KB2843630, KB2917929, and KB2923528 retracted from Windows Update?

After the “Patch Tuesday” updates this month I started having an issues with my PC, having to do with entering sleep or returning from sleep.  It would just hang at a black screen, and I would have to hold down the power button to shut down the machine.

After a couple of days, I removed the non-security updates, and the problem seemed to have been resolved.  I waited a few days to be sure, and then ran a full backup.

Continue reading KB2843630, KB2917929, and KB2923528 retracted from Windows Update?

A case of bad luck: Super Mario statistics

Playing through New Super Mario Bros. 2.  In world 3-A, you hit a rotating item block that cycles between a super mushroom, a 1-up mushroom, a fire flower, and a golden flower.  (You can see it at around the 3:02 mark in this video.)  When you hit the block, whichever item is currently in rotation pops out the top.  Assuming that you hit the block at a reasonably random time, you have a 25% chance of getting any particular item.

I wanted to get the golden flower in order to be able to remove the blocks and open up a pipe further on.  How many times did I have to try before I got the golden flower?  24.

What are the chances that, assuming each item appears randomly, it would take 24 tries to get the golden flower?  If my statistics are right, it’s along the lines of (3/4)^(24-1) (the chance that something that’s not the golden flower appears 23 times in a row), or about 0.13%.

Just a short story of my rotten luck of the day.  :-)

Theme update

The site has a new look.  This is the WordPress “Twenty Fourteen” theme with some CSS tweaks to make it look better on large displays (still looks great on small displays).  It still needs some work, but I think the site looks a little nicer.

Cleaning house

Preparing to do some work on the site, I’ve deleted a lot of pages that are no longer relevant.  If you came here looking for something and the page is gone, sorry!

Things may be in flux periodically while I work on switching the site theme.