Step 1: Joining a Channel

March 5, 2010

Well tonight I finished the first stepping stone: getting the program to connect to IRC and join a channel. Here’s the code and here’s some screenshots: 1 2 3. You can see the bot listed as enderx86b in the second screenshot.

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Current Project

March 5, 2010

IRC Bot, written in C. I just wrote this echo server to help myself learn C socket programming. I’ll be implementing the IRC protocol documented here. Will write updates.

First I’ll do a single-channel command-line program, and then maybe I’ll write a GUI in Cocoa. Unfortunately, I feel very disinclined towards Objective-C, it just strikes me as ugly =/

Two Hit Songs

February 26, 2010

I’ve been obsessed with these lately, and now I’m passing them on to you 😉

“I Made It” by Kevin Rudolf ft. Lil Wayne and Jay Sean and Birdman

“Down” by Jay Sean ft. Lil Wayne

(Can you believe it? 40 million views!)

I have a web site!

February 26, 2010

Free web hosting from a friend! http://ender.x86labs.org

White Collar, Dexter, and Rome

February 24, 2010

With a lot of free time on my hands I’ve been looking for good television shows. Personally I find that most TV shows suck because they can’t get over the fact that all attempts at rapturous plot wind up in the gutter. This is simply because of the inconclusiveness of TV: the viewers and the producer are the ones to decide when a TV show ends, so it’s impossible to plan a conclusion. And then there are things like writers’ strike, etc. which throw a wrench into the planning. I think the reason why the plot of Lost is ridiculous is because the writers keep on having to throw new curveballs into the show since all the surprises and the mystery have already been revealed. The show Heroes is silly for the same reason.

So a TV show only has a chance at respectable entertainment if it focuses on the aspects of character and setting. Incidentally, these are the strong points of TV, since TV shows have 10-15 hours to do this per season compared to the 2-3 hours of a movie. Movies are predisposed for plot; television for character. My favorite shows are the ones that focus on character.

This is why I like White Collar and Dexter so much. They both meticulously develop the portraits of their main characters, Neil Caffrey and Dexter, respectively. But this is not even what I care about most. What I care about most is the initial impression of a character — Neil Caffrey’s portrayal in the first episode, and the same with Dexter. There needn’t be that much character development to maintain my interest. I just like to see the actor and his role, as long as the acting and the role intrigue me.

I like Neil Caffrey because he’s a con artist and this fascinates me. I like Dexter because… well… he’s different, and in a horrific sense intriguing. It’s the premises and the impression that most capture my interest.

The reason why Rome matches up to my criteria isn’t as cut-and-dried. It does have a lot of plot, and the intrigue of the show definitely rides on the plot. But I think the difference here is that the plot is historical. The genius of Rome is that the writers broke it up into different historical eras, all based on the lives and deaths of great men (and women). The first season ends with Caesar’s death; the second, with that of Antony and Cleopatra. By doing it this way the show ensures that even if it were cancelled after the first season, there would still be a sense of completeness; a story would still be told. A successful television plot would have to do the same thing — break a story up into seasons, in a way which each season is conclusive and tells a story, and no story is less interesting than the other. History does this naturally, but imagination works much differently. I have yet to find a fictional plot-based TV show that I enjoy.

The Devil in the White City, Tropic of Cancer

February 23, 2010

Despite its early intrigue, The Devil in the White City has come to bore me. I am currently two hundred pages into it, moaning the lackluster storyline about the architecture of the fair. It’s somewhat interesting on a factual level, but you don’t need to read a novel to learn facts. Even worse, the H.H. Holmes storyline, which originally fascinated me, has started to pall. The novel doesn’t teach me anything about life, and it doesn’t instill an aesthetic bliss.

I am perhaps ready to say goodbye to this novel, in which case I’d move onto the next book on my reading list — Tropic of Cancer. I highly anticipate this novel as it is about an American expatriate degenerate. Even better it is autobiographical. It seems that the most vivid scenes are those that are borrowed from the author’s own life. I was recommended this novel by my friend Casey, when I asked for something along the lines of Justine or Nabokov (more specifically, a deviant first-person narrator). I plan to pick it up tomorrow at the university bookstore since I am banned from the Reg.

Twenty is Twenty-one

February 23, 2010

Last weekend I went to see Shutter Island (which sucked), but the most enjoyable part of the night was eating at Chipotle’s with my friends over a nice burrito and Corona. And that’s when I realized: twenty is twenty-one. If you’re born in 1989, you’re set. All you have to do is show them your ID and act calm and confident about it, and the server will be too lazy to do the math and realize that you’re not twenty-one, that your birthday is actually two, four, or six months from now. And the worst that happens? You get kicked out. I’ve been kicked out of a few places (Starbucks, restaurants, the Chicago Public Library) and it’s not like they call the cops or press legal charges. So whenever you’re on a plane, on a train, or seeking the bar around the corner, don’t hesitate — just volunteer your ID, and they won’t do the math, nor will they ask questions. It even works at strip clubs.