# New project at work = more free time = more hobby development

So, at last, I’ve joined the new project team, reading documentation and “first steps” to develop the new application. They seemed pretty organized so far, and I was able to solve all the hickups I’ve had when starting to install the development environment. Since I started by the end of tthe day, I didn’t have much time to do it and might finish tomorrow.

Since forever, my HabitRPG (they started running ads now?) is telling me that I must do four tasks (and I plan to kill them tomorrow):
– Put Carlin’s Explosion on GitHub;
– Establish a JenPop goal;
– Commit new code into it;
– Put Clonix (my attempt at a 2d physics game engine) on GitHub.

I’ll try to create some new tasks (and honor them, FFS) to better document and maintain those projects. But let’s see how things go. Anyway, tomorrow’s a big day so, see you then!

# Code Jam 2008 Round 1A, Problem C: Numbers

Hello again! This one is one hell of a tricky problem. No wonder it’s called “Numbers”:

In this problem, you have to find the last three digits before the decimal point for the number (3 + √5)n.

For example, when n = 5, (3 + √5)5 = 3935.73982… The answer is 935.

For n = 2, (3 + √5)2 = 27.4164079… The answer is 027.

Wow, that can’t be hard, eh? Indeed! It’s really just an expression, isn’t it? Of course it is! But once you try, you get to see something beautiful happening:

```\$ python
>>> import math
>>> 3+math.sqrt(5)
5.23606797749979
>>> (3+math.sqrt(5)) ** 18
8751751364607.995
>>> (3+math.sqrt(5)) ** 19
45824765067264.016
>>> (3+math.sqrt(5)) ** 20
239941584945152.1
```

If I was clear enough, you can see where I’m going. If not, the answers for n = 18, 19 and 20 should be 607, 263 and 151. But, it gets worse as the exponent grows:

```>>> (3+math.sqrt(5)) ** 30
3.7167066517539914e+21
>>> (3+math.sqrt(5)) ** 40
5.757196418599164e+28
>>> (3+math.sqrt(5)) ** 50
8.917924847980422e+35
```

And those results should be 647, 551 and 247, respectively. As you can now clearly see, python can’t naturally handle those big floats, what a bummer! Well, the first thing to handle is the √5 value, since 2.23606797749979 does not give enough sampling to work with the needed precision. Looking a bit, I’ve found that python has a nice Decimal module that can deal with big numbers. So, let’s use it:

```>>> from decimal import *
>>> Decimal(5).sqrt()
Decimal('2.236067977499789696409173669')
```

Hmm… not as much as I was expecting. Digging a little deeper, there’s a way to increase the precision, so things might get better:

```>>> from decimal import *
>>> getcontext().prec = 256
>>> Decimal(5).sqrt()
Decimal('2.236067977499789696409173668731276235440618359611525724270897245410520925637804899414414408378782274969508176150773783504253267724447073863586360121533452708866778173191879165811276645322639856580535761350417533785003423392414064442086432539097252592627229')
```

Much better indeed! Let’s test the previous cases that way!

```>>> (Decimal(3) + Decimal(5).sqrt()) ** Decimal(18)
Decimal('8751751364607.992147917157027451941369199107402191688475662016738729585793189576921000417819488022521008035769458236805623355117964654519012995149203145651482621970904733675616603829159073699152262190237686134096053140643178581342535160175294280596644277408')
>>> (Decimal(3) + Decimal(5).sqrt()) ** Decimal(19)
Decimal('45824765067263.99400154247292878012837438073861701581979206241047287979476762412992360313819778117994498296523948378426713929520188369997784294269662668000818303924272345525577601783001726960434941938734208353272624615875651599971618368131896320524727780674')
>>> (Decimal(3) + Decimal(5).sqrt()) ** Decimal(20)
Decimal('239941584945151.9954175862094628730047694880020933281648497263958823604254329864718576171579087349895858656483590697583803423507394435817910056755829474974431677475727217968321896916634673228294874675631017566599732643899663816729269614472126021090970897308')
>>> (Decimal(3) + Decimal(5).sqrt()) ** Decimal(30)
Decimal('3716706651753989275647.999689800241818180639346264792151927705378585007996556972979408800792479361060761238505878803342888805078901553987993893381697765526226152915257781651542284398399012963211473811148141385735168384084704178517042635758936907558116236798')
>>> (Decimal(3) + Decimal(5).sqrt()) ** Decimal(40)
Decimal('57571964185991590695825047551.99997900148385229515959986036977505867324065830938072692611318337057286921280055552228787014811837140299777965403896929514221392361243371590607709492852574169582705605198217499438837728596606637811005617061688138760057438182845')
>>> (Decimal(3) + Decimal(5).sqrt()) ** Decimal(50)
Decimal('891792484798041273405092327480885247.9999985785363502863489704179083057190576105613126358868072802757567654991706904766380400266097425885364586125135675324533868405035416842283484903727056986268545269819514444772213000354546446009165968589958054059389753136')
```

