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Dewi Morgan

aka Farrier

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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January 4th, 2013


I was pondering to myself, why is it that governments on both sides tend to chip away at the same core set of freedoms?Read more...Collapse )

November 22nd, 2012

Another dream.

I dreamed there was some nice HTML/CSS, in a comic strip. About the same scale as a normal comic strip. I dreamed that if I scrolled the comic strip sideways for TEN MILES at that scale, there'd be a funny joke. I'd got to, like 1.3 miles when the alarm clock woke me. For once, I was grateful.

November 18th, 2012

(no subject)

So, I was thinking about Counting Rhymes. Eenie, meenie...

And I realized that the ideal (for the singer) counting rhyme has one more beats than a number with many prime factors.Read more...Collapse )

September 18th, 2012

More dreams.

Three dreams this time.
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July 22nd, 2012

Lego Racer Tips

I found a text file I'd written many years ago, with tips and cheats for a game called Lego Racer. Not sure this is even still available. Thought I'd save it for posterity.

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June 4th, 2012

Dewi's Guide to America

There are all sorts of things that are the same as the UK... and lots of things that are completely different. Food is different, and even the familiar things have different names.

I can't speak of places like New England (a name for the states in the far northeast of the country, where things are much more British in feel, apparently), so I can only write of my experiences in Texas.Read more...Collapse )
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