Bisection Search Like A (Human) Boss

Bisection search, or binary search for us developers, is a technique for finding the best value within a given range of values. This post describes tips for when you need to bisection search manually by hand (by “feel”), as opposed to when it can be automated by, say, a computer algorithm.

Bisection search, or binary search for us developers, is a technique for finding the best value within a given range of values.  Technically speaking, Wikipedia says the “bisection method in mathematics is a root-finding method that repeatedly bisects an interval and then selects a subinterval in which a root must lie for further processing.” This post describes tips for when you need to bisection search manually by hand (by “feel”), as opposed to when it can be automated by, say, a computer algorithm.

For example, say you’re very thirsty and need water fast so you pour yourself a glass of water: Pour too fast and it spills but too slow and it takes too long. You want to pour fast enough to quench your thirst as soon as possible but not so fast that it spills. The speed of pouring is your range of values (eg. slow to fast) and the consequences of the speed of pouring (how long it takes and if it spills) are your criteria to decide the best value. You try pouring the glass slowly and it’s too slow: Pour faster. You try pouring the glass faster and it spills: Pour slower but faster than the first time. You try pouring the glass “just right”: It’s fast enough and doesn’t spill. You’ve found the best pouring speed by bisection search!

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How to find Church Guitar Chords Online

Update 2017-08-12: Added “Converting PDF to HTML” with links to PDF to HTML conversion sites for when the only chords you can find are PDF but you still want native browser display.

Update 2016-07-02: Check out webrix.co.uk. I just came across them doing a search for Praise To The Lord Almighty. They have a clean look and easy method to change keys. They only have a few songs but it looks like a good start.

Update 2016-04-01: Ultimate-Guitar.com print versions no longer save properly from a browser when you’ve transposed at all. Chordie.com also has problems printing since their last site redesign. These were my two go-to places for chords :( I find I’m falling back to TraditionalMusic.co.uk, GuitarHymnBook.com, guitarvideochords.com, and gospelguitartabs.com for hymn chords these days. It’s really whatever is turning up in my google searches besides Ultimate-Guitar.com and Chordie.com. On the bright side, I’m more frequently finding my own stash of chords while searching! :)

Update 2016-03-17: Added section about viewing music on a Hipstreet Phoenix tablet rather than print outs.

Update 2015-08-15: I’m now storing my chords for things like Sunday services, VBS, etc., over here: http://www.selah.ca/chords/. There’s a search, too, although Google seems a little slow on indexing that part of the site.

Update 2015-05-23: Added How to Print section

Update 2015-04-11: Added some tip sections about preferred chord layout and alternate version cautions.

How to find Church Guitar Chords Online

For the past half year I’ve been part of a small church where most of our music comes from the hymnal. They’re very, very nice people, though, and are happy to have myself and another man playing guitar in the front pews. We really enjoy it but it takes some effort to work with the piano players and their music so that we can find guitar chords to play from. This took me down the path of finding guitar chords for hymns and worship songs online. Here’s my tips for finding them…

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iRacing Force Feedback Settings

Update 2017-01-02: I’m now updating FFB information over on my Secrets of iRacing post.

Update 2015-02-26: I’ve been changing up my FFB settings in iRacing lately after realizing that linear ffb resulted in such low force strengths (to avoid clipping) that I wasn’t really feeling the road anymore. The ffb changes were just too subtle. So, because I have a low-end wheel, a G27, I’m now using non-linear ffb and doing the usual binary-search to find the optimal force strength to avoid clipping. I’m doing this only because of my relatively low-end, entry-level G27. I expect the recommended usage for higher strength wheels (T500s/T300s, Fanatec ClubSports, Accuforce Pro, etc.) should still use linear ffb.

Update 2015-02-26 – 2: For the record, a binary search is one where you take your current value, determine whether it’s too little or too much, and then double it (when too little) or halve it (when too much), and repeat that process at each new level to dial in on your optimal value. For example, for iRacing force strengths I might start out at 32, decide that’s too much and go to 16 (half of 32), decide that’s too little and go to 24 (16 + 8 which is half of 16), decide that’s too much and go to 20 (24 – 4 which is half of 8), decide that’s too little and go to 22 (20 + 2 which is half of 4), decide that’s too little and go to 23 (22 + 1 which is half of 2), decide that’s too much and go to 22.5 (22 – 0.5 which is half of 1). This is a real example I just did in iRacing a few minutes ago on the Mazda MX-5.

Update 2015-02-26 – 3: Nvidia users should check out these threads: iRacing graphic optimizations for NVIDIA users, Guide: nVidia iRacing Antialiasing (AA) Settings, NVIDIA SLI Compatibility results. The second guide about AA gives some good settings for Nvidia Inspector (I use in-game 4x AA with Nvidia Inspector AA – Mode “Enhance” and AA – Setting “8xS [Combined: 1×2 SS + 4 MS]”. Read the thread for what they mean). The third thread is about SLI and getting rid of microstuttering (I use Nvidia Inspector “SLI Compatibility Bits” = “0x00402015” per the thread). It’s not perfect but it’s better than in-game AA and should give higher performance.

iRacing Force Feedback Settings

I’m a big fan of iRacing sim racing and I frequent their forums quite a bit. I’ve seen a number of posts, over time, on the iRacing forums about people asking for the right force feedback settings for their wheels. As it turns out, this info in its complete form is harder to come by then you might think so I’ve decided to post everything I know and have implemented for my Logitech G27 for force feedback in iRacing…

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In Search of Better Mornings

Since I came home from vacation last week, I’ve been considering changing my morning habits to wake up an hour earlier to give me a chance to have some coffee and actual breakfast, and to relax and actually have some time in morning just to sit for a little bit, like we were doing in PEI at my brother’s place each morning.

It will probably come as no surprise but it took until this morning for me to wake up an hour earlier and even then it was a struggle! Today’s alarm went off at 7am and I rolled over for a few minutes wondering whether I would really get up this time. The past two mornings I’ve just slept right in to 8am, my normal wake up time. Guess my mind likes mornings more than my body likes waking up to them!

Well, I’ve finally done it, and I’m doing what Mic does in the mornings – blogging! Not sure I’ll keep this up but who knows. The one thing I am missing is some place to just sit outside in the open air and drink coffee and relax before the rush to work starts. Oh well. One step at a time.