2007-03-30

Settlers of Catan

The title is the name of a board game, which I like very much. Now I'm trying to describe its rules.

I think the design is really marvelous and reason. There's a map in the game, which is composed by several hexagon cards. Each card represent a type of resources out of 5, which are ore, sheep, wheat, wood and brick. Before each game, the cards should be shuffled and from which we can compose a random map. There are also small, round cards with number from 3 to 12 printed on them, and the number of the cards with the same number depends on the probability of the number would be a sum of numbers of two die. Those cards should be put on the hexagons with one for each. Above is the steps of composing the map, which I thinks is of a really really brilliant design. It simulates the real world very well.

About 3-6 players should take part in the game, and they should play in turn. Before all, the players should choose the positions of their first two houses, which is in a reasonable order: suppose there are N people in game, then the order should from 1 to N and then N to 1. After that, all have been prepared and the game should start. Players play in turn, in which the one can choose to do one of the following operations: construct a something by spending some resource, trade resources with some one also or 'the bank', get a development card, and etc.. There are detailed rules, which I don't want to say them all, but all of them is well-designed in my opinion. For example, the round cards with numbers represent the probability of the area represented by the hexagon card right below this one, so the cards with number 6 and 8 and 'hot area', which might give most resource. Notice that there is no card with number 7, which is for the 'robber', also well-defined in the rule.

The aim is to develop yourself by constructing houses or somethings like that to win points. Usually you cannot decrease others' points, but for some 'extra points' such like points for 'the longest road' or for 'the longest army', you can fight for it if you want, for example, to build a longer road than the one holding the card for 'the longest road' to win it.

In the game, players are always struggling with the resources, since most of time you could have all the resource, especially the ones you had been looking for. The solution to this is to trade resource with some one else, which make the game more interesting and more complicated. You should have your own strategy, for example, trading someone for resources your want, with resources he need but you are currently rich in. Also can you bargain to get a better prize.

And that's all I want to talk about its rules, for details, check Wikipedia of course.

This game was first introduced to me when I just entered university. And it was really board game, my friends and I were crazy for that game, and we often keep playing until it was too late. Some days ago I was looking for its computer game version, after many failures, finally I found one today. It was such familiar to me! I also found some variation of the game, which is also great.

I do admire the creator of the game, he must be a genius!

Thinking in quiet

Always I have no chance to be sitting in quiet on my chair, without any annoying noises. That was not only because there were always people around (I'm not blaming them), but also I'm such busy everyday. Every time I got up, I would rush for breakfast, and then to class or get myself busy with my homework. And in the evening, no matter I had done my work, I would have to go to bed, either I might have been too tired, or I had to get up early next morning. Day after day, I've been running in the circle.

It just happened to me today, just after finishing my dinner, I felt a little bit tired, and sat on my chair, closing my eyes. I was not sleeping, but neither awake I think. I was just thinking and thinking, about many things that had happened or not. It was great to do so! I felt much better after that.

Maybe it's better for me to muse again some other time.

2007-03-29

To think in English

The most important thing I found in learning in English, is not to read more or write more, nor even speak more, but is to think in it, just I think. Usually I found myself think in Chinese and then try to translate it into English then say it out, or similar when I listen to some people. and that would be slow and inaccurate. I would be better in English, I think, if I have been thinking in English all the time.

The idea comes from the cartoon EVA.When Asuka first come out, along with EVA No.2, which was made in German, the machine couldn't understand Shinji (another main character), because he speak Japanese while EVA No.2 had been in the German mode. After Asuka asked the machine to turn into Japanese mode, it works.

I think language (excludng accent) is not only words and grammer,  but a way of thinking.

2007-03-27

Google Summer of Code

I've wanted to take participate in GSoC, but after sumbitting a application, I found that I misunderstood about it. I thought the students are just apply to join the team, which provides the projects, but in fact, the students should apply projects created by themselves.
I'm just a little bit confused about it, and I think there's no hope for me to be admitted.
Maybe next time, when I have more experience.

2007-03-25

Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst

I've been playing a game called Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst, basically it's a detective game, you have to find some special items in several rooms. The things are in a mess, and the things you've to find are just 'hidden', but it's not really hidden, since if you ask for hint, you'll see it 'clearly'. The things are just in the unusual position, sometimes just a pattern printed on a piece cloth, sometimes a part of a picture. You need an eagle's eye to find them.

There're also other puzzle rooms, where you'll have to make up a picture, or to run a complicated machine to unlock the door.

It's just a interesting game, and I found myself get many new words here :) many of the words are unfamiliar to me.

I think I love this game!

2007-03-24

Episode 7 years ago

Today I watched the 27th & 28th episode of Get Smart Season 1, called Ship Of Spies, while it would have been nothing special if it were not the one I can still remember some, you know, it was more than 7 years ago! I can still remember the 'clip-clop' sound, and at the end, the murderer turned out to be the caption.
It is really amazing, to review something 7 years ago! Wow! Imagine how exciting I was!


2007-03-20

Account

I was assigned to do the account in the Science Technology Innovation Center (I made up this name in English), it was good, but I was a little afraid about that, for I happened to lost some money when I have to collect money for my class during my primary school time.

But I'm a sophomore now, I think and I must be able to do this work.

