Week of 29OCT17

Learn SQL the Hard Way

I know I said this before but I am really enjoying my internship. They now have me working in SQL Server maintaining Stored Procedures used to make reports. To prepare for this I’ve been reading Learn SQL the Hard Way and watching the WiseOwl Tutorial’s for SQL Server Programming.

I read Learn SQL the Hard Way a long time ago when it was free and it does seem more polished this time. Overall this book is just refreshing me in the basic of SQL. It’s a book I would recommend to anyone wanting to learn SQL. So far I’m half way done with the book and am remind again on how I like Zed A. Shaws teaching style. We’ll be see more of Mr. Shaws books in December.

I went over the basic of SQL Server in my database management class so when given the task of maintaining Stored Procedures used for reports I know what I could do but not how. So I searched on YouTube and found WiseOwl Tutorial. The videos are easy to follow go in to good detail over the features for SQL Server programing. I’m also halfway done this and excited to apply what I learned.

Mac is Unix

I have about a ten year history with Unix and Unix-like systems. I may write about it one day, but for now I’ll just talk about my mac-mini.

After using Linux for years I felt right at home on my mac-mini. It does everything I need, but for a more general audience. While I love the app store and the macOS desktop, sometimes I need to work in the terminal. Mac HomeBrew and Zsh just completes the whole package for me.

macOS comes installed with with bash, which seems to be the standard used for Unix-like systems, and while it get the job done Zsh flows better. Auto Completions just makes my job so much easier. Pressing tab for program options is a dream come true.

HomeBrew on macOS is a packet manager similar to others on Linux systems. It’s a good place to find command line tools. If you’re coming from Linux to macOS I recommend you look into it.

Rote Gaming

This is a gaming blog. I haven’t posted much about games yet, but they are coming. I’ll go more into my plans in December but I’ll get you a small taste now.

During the week I started to read some research papers about Machine Learning. All of the papers are about DeepMind and how they are using video games train the AI. While the math may have been over my head I could understand most of the papers.

The first papers I read were about how they train the AI to play Atari 2600 games. The challenge was to have the AI get the same input the a human player would, only visual information no access to the game code or ram. To do this they lower the resolution, convert the colors to grayscale, and lower the refresh rate. The AI can only see the game and control the game like a human. After that the team seemed to start to use the Unreal Engine. The reason for the change is to test AI in a 3D space before applying it to the real physical world. This page will give you a good introduction to the topic.

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