Sketches of some projects

Sometimes I get an idea for a project, but it's beyond my means to get on with it. Rather than let these ideas slip, I've begun writing them up: partly so that I can return to them later and recover my earlier understanding, partly to help anyone else who might want to have a go at them. The projects described below don't necessarily fit in with the somewhat grandiose plan I sketch as part of what finger might tell you about me, but they've had my attention at some stage or another and I'm interested in who's doing what that resembles them – other folk are more likely to actually put any of these projects into practice …

Charting space-time

with an eye to looking inside electrons and their kin.

Space-travel without rockets

a dream of the common folk's own journeys to the moon; and the Crazy Eddie project.

Software carpentry

or, at least, some thoughts inspired thereby.

Compressing to ASCII
Eliminating the need for base-64 encoding of compressed files by having the compression algorithm target the set of printable ASCII non-spaces as its output alphabet to begin with.
Game-trained robots

how it might be a neat idea to have a game simulate the kinds of reality some real robot has to deal with – and have the robot's control system deploy what players did that worked well.

My scientific python library

which dearly needs a major over-haul, but what I have works quite nicely.

random pattern finder

Inspired by this page, it's time to write a program that'll find coincidences among a random set of data using only a given family of operations (specifically: all but only the relations some crank has used to come up with coincidences) and a given tolerance with which the random data must fit.

Harald's saga

the adventure movie, drawn from Snorre's account of the sagas of the Norse kings: Harald Sigurdssen (IIRC), nephew of Olav the fat (or holy, if you count canonisation for – fatally, of course – losing a battle against a bunch of Danish christians who considered him a heathen); starts aged 4 with the tale of the illustrious uncle asking a few nephews what they want to be when they grow up, others saying sane things like a farmer with lots of pigs, but Harald wants an army so I can take your farm, your pigs and anything else I want; holy uncle's recognition of king material; gets all the way round the mediteranean in the 11th century (complete with extant memorabilia engraved with Harald Hadrada told me to leave my mark grafito); lives up to Uncle's prophecy, gaining the epithet Hard Ruler along the way; dies memorably at Stamford Bridge; leading naturally to the sequel, Harald II – Godwinson's saga, complete with political machinations in Wales (with cameo by any Welshman who can get the chance, as Llewellyn, albeit being shafted by a crafty diplomat), Edward's gift of England to The Bastard, the Bayeau account of Harald's inconvenient oath to uphold that, Stamford Bridge (again) and … a gloriously tragic ending !

my studies and research
I don't get enough time to spend on these, but studying them properly is the project that actually motivates this web-site:
imagining what I'd be like
as a character in Dungeons and Dragons; this serves no purpuse but gentle amusement
and finally various projects that had my attendion up to 1999 (though I've scarcely touched them since):

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