Whoa, now that’s improvement! Since the small input ranges from 2 to 30, we’re covered, yay! To the large input! The first case is 910062006… much bigger! But we have faith in our solution!

```>>> (Decimal(3) + Decimal(5).sqrt()) ** Decimal(910062006)
Decimal('8.919448541446674973277872746171245933275138630248130907008894180215290388336023868239234075453030387703632363584380715738200630546564329205017138690712399728915139680036686573669248915790961561461272596637583821147468503082573913305207639264660422490421272E+654339383')
```

Aaaaaand it fails miserably. You say increase the precision? Go!

```>>> getcontext().prec = 1024
>>> (Decimal(3) + Decimal(5).sqrt()) ** Decimal(910062006)
Decimal('8.919448541446674973277872746171245933275138630248130907008894180215290388336023868239234075453030387703632363584380715738200630546564329205017138690712399728915139680036686573669248915790961561461272596637583821147468503082573913305207639264660422298653727910480913903028526252731111441440780088518055499910461897770689934875196042744680956819167861668586410285893670912335938531514972687567521690574174307478919726903450127130115796805326307689705722233029462717164687160362204672599178459426195515468743692514680427999432359495315725269307474956180961814633487158821252498531057196075527072557513060268997873150760403767129373225601570326857102899047033394123502152602095967110573983281744795256688834356089540911527223279951661861220253786982201657061127666645472375405207936633238083128248926879097462312848916323276895759197636621186062828933585137465868233553517455227951169710940268113754834340838971865855889844812381822071748466341030321954673834742153256457611174551211610695251648386140804719763671673855871318598E+654339383')
>>> getcontext().prec = 1000000000
>>> (Decimal(3) + Decimal(5).sqrt()) ** Decimal(910062006)
```

It is still computing that last command… maybe it’ll finish before Christmas! 😀 So… nothing we can do about it. Not in a natural way at least. It turns out that Code Jam organizers knew about this (that’s the whole point, indeed) and my approach, even if it’s able to solve the small input, is not the correct one. From the contest analysis:

The key in solving the problem is a mathematical concept called conjugation. In our problem, we simply note that (3 – √5) is a nice conjugate for (3 + √5). Let us define

(1)     α := 3 + √5,   β := 3 – √5,   and Xn := αn + βn.

We first note that Xn is an integer. This can be proved by using the binomial expansion. If you write everything down you’ll notice that the irrational terms of the sums cancel each other out.

(2)

Another observation is that βn < 1, so Xn is actually the first integer greater than αn. Thus we may just focus on computing the last three digits of X.

Whoa, there’s a ton of math symbols there. What it is trying to explain is that there’s another way around, and we can write a simple algorithm to calculate only what we need. Taking that math apart, this suggested approach is quite interesting:

Solution C. [the periodicity of 3 digits]

For this problem, we have another approach based on the recurrence (7). Notice that we only need to focus on the last 3 digits of Xn, which only depends on the last 3 digits of the previous two terms. The numbers eventually become periodic as soon as we have (Xi, Xi+1) and (Xj, Xj+1) with the same last 3 digits, where i < j. It is clear that we will enter a cycle no later than 106 steps. In fact, for this problem, you can write some code and find out that the cycle has the size 100 and starts at the 3rd element in the sequence. So to solve the problem we can just brute force the results for the first 103 numbers and if n is bigger than 103 return the result computed for the number (n – 3) % 100 + 3.

