Sunday, January 22, 2006

Amore Latinae Beta 1

Since the dawn of time, mankind has yearned for a computer program to help them learn how to write Traditional Latin. Ok, maybe not, but I made one regardless. Today marks the release of Amore Latinae ("For Love of Latin") Beta 1. Admittedly, I made the splash image with the help of Picasa, but the ones I was coming up with before that weren't nearly as visually appealing. As I've mentioned before, this program is meant for Latin students at UT since everyone uses Wheelock's Latin, and it's basically all the stuff I wish I had when I was in LAT 506 and LAT 507. It can quiz you on vocabulary, help you struggle through the conjugations, guide you before big tests, lookup words from difficult readings, and make sure that you can decline your words. It may not look like much, but it definitely took more than 70 hours (I'd guess somewhere around 100 though, more likely) because of all the data I had to type up and/or format for it (like 500 KB worth). Writing the close to 10,000 lines of code became easier as I became more and more familiar with wxWidgets and C++, and I got a little thrill every time I finished a module. The "Conjugation Blaster" was definitely the hardest part due to the complexity of randomly picking those questions and because I gave the user so much freedom in which conjugations he wants to be drilled on. It's pretty rewarding to have something to show for my winter break and to give to companies who interview me. I hope this increases my chances of getting an internship. Why is it in beta? Because the English part of the dictionary doesn't work (that's going to be quite a challenge, but the least important feature and I ran out of time), I didn't test it quite enough, and I'm sure that it's littered with typos. I plan on presenting it to the chair of the Classics department for departmental use once I get it compile for Mac OS X (let me know if you can help me with that, I'm totally lost).

Apple Matters put up a great article exploring why so-called iPod killers have failed, and it seems like FairPlay is at the heart of it all since any other encodings aren't iPod compatible. More importantly: they're not innovating, they're just trying to replicate the iPod phenomenon by tweaking what it offers. I agree with the article that Microsoft is best poised dethrone Apple at this point, but it would be an interesting, arduous battle. BBC put up an article revealing the not-so-secret strategy of Google and mockings it claims of not being a portal, and the only interesting thing it really pointed out was that they really just release everything they have and quietly kill off the less successful ones. A better look at Google is offered by Bob Woodruff's video blog, who goes to their campus (which is a term used by quite a few big tech firms, not just Google as he'd have you believe) and interviews some of the employees. It rekindles my desire to see the video, and I'll probably end up applying there next year (unless I land a really sweet internship for this summer). Lastly, if you've always wanted to learn how to pick locks then you should check this out. It's a useful skill for testing out locks you use for lockers or storage or whatever you use padlocks for.

You'll never believe who dominated the box office this weekend: Underworld: Evolution. Someone must've sold their soul to the devil for that movie to make more than twice as much (nearly $28 million) as the movie in the number 2 spot (Hoodwinked). Another surprise is that End of the Spear (a small movie I had never heard of) opened up two spots above The New World, featuring Colin Farrell, which opened at number ten at that. I still can't believe that the movie with the worst reviews was at the top. Click to enlargeThis picture is one of a few leaked from X3, and AICN posted an early review to match it. This review is laden with spoilers (including who dies) so be wary of reading it. To sum it up: the movie betrays the X-men franchise and the first two movies in a few different aspects (especially with Singer's movies though), it centers around Storm too much, and it sounds like a lot of talented actors wasted by a director in way over his head (except for Ian McKellen, who does well with Magneto). The trailer looked so promising, too. Disney will complete its purchase of Pixar tomorrow, and the two companies will be sworn allies once again to hopefully turn out some great stuff. Oh, and Steve Jobs becomes even richer. Lastly, JoBlo has an interview with Jenna Dewan (from Tamara), which I mention because she's really hot and is likely to go places in her career.

Here are my Unconscious Mutterings:

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Alone::in the Dark
  2. Science::Fiction
  3. Deposit::Money
  4. Faithful::Loyal
  5. Tender::, Love Me
  6. Chocolate::Hot
  7. Homework::Sucks
  8. Tamper::Break
  9. Friend::ship
  10. Wire::Cops

1 comment:

Connie said...

wow elton props to the latin program. i have no need for it, but the time and energy put into it sound amazing.. and the splash art is cute :D good color.