Benjamin L. Russell


  • Benjamin L. Russell
    The heartless arson attack on one of the studios at Kyoto Animation must not be tolerated. _Anime_ is a form of artistic expression, and such attacks on artistic expression must be prevented at all costs.
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    This arson attack is a catastrophe. Kyoto Animation has produced some of the most interesting _anime_ series during the past decade, and this heartless attack has essentially gutted one of its main production studios.

    This attack is a major blow on the Japanese _anime_ industry.

    According to the article,

    "Several people have been killed after an apparent arson attack gutted a building at Kyoto Animation, one of Japan’s most renowned anime studios. NHK reports that 33 people are confirmed de...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Tonight, I might have some difficulty in going to sleep. Although I have an extremely good sense of hearing and can usually even hear the sound of a cockroach chewing on tatami from over 6 feet away (this is how I usually detect and find most insects and arthropods), this does not mean that I feel comfortable after having seen a large _Scolopendra subspinipes_ centipede.

    While most spiders tend to be shy and stay put, _Scolopendra subspinipes_ centipedes are aggressive and tend to keep foragin...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Unfortunately, I had the misfortune of encountering a specimen of a very large centipede, _Scolopendra subspinipes_, approximately an hour or so earlier in my apartment. The specimen had a body length of approximately 10 centimeters, and was approximately 2 meters away, rummaging through some cardboard boxes, when I saw it. Prior to seeing it, I heard some noises, and initially thought that a large cockroach was nearby. When I first saw this creature, I saw only a portion of it, and only iden...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Does anyone know how to turn off emoticons? They make copy-pasting of trivial code snippets unnecessarily troublesome by forcing the user to insert unnecessary spaces before and after parentheses in such function definitions as the following:

    def fib( n )

    In the aforementioned example, failing to insert spaces before and after the 'n' in the function definition for "fib" causes the list of parameters to the function to change into an emoticon.

    One of my main purposes in posting articles on s...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Apparently, I need to be careful when using the Crystal programming language because although it is often much faster than Ruby, because it does not check for overflow at every operation, Crystal can return an incorrect result if overflow occurs.

    Even worse, simply replacing the default Int32 type with Bignum in Crystal to ensure a correct result can result in code that actually runs 4 to 5 times _slower_ than the equivalent Ruby code (for versions of Ruby lower than 2.4) because Ruby only repl...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Just now, I chanced upon a rather interesting article on certain differences in how Ruby and Crystal perform computation.

    Specifically, although Crystal often vastly outperforms Ruby in terms of speed, it does so at a price: It does not check for overflow at every operation, and as a result, Crystal can sometimes give an incorrect result when Ruby gives the correct result.

    For example, consider the following code, which is common to both Ruby and Crystal, to compute the Fibonacci series:

    # f...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Well, it seems that I finally have a workable hobbyist Linux cloud-based Crystal programming environment that runs continuously (even between browser sessions) in a browser on Windows 7 in Boot Camp on my Mac.

    What's nice about this environment is that because it is Linux-based, it provides all the benefits of a Linux development environment, yet runs continuously between browser sessions in a browser on Windows 7, which provides all the applications that I need for my work and my _otaku_-relat...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Just now, I signed up for a Basic Plan with the cloud-based development environment PaizaCloud™. Now I have a server that runs continuously, regardless of whether I have the browser running, and which can run and compile Crystal code whenever I feel like it.

    Now I can finally write code in short spurts in-between my hobby-related sessions, which is how I did my homework in college.

    Okay, (former) Professor Drew V. McDermott, now I finally have my favorite programming language that supports me...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    What a relief! Now I can actually program in Crystal! This means that I am now entitled to the title of "Crystal programmer," and with my degree in computer science, I might call myself a "Sorcerer's Apprentice of Crystal."
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    My gosh! I actually was able to follow the instructions for creating the cloud-based server on PaizaCloud™ (see and get the code to run! The entire process took approximately only 10 minutes!

    Creating the server took approximately 6 seconds, not 3 (I have a mental clock that automatically keeps track of time, and is usually accurate to the second).

    Here is the final output from my terminal session on the cloud-based server:

    ~$ crystal
    Hello world!
    ~$ crys...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Finally. At last I seem to have discovered a simple way to install and run code in the Crystal programming language on a cloud-based server in a browser on Windows 7 in Boot Camp on my Mac.

    Perhaps I might soon be able to create some simple Crystal code, create an account on GitLab free of Microsoft control, put my code there, and stop feeling like a complete idiot for a change.

    Then one day, I might be able to write what I want to write using a language that I actually would like to use with...  more