Write something on a chessboard

I’ve put together a little algorithm called chess104. It will let you encode data as positions of chess pieces (104 bits of data, hence the name).

That works out to 20 characters using a squashy 5-bit encoding, but there are other options too if you really feel the need to write "COFFEE" in efficient hexadecimal.

If I can find a speedy way to encode more data, there might be a sequel to this. 104 bits is nowhere near the limit, but my other ideas were too much for my netbook to handle (presumably that makes them bad candidates for running as a web app).

I blame tetrads!

Tetrad nets

If you play too much Tetris, then you should check out the new subpage: The Tetrad Corner. It’s a collection of things I’ve made this week about the shapes used in tetris (‘tetrads’).

The original idea was that it would be cool to have a tetradic phone password. That is, your password makes a Tetris shape on the keypad. I was bored enough this week to actually write a little script for it, along with a PHP class for rotating the blocks, rendering them as a HTML table, etc.

It turned out alright, but fearing that I had begun something as time-consuming as tetris itself, I banished it to a single-page sub-site. The source code is there if you want those crufty HTML-tetrads on your site: (I don’t!)

Crufty HTML-generated tetrads

Now what I do want is a few tetris blocks for my desk, so I made up some nets to print out and cut up. Now I can make a small paper Tetris game! (PDF linked to image above). Neat huh?

A tetris game in the palm of my hand!

Update 12/4: I built these shapes today. There were two tabs missing on the nets (fixed!), so I cheated by using sticky tape. Click to enlarge the cheesily-colourised image.