Alpha's Manifesto

A black and white figure's thought-hive

General Game Playing

Automatic players that don't complain when they lose

Mecha-skunky player

I’ve recently taken and finished the course on General Game Playing, by Stanford University. Let me tell you what it was about and what the experience was like.

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My time tracker: Google Calendar

Boxes and colors, what's left to ask?

Calendar chain

Long time ago I wrote about a proposal from a StackExchange user about how to use Google Calendar for task planning across projects and activities. The idea seemed good, and after months of making it my bread and butter, I think I have perfected it to address most of the problems I had with my workflow in Trello. It’s  not the holy grail of productivity, but it has helped me a lot.

Let me explain it to you, because if you use Google Apps or GMail, you’re most likely to benefit from this.

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The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid

Visual geometry and arithmetic

Six Books Of Elements Of Euclid (Pages)

The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid is, as weird as it sounds, one book where Oliver Byrne has recreated the process of Euclid’s geometry and arithmetic into a visual representation that’s easy to grasp. It tries to reach a wider audience and make learning more accessible by getting over the complex part of recognizing visually what the demonstration procedures are — without changing them at all.

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How TDD pays off

A success story from the side of the doubtful

TDD

Software engineers, amirite? They keep blabbing about this fancy-pantsy weird wibbly-wobbly stuff nobody understands and they just want to keep things complicated. They want to test things even before they are done and then develop the app. Are they insane? And it even takes more time, so it’s a waste of money.

Well, my little friend-that-does-not-adhere-to-software-methodologies, they are right on what they do. And it does pay off. Let me tell you why.

(In here also: an update on the mongo-faceted project.)

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Sleep time

Smart alarms

Many of you that know me also know that it has been forever a problem of mine to get to sleep properly. Not to sleep early. Not to wake up early. It’s about the quality of sleep. I’ve tried many things to address this problem, raging from hormones to witchcraft, but something seems to be making a difference: smart alarms.

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My experience with bullet journals

Spoiler: not a journal about guns

Journal

I have just learned about this technique called Bullet Journalism, which seem to have revolutionized daily planning for lots of people. I’ve tried it out myself and it has been definitely something to share. Let me tell you more about it.

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Why’s (poignant) guide to Ruby

I love chunky bacon

Whys Fox

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A few of you may already know that I’ve started learning Ruby. I cannot tell at this moment if its going to be a huge career shift for me or not, but still, here I am. And I started with Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby, a definitely… unusual book.

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I’ve got an art degree!

Well, sort of...

My art

I just finished an art course on an MOOC platform and got a certificate for it. Let me tell you how was it like.

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Click for higher REVOLUTION

Click for higher revolution full image

Bring your revolution into high definition with this t-shirt that will nicely combine your political views with geeky humor. Either against or for communism, you’ll have a great way to break the ice!

Customize it or order one at Zazzle: http://www.zazzle.com/click_for_higher_revolution-235675269446733369

Or you may also look at other weird things I’m selling there, at my store: http://www.zazzle.com/alphaz

Update: Alberto Korda’s attorneys requested that this was taken down from the store, since they hold the rights of the original Che Guevara photograph. Oh, capitalism…

Faceted searches with MongoDB and mongoose

Generating facet search results

mongo-faceted logo

Some people in Latin-America may remember an old Yupi ad where a woman was complaining on how difficult using the internet was. “It’s so difficult. So complicated! There must be something better.” (In Spanish, of course.) Cheesy as it sounds, Händel Messiah’s “Hallelujah” sonorously invaded the screen. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.

That’s how I felt when I was investigating what’s the best approach to achieve faceted searches in MongoDB. But I found something better. Let me show it to you.

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