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How I Became a TopCoder SRM Problem Writer

I have been writing SRM problems quite often in past months. It has been a very exciting experience for me. I would like to recall how I became a problem writer in this competition…

Member SRM 489

… so I would like to suggest you to write Div-2 part of Member SRM 489. If you agree,

Thanks,
Ivan

That was my first approval statement from mystic_tc (Ivan) for writing an SRM. Yay! I received that email after I proposed a problemset for a Member SRM. Ivan posted a “Looking for Member SRM 489 writers” thread in the forum, then I tried to propose, and I was glad that the proposal was approved. I was really really happy that time.

For those who don’t know, Member SRM is actually a regular SRM whose writers and testers are not paid. It is voluntary for keeping 3 SRM per month. That was OK for me as what I want was the experience of working together with the admins to prepare an SRM.

I actually proposed a complete set of five problems, but it turned out that the Div-1 problems did not satisfy Ivan. Yes, when I read the problems now, I realized that they are very lame problems. Therefore, Ivan assigned me to write only the Div-2 part. The Div-1 problems were written by rng_58. [Read more…]

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Integrating TopCoder Arena in Ubuntu Menu

Are you a regular competitor of TopCoder SRMs? If yes, then probably you have been launching the Arena by (double) clicking a sacred file named ContestAppletProd.jnlp somewhere in your computer. You must have been doing that every time you want to participate in an SRM.

I felt that looking for that file before every SRM is quite tedious, and putting the file in my desktop is not an elegant way. So, I added a launcher to TopCoder Arena in Ubuntu GNOME menu. It is very handy, so I would like to share how to do that. In this tutorial, I am using Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal.

First things first:

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October Coder of the Month?

I was surfing the Internet peacefully when suddenly a new email arrived in my Gmail inbox. It was from Jessie DAmato Ford. When I saw the name, I immediately knew that it’s from TopCoder (her handle is jmpld40). Here are the first paragraph of the email.

Hello,

Congratulations, youve been chosen as the Algorithm Coder of the Month for your performance in October. Youve won a TopCoder t-shirt and will be featured on www.topcoder.com/tc for the month of November. In order to receive your prize, please do the following by November 10, 2010: [Read more…]