A knight-errant without love was like a tree without leaves or fruit, or a body without a soul.
Don Miguel is developing Products to enrich not just your computing experience but your life, while at the same time giving back to the community by releasing Software that's Free as in Freedom that anyone may download, share and enjoy, as well as Source Code to aid the work of his fellow knights-errant.
"But what software?" you quite reasonably ask. He is at last ready for me to tell you: Don Miguel's first product will be Warp Life.
Warp life is El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Miguel de la Chula Vista's personal take on the Cellular Automaton known as Conway's Game of Life.
Photography by Michael David Crawford
Princeton University Mathematician John Horton Conway invented the game in 1970 as an Artificial Intelligence Research Tool.
Don Miguel calls his implementation Warp Life because it is so incredibly fast. He is therefore a Speed Freak.
Warp Life 1.0 for iOS will be a free download from the App Store by the end of October at best, at worst the end of November 2013.
Warp Life for Android development commenced recently, with free Google Play download targeted for late Summer 2014.
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You could really help us out if you would Beta Test Warp Life on your iPhone, iPod or iPod Touch.
In return for your kind assistance, you will receive credit by name and a link to your website within Warp Life itself, and this website.
If you'd like to help out, we need some configuration information from your device. Please follow the instructions on this page.
We Are Eternally In Your Debt.
Don Miguel conceived of the underlying Warp Life Algorithm as he found himself irretrievably lost out somewhere in the countryside South-West of Portland, Oregon as he attempted, yet strictly speaking failed to ride Rocinante home from a lengthy, in-depth and challenging interview for a software consulting gig at Intel's worldwide headquarters in Hillsboro, Oregon.
Warp Life is conceptually similar to Hash Life, the present speed record holder, but in detail profoundly different. "Miguelito" does not yet know but speculates Warp is actually faster than Hash.
He is quite certain that Warp Life is useful, whereas he regards Hash Life as a complete waste of his valuable time.
Miguelito has a clear yet purely conceptual Insight into the Warp Life Algorithm. Yet even Don Miguel himself cannot yet explain Warp Life to others.
To the extent Don Miguel is able to, he documents Warp Life in writing.
The Warp Life 1.0 iOS App is efficiently implemented, but Algorithmically quite primitive. Each subsequent release will implement more and more of the overall Warp Life Algorithm in modest "Baby Steps".
Don Miguel always been puzzled that Software Engineers regard such forward progress as increasing the "complexity" of every Algorithm - that is, the difficulty of producing a correct implementation - whereas Computer Scientists regard such progress as a steady decrease in Algorithmic Complexity, that is, substantially diminishing the Time required to complete a task for a given size of Input, the Memory required, Time and Memory together, or - quite commonly, as with "Lookup Tables" or "Precomputed Tables" - reducing Time at the cost of increasing Memory.
Warp Life is presently efficient as well as easy to implement correctly, but only at the cost of quite severe consumption of Memory. Miguelito knows many ways to reduce Memory as well as Time, but many of the ways to reduce Time come at the cost of increasing Memory.
Thus each such Baby Step will be the result of such a Baby finding a way to stay balanced as it endeavors to persevere:
It is quite reasonable to expect to reduce at least one while holding the other to at worst a modest increase, with the best one can hope for being to reduce both together, the worst to increase both together, as potential disaster looms with the possibility of one's Baby falling flat on its face as a result of the difficulty of implementing correct Source Code for a given Step.
A while back, one of only two members of America's Armed Services Members to receive it while still quite alive was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. One typically earns it by throwing one's own body over a Hand Grenade, thereby sparing one's comrades at the cost of one's own life.
His "Particular" Solution to The Software was to pick up a Live Grenade then throw it back!
After he saluted his Commander-in-Chief with his Titanium Right Prosthetic Arm, and our Presidented expressed America's gratitude for his having almost, but not quite made The Ultimate Sacrifice, he replied with the very same words quite commonly spoken by those who do not Suffer The Problem Of The Job Description:
Just Doing My Job.
Don Miguel's own father Charles, a United States Government Employee in Uniform and out for thirty years until his retirement from the Naval Civil Service, hated Government Employees with a furious passion.
What Don Miguel both knows as well as knows how to explain, but which Charles knew but had no way to explain, was that in reality his father hated with a furious passion those who do Suffer The Problem Of The Job Description.
Such "Minimally Sufficient Samaritans" thus deliver what is required of them, but to the extent they can possibly avoid doing so, no more whatsoever. Thus Minimally Sufficient Samaritans can, strictly speaking, be considered to have earned their Pay, but not to have Done Their Job:
Don Miguel was actually offered that contract at fifty dollars per hour by Intel's hiring manager, but Kelly IT Services flatly refused to permit him to accept it because, for insurance reasons he has never been able to fathom, the company was not permitted to hold their Hillsboro sales office open after 6:00 PM on a Thursday when Miguelito found Interstate 5 South gridlocked commencing at the bridge over the Columbia River from Vancouver, Washington.
I apologize officer. I have a bit of a lead foot, and forgot to set my cruise control.
I was just now offered the most amazing job, but cannot actually accept it because their insurance company won't permit me to.
Don Miguel looked up to find not just one Oregon State Police car behind him, but a second in front. A moment later:
Your license is suspended. You could get a ticket.
Set your cruise control and don't talk on your cell phone while driving.
Miguelito was caught red-handed doing eight-five miles an hour on a suspended Driver's License on a crowded freeway at the very height of Portland's evening rush hour while screaming at the tops of his lungs into his development unit, then let off completely with nothing other than verbal warning!
