A new year has begun

And so, 2007 is gone.

It was a pretty sucessful year in my life. I switched job for a better position and conditions, the project I am in is interesting and challenging. I left the academic world... displacing and displacing my pending things until they fell through the end of year abbyss (acquiring a Java Certification, for example); however, I start my specialization next month, which is nice. (Corporate Financial Management)

In the emotional facet, it was a weird year... after having to say goodbye for a while to a special person, hoping things could be kept up on the distance, the year went on and on, with good and bad moments, the webcam, the messenger, the problems caused by the distance. By the third quarter of the year things just were not as expected and had to end (a very weird ending) (at least we can still be friends, can we?)

Afterwards I changed my way of thinking about many things, thus the new year opens with a great uncertainty.

As for my projects, all the resume has been put into http://szdev.livejournal.com

All in all, I enjoyed this year; apart from the astounting emotional whirlwind, I could share a lot of time with my friends Paola and Paula, the IAS and NetSac people, the MoPris and many others with whom time was spent; I felt that special girl with me most of the time, in spite of distance, a company I thank life for giving me. My family was always by my side, backing me up, and professionally I also grew a lot. So I hope 2008 will be as sucessful as 2007, or better! ;)

The only notable downside of the year was the death of Alejandro Yepes, all-life friend which we will always remember.

September Update

Its been three months since last post, and lots of things have happened:

  • First and foremost, I left I.A.S. for a new job at NetSac, so far it has been nice, with some days having to work may be too many hours... but I guess that's just the cost of the job. We are also on a new office so it's been a bit hard to get accustomed to transport and time (I am not too good at getting up early :P)
  • Second: I released CastlevaniaRL 1.26, the first official version since...November 2006? Info about that here: http://www.santiagoz.com/web
  • What else? I still feel lacking many things on my life, but I have decided not to whine anymore... things ought to get better soon!


The day is over... another year has gone by

Emptyness, the feeling of lacking... of receiving nothing in return... of not being as relevant as one supposses to be.

The feeling of having always to beg for everything. Those feelings cover me this night.

What makes one person important? why is it important to be important? the endless struggle for hapinness through giving and sacrifice... uncaring sacrifice? no room for being selfish? I am selfish, it is just that I can endure and pretend I am not, but deep inside I feel it burns///

A constant trial, and inside myself a combat... the real man and the man the real man wants people to meet; the real man, whom can't still find hapiness and will never find it, because the unreal man won't give him a chance... all is reflected and bounces against his invisible shield... protection... that's what everything is about... unneeded protection, a walled border that hinders expansion.

Now, in this 21th birthday, and just in yet another change point of my life in many aspects, I feel more than ever the urge of letting loose my instincts, the risk... the certain result, the man people loves, he won't be loved anymore?

It is time to rest... We are gonna start this year with discipline.

Long time no blog!

Again, as usual, been a long time since my last post.

Lots of things have happened. First, and most important, my maiden girl has gone on a trip to another country for some months... it has not been easy, and probably won't be for the months to come, but I trust in God we will be strong enough and make it through together!

As for university, I finally graduated, and I had a good score on the national ECAES university test, which brought me nice things such as a masters' school aid, and the possibility to become a teacher in there. That is always nice. Pics at http://www.santiagoz.com/piclog !

Also, I made a website for us graduates to share our problems and jokes, it resides for now at http://www.santiagoz.com/udem

It's been a heavy year at work, lot's of responsabilities to finally make some projects profitable for the company, and doing it almost alone has been rough, but onward we go...

As for roguelike development, all has gone nice. I participated on this year's 7DRL contest with a new game, ZeldaRL, and have produced better versions of DrashRL (finally in the point I want it to be for now). A version of CvRL is in the works and comes with lots of new things, for a much more stable and fun game. Further info on all this can be found at http://www.santiagoz.com/web

I guess that would be it. I am going on a 7 days trip to the beach right now, hope to post back when I return. Wish me luck!
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Google Code Jam LatinAmerica

So, about a week ago a friend told me about this event google was arranging, a programming contest, so I got into it.

I signed up and then went into the practice rooms, wow! it was not easy, problems were complex and time was short; I practiced for a bit and then left.

Well, finally, the time for the elimination round came; only 500 persons would pass to the first round. There were like 1600 people, if I remember correctly. So I went in to take part into the contest.

