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Dewi Morgan

aka Farrier

December 31st, 2016

I was walking through a bookstore, and found myself looking around at all the sections I normally walk past, blithely ignoring them. Read more...Collapse )

January 20th, 2016

Modding the Pip-Boy

[This post is a work in progress, will be edited whenever I make progress... I expect this project to never be fully "finished".]

So I've been promising for some time that I'd mod my Fallout 4 Pip-Boy and post pics of it. So with my wife away for a while, last weekend was the time to get started...Read more...Collapse )

April 24th, 2015

The idea of a universe that self-constructs out of logic and math, like an infinitely complex snowflake, is delightful, awe-inspiring and breathtaking to me.Read more...Collapse )

April 2nd, 2015

(no subject)

My main problem with new computer graduates is that they mistakenly believe that computing is some kind of a "science". It's absolutely NOT. Read more...Collapse )

March 13th, 2015

Sir Terry Pratchett touched many a life, but like too many of my heroes, he touched mine only very lightly before passing on.
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November 20th, 2013

It has been many years since I tried to use IE in any serious way, so I decided to switch to it as my default browser, to answer two questions:
1) Does it function as a modern browser at least as good as Chrome?
2) Have they made a decent effort to remove the hurdles to re-adoption?Read more...Collapse )

November 17th, 2013

I wrote these at: forum.thegamecreators.com.
Because of this, they are very DarkBasic centred.
I'm archiving them here in case they get lost.Read more...Collapse )

November 8th, 2013

So I'm sure everyone asks themselves this: when's the best time to buy gas?

I think it depends how often the price fluctuates (moves up or down).

If it's basically random, and every morning when you drive past a gas station the price has changed by a random amount in a random direction since the last time, and there's no way to predict it, then:
- pick the lowest price that you'd only pay if you were at "empty" - say, $4.
- pick the highest price that's so great you'd *always* buy - say, $2.
Buy if the price is a lower percentage between the two prices, than you are through your tank. So if the current price is 25% between your two levels ($2.50 in the above) then you'll buy if you've used more than 25% of your tank.

Math geeks: under the above system, how much would you save, if prices fluctuate randomly from $2 to $4? Is there a better curve than a linear fit of tank against price?

If, on the other hand, prices go up and down slower, so if prices go up, they're likely to rise for a few days, then fall again, such that you get a few fluctuations per tank, then always buy as soon as the price starts to rise. Possibly skip buying if your tank is close to full and the price still isn't great, if there's plenty of time for it to fall again, further than it did the current time; you can use the above formula for calculating whether to skip. But if you always buy when it starts to rise, you'll always be buying at a trough, so you'll average a very low price: if peaks average $4 and troughs average $2, you'll save on average $20 per tank.

In the real world, gas prices seem to rise for months, then fall for months, such that no fluctuation lasts less than several tankfuls. In this world, it's again best to fill up as soon as prices start to rise (so you're buying as close to the bottom of the trough as you can). Also, wait as long as you can whenever prices are falling, so you're again buying as far from the peak and close to the bottom as you can. But when prices are rising, begin by topping up fairly often, then ease back to only filling up when your tank reaches the "empty" level you picked above. That'll mean that on average, when prices start dropping again, you'll be about quarter of a tank away from filling up (you either filled up a quarter tank ago, or you'll need to fill in another quarter tank).

So you always fill at the bottom of the trough, and on average, will fill up a quarter tank away from the peak. That puts you an eighth of a tank better than average! Hardly seems worth the hassle, really. Say the fluctuation lasts 6 months, and you have a 10 gallon tank. Even if it rises from $2 to $4, a difference of $20 per tank, you'll save only $2.50 over six months by following this advice. Not worth your time.

April 7th, 2013

UK foods I miss...

Pasting this here from a comment elsewhere, because people sometimes ask me what I miss, or express some kind of assumption that all UK people eat is offal and cold toast.

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January 22nd, 2013

"Giant zigzag, sitting on two symbols separated by a scarab's butt." - The diagram is three lines high, and displayed as an image. What does it MEAN? How, using the tools available, can we find out?

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