2007-03-19

Writing in English

It's not quite comfortable to write in English at first, I'm always puzzled about whether there's some grammar mistake. Moreover, I find that I am not able to express my feeling or opinion precisely, or clearly. But, I'll keep practising.

There's a joke, which I don't treat it as a joke sometimes:

A father is talking with his son who was still in primary school, He want encourage his son to learn English hard. He said, 'You know what, even people in the poorest area in the USA or the UK can speak English well, why you can't?'

Something funny,  and I'll keep that in mind

Stupid Me

I did one of my stupid things today.

Last Friday, I went to swim with to roommates. Just before leaving the room, I thought 'There must be something left, I can feel about that', and I found that I had left my swimming cap and swimming glasses. And in the locker room, I took off my clothes, and, oh my god, I'd forgotten my swimsuit. Gotcha! I had to put them on again an hurried back to fetch them.

And today, I did remember to take all things, after after the swimming class, I came back to my room and said 'proudly', 'You know what, I did remember to bring my swimsuit, but... where are they now! Oh, I can't find them, I must have left them in the locker room. Then I hurried to the locker room, it was there. Oops!

I'm not well these days, I think, maybe I need some relaxation.

Still Get Smart

Oh I can't help laughing when watching Get Smart, it is funny, especially the gadgetries. And I like the introduction of this sitcom in verycd.com :

Set in Washington, D.C., the show features Agent 86 (Maxwell Smart), his boss (The Chief), Smart's partner and later wife (Agent 99) and a host of other agents both good and evil. Perhaps one of the most important elements of the show is the gadgetry created to help Smart in his quest to keep the free world free. On this show, anything including the kitchen sink can be a phone, a tape recorder, a camera or weapon. Looking for an Agent? Check under your seat cushion. Want a weapon? Try your finger-gun. Need to make a phone call? Open up that bologna sandwich. The show was painted in the broadest of strokes and played every moment for its own delightful reality.

The authors, Buck Henry and Mel Brooks, are really geniuses!

No perfect

The idea hit me when I was in the toilet today :)

Always, I think, that one should have a target all the time. And the target may be due to the defection of one. For example, if I'm poor, I would want to be rich, and I would work hard to get rich. However, I also think that there's no perfect and there should not be. If there were a 'perfect' man, he would not be. I mean, he would have no targets, he'll do nothing. I can imagine how bored I would be if I had completed all my targets.

This, however, could not be an excuse for not being hard-working, what I mean is that, it is an attitude to life. We are not lucky all the time, often  we lost some chance. Some guy said 'although I missed this one, what I'll get is better', that's also an attitude, and I agree with him.

I've just lost a chance to be exchanged to Hongkong Chinese University, it's nothing to me. I don't know why and I don't want to. Just to be calm to be faced with everything, I think, is the best way.

2007-03-18

Neighbours From Hell

I've just played the game Neighbours From Hell 1 and 2, which is very fun I think, but it's of the type that I might play onlye once --- the second time would has much less fun as the first time --- although the game, from whatever respect, graphics, design, is really good.

In the game, you'll be able to control the main actor of the 'show', to hoax another guy --- not a good guy, I think. There're many stages in it, the layouts are similar but the items there and quite different. There're also trick combination there, which would make more fun.

I don't thinks I had played games of this type before, and I found it very funny.

Get Smart

There's usually something encouraging me to create a blog and write some articles, and this is it.

Get Smart is an old sitcom during 1960's, and I'd watched when I was in primary school. I can remember clearly the opening and ending of the sitcom, and I still remember how happy I was when I watched it, even I was not able to understand the Chinese dub completely.

Last vocation, I watched Everybody Loves Raymond on CCTV-8, and I love it! After came back school, I've found its original version in English using Emule, downloaded some episodes and watched almost all of the first season (Hey, it's not long from the beginning of the term), it's great! And, I don't know why, I felt nostalgic today and searched for Get Smart, and fortunately I did found it. It hadn't taken much time before I downloaded one episode and enjoyed it, how much I love it!

By the way, I seem to do much less learning these days, and I've warned myself already. Oops, I'll watch less, although both of them are quite good, wow, I like some American humour.

About the name

The name 'Lonely Hedgehog' was from a fable, which I read during my high school period, maybe, since I can't remember it clearly. I've chosen it because it it somewhat similar to me, for I felt lonely sometimes, I wanted more friends; but however, I found that I always hurt my friends that very close to me :( actually I don't want to be that at all --- which is just like the hedgehog in the fable.

Nowadays, it is not the case, I think, but I still remember it, and make it of the title of my blog, which is just a memory and reflection to me.

Settled down

Finally I've decided to create another blog with my 'diary things', while the first one http://coolwanglu.blogspot.com still exists, containing only articles, written by me or not,  about computer technology. That's my way, to separate work from life, and I feel good.

Moreover I've decided to write in this blog in English, although I'll keep in my mind that I'm a Chinese. There're several reasons for this: one is that I'm feeling that I need English now, since there're so many computer technology books for me to read. At least currently, English is needed for every people who're interested in computer science, and to write in English is a rather good  way to practice it. Another reason is that, it's much more quick to type in English than in Chinese. And after all, I've had a blog in Chinese already.

I'm sure that there'll be many mistakes in my articles :( while I won't mean to, it's just because of my poor English, and I'll keep practising, however.

I'm wondering whether it'll help, We'll see!