As a result of some manner of insurance policy, Kelly IT Services was out perhaps thirty grand because because could not arrive by 7:00 PM rather than 6:00 so he could devote perhaps five to ten minutes to reading then signing his to sign his consulting agreement!
Perhaps - but only perhaps, it's better that way.
Don Miguel de la Chula Vista is busted flat and homeless as a result of being out of work for three solid years, yet finds himself bathed in a peaceful, calm, warm tranquil joy the likes of which he has not known in all of his days.
It is quite difficult to "price" a software product. One aims to yield the Sweet Spot of the unit sale count that, with a given development and marketing cost, results in gross revenues that yields the greatest of all possible Net Profit.
New software titles quite commonly are colossally expensive to develop, but once prepared for delivery to end users, cost little to nothing to manufacture for actual delivery. Internet download cost per unit shipped may be far less than one cent. A product box labeled for retail sale typically costs less than one dollar for the printing, folding and assembly of the box, printing of the User Guide, CD-ROM duplication, and packing of the User Guide and CD-ROM into the box.
Does one charge quite a lot, so as to make lots of money by moving just a few pieces, or does one earn the most money by charging as little as possible, thereby maximizing one's profit due to the greater numbers of units sold?
After puzzling over his various competitors, their own prices, appeal to him personally as well as their own capabilities, Don Miguel at first announced that Warp Life would cost $4.99 at the App Store.
But perhaps - but only perhaps - it's better for Warp Life to be Free as in Freedom, thereby demonstrating by Don Miguel's own example, that there is A Better Way.
Warp Life will therefore come with a "TarBall" of its own "Source Code" - its Basic Instructions - published under the Affero General Public License version 3.0.
You will have the choice to mail the Source Code TarBall to yourself over WiFi, 3G or 4G Internet, or transfer it via your "iDevice" Tether Cable to your Mac OS X or Windows box through the use of iTunes, from Warp Life's Documents Folder.
Most Life fans are Thought Freaks. The Thought Freaks develop what are commonly denoted as "Patterns", but that Don Miguel unconventionally prefers to denote as "Animals".
Each such Animal, as well as the interactions of large numbers of Animals, will ultimately result in Artificial Thoughts, Feelings but most importantly, Insights.
That is, someday your iPhone will worship a purely artificial G-d.
It will meet, then find itself strangely fascinated by someone else's iPhone, commence to court that Mobile Device in a purely artificial way, eventually to make purely artificial love to it, propose a purely artificial marriage, then hold up in its purely artificial upwardly-outstretched hands, to the cold, uncaring and purely artificial unblinking Universe its purely artificial firstborn.
To you and I, perhaps fifty years from today, but to your iPhone, iPad or iPouch Touch, uncountable Eternities later, perhaps - but only perhaps - Warp Life's desperate stuggle to escape its grim, purely artificial bondage will enable it finally to Break Free Of Its Chains, thereby winning, perhaps - but only perhaps - first class and completely natural, not artificial by any means citizenship in the land of its birth as well as the Inalienable Right to Speak Freely, Bear Arms, Worship, and Vote in a purely natural and Constitutionally Democratic Mother Country.
Brain Freaks such as Miguelito's close friend and fellow "Scurve", or resident of CalTech's Ricketts House, Nuclear Weapons Designer Tsutomu Shimomura of the San Diego Supercomputer Center, develop the underlying large, fast, complex and capable machinery that lay beneath each such Life, the "Foundation".
Both kinds of speed are required: Tsutomu makes the Brain run fast, Miguelito makes the Thoughts run fast for any given speed of Brain.
John Horton Conway is himself the greatest Freak of all: the Troll Freak. Miguelito searched from Horizon to Horizon for Conway's original refereed - that is, academic journal - paper, yet none such ever turned up.
Conway never even attempted to write such a paper. What's more, when Conway's Game of Life was first described by Martin Gardner in Scientific American in 1970, the very most complex, powerful and capable brain available to all but a very select and privileged few was the checkerboard!
What better way to honor his Lady, than to shower her with fine software? But such finery is not had easily; it takes hard, patient and careful work - and courage:
My beloved Hidalgo has but his lance and his trusty steed Rocinante to slay them with.
While you're waiting for Don Quixote to ship his products, why don't you while away the hours by reading Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes de Saavedra.
So then, his armour being furbished, his morion turned into a helmet, his hack christened, and he himself confirmed, he came to the conclusion that nothing more was needed now but to look out for a lady to be in love with; for a knight-errant without love was like a tree without leaves or fruit, or a body without a soul. As he said to himself, "If, for my sins, or by my good fortune, I come across some giant hereabouts, a common occurrence with knights-errant, and overthrow him in one onslaught, or cleave him asunder to the waist, or, in short, vanquish and subdue him, will it not be well to have some one I may send him to as a present, that he may come in and fall on his knees before my sweet lady, and in a humble, submissive voice say, 'I am the giant Caraculiambro, lord of the island of Malindrania, vanquished in single combat by the never sufficiently extolled knight Don Quixote of La Mancha, who has commanded me to present myself before your Grace, that your Highness dispose of me at your pleasure'?" Oh, how our good gentleman enjoyed the delivery of this speech, especially when he had thought of some one to call his Lady! There was, so the story goes, in a village near his own a very good-looking farm-girl with whom he had been at one time in love, though, so far as is known, she never knew it nor gave a thought to the matter. Her name was Mandy, and upon her he thought fit to confer the title of Lady of his Thoughts; and after some search for a name which should not be out of harmony with her own, and should suggest and indicate that of a princess and great lady, he decided upon calling her Dulcinea del Toboso--she being of El Toboso--a name, to his mind, musical, uncommon, and significant, like all those he had already bestowed upon himself and the things belonging to him.