Today I’ve been benched by a double-whammy sinus cold plus migraine, so there’s really not much I can do. Yesterday, however, I did get to try out the D-Wave Python Pack (Win32/Python2.7 1.4.0-alpha1)—and I was pleasantly surprised by its speed and apparent stability. Oddly, the “Hello Multiverse” tutorial script wouldn’t run as is (and I didn’t have the time to stop and figure out why), but the neural net scripts (which I’m more interested in anyway), worked exactly as advertised. Altogether I’m pleased with the developer beta, and I’m looking forward to the Quantum Cloud service.
I’ve decided, of course, that I need to be up and running in a Windows environment ASAP, so that I can put as much of my free time as possible into quantum programming. This means moseying on over to FutureShop once I’m over my cold and picking up a copy of Windows to install on my MacBook Pro via Bootcamp. At this point, I can’t worry about building a new PC. As much as I happen to enjoy assembling and fine-tuning my own computers, I simply don’t have the time—I know myself, and I won’t be satisfied just throwing something together; I’ll have to hunt down the best components for the best price, tweak the processors, set up my operating systems… (and since my favourite flavour of Linux happens to be Gentoo, that is a time-consuming process on its own). That’s a project for when I’m finished my current development contract. Plus, I really want a six-up display, and that’s kind of a waste of money unless the computer it’s attached to costs at least the same price.
There are other advantages to getting up and running on Windows this week. I’ve been wanting an Emotiv EPOC neuro-headset for some time now, and currently it’s still Windows only, the framework being in .NET (though OS X and Linux variants of the SDK are supposedly in the works, I assume by porting the current EPOC .NET SDK into Mono, like the Unity game engine uses). The Neurosky MindWave and MindSet are OS X and iOS compatible, but as mere single-sensor neuro-headsets, they don’t quite meet my muster. I normally use Unity in OS X, but in Windows I could also start using UDK, and take my game development up a notch or two. And with everything running happily together, I could start testing my ideas for integrating quantum learning algorithms into a thought-controlled gaming environment. And to think, it’s all just a couple days away…
In the near future, I’m hoping to get access to the source-code for the Python Pack so that I can rewrite it for OS X. It shouldn’t be that difficult, but I don’t think the difficulty lies as much in the programming as it does in convincing D-Wave to let me see the source—I’m not the first person to ask, after all. And when a company only releases the compiled binaries of a python package (thus ultimately defeating the purpose of using Python as a platform), it’s because they want to keep what’s going on inside the package a secret.
Anyway, wish me luck with that.