Exporting from Poker Copilot

For a while it has been possible to export data from Poker Copilot. But I never connected this feature to the user interface. Which means I’m the only person who can use it. That’s soon to change.

This week I’m in Switzerland with only my little old MacBook Pro for computing company. That means I can’t work on major new features this week (Cough-cough all-in EV chart cough-cough) but I thought it was time to wire up the export functionality to the user interface.

Here’s what I’ve designed so far to control exporting.

This dialog is accessed from the File menu.

Clicking “Export…” prompts you to select a folder/file to export to.

The “Tabular data” option is for people who want to run their own analysis over data using Excel, R, or custom code.

Feedback, as always, is welcome. I’m especially interested in how tabular data might best be formatted for use with Excel, R, or custom code.

What I’m Reading

Bad Science by Ben Goldacre. Full of debunking of homeopathy’s claims and just about anything to do with “nutritionism”. Scathingly critical of the pharmaceutical industry. Also has lots of stunning findings. An excerpt:

Attendants working in various hotels were divided into two groups: one group was told that cleaning hotel rooms is ‘good exercise’ and ‘satisfies the Surgeon General’s recommendations for an active lifestyle’, along with elaborate explanations of how and why; the ‘control’ group did not receive this cheering information, and just carried on with cleaning hotel rooms. Four weeks later, the ‘informed’ group perceived themselves to be getting significantly more exercice than before, and showed a significant decrease in weight, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio and body mass index, but amazingly, both groups were still reporting the same amount of activity.

Highly recommended.

Support Backlog Cleared == Good Feeling

I’ve now completely cleared the backlog of all Poker Copilot support emails that built up while I was taking time off for a week. My inbox is empty. This is a good, good feeling.

Making my mood even better is this: It’s the warmest day since November, the winter snow has completely disappeared, and the sun is shining brightly. In a couple of hours I’ll be catching a train to Switzerland where I’ll be staying with some friends for a few days. This will give me a change of scenery, get me out of the apartment, and give me some nice company.

It is amazing how external factors can lift one’s mood.

Poker Copilot support will still be operating while I am in Switzerland.

New Poker Copilot Article

Today, PokerSoftware.com posted an up-to-date article about recent Poker Copilot improvements.

I love getting these reviews. Not only are they good for my ego (look, ma, I’m famous!), they are good for Poker Copilot’s Google juice. The more reviews and blog posts and forum discussions that link to Poker Copilot, the better Google’s algorithms rank my site. The better Google ranking I have, the more that people looking for Mac poker tracking software stumble upon my site. Which means more downloads. And more sales. And finally more money in my bank account.

If you are trying to market your own small software firm, I encourage you to do just about anything to get reviews from other websites. Being profligate with free licenses in return for reviews is a good start. When someone wanting to write an article about your software asks questions, answer them all as quickly and as detailed as you can. Sometimes your answers will end up almost verbatim in the article.

The same goes for anybody trying to market their goods or services on the web. You want links to your site. Lots of them. But not from those spammy sites that are simply a collection of links. You want links from real blogs and quality websites.

Congrats to Aidan Doyle

Aidan Doyle – a good friend of mine – inhabits the unusual intersection between English teacher in Japan, computer programmer in Melbourne, and writer. Reading By Numbers, a short story he wrote last year was on this year’s reading list for the Nebula award AND is nominated for the Hugo award. If you are into science fiction, you’ll know that these are the two premier awards for science fiction.

Congratulations, Aidan.

If you read the short story, make sure not to miss the hidden story-within-a-story!

Another Reason Why It’s Good to Have a Solo Internet Business

I’m staying with a friend in Brussels for a couple of days. While he’s at work, I’ve set up office on his dinner table. I’m equipped with his Nespresso machine, his good Internet connection, and my MacBook Pro. This is all I need to do my daily support routine.

It’s good running a one-person show with all customer interaction done via the Internet.

Poker Copilot Assistance in French?

Olivier asks in the Poker Copilot discussion forums something in French.

