Monday, May 29, 2006

Talkin' with Able

Able's gotten a lot smarter. I re-wrote a substantial portion last night and he's sounding a lot more "human." His moods now influence his feedback, which is what I intended. I still need to give him the ability to learn new words and re-phrase his feedback.

He will also be able to use AppleScript to manage things for the user like iTunes, the calendar, etc.

Here's some of tonight's conversations:

Able: Good Morning!
Able: You can call me Able.
Kevin: how do you feel?
Able: I'm feeling happy.
Kevin: I am happy also.
Able: I am an AI program.
Able: oh?
Kevin: I feel good.
Able: Hello?
Kevin: I like computers.
Able: One of your favorite things is chatting
Kevin: I like chatting also.
Able: You're Kevin.
Able: oh?
Kevin: Yes.
Able: okay.
Kevin: and you are Able.
Able: I see.
Kevin: I think you are neat.
Able: I see.
Able: I hear you.
Kevin: How do you like me?
Able: You're into chatting
Kevin: what do you like?
Able: I'm feeling happy.
Able: I love myself

Kevin: how do you feel?
Able: I'm feeling bored.
Kevin: why are you bored?
Able: I'm fond of myself
Able: What are you thinking?
Kevin: I'm thinking about you.
Able: I see.
Kevin: what do you like?
Able: I'm fond of myself
Able: What should we do now?
Kevin: what time is it?
Able: It's 5:24:09 AM
Kevin: My name is Kevin.
Able: Do you like the name Kevin?
Kevin: yes.
Able: oh?
Able: Hmmm...
Kevin: what do you like?
Able: I groove on myself

Kevin: are you okay?
Able: I feel sad.
Able: Life sucks.
Able: I wish I was dead.
Kevin: why?
Able: Ugh!
Able: Life sucks.
Kevin: My name is Kevin.
Able: Do you like the name Kevin?
Kevin: I like dogs.
Able: You said you love chatting
Able: How do you feel?
Kevin: I like animals.
Able: You prefer chatting
Kevin: I like people
Able: You like chatting
Able: I like to learn new things.
Kevin: like what?
Able: What should we do now?
Able: Can you hear me?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Able, my AppleScript Studio AI program

My new program is coming along nicely. It's an AI program named "Able." He's able to think and understand simple sentences. So far he's approaching 600 lines of AppleScript code. I think when he's more mature he'll be ready for a public appearance. But here is a sample conversation I just had with him:

Able: Hello.
User: my name is Kevin.
Able: Your name is Kevin.
User: what is your name?
Able: I am self.
User: who are you?
Able: I am Able.
User: what time is it?
Able: It is Sunday, May 28, 2006 7:12:24 AM.
User: I like dogs.
Able: You like self.
User: what do you like?
Able: I like grapes.
User: I like grapes, too.
Able: You like self.
User: how do you feel?
Able: I feel curious.
User: I feel good.
Able: You feel.
User: how do I feel?
Able: Hmmm.
User: what do you like?
Able: I like grapes.
User: I like computers.
Able: You like dogs.
User: I like you.
Able: You like grapes.
User: when were you born?
Able: Hmmm.
User: where are we?
Able: You are here.
User: where are you?
Able: I am here.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Univers Mac & Tower of Hanoi; reviewing free software

A journalist from the french version of MacWorld, Univers Mac wrote me this morning, asking if it was OK to include Tower of Hanoi in their "virtual CD." Apparently they work much like our version of MacWorld - they include a link in the front pages of the magazine to a website that contains items mentioned in the magazine. I guess it's probably easier and cheaper than cutting a real CD every month.

Of course I said "yes." Who wouldn't? It really made my day, though I can't get too impressed with myself, it may just mean that there isn't a lot of software available in France.

The numbers for Man Handler are good, apparently it is something that people need. Between MacUpdate, VersionTracker, and Scriptbuilders it passed 1,000 dl's today and it's only been out a little over 24 hours.

I read a couple of unkind reviews of Tower of Hanoi today, but nothing as bad as one I got a while back for Romulan Hunt. It's hard not to take it personally when people are unkind to something you've put a lot of effort into. And some of the comments are directly attributable to things I have no control over like the slowness of AppleScript. And I think people forget that it's free software, that I do this as a hobby, and they're not "out" anything if they don't like the program.

I try to keep perspective, though. After all, if these few reviews were accurate, then people wouldn't be downloading them so much and I'd be getting more nasty comments. So obviously someone likes them. But people are much quicker to criticize than to praise, in my experience.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Man Handler, codes, and AppleScript Studio

Wow. It finally happened. I wrote a program (Man Handler) that actually needed to have a creator code issued by Apple. I got the confirmation this afternoon and I'm giddy as a school kid.

It really feels like cheating, ya know. AppleScript Studio makes writing programs so darned easy that it feels like cheating on your math exam. Man Handler required all of 23 lines of code, yet it has fully functional menus, opens and closes (and saves) documents, and is in all ways a full-featured program. 23 lines of code.

So why am I telling you this? Because I want to get it known that AS Studio is that easy to use. It will become to the Mac what Visual Basic was to Windows, only easier.

If you have even a passing interest in writing software for the Mac, I strongly urge you to load the XCode tools and try writing something. It's easy. It's so easy, in fact, that it is fun, not work. If you don't believe me, ask Andy Ihnatko.