Friday, April 16, 2010

[Chat] Simple is not so simple -- The hacker emblem and Conway's game of life

I am not so good at programming, but I am always willing to know or to learn something new about programming. It's natural for me to getting more and more interesting at the open-source and then the hackers' culture. Of course, I'd tried to find some information about ``how to become a hacker'' and the very same sentence made Google bring me the article ``How To Become A Hacker'' written by Eric Steven Raymond.

Raymond's article is delightful and easy to read. Howevr, I didn't read it thoroughly at the first reading, and the following tiny picture, which is called ``glider,'' didn't attract me too much. I just wondered what it was and then forgot it.

hacker emblem

One day, I read one of Raymond's article again, and linked to the FAQ to check out what the ``glider'' is. After I realized what is the glider and what is Conway's Game of Life, all I wanted to say was ``Wow! Cool!'' just as that have been mentioned in Raymond's article.

The rules of Game of Life are simple, but the outcome is definitely not simple. You choose random cells' locations, then let the cells ``evolve'' under the simple rules. Just watch the ``evolution'' and it looks so vivid and fun!

I found LifeWiki might be a great page to dive into. You can find many amazing patterns, and play with those patterns online (with your browser's javascript enabled). Also, you can have Xlife in your system to play and test. If you are using Ubuntu, type the following command to install Xlife:

$ sudo apt-get install xlife

Finally, 2 videos for your reference: