The lab for this week is to create a simplified blackjack game. It’s really been helpful this week to write things down in my notebook as well as type them out. I’m just old school (or just old) enough to where I need that tactile interaction for information to lodge itself into my brain.
It’s such an interesting exercise to build on my previous post about the way computers think. Luckily, this will be a very simplified math exercise, but how do you teach your computer to recognize that a king of hearts is worth 10 points? How will it know that closest to 21 is the goal? How do you play against the dealer and how will the computer know when to stop?
Even what I’m writing is way too general for my computer to understand. I’m quickly integrating the thought of how stupid my computer is and hopefully I’ll be able to explain a lot of the things it does without resorting straight to, “I don’t know. It’s magic.” I mean, eventually that will explain some of it, but it just won’t be the first thing I say.
A couple of the students weren’t familiar with blackjack, so it was really helpful to me to explain the game to them step by step and in doing so, begin to figure out how to categorize each class and start creating my blocks to put this game together. I think it will still take me a while (apparently we have the weekend to finish it if we need it), so I took a few minutes to grab my old laptop back from the Apple store and check that it was working fine. It seems like it is, so I wiped the hard drive so I can pass it along to the family I’m staying with or sell it if they don’t want it.
I went to a little pub with free wifi called Onion Creek. It’s still hot, but not Louisiana hot, so I sat outside and read over some ruby resources to help get the bigger picture. I remembered that if you add .to_i to a string with words and numbers, it will turn only the numbers into integers. I know that just sounded like a foreign language and I guess it kind of is, but I was proud to have remembered it and it may turn out to be helpful for my blackjack game, so I’m celebrating!
On the way home I scouted out the local Park and Ride station to see how easy it would be to take the bus down. I may give it a try in the morning. Apparently the bus system for downtown is great, so as long as I don’t miss the last bus back it should turn a pretty brutal commute to an hour or so of reading and making sure I understand the previous day’s/week’s material.
So, I’ll file this post under “all over the place” haha. But this is the time scheduled today to blog so I blogged. Consistency! Discipline! Huzzah! 😉