The Slippery is Very Crafty

Ya — another week (and a half)! I really should blog more often.

It’s snow, snow and more snow in teh kapitall of Ottawa. As high as the thigh. It’s not that I haven’t seen snow in Huhhot before, but the snow here is just soo dense! And that I usually don’t get to cross the motorway back in Huhhot. Here it’s different. There are brown snow (mixed with mud from car tires) at crossings, and the snows on the pavements are so slippery that I suspect if they have became ice (through people "stomping" over and over) already. Not to mention the wind chill (something you won’t see in the forecasts for Shanghai), man that’s just freezing! Now I know what they mean when they say "to take notice of safe, the slippery are very crafty"!

I don’t know what got into me, but I guess it’s just my old net addiction… Firefox usage counter accumulated to 4 and half hours already, while I could have used that time to do Assignment 3 instead (due today, deadline missed, worth 5% points in the final mark). But I just feel unmotivated to do anything else. Programming Even! And the final exams is just around the corner…

Speaking of programming, I am planning to make a StepMania chart generator. That is, you take a .SM/.DWI file, and it outputs the note chart image. But I wasted 4 hours finding a very stupid bug.
I wrote (in PHP) $in[$i]=="1" as $in[i]=1 .
How stupid is this? Well, in PHP all values have to be prefixed with the dollar sign ("$"), and if PHP finds an unsolvable statement it will silently turn it into a literal value, in my case, $in[i] becomes $in["i"]. So instead of accessing $in[<insert value of i here>]I’m actually trying to test for $in["i"] (arrays in PHP doesn’t have to use a number as index). Worse, while the double-equal-sign ("==") operator tests for equality (Chinese version here), the single-equal-sign ("=") operator is actually the assignment operator (Chinese)… which means the value 1 gets assigned to $in[i] which evaluates to true when you use if() to test it… which means, among other things, causing infinite loop (until PHP finds out it has exceeded the max execution time and commits suicide).
Stupid, stupid Kakurady!

StepMania boards switched from Free Software phpBB to proprietary (can never spell that word right, grr… basically it means “owned”) vBulletin ($60). And it got hacked by long time forum members making everyone a mod.

Wolves’ Paradise is still the usual 100 posts per day. I wonder if I should take that as a signal for or against the popularity of Chinese furry community. I still has a grunge at the admin of the board Alphawolf Kiba over the allowance of human avatars, but then again I’m a nonfur and he’s a therian, and we’re at the opposite of the spectum… (Therian – short for therianthropes. If you don’t know this word or this world or even what I mean by furry, consider yourself lucky.)

But then, what is a furry? Is it just someone who likes wolves that talk? I had three anthropomorphic webcomics (DMFA, Freefall, TwoKinds) out of the usual five regularly updated ones I usually read (links on the right), does that make me a furry? I like Akira’s "The Wall of the Beast" and Mirage Cat’s Notes (and his comics too), does that make me a furry, despite me usually reading other things? Or is it just that I’m an otaku obsessed with moe kemono(mimi)?

…well now we’re it, Kiba had… some interesting encounters with Xu Gonggai (许功盖, Tsu Kung-kai in Wade-Giles which is just weird…). No, he’s not a real person; but rather a design flaw of Big5 (a type of encoding in Taiwan). When the Taiwan manufacturers tried to add Chinese support to terminals. they decided that, two bytes shall be used to represent a Chinese character, and the most significant digit of the first byte shall mark whether this is a Chinese character or not, and the second byte can be anything sans a control character (well actually it has more limitations). Seems perfect.

But the problem? Sometimes this second byte can collide with control characters in several computer languages (bash, C++/PHP/Java, even Windows Command Processor – you know, cmd.exe or "DOS prompt"), and 许功盖 all had their second byte being "\" (escape in bash and C++/PHP/Java)! (An escape character means that the character(s) after it has a special meaning.) So if you leave PHP at the default setting (magic_quotes engage!) and feed it 许功盖 you’ll get 「许\功\盖\」 instead, and that’s just the start of it. Urgh.

Before I finish this entry, I want to say our dorm’s (short for dormitory, but the canonical name is the Rez for Residences) connection sucks. You can’t send anything larger than 60KB over clear HTTP, but you can use BitTorrent (it has its perfectly legal uses and it’s not really a piracy tool), what the irony! And it just went down for no less then five times when I am writing this. But I didn’t realize how I was tied to the ‘net ’till it went down…

Well at least it’s better than Action 52 (total crapware for Famicom/NES/"Little Tyrant" or whatever).

So this is the end of the story. To all non-native English speakers (c’mon, I know you all are!) reading this, I want to say, congratulations! You just read something ToEFL-level (man that was hard) and (hopefully) enjoyed it, and that’s a feat in itself. And don’t take this as a sign I’ll be writing in English from now on because I won’t (and if you want a translation send it to Google Translate). So much for the ranting! Now if only I gets to pass J-Test…

slipperyisverycraftyEdit: If you’re in China and see funny Engrish send to

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