Friday, December 21, 2007

It's never easy...

How often are you in this position: You are all in preflop against a dominated hand, say AQ vs AJ. You figure him for 3 outs. The flop comes 89T. No jacks, but now he is open ended. Then the turn comes and doesn't hit, but gives him a four card flush.

It just seems that more often than not, if the flop doesn't hit them perfect to beat you, they end up with more and more outs. Very seldom is the flop, turn and river dead for them. Doyle says "It's never easy..." and boy is he right.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What is beyond our Universe?

This is always a fascinating question to think about. What is beyond the universe as we know it? If we perceive our universe to be constantly expanding, what is it expanding into? Nothing? How do you describe nothing?

Is there life beyond our planet? If the universe is infinitely big, it would seem impossible that we are the only living thing in the vastness of space.

Interesting things to think about. Here are links to three things that are fun to take a look at:

From the Milkyway to Quarks. Zoom in from the largest to the smallest of things.

Imagining the 10th dimension. It's hard to grasp.

They're made out of meat, by Terry Bison. This gives you one man's hilarious imagination regarding how aliens may perceive us.


I had started on a PHP MVC framework many months ago. I got it working but never released it to the public. I think it is finished enough to let some people try it out.

TinyMVC is quite possibly the smallest, fastest and featureless ;) MVC framework for PHP. It's a perfect starting point for your application if you are starting from scratch, and want to adhere to the MVC design principle. It uses PDO as the model by default. It requires PHP5.

TinyMVC does not require a template engine, it uses PHP as it's view layer. However, you are free to bolt on any template engine of your liking, and there is an example for Smarty in the docs.

To try out TinyMVC, go to (passwords have been removed.)

Read through all the documentation before you begin, it doesn't take but a few minutes. Let me know what you think. Feel free to report bugs. The framework is tiny (16k download), so they should be easy to find.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Build your own $200 PC

I saw the $199 gPC at Wal-Mart, and wondered if I could build a better system for the same cost. So, here goes my attempt. This PC was designed for typical use: email, internet, word processing, etc. This is NOT meant for hard core gaming. I looked for the best bargain for the buck. No junk, just acceptable hardware for the extreme budget in mind.

Everything was put together from For $203.93 (yes, I went over by a mere 3.93), I ended up with:

2.0GHz AMD Athlon CPU / Motherboard combo ($69.99)
Nvidia GForce 6100 (built into Motherboard)
512MB DDR RAM (2x256) ($29.99)
Black tower case with 430W power supply ($19.99)
160GB IDE hard disk ($45.99)
black keyboard/mouse ($6.99)
20x DVD +/- burner ($27.99)
black speakers (2.99)

All that for $203.93. Not bad!

Here is the parts list:

Linkworld 3230-02C2222U Black Steel ATX Case 430W PS
EXCELSTOR 160GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
SpecResearch SP-250 2.0 Speakers
SpecResearch PS/2 Standard Multi-Media Keyboard/Mouse
Kingston 512MB (2 x 256MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM
ECS C51G-M754 A 3200+ AMD Athlon 3200+ 754 NVIDIA GeForce 6100

I could have saved even more by excluding some luxuries such as DVD burning, less hard disk space and less RAM. I did put myself on a budget of $200, so I gave myself the most I could get.

Now lets compare this to the$199 Green PC available at Wal-Mart:

1.5GHz CPU
80GB hard disk
DVD ROM (no DVD burning)
VIA UniChrome Pro
Linux/OpenOffice (you can download for free)
Fax-Modem (who needs that? add $5.99 to my cost if you need it.)

So, it seems my home-build system is faster, has double the hard disk capacity, a DVD burner, and better video capability. Not to mention the Linkworld case looks better, and better built IMHO.

So there you go, build it yourself (or have your kid do it, it's not hard), and you can get a lot more computer for the same cost.