The google code jam event, powered by TopCoder, puts the codemonkeys into a specially crafted arena (made in Java by the way), where they can chat, access their problems and generally get stressed because of the results.

First comes a coding phase, where you have 1 hour to solve two programming/algorithm problems, one worth 250 points, the other 750. There's an in-arena code editor where you can read the problem, compile and test, in different languages such as Java, C#, C++, Python..

The points are assigned depending on how much did it take for you to submit the problem.

The 250pt problem was kinda simple, which was good news to me as I didn't want to leave the competition scoreless, so I went on and made it. It required to sort an array of int's so I tried using Arrays.sort; "Couldn't resolve name Arrays" he said, so I guessed it wouldn't allow me to use such libraries, but I thought... "No problem! I will hack together a simple bubblesort, that will do!" and so did I.

I got 203 points, which was good enough for me, so I went on with the 750 pointer.

Well, it was a very "geometrical" problem, about finding how many integer coordinate pairs are inside a triangle given its three vertices. It was not very simple, and you had to know some geometrical formulas beforehand, so I went on to search the web for a clue, and slowly started to put together a working algo. Well, in the end it didn't work for a reason I couldn't discern.

I submitted it for about 250 points, knowing it would be trashed in...

...the System Test Phase, where all the submitted problems are compared against a set of test cases, and if they fail their score drops to 0.

I hoped I would remain inside the first 100 of my set, so I could advance to the next round and perhaps perform better.

Things were going well, by the 8 AM of the next day, 1 hour before closing the contest, I was standing on about place 90th with my 203pts.

Then came the system test, and then this happened

Clic to see: http://www.santiagoz.com/share/perdi.png

So, that was a quick farewell to this year code jam, all caused by a naive mistake on the sort method. The examples were tricky, or I was unlucky, as I got the correct answers because of the actual data on the prices array.

For those that dont understand the error, or are in a hurry and cannot see it:

in the sort method, in the inner loop, I had

if (x[i] > x[j]){
int temp = x[i];
x[i] = x[j];
x[j] = x[i];

Which incorrectly doubles the value of x[j], as the third assignment does nothing. I had to use the temp variable.

* For the elimination round, concentrate on the 250 pointer
* Make your own tests to your code, don't rely on the provided examples
* Use utility libraries (if I had known this...)
  • Current Music
    Meldokian Vulkanic

Alenome, the friend I will always remember

It was saturday, January 6, I dont remember the time... I was having a morning nap at my girlfriend's house, if I remember correctly, then my brother called me... the word was that he was dead.

Off course, I couldnt believe it at first, we had just talked last week, he was so excited to have his wii... I had also wished him a merry new year last week. But it was true, and a bit after midday we were at the church, giving Alejo our last visit. Some friends came, some were missed, it was a sad moment, regardless of the words of hope everybody wanted to say. It was even more sad when I talked to his mom, and she told me Alejo was very fond on me.

I had to know... off course, we were friends from the school, but since he "changed" I think he kept losing and losing contact with his prior friends, due to his particular way of living and seeing life. I always tried to keep in touch, to hear him, to read his writings, I always found them amusing, although I must confess I was not ready (or willing) to fully understand what he wanted to say, and I know he knew that, but nonetheless, we were kind of happy to see we could get to understand and hear each other ramblings.

A month ago, he told me about http://alemeele.blog.terra.com/ there he put some of his writings.... later on, when he was gone already, I got to go to his house, I got to see his small collection of writings, which I now keep for the future. They are worth for the people seeing them, and I hope I can help him on this. I also got to see his last work, which I keep for me.

He had such a clear notion of life! at least, thats what he got himself to believe, and I believed him... but I am sad to see unworthy events made him lost that same sight, and fall to the limits of his own self due, as I see it, to a conflict between his idea of human life, and his own life, with problems and limitations.

I still cannot understand Alejo, why did you stumble uppon that small obstacle? or was the obstacle so big I couldnt see it? We have lost a person, a very special person which was meant to affect the world in a possitive way. I will always remember you Alejo. I will always remember you were waiting for the next version of DrashRL to test it. I will always remember your negative comments about CvRL. I will always remember your rightness on the way of talking and speaking, your choses on nouns and verbs, your vanity sometimes, when you recognized in your work a masterpiece, or at least something you thought you couldnt have written. I will always remember you, everytime I see a Nintendo console, or a pretty ingenious game which you would surely have liked, even though I may never again touch them, and don't ask me why. I will always wonder what would have happened if you had given me a call, but it is not worth thinking about it now. I will remember you, you can count on that.

