Draco Torre

David G Shrock

Skyrim Special Edition Announced

Bethesda Softworks announced a remastered “Skyrim Special Edition” coming 2016 October 28th for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The edition includes updated art, better snow and water shaders, improved reflections, and dynamic depth of field along with support for mods on the console game systems. Check out this YouTube video at 3:17. This will be a free update for PC players with “Legendary Edition.”

Besides taking advantage of the popularity of TES V: Skyrim, this indicates to me that the next chapter in The Elder Scrolls may still be two years away. In the mean time, it will be interesting to see how the updated visuals compare with the work the mod community has accomplished. For Xbox One and PS4 players, it should be nice being able to install new quests, armors, or homes built by the mod community.

For TES VI, I’d be happy to visit Summerset Isles or Valenwood, but I’d like to see Elsweyr the most.

Draco Calculation Update: No Ads

Update to Draco Calculation v1.05 removes ads and improves hint suggestion quality. Still free.

DracoCalcIcon 200

Since iAd will be closing down soon, and I have no intentions on using an alternative ad provider, I removed ads. The primary reason I implemented iAd was for the experience and secondarily to help pay license fees. The AI improvements for suggestions address several cases playing to the tableau that might block future play. My goal for the AI is to play better than a beginner, and not nearly as good as an expert. Suggestions should be learning opportunities for beginners without becoming a crutch or giving away advanced strategy. There’s room for more improvement, but I believe the AI has reached my goal.

Thanks for playing.

Prime Factors Problem 2: Largest Prime Factor

Like the previous problem, this challenge comes from ProjectEuler.net, “Problem 3”.

Find the largest prime factor of 600,851,475,143.

Now that’s a big number. Test your code with smaller values that you can calculate or look up. “Problem 3” states the largest prime factor of 13,195 is 29, a good test case. Finding primes can take time, so we’ll need to consider our method before tackling 600,851,475,143. There’s some fancy algorithms you could find online, but try it on your own. This makes for a decent software engineer interview question, or just for fun.

Give it a try before looking at my process or solution. Write a function to calculate the largest prime factor of a natural number.

Prime Factors Problem 1: LCM

I’ve been looking over ProjectEuler.net and found a few fun problems involving factoring and prime numbers. This first one is easy for computer and math geeks, but should be do-able by anyone with a calculator and a recollection of factoring. I’ll go through it step-by-step.

Find the smallest number divisible by all integers between 1 and n, where n > 2.

This is based on “Problem 5” of Project Euler, but before you look at the page, first try attacking an easy case. When n is 3, it’s painfully easy. 1 x 2 x 3 = 6, so 6 is is it. Try an interesting value. Let n = 10.

What is the smallest number divisible by all integers between 1 and 10?

Go ahead and think about how you might solve this. (Hint: title of this post.)

Programming Problem: Single-Edit Difference

This question is based on a problem found in Cracking the Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell which contians nearly 200 problems.

Test if two strings are different by only a single-character edit.

An edit is defined as an inserted character, deleted character, or replaced character. Note that zero edits (same string) counts as a character replacement where the replaced character is the same. In other words, can you add a character, remove a character, or replace a character to result in the other string?

  • “save” and “safe” = true
  • “Mark Henry” and “MaRk Henry” = true
  • “sve” and “save” = true
  • “sve” and “saVe” = false

Give it a try in your preferred language then check out my solution below. In an interview, you may want to quickly go over any assumptions or observations before writing code.


  • An empty string is acceptable.
  • The length of a string is manageable and reasonably short for our system.


  • Difference in text length greater than one require more than one edit.
  • Cases to consider: insert, remove, replace.
  • Insert is the same as remove in reverse.