Day: March 21, 2005

  • Clone Wars Watchlist

    I have spent the last 14 hours in Hicks 301 coding, with the exception of a short break for dinner. I am now inexplicably super twitchy, in spite of (or perhaps on account of) the late hour.

    I was exceedingly productive over the last three days, but particularly today. On Friday, I finally got my painterly plant rendering working, although I still need to use it to make pretty things.

    Yesterday (by which I mean Saturday) I spent about 8 hours working on Rune, the Robot-User Nexus, which is our new name for my interface, which used to be called Robobot. I think the new name fits in very well with the fantastical naming conventions we’ve generally been using. I got a decent start on evaluating, updating, repairing, and documenting my code.

    Today, however, was the real meat of my work. I have gone through what is now 8502 lines of code. I converted all of the functions from under_line_format to camelBackFormat. I documented every single function, data structure, and type definition using Doxygen-compatible comments. This means that I will be able to generate some very good HTML documentation for Rune, which will in turn (I hope) help other developers take over from where I’m going to be leaving off.

    Note that this coding is technically a part of my E90 Senior Design Project, even though I am just updating old code. I need the interface to work so that I can work on my actual project (ArchMage and its component modules) and see what it’s doing. I also need to get the interface working and compliant with Fritz’ GCM and Robomon code so that two other E90 groups can use the Swarthmore Robotics Team’s system with their robots.

    Unfortunately, some new features that Fritz has been planning to add to Robomon and GCM are totally implemented yet, so I have to wait for him to fix up a few things. At the same time, I need to ask Bruce for permission to modify the ways in which SVM and SMM (the Swarthmore Vision and Map Modules, respectively) send messages. Specifically, we need to migrate all of their broadcast messages, and the commands they listen for, under the umbrella of GCM, the General Communication Module. GCM is technically more of a library of common messages, one which I am sure Fritz could explain better than I.

    We also need to make sure that everything is compliant with Robomon’s capabilities functionality. Once that’s working, instead of requesting a specific module and specific module initialization and data processing functions, a user of Rune will (theoretically) only need to specify what module capabilities that they want the robot to have, and Robomon, the relevant modules, and Rune will work it all out through GCM and CMU IPC to get everything that’s necessary initialized and up and running. We’re really looking forward to getting that working, but I have no idea how much of it will be done by the end of the semester, on top of my Advanced Graphics and Senior Conference work.

    I’ve definitely been slacking off in my work the first half of the semester. I’ve been getting things done, but my weekends up until this point have been essentially work-free. I’ve also been spending too much time doing stuff for the SCCS, which while productive does not help me gradumutate. My routine is going to change from here on out. I’ll be going crazy to finish all of this stuff up so that I can start working on my final reports about all of this work.

    Well, the length of this entry definitely reflects my hyperactivity, twitchiness, and general verbosity that seems to set in at this hour, particularly after my brain has been so heavily focused on a task for so long. I think I should at least try to get to sleep at this point. I am thinking that I should have had something to eat before brushing my teeth – I suppose I could eat something and just brush them again. Something tells me that I won’t be going to class in the morning.

  • Sunspot

    A small Yorkshire Terrier lies in a pet bed on a green upholstered chair in a sunny living room.

    I wish I could nap like Pike naps.

  • The Muppets Meet Murderbot

    For the last year and a half or so Andrle and I have been having a ton of fun as part of an online book club put together by my friend Tanya. Unlike most book clubs where you all read the same thing, we all just share things we love that we’ve been reading.

    One recommendation that kept coming up was The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells, and I’m glad we finally ran with it and started reading them. We’ve been bingeing the last few weeks and they’re really, really great. Highly recommend (even though I’m only on Book 4.)

    Unsurprisingly another thing I’ve been reading about and thinking about a lot is the advent of Large Language Models, particularly as manifested by ChatGPT. My past work life as an NLP practitioner has me a mix of curious, envious, and highly suspicious of what these are and how they’re being used. In the short term I don’t mind using them as a toy that I can play with for the purpose of a joke, which is what this post is about.

    A recurring topic in this book club is how we might have the Muppets interpret a particular book, or how we might recast a movie with Muppets (but keep one human actor). This provides a lot of fun discussions, especially since I grew up regularly watching the classic Muppet movies on VHS recorded off of TV, and I really like musicals.

    That all brings me to some prompt iterating that I did to get ChatGPT to write the painfully cliché finale to a Muppet musical featuring Murderbot. (Apologies to both Henson and Wells.)

    Verse 1 (Murderbot):
    I used to be a killing machine,
    A rogue cyborg, feared and mean,
    But then I met the Muppets and Kermit,
    And learned what friendship truly meant.

    Verse 2 (Kermit):
    I'm just a simple frog, it's true,
    But I believe in friendship too,
    And when I met Murderbot, I knew,
    Together we could do something new.

    Chorus (All):
    We don't need to kill no more,
    Our friends are all we're fighting for,
    With Murderbot and Kermit side by side,
    We'll show the world what we stand for.

    Verse 3 (Murderbot):
    I never wanted to be a tool,
    But that's all humans see in me, it's cruel,
    I used to dream of breaking free,
    From their endless schemes and greed.

    Verse 4 (Kermit):
    It's true, I'm always happy-go-lucky,
    But I've been through some tough times that were quite yucky,
    But now with Murderbot and the gang,
    I know our friendship will never hang.

    Chorus (All):
    We don't need to kill no more,
    Our friends are all we're fighting for,
    With Murderbot and Kermit side by side,
    We'll show the world what we stand for.

    The past is gone, the future bright,
    With friends like these, we'll win the fight,
    Our love and trust will guide us through,
    Together we'll see this journey through.

    Chorus (All):
    We don't need to kill no more,
    Our friends are all we're fighting for,
    With Murderbot and Kermit side by side,
    We'll show the world what we stand for.

    So let's raise our voices high,
    And let the world hear our battle cry,
    With Muppets and Murderbot side by side,
    We'll change the world and turn the tide.
    OpenAI. (2023, Mar. 16) [Iterative prompt conversation starting with “This Muppet movie is about a rogue cyborg traveling to different space stations and learning the power of friendship from the Muppets” and “I need some lyrics for the big finals. The music is big broadway style number about how the rogue cyborg doesn’t need to kill bad guys anymore because it has friends.” and then encouraging more dialogue between Kermit and Murderbot]

    Yes, I looked up recommendations on how to properly cite ChatGPT output.

    Overall the result was mildly amusing. I couldn’t get it to capture Murderbot’s signature style, presumably because while information about the novellas are in its model training, not enough text from the novellas are in there.

    I’m still not sure what useful things I could do with this kind of tool, but in the meantime, I can make it make silly songs.

  • Fox Ferocity

    Pike playing with a toy almost as big as he is.

  • Groomed Pike

    Tiny freshly groomed Yorkie sits on a teal couch wearing a monstera bow tie

    I love this little gentleman.

  • The Kale Wanter

    A small black and brown Yorkie stands on a cream rug in front of a brown cupboard begging for the bunch of lacinato kale in hand in the foreground.