Hmm… so that means that 103 restarts the cycle?

```>>> getcontext().prec = 1024
>>> str((Decimal(3) + Decimal(5).sqrt()) ** Decimal(3))
'143.5541752799932702850935573994008395340997875075688231766687118531366696204097567812612610681210327990242616368247610721361045671823063636347635238890704866837369015421401333059608526503244754105771443632133610811201095485572500621467658412511120829640713240415845568781018115768290851039517558845033513247514268365293660766111722141944646319577243016028721322545978616614879992775936489738916811506453866403999620857004610560179974673677933515377954018029702474909866234538867118832726784429359876544843489516123361404699859563411214642284786110581426213620665031024800019372553994881602971764760169511058165201173143835473121683945817118282695117541643928648522370457633421861064234721885791403592429823579671023036790457862064776462707851047085181514532031422824259553334558658255398529105918381922193776593783203964365329603283979620022727823878012615898529089431909156945831424556056508947493929464193144955007377329721849300605964711369201940159834308432696751549585124838734830577613026312919174891129200931587878779'
>>> str((Decimal(3) + Decimal(5).sqrt()) ** Decimal(103))
'114167750723954075118506909152243184891636055812752354180398291472449798143.9999999999990991848908257663970808178511998207346190405521007125450976083864218743136022578058573724307353453054670910157005516822203809922099339999229730921853127935894210481666862007195197029531387123303773842565764868785959347563566969625431650825652899007545905552208934231424236695732218626707231897771500030743392334437529104775115629703470534218197873009424685334262220812905849999596760216536020750239094398005209138812883762761775627540601688798157222970582315547073108170909501918275307282209081948400177828835529550843580664303363677674984334542177398232468766365174239306558484619915875621147584977655598495728316487075831729616962367129848658475956289730636910101894486413362652617806007673400475350422005999251984236600004538944250397180445073308202368906957039259759659759171424708223454172257556499138474886346739987815229848744135302653447948550170944394443810710713254841099059181243617896686076589736820366175425243225873342031095'
>>> str((Decimal(3) + Decimal(5).sqrt()) ** Decimal(4))
'751.6594202199646689967411763468544075540238844147363216775107372289675155071512231016216206076354221948773735933299956287145489777071084090825085004176200550896187330962356998562944764142034959055300079068701456758805751299255628262705206665683384355613744512183189236100345107783526967957467183936425944549449908917791719022086541245209393177780525834150786943366387737228119962073666571129313260408882798620998009499274205440944867036809150955734258594655937993276797731329052373871815618254139351860428319959647647374674262707908876871995127080552487621508491412880200101705908473128415601764990889933055367306159005136233888840715539870984149367093630625404742444902575464770587232289900404868860256573793272870943149903775840076429216217997197202951293164969827362655006432955840842277806071505091517327117361820812917980417240893005119321075359566233467277719517523073965614978919296671974343129687014011013788730981039708828181314734688310185839130119271657945635321905403357860532468388142825668178428304890836363588'
>>> str((Decimal(3) + Decimal(5).sqrt()) ** Decimal(104))
'597790103628874365020709731601266597564608080186061135989016966589686218751.9999999999993118384917497799741823573220669410860125985943311312283719331038685561426361821548229163694601416604360587022213664498323168042300721157774333881227779113388111518769679330555901306111571209984513448987672187738925735173356845673100783866660482880393505457702913561140292994651458434392515606071335149084501581993111115430324514143366418268949755088875955878162140123915031739484539675175716477662141640774955323553027076342238845088259277403081453735076960587935422087441774083950451065986208934485511159638170169172967026214058721899896878428807562496126156550849295831738165499903388396019937912975536800221981964584521002823218293972856046263138381804404409768650023404607326059948575617153491987096854714709481244777860640664620489694413768067522712403081007060606347733537888589375255218262079999570621589681646821848243321335219275048192774559691932753194312696801857829138795089010920052048921614192197989676705158844531382420174'
```

Yay! To the git-pushed solution!

```from decimal import *                            # Improved math

getcontext().prec = 1024                         # Adjust the precision
base = (Decimal(3) + Decimal(5).sqrt())          # Calculate the base

for case in range(1,int(raw_input())+1):         # For all test cases
exp = (int(raw_input()) - 3) % 100 + 3         # Get the recurrent exponent

num = str(base ** Decimal(exp))                # Calculate
ans = num[:num.find('.')]                      # Get only the integer part

print "Case #%d: %03d" % (case, int(ans[-3:])) # Zero-lead the last 3 digits
```

One thing that’s really interesting about this is that I actually solved this (of course, not from scratch) while posting! I was already OK with the idea of only solving the small input, but reading the analysis brought some new light into this problem. Blogging FTW! See ya!

