20150702

BlueStacks memory allocation

Unfortunately, BlueStacks tends to use a lot of memory and then forgets to cover its tracks resulting in memory bloat and starvation of other tasks. To free up memory, after closing BlueStacks, go into Windows Task Manager and on the Services tab, shut down the following:

BstHdAndroidSvc
BstHdLogRotatorSvc
BstHdUpdaterSvc

Then, on the Processes tab, right-click on the entry HD-Agent.exe and select "End Process".

On my system, this frees up 1.8GB of memory.

20150328

Gameforge: War-Game Strategy Guide

The following advice/opinion is primarily for War Game (present level 216), but also applies somewhat to Knight Game.

Reinvest collected hourly payments and objective earnings into income production. Spend attribute points primarily on attack offensive strength and secondarily on oil(fortitude) - this helps perform assignments(quests). An assignment in Fireland requires 95 oil while later, in Hawaii, an alliance size of 973.

Realize that these games are not continuous play...after depleting resources on objectives, attack opponents, build up income production and then set the game aside. Opponents take 8% per successful attack and can be repeated several times until health is below 24.

Sometimes a higher level player attacks unprovoked. If this happens, check to be sure the opponent is not in the alliance(order). Remove the player if they are poaching.

Each player's country flag is displayed. It might be advantageous to attack an opponent during their sleep cycles.

At some levels/ranks and alliance/clan size combinations, some or all opponents may be artificial players with random names. Watch for player profiles where the number of assignments(quests) and battles(duels) won/lost are displayed as a dash (-). Also, there is no comment tab on these players. These opponents are dynamically generated for an even match up and often yield little rewards. They can be useful to bring health down below 24.

One major difference in Knight Game, is the lack of dedicated defense objects. Instead, this function is performed by Vassals, which also produce income. Tip: buy as many Beggars as possible. ALL of them are used in duels.

Additional links:
http://mafiagameapp.blogspot.com
http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/669052-war-game/64582658
http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/669052-war-game/64582709

20150327

Facebook video problems

Running Facebook in the latest Chrome browser, we encountered some Flash video stuttering or choppiness during playback. To fix, see https://forums.adobe.com/thread/891337 and turn off hardware acceleration for Flash. Leave hardware acceleration enabled in Chrome.

20150213

A memorable approximation of pi

One of the best-known approximations of π is the fraction 22/7. Another is 355/113 which is easy to memorize by remembering the first three odd numbers, 1,3, and 5. Next, double the digits: 11 33 55, then group as 113 355, and finally slide the 113 under the 355.

Upon examining how close the result of 355/113 comes to the real value of π, it made sense to find another memorable fraction that approximates that difference which could then be summed. Repeating the process once more yields a formula accurate to the first 17 digits of π. (Perhaps we'll name it the "Dunn Approximation of Pi" after its discoverer.)






which, when computed carefully, yields: 3.1415926535897932 762597293465706

(which is greater than π by a mere 37.8 quintillionth, or more precisely, 3.7797085963291064091099708947939e-17)

Most importantly, for memorization: the second term can be thought of as 33 78 99 (then slide the first three digits under the last three, just like we did with the first term). Next, think of the final term as 10 777 (this time, invert the slide, moving the last two 77s under the 107). What remains to be remembered are the signs and the adjusting multipliers of "7" (notice there are five of them in the equation) and "12" (which is, of course, five higher than 7).

In JavaScript, the formula looks like: var pi=355/113-1e-7*899/337+1e-12*107/77;
(yields 3.141592653589793 56009 )

In Excel, paste into a cell: =355/113-1e-7*899/337+1e-12*107/77
(3.14159265358979 00000)

In Java:
double t1=(double)355f/(double)113f;
double t2=(double)1e-7*(double)899f/(double)337f;
double t3=(double)1e-12*(double)107f/(double)77f;
double pi=t1-t2+t3;
(3.14159265358979 05)

Rational approximations were explored and computed using a modified version of this tool written in Perl.

See also this visualization of π approximations.

For reference, here are additional digits of π: 3.1415926535897932 3846264338327950288419716939937510 58209749445923078164062862089986280 348253421170679821480865132823066470 9384460955058223172535940 812848111745028410

20150119

HP-16C

The newest addition to the computing family here at the studio is a museum-quality specimen of the Hewlett Packard 16C Computer Scientist acquired through eBay.














Take a look at this great article titled "Long Live the HP-16C" by Valentin Albillo here.
Love this device! Of course, the HP Museum site has useful information about this and many other HP calculators. If seeking the missing manual, there is a scanned version here.

Also, Cameron Paine has a faithful simulation running on the Windows OS here. (Select the menu item View...Classic for the nostalgic visual replica.) Another version for the browser is meh.

Update 20150227:
One Voyager was not enough! We added a near-flawless HP-11C.

Additional internal data

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