The earliest memory I have of ‘programming’ is in the early/mid 90s when my father brought home a computer from work. We could play games on it … so of course I took the spreadsheet program he used (LOTUS 123, did I date myself with that?) and tried to modify it to print out a helpful message for him. It … halfway worked? At least I could undo it so he could get back to work…

After that, I picked up programming for real in QBASIC (I still have a few of those programs lying around), got my own (junky) Linux desktop from my cousin, tried to learn VBasic (without a Windows machine), and eventually made it to high school… In college, I studied computer science and mathematics, mostly programming in Java/.NET, although with a bit of everything in the mix. A few of my oldest programming posts on this blog are from that time.

After that, on to grad school! Originally, I was going to study computational linguistics, but that fell through. Then programming languages (the school’s specialty). And finally I ended up studying censorship and computer security. That’s about where I am today!

But really, I still have a habit of doing a little bit of everything. Whatever seems interesting at the time!

AoC 2021 Day 23: Amphipodinator

Source: Amphipod

Part 1: Given 4 rooms full of amphipods with various energy costs for movement (a=1, b=10, c=100, d=1000) and a hallway, how much energy does it take (at minimum) to sort the amphipods into their own rooms with the following conditions:

read more...


AoC 2021 Day 21: Dicinator

Source: Dirac Dice

Part 1: Play a simple game (describe below) with a loaded D100 (that always rolls 1, 2, 3, … 99, 100, 1, …). Return the score of the losing player times the number of times the die was rolled.

read more...


AoC 2021 Day 19: Point Matchinator

Source: Snailfish

Part 1: You will be given a series of Scanners, each of which will tell you the location (from their point of view) of a series of Beacons. Each Scanner may be flipped or rotated in increments of 90 degrees in any direction. Determine where each Scanner and Beacon is by overlaying the maps (with at least pairwise 12 matches).

read more...


AoC 2021 Day 17: Pew-Pewinator

Source: Trick Shot

Part 1: Simulate a projectile with an integer initial velocity (x, y), air resistance that tries to reduce x-velocity to 0, and gravity that increases y-velocity by 1 each time. Given a target range, find the highest point reached by a projectile that ends a tick (not one that crosses over) within the target area.

read more...


AoC 2021 Day 14: Polymerizationinator

Source: Extended Polymerization

Part 1: Given a complete function f(a, b) -> c where any string ab becomes acb and an input string, apply the function at the same time to every (overlapping) pair of letters. Repeat this time times. Report the difference in counts between the most and least common letters in the final situation.

read more...