# Some cleanup

Hey there, it’s hard to find time with Dexter and Breaking bad finales approaching! But they’ve already been dealt with for this week, so, more free time! 😀 Getting more tasks done, and not missing midnight, is quite an achievement for me.

Also, made a new commit from some of today and yesterday’s code on the new game, implemented a rough hitbox scheme, and still trying to debug it, works ok on bullets but not on enemies… perhaps it’s not a good approach to override a sprite’s rect() and I should implement my own collision functions, that look for hitboxes instead of them. Still, I can finally hit monsters and kill them (after the brief immunity period)!

I’m thinking about doing some cleanup tomorrow, on older posts, saw some code out of code tags, gonna check it out. I miss the CodeJam times, gotta do some more of those problems. Quite some work ahead!

# Whoa… and we’re back!

Bah, the last couple of days almost made me die at HabitRPG, mostly because I must complete tasks before midnight (!) and I’ve got used to updating before going to sleep… and that was already late. I had something like 5HP left to avoid losing my beloved belongings, but tonight I made up and the experience gave me a new level (which restores all health), so I’m saved! 🙂 In a boring note, I could still have bought and used a potion, had the money to.

Been quite entertained with the new project, now I’m getting along with method encapsulation and developing resources as I need to. JAWS is awesome, but it lacks some features, such as hitboxes, and correctly being able to tell if a given element is partially inside the viewport … but I’m already implementing them, or didn’t look further into its code (the documentation is not as helpful as I need). JavaScript, in all its freedom, is a nice language but can be a pain sometimes too. Kudos to the guys that develop such great VMs to run all sorts of things, that must indeed be quite a challenge!

That’s it for today, just wanted to put some things out. Still gotta check Evernote everyday to get new blog subjects. I have so much to write about, but the lack of posts exists because I sometimes lack motivation to start the post… once I start writing, words flow nicely. 🙂

# Project hosting, tough choice

Howdy 🙂

it’s 10PM once again, and I’ve decided to restart posting. Really it’s been really hard to focus energy into posting content. Let’s see how it goes. I was planning a deep analysis into many different services and their offerings, guided by this wikipedia entry, but, as a colleague once said: “who DOESN’T use GitHub nowadays”?

I love Free and Open Source Software and advocate its use, but I don’t really care if the host I’m using holds proprietary software. I work in a closed-source business company (in fact, we use plenty Open Source software to produce our proprietary products), and I don’t think every software MUST be free, but COULD, with a different business model.

I’d like to have a defect control system with it (such as Bugzilla) and I’d love to have my projects featuring a nice front page introduction, perhaps even some examples of its use. A wiki system would also be nice, but I could live without it. I don’t need a build system, mailing lists or forums for my projects. There are also lots of alternatives for team management, so I don’t need it (especially on single-man projects such as mine).

So, not only GitHub matches my needs, but also Sourceforge, Google Code (without web-page hosting), Launchpad (without web and wiki), JavaForge, GNU Savannah and some other less known choices. But, it’s friends’ good experience with it that guides my choice this time, and I can always change if there’s a better solution. 🙂

To GitHub!

# As far as motivation goes…

So I find myself at this wonderful weekend, nothing to do but fun stuff, including writing to the blog. If you can’t see posts from the mentioned period, well, you can already guess what’s going on. It’s been hard to focus and code/write while at home. I only tend to do it when I’m alone, and so far, it’s been a complete mess.

Apart from playing with XBMC (installed some games, emulators/roms, played with radio-streaming playlists, will dedicate posts for those in the future) and watching Saint Seiya episodes on youtube (oh old times… :D) nothing of value was generated. Also, headaches took a great deal of my will to do things and get up from bed.

And today, after I found that my old IBAK tablet (those cheap custom android things) is working again (it tends to stop working from time to time, and function again after a week of two of deep unchgarged rest), I’ve decided to read some more of Steve Jobs’ biography, which is great and inspiring. Not that I think he’s a role model (far from that, as a person he played pretty awfully with others, check Folklore.org or read the book for some examples), but his will to change the way things were done seems to motivate me. So much that I actually got out of bed (it’s 10 PM atm), and wrote this post.

I’m figuring out how to pipeline daily posts into wordpress so that I have content everyday and keep the writing to “when I can”. See you tomorrow! 😉