Right - I had gotten into my head that I see most of my friends enough to keep up, but trying to write a post to that effect last night, I realised how much of what I know about what's going on with my friends, even some of those in Aberystwyth, is taken from my friends page. So, a proper update.
We'll start with the most effective part of my life right now - my dissertation's on schedule. I was even a day ahead on Friday, but I was persuaded to come out with my friends for a walk yesterday, and that turned into a whole day of relaxing - lunch at the Varsity, a walk around town, including a stop in at `Nice & Naughty' for people to sample the flavoured lubes. Apparently, they all have an aftertaste of lube, somewhat unsurprisingly.
Anyhow, more specifically, I've managed to get an agent controlled by an artificial neural network to play the game. Most of the week was spent tweaking the game code to ensure it was all working, and that it would allow access to the information that the agent would need. But friday morning (it took all of about two hours) I wrote in the decision-making part of an ANN, and gave it a whirl. It works perfectly - even though it's only using default weights, it performs just as well as an agent making random decisions. I'm writing in the training part as I type here - I'm hoping that when implented, the ANN agent should perform considerably better than the basic, random decision agent - if it's working properly, I might even see games running which I'll have to stop manually. To that end, I've put in more game output code, so that if any agents manage to just keep playing, I can how they're scoring. Actually, I should probably include a score dump, for manually ending the game, or a turn cap. We'll see how the ANNAgents do when fully implemented.
I've also gotten moving on sorting my room out. Well, when I say sorting - it's half sorting, half packing - I figure two months more of living here means that now is a fairly suitable time to start putting stuff I don't use back into boxes. I must remember to leave DV8 out for Mel.
The other benefit of tidying is that by the end of today, I'll be able to get John and Michelle's hoover in here, and then I maybe won't be coughing so much. I've had the asthma pretty bad the last couple of days, and the cough has just made it all the more painful. However, the asthma (thanks to judicious application of Beclometasone Dipropionate) has all but cleared up, for the moment - making me the healthiest I've been since just after Hazel visited
Speaking of Hazel, things are still going really well between the two of us. It's exactly two months until I get to go see her, and while the excitement is a little dulled by my focus on my dissertation, I'm not in any way nervous about the trip - I know I'm gonna have a great time. We talk fairly regularly, considering we're about 3400 miles apart (http://www.indo.com/distance/), and mildly hindered by Hazel's computer Hendrick's performance degradation. I'm gonna take another look at him when I'm over there - I still think it's probably under-clocking itself to prevent overheating, but we'll see.
I've taken to watching a show on my lunch break - something enjoyable, like Hustle or Sliders. Keeps me interested, I guess, while defining a one hour break, rather than something with an undefined duration, like reading a book or playing a game.
Anyways, that's what I've been up to. I'll put another post up if the ANN training works :V
Also, if you're interested in what living with bowel cancer's like, have a peek at my stepdad's weblog, Papa's Got a Brand New [stoma] Bag.