08 DEC 2021 by ideonexus

 Pinball Algorithms

In 1986, Williams High Speed changed the economics of pinball forever. Pinball developers began to see how they could take advantage of programmable software to monitor, incentivize, and ultimately exploit the players. They had two instruments at their disposal: the score required for a free game, and the match probability. All pinball machines offer a replay to a player who beats some specified score. Pre-1986, the replay score was hard wired into the game unless the operator manually r...
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21 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Donald Knuth on Getting to the Source Material

Seibel: Do you feel like programmers and computer scientists are aware enough of the history of our field? It is, after all, a pretty short history. Knuth: There aren't too many that are scholars. Even when I started writing my books in 1963, I didn't think people knew what had happened In 1959. I was reading in American Scientist last week about people who had rediscovered an algorithm that Boyer and Moore had discovered in 1980. Ii happens all the time that people don't realize the glorio...
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The joy of going to the primary documents for understanding how people throughout history thought.