So, the wee little toy is working out wonderfully. I do all of my web surfing on it, and some typing too, occasionally. Xterm + dropbear ssh means I can do “real work”, a character at a time. I still reach for the laptop when I need a real keyboard, but the pocket size, day+ battery life, and absolute silence of the tablet mean I reach for it most of the time. It’s truly wireless.
Jess calls it my girlfriend.
I finally got around to installing gnugo and Cgoban on it yesterday, and now it’s getting much more use.
I’ve found the game of go fascinating since sometime in college. The rules and objectives of the basic game are simple, but these simple rules generate a wonderfully intricate game. Actual analysis of a full go game is intractable enough that even the best players rely on instinct and attitude for their decisions, and computer go programs have not advanced as far at professional play as their chess counterparts.
The go board is large enough to have multiple, mostly unrelated “battles” going on in different parts. Turns must be allocated to the different battles, and battles need to be prioritized so that you only burn turns on the ones that may come out in your favor. There’s always a conflict between spreading out to occupy more of the board or concentrating in one area to defend it more thoroughly. It’s a game of balance, where both players need to be spread very thin to have a chance of winning.
Sounds a bit … familiar. It’s wildly fun when it’s just stones on a board, though.
So, at a little before 10:00 this morning, I set about finishing up some documenting. Mind-numbing stuff overall, just recapitulating some of the 188.8.131.52.4.1.666.make.this.stop stuff I’ve been messing with off and on for a month… I needed something else to do, so I started up go on the toy, with no time limits. If I needed a break from documentation, I’d check the toy, ponder a bit, and make a move. The CPU on the Nokia 770 is no speed demon, so gnugo takes most of a minute, if not more, to make its next move. That was enough to keep me from getting distracted by the game. Perfect.
One of these days, I’ll need to play a human. I did a bit of that via NNGS (No Name Go Server) back in the day. That showed me how much of a novice I was (and probably still am). I actually got completely wiped off the board once or twice. At least when I’m pounded into the ground by a computer, I don’t get embarrassed; I think that’s what I get paid for, actually.