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Winning at Solitaire

I've been playing a lot of solitaire (Klondike 3) on my phone recently. My app has a timer, for some reason. It made me come up with some funny ideas like doing a solitaire speedrun. To my delight, it already exists! It's become a mild addiction, but this game has made me come up with an interesting question. How likely are you to win a game of solitaire? What is the maximum possible win rate that the best solitaire player can have?

Attempt the 3x+1 Problem

I was introduced to the \(3x+1\) problem in a few [1] [2] YouTube videos, which made it seem like there was no solution. I am here today to prove them wrong! Or perhaps, right, depending on how you interpret this. As I was writing this, I kind of lost track of what I was doing.

SCALE Conference

I got to attend yet another conference for work! This time I went to SCALE - the Southern California Annual Linux Expo - in Pasadena. I was able to justify the travel since there were plenty of talks on the observability stack we use at work. It was a great conference and a pretty fun time as well. My old roommate from college was the one who recommended it to me as he was planning to attend several of the Kubernetes talks.


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I haven't written in a while, so I must get something in the books. It's also very late so I'll keep this short. This is an update from my online presence minimization story. I'm now down to just 3 Gmail accounts, I'm still stuck with the one with the Google Play balance. I'll just hang on to that one until I figure out what to use it for. This story was going to contain 2 (short) parts: cool Gmail features that allow you to really expand your inbox, and a frustration I just found out about UC Davis's student email addresses. However, once I started writing, I couldn't stop, so I decided to split it into 2 posts. So, today is a twofer!

UC Davis Atrocities

My university and graduate school, the University of California at Davis, has made possibly one of the worst decisions imaginable regarding their email service. You can read all about it here!

GitHub Repository Cleanup

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In this fourth organization story, I will talk about a coder's paradise, or hell: Github! Github is the web interface for a program called Git, which is a version control software designed for code projects, but can be used for other things as well. I have a link to my GitHub user nicfv at the footer of each page on this website.

Online Presence Minimization

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Remember in my last organization project story, I mentioned I have hundreds of online accounts? Well, there's not that many that I actually use. Especially Google accounts, I have way too many for 1 person. Over time I have accumulated not 2, not 3, but 8 Gmail accounts! This is because every time you get a new Android phone, you have to link your Google account to gain access to a bunch of features. In the past, I primarily used a Comcast email address, and Gmail was an afterthought. So, I would just create a new (unused) Gmail account every time I got a new phone. This story is similar to other stories for why I have accumulated so many online accounts, and I have been working on a major cleanup for the last few months to trim down all this extra digital fat.

Ice Skating on Wheels

In the morning, I met up with a friend to go for a hike at Tomales Point. It was almost a 10-mile hike and I took a ton of pictures. Our plan was to do the hike in the morning and then meet up with a group at the roller rink in Rohnert Park in the afternoon. I wasn't planning to take it too seriously since I figured I'd be sore after the hike, and I've never skated before. This was the best time for me to go though, since I knew that some others in the group also have never skated. So at least I wouldn't only embarass myself!

Managing Passwords

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Here is the second story in my series on getting digital things organized... although, I have been working on this project for the past year. That means, this series is not in chronological order. Oh, well! So here goes the evolution of my passwords. If you're a wannabe hacker trying to crack open my accounts, don't waste your time here. No passwords are revealed in the making of this story. ;)