Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 14 - Not a website

This week is not a website but a brochure. It was severely needed and made a great project. I'm very pleased with the way it turned out.

Slashhack Brochure

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week 13 - Peg Puzzle

When I was a kid we had a fairly good sized collection of board games. They ranged from Power Rangers to pizza. We also had a game with 100 games, magnetic travel games, and a collection of wooden peg puzzles and games. The latter is the theme of this week's project - Matt's Pegs.

This week we use HTML5's <canvas> element to draw our peg board and accept input. Right now the page only has one game but since most of the effort was setting up the framework, I'll be adding more games as a different project. I think this would also be nice to port to Android. The page currently looks great on any screen, even my phone, but looks best in landscape mode.

The "Line Jump" puzzle is actually from an old 16-bit Windows game but I could imagine it easily being a wooden peg puzzle like you find in Cracker Barrel. Rules are simple, get the pegs to opposite sides. The pegs can move to an empty spot of jump over 1 peg at a time. Pegs can't move backwards. I hope you have fun!

Matt's Pegs - Peg Puzzles!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Rent is Too Damn Fair

Game theory has always been a topic that has intrigued me. In college I took a couple classes on the subject.  So when I recalled a Dinosaur Comics strip about the "cake cutting" problem it had me looking into it on Wikipedia. It is actually a very fascinating topic. Most people know that if you have two people to divide a cake, one person should cut and the other one gets to choose first. But what if you have more people? Also, equal portions might not be the only way to divide fairly; for example, one person might like different toppings.

Determining how to divide up rent is a particularly fascinating problem because the actors in the situation want to maximize their utility of the space they are getting (i.e. nicer bedroom) and minimize the amount of rent to pay at the same time.  The calculator at Splitwise is very good at determining a rent split based on room size, unique features, etc, and is based on results from surveys of what people think is fair. When researching the room assignment-rent division problem, as its called, there is a very interesting paper on how an auction format could maximize fairness. In fact, if the actors knew what the max for each room they would be willing to spend would be, a computer could determine the best price for everyone and room assignments without actually holding an auction.

At OneWeekOneWebsite one of the weekly projects I was hoping on doing was going to be making a site to determine such assignments.  However, someone has already done a fantastic job at this. The Rent Is Too Damn Fair looks like an awesome site so I figured there was no reason for me to repeat someone else's work. I'll have to find something else to do this week.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Week 12 - Android App!

My wonderful wife frequently looses her phone and then it proceeds to die. We have no idea where it may be or even if it is in the house.  That's why this weekend I've built an Android app to help combat that problem.

Last Known Whereabouts - This app will turn on GPS and send a text message to a chosen contact when the battery reaches a defined low level. Hopefully this will either help plug in the phone before it dies (using something like "Where's my Droid") or if it is dead we will have an ok location from the GPS (at least telling us it is in the house or not).

Making an Android app was a difficult and awesome experience. It is a really powerful platform and I'm sure it would be easier if I spent more time with it.

Last Known Whereabouts (App)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Week 11 - Slashhack Sales

This week's site is practical and a demo of an eCommerce website. Today I'm releasing a sales portal for my website design at