A new year has begun

And so, 2006 is gone.

It was a pretty sucessful year in my life. I kept advancing on my job and I am really happy with it after a year, there are lots of projects and I feel comfortable working at them. I could finish the last university semester, altough my grades were NOT good and work on my university thesis.

In the emotional face, it was a good year... after a lone start in the first quarter of the year I got to a pretty chaotic stage on the second quarter in which I seemed to have lost my direction, but then got back to the lawful path with a very special person, with whom I feel very comfortable, even if the start was rough because of how things were.

I also updated my Photo Gallery and it has since reached a lot of people

As for my projects, all the resume has been put into http://szdev.livejournal.com

All in all, I really enjoyed this year; apart from the astounting confusion, I could share a lot of time with my friends, Sandra, Pa*la, and many others with whom much time was spent; and off course I always had maiden with me, a company I thanks life for giving me. My family was always by my side, backing me up, and professionally I also grew a lot. So I hope 2007 will be as sucessful as 2006, or better! ;)

The only notable downside of the year was the death of Andres Muñoz, friend from the university which we will always remember.


Como pueden pasar... sucesos que nunca hubieramos esperado y que sin aviso se llevan de nuestro lado a personas importantes, que aun cuando tal vez no compartieron mucho de su vida con nosotros, lograron dejar una huella importante, hasta el punto de hacer que su ausencia deje un espacio en nuestras vidas. Nuestros cuerpos no nos pertenecen, en cualquier momento y sin causa alguna su funcionamiento puede verse afectado, hasta el punto de que este mismo se autodestruya como una guerra civil, como un holocausto que al final destruye el campo de batalla. Solo queda el alivio del descanso más allá del cuerpo, y el recuerdo de una persona que que con sus actos y su existencia misma causaba alegría a sus compañeros.

Andrés Muñoz, dejaste una huella en todos y te vamos a llevar siempre en nuestros éxitos y en nuestras luchas. Para la eternidad.

(no subject)

Wow! it is been three months since the last post! Lots of things have happened, so lets recap everything :)

On October 5 I got to see the successful release of a project for the company I work on (http://www.ias.com.co) a simulator of imports and exports, you can find it at http://www.sitex-ias.com , well, we have been working on important upgrades and we hope the product gets a good welcome.

About CastlevaniaRL, lots of things went on! I released 1.2b and then 1.21. Since 1.21 the game has graphics now! thanks to the work of Mr. Richard Barrett and a lot of UI/Engine decoupling and graphics java development. It was then that I showed the game at the CREAR fair on my university; altough we didnt 'win' lots of people got to see the game and support the project.

Since then I have released 1.21a, 1.22, 1.23 and 1.24, each game better thanks to the feedback of the user community.

Also, since the original website went bananas, I had to upload a new one at http://crl.santiagoz.com .

Some updates to the roguelike world map (http://peltkore.net/~szdev/roguemap/) were made, not many... the add request forum was moved due to the new website/

Also, I participated on the Orange October Minigun 7DRL challenge with a new project, MetroidRL! ( http://peltkore.net/~szdev/mrl ) what I could make was a simple to play, fun an nonlinear game, I am pretty happy with the results and already working on an updated version.

About university, things remain almost the same, altough I already sent a proposal for my final work and I have been given green light to work on it. I plan on making a cellphone based exploration game, will tell more about it soon!

On the personal side things could not be better... (girl, you know how important you are on my life, never forget it!)
  • Current Music
    No music



The deadline for a project at work draws near, so we have been working hard... coordinating marketing + business domain + development on a last month rush isn't simple, but has been a rewarding experience. Will detail about it when it is released.

I released CastlevaniaRL 1.2 and 1.2a; lots of things changed... music and LOS were added, lots of bugfixes and enhancements... as always it is at http://crl.santiagoz.com

I also finished the Roguelike World Map, you may find it at http://peltkore.net/~szdev/roguemap/ if you want to be added, follow the instructions at the CRL general roguelikeness forum.

And I still got to clear a lot of things on university before I can graduate... at least classes are over and I can concentrate on work and my projects.