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johnhattan

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A couple of bits.

First off, I have to retire a trophy. It's always been a troublesome one, and I just realized the reason that it's troublesome. It's the award for making a "perfect score" in ConFusebox.

Problem is, I cannot reliably predict what a perfect score will be. The way I generate a puzzle is thusly. . .

1. Generate a solved puzzle.
2. Randomly rotate the pieces to scramble the puzzle.

During step two I keep a count of how many rotations I make, and I make allowances for some things (like rotating a straight piece twice puts it right back where it was, rotating a plus-shaped piece has no effect, etc.), and I come up with what should be the minimum number of rotations necessary to get it back to the solved state.

Problem is, the solved state from step one isn't necessarily the only solution. As some folks have noticed, you can play the same puzzle more than once and can sometimes come up with different solutions. And some of these solutions might require fewer moves than are required than the original one I calculate in step one.

So it is indeed possible to get *better* than a perfect score, but that's because the solved state isn't necessarily the best solution. The only solution would be to do an exhaustive brute-force attempt at creating all possible solutions to a puzzle, then calculating the shortest solution from the possible ones.

And if you think showing a Zwinky-ad is annoying, just wait until I lock your browser up for a half-hour calculating all possible solutions :)

So I'm going to retire that award.

Sorry about that. I'll try to add some new ones in its place.



I finally gave up and shut off Aero on my Vista machine. It's pretty but it's a hog and some software (specifically Fireworks CS3 and Illustrator CS3) still have some serious problems with it.

Not that that matters to you in the slightest.



My favorite new cheap beer is Budweiser Select. It's inexpensive (same price as normal bud around here) and it tastes good, a bit like Shiner Bock. I've heard that the new Michelob Ultra Amber is also quite good, but I haven't tried it yet.

Being on Weight Watchers, it's two WW points per can. Becks Lite is even better at one WW point per can, but Becks Lite tastes a bit like liquid skunk filtered through an old sock.

I realize that I can drink twice as much Becks on Weight Watchers, but I gotta draw the line. Bud Select currently casts the best balance in satisfying my love of yummy cold brewskis, my love of all things cheap, and my need to not get any fatter.

Although I went to the doc a bit back for my "last checkup before changing over to an even cheaper insurance company that doesn't even pay for freakin' checkups" checkup and they pronounced me in the pink. Although they said I need to avoid white bread-based stuff even more than I already do because my something-or-others are a mite high.

Which is weird, because I've been eating the whole-wheat bread ever since I left my parents' house, which is where no bread other than white was ever consumed.

Oh well. If that's the only medical advice I gotta follow, I could certainly have done worse.

Not that that matters to you in the slightest either.



You have now wasted three minutes of your life that you will never get back. Go in peace.
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Here's a really easy way of calculating a perfect score:

Track the number of times each piece on the board gets rotated. If any single piece has more rotations than permitted for its type, no perfect score is awarded. Otherwise, award it.

Bulbs: 2 rotations.
L-shape pieces: 2 rotations.
I-shape pieces: 1 rotation.
+-shape pieces: 0 rotations.

From any solvable starting configuration, it should be possible to rotate each piece to its correct orientation in that number of moves (or less) for each piece.

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Yes, Pilsner is worse than Bud.

That being said, given a choice between Pilsner, Bud and an American Beer....I'll just have water thanks. :)

Glad you got a clean bill of health!

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