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02/23/2004:

Chess and software development


I had a weird dream last night.

Ah... all dreams are weird so that's data redundancy already.

Anyway... in my dream, Linus Torvalds and Bill Gates were playing chess in a park. The ambience was even in 3D... surreal 3D to be precise, sort of a distorted 3D-like environment quite close to Pixar's animated chess clip, Geri's Game.

(Speaking of Pixar, check out this latest Incredibles trailer.)

But this dream's more darker... and more violet-ish.

Probably Steve Jobs is behind all these 'Microsoft versus Linux games', eh? Sounds like an interesting conspiracy theory.

But no, this isn't about conspiracy theories... this is about my dream.

Besides, Steve doesn't give an iMice arse about this, he's too busy on his 'chameleonic computer', you know a Mac whose shell can change colors, or the second Japan Apple store opening or the rumored Apple TabletPC.

There... wandering again... back to the dream.

I can't remember everything but there was a point in that dream when Linus was taunting Bill... 'You can't beat me, I've been playing this game since I was still a kid, when I was in beta version. My linux shell commands and libraries naming convention are even inspired by the way chess moves are recorded.'

Bill replied, 'Are you familiar with the Windows BSOD? It has VxD written all over it.'

I can't remember who won that game or how the dream ended. But I do remember it shifting places where the next 'scene' involves a half cyborg rabbit.

Speaking of chess, the 14th Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival is being held from August 14 to August 24, 2004. One of its main highlight is the 'Clash of The Computer Titans' which features the multi-champion Shredder against the Linux-powered Hydra.

Yes... I think humans grew tired of watching those human versus machine chess tournaments (or probably the human versus human battles) already that they're firing up these machine versus machine tournaments.

Creating a program that do those chess-move-analysis computation I know is an ultimate milestone for humans, but if you'd ask me I still think it is the uber-most-geek-iest way of having an excuse not to play the game.

An excuse not to think which is ironic because humans need to think.

I know... I know... creating such program involves a lot of thinking. But there is a big difference when you think about chess, or think about algorithms prior to the game and during the actual game of chess.

It's like 'Uh-oh, the queen is out already, let Shredder (or Deep Blue or Hydra) do the next move for me.'

That's why my bet is still on Kasparov (that is if he decides to play against a computer once again), or any of his human successor.

To wrap things up, here's an article that explains why chess grandmasters are so successful in their field.

If you read that article, you'll realize that chess and this field they call as software development are similar to each other, in ways more than all the possible chess moves combined.


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