bad job on some refurbished (repaired) items.  However, they do have a return policy.

However, in the last couple of years, Gamestop has had some killer deals on Black Friday or Gray Thursday, like a $60 XBOX 360 with a $60 rebate.  I got one of these.  (I had to wait in line for like an hour.)  However, I found out that the XBox 360 has a high failure rate, especially the ones from Gamestop, so I sold the system.  I was also not thrilled about how bulky the system was and the fan in it was a bit noisy.

I make this point because in another month we will be looking at Black Friday Gamestop deals.  I would enjoy some of the Mario games on the Wii U, so this might be a worthwhile purchase, especially if the system is heavily discounted for Black Friday.  In terms of power, The Wii U is about 50% more than the Xbox 360 and has the advantage of being able to run many Nintendo titles, which according to the video are cheap for the Wii U.  (However, the Wii U is only about 40% of the power of the Nintendo Switch, which itself is much less powerful than the current consoles from Microsoft and Sony.)

Last year Gamestop had a killer Black Friday deal on the Nintendo Switch, which is a system that I want.  Instead of charging $300 just for the console, you could get the system with a game for that price, plus a $50 or $60 credit that you could use to buy a 2nd game.   I would have taken advantage of this deal, except that I had heard rumors that Nintendo was going to come out with a new Switch this year.  Nintendo did come out with a new Switch this year, but the only difference was a doubling of battery life.  These new Switches sell in a red box.

I don't know what is going to happen for sure, but there could be some interesting Black Friday deals.

For anyone wondering, both Sony and Microsoft are coming out with killer game systems 3rd quarter next year using AMD chips that aren't even released yet.  These have been described as extremely powerful game systems rivaling the best gamer PC's.