Indian Pacific, Wednesday 1st February 2006
The mobile displays
and it is a moment of joy for me.
It means the train is leaving modern world.
Two days to go till Adelaide.
The desert is yet to come.
The window shows giant wheat fields, getting more and more dry.
The on board radio plays country music, the tune of the Indian Pacific:
The Indian Pacific spans the land.
Well, I'm not going all the way.
I'll disembark in Adelaide, halfway after 2.666 kilometres.
Perth is behind me.
It is a bit of a puzzling town for me.
Perth is a bit similar to my town of birth: Rotterdam.
- It has the atmosphere of a work town.
- But the city seems to be on the river shore by coincidence,
not quite knowing what to do with the Swan River.
Between city and water is a small stroke of green with a busy road right through.
I regret the road in the green.
Move those cars to somewhere else and allow the nice green the bit of tranquility it deserves.
- Chinatown is a bit hidden, with wonderful food, at walking distance from the train station.
South Perth is a different story.
Of course these BBQ huts are perfect as SUMit side office.
A bit of shade, tranquility, nice river view, a fine breeze and a table serving as office desk.
I'll have to adjust
my last weeks conclusion about Heirisson Island.
South Perth's park does win my points.
- South Perth is relaxed.
Get of the ferry and your pace lowers.
- Perth Zoo is worth a visit, at walking distance from the ferry.
- Along the river is a nice park, with bordering apartments looking out over the water.
No busy road here.
- BBQ's are ready, with huts providing shade and a table.
The paper has Sudoku puzzles.
Solving a Sudoku puzzle resembles
shift roster design.
The Sudoku puzzles are difficult for me, not because of the logic, but because they stress my short term memory to much.
I have no memory for numbers,
so the whole bunch of them dance chaotically through my brain.
- Sudoku: every row, column and grid needs the right set of numbers.
- Shift Rosters: every employee, day and week need the right set of shifts.
A computer memory and a bit of constraint propagation come to the rescue.
Constraint propagation is
a roster design method, learned years ago in Malaysia.
Constraint propagation makes Sudoku puzzles easy to solve.
Every cell has a domain
of possible numbers.
A domain sized one
has a value
So yes, South Perth is the place where rosters step aside for a moment.
A few hours later the
No, it does not solve the whole Sudoku puzzle for you.
But it does a fine job of doing the tedious administration for you,
shows the possible values of each cell.
I know, it is a simple tool, not very advanced.
But it does leave you something to puzzle.
Newspaper Sudoku puzzles now take only a few minutes to solve.
Just click to copy the numbers from the paper and see the solution coming in view.
Out of reach
In South Perth I could service customers in the evening, when office hours in the Netherlands just started.
I won't make it tonight.
My evening shift will start, but it will be a quiet one for sure,
with the results of my work confined to the laptop for the moment,
just as this story.
There is no room for Internet in the desert's domain.
The train leaves the wheat fields.
The uninhabited word starts.
Network search, what a wonderful, relaxing text.