Saturday, 8 September 2012

New Android App: Random Number Generator

Good Evening,

I've just published my second Android app: Random Number Generator.

It allows the user to generate a set of integers based on a bunch of user-defined settings. There a lot of these available in the Android app market! Probably because of the very same reason I decided to build one: it's straight forward. However, the app does add some value as it includes analysis functionality that can be applied to the returned set of randoms post generation.

Randoms are useful for building games and in testing the results of scientific experiments; they also have  applications in the fields of engineering, cryptology and even art and literature. Although, if you have the facilities to be indulging in these activities, you're probably more than capable of generating your own random numbers! That said, hopefully the app will be useful for users new to randoms.

As with the previous app, this was more about my learning Android Java (which I have).

Ideas for next version include: further analysis: I tried to get the interquartile range in this version but it kicked my ass; the ability to choose different distributions: Guassian, Poisson, binomial etc; inclusion of decimal randoms.

(Note to geeks: They're not strictly random numbers they're technically pseudo-random, but the distinction is extremely subtle)

Sunday, 30 October 2011

My first Android app: Play Your Cards Right

Good Morning,

I've published my first app: "Play Your Cards Right". It's is a very simple 1 player card game I mainly built to learn the first priciples of android app development. 6 cards are drawn at random, the first is shown to the player who is invited to guess if the second is higher or lower. If they guess correctly the third card is shown, and so on until they either guess incorrectly (they lose) or all the cards are revealed (they win); you get nothing for a pair, not in this game; and aces are high.

The game is based on Bruce Forsyth's 80s classic of the same name:

The game has also been adopted by my local pub—The Herne Tavernas the climax to its famous Sunday night quiz hosted by TV's Pietro Herrera: As such, my App might be a useful practice tool for The Herne's loyal quiz goers. 

Although simple, it's a fun game and the win rate is much lower than you'd expect. My rusty statistical skills have thus far proven inadequate for calculating the theoretical probability of winning a game given the player always makes sensible choices. However I previously built a php web version here: (thanks Simon!) and a means to ask Simon's machines to run through a number of simulations of the game based on some simple stratergies here:

Current ideas for version 1.1 include: A log of results, and hints.

Thanks and good luck beating the game!


Saturday, 29 October 2011