From what I can tell from what he posted, there are two problems:

1) He needs to run PokerStars in English

2) He needs to update to the latest Poker Copilot (2.31) which he can download here: http://pokercopilot.com/download.html

Is there a French speaker out there who can tell Oliver this in the discussion forum?

Merci beaucoup.

Poker Copilot Support Back Online

Thanks all for the very nice messages of support and sympathy I received in my inbox during the last week. It is nice to know that there are many caring people amongst my customers and blog followers.

I’m now starting to slowly get back into normal day-to-day Poker Copilot activities. It will take me a while though, to get through the backlog of support emails, because I still have many things in my personal life to take care of due to the recent tragedy. I appreciate your patience.

For the next couple of weeks I’ll be doing the bare minimum on Poker Copilot, which means active support but little active development. I’m also trying to find space in a shared office here in Cologne.

In Memory of Annette

After a long battle with cancer, my long-term partner, Annette, passed away this morning.

Therefore Poker Copilot support will be closed for the next few days. My apologies for any inconvenience.

The Best Name Ever for a Computer Language

One of those odd bits of trivia floating around my head is where various computer languages get their name from.

The boring acronym/abbreviation category

This includes BASIC, from the awfully contrived Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. Fortran comes from Formula Translation, a horrible, horrible way of naming a language, but which I can forgive as Fortran is possibly the oldest high-level computer language. LISP had a similar “could only be chosen by techies” origin, as List Processing.

Perl ostensibly stands for Practical Extraction and Report Language. This is a language whose brief heyday was the first few years of the web. Perl’s convenient string manipulation made it well-suited for dealing with URL’s and putting HTML together programmatically.

Names chosen for marketing reasons

My favourite all-purpose language, Java, was originally called Oak, then Green. Java finally was chosen, leading to all types of coffee-associated product names. I think renaming it from Green to Java was a well-needed marketing move. JavaScript was named to share in Java’s hype, even though Java and JavaScript don’t have much in common.

Ruby, Smalltalk, and Python all fall in this category. Python, especially, stands out:

Python actually got is name from a BBC comedy series from the seventies “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”. The designer needed a name that was short, unique, and slightly mysterious. Since he was a fan of the show he thought this name was great.

Names only programmers would understand

Once upon a time there was a language called BCPL (Basic Combined Programming Language). A lighter version of it was called B. When Dennis Ritchie designed a new language based on B, he called it C. Because it was like B, only better. In C, two plus signs together (++) means increase a value by one. So a successor language to C was C++ (Like C, but a bit better). A reworking of C++ became D. Another reworking of C (although the language owes more to Java than C) is C#, which is also a musical note one semitone higher than C.

Languages named after mathematicians

Pascal was named after the influential 17th century French mathematician Blaise Pascal.

Charles Babbage, an 18th century mathematician who designed – but never built – a primitive programmable computer called the Difference Engine was honoured by the computer language Babbage. Lord Byron’s daughter Ada Lovelace worked closely with Babbage and designed a program for the Difference Engine. This is considered to be the first computer program ever written, even though she never got to run it, debug it, or give it a snazzy graphical user interface. The US Department of Defense sponsored the creation of a language, Ada, that was named after her.

Both Haskell and Curry were named after Haskell Curry, an American 20th century mathematician. His surname has also been given to ‘currying’, which is the process of converting a function with two parameters to a function with one parameter for a fixed value of the second parameter. Haskell Curry himself only popularised this concept. It was originally invented by Moses Sch√∂nfinkel, but let’s face it, if ‘currying’ sounds a little silly, ‘Sch√∂nfinkelisation’ is simply absurd.

Languages named after porn stars

Now we get to the best name ever for a computer language; indeed the whole point of this article. At university I learnt a little about Linda, a language typically used as a “language within a language” to aid in parallel processing. It took some years for me to realise that Linda was named after the porn star Linda Lovelace. It was a subtle joke and allusion to Ada by the language’s designers, which I suspect passed over the head of my entire computer science class.

As far as I know, Linda is the only language named after a porn star.