Jason Hutchens

Don't be burdened by regrets
Or make your failings an obsession
Or become embittered, or posessed by ruined hopes
Remember when you take yourself for granted
Feel rejected and unwanted
No, you're never just a hat
You're never only just a hat, you know
Hovering sombrero
Hovering sombrero

-- TMBG

Hi. My name is Jason Hutchens, and this is my web page. If you're wondering what I look like, that's a picture of your's truly to the left there, taken a few years ago in a hotel room prior to a Guinness Ball, while in a contemplative mood (no doubt contemplating all the pints I'd imbibe). I've been writing web pages since 1994 (in fact, I was partly responsible for the first web-cam to go online in the Southern Hemisphere). This is my second home page, and contains most of the stuff I rescued from my previous home page, albeit slightly rearranged.

In the light of this evidence, you might be wondering why my pages look so drab? The simple answer is that I've gone through the Great Web Disillusionment. So you won't find any fancy-shmancy Java, DHTML or PHP (well, maybe a little bit) on this site, nor will you find high-bandwidth stuff, apart from a few images here and there. I thought I'd try writing an old-fashioned (i.e. circa-1994) home page, containing real content. By which I mean words. Lots of them. I like to write, and I expect you to read what I've written. It's actually a very efficient way of getting ideas out of my head and into yours: people have been doing it for thousands of years. If you feel you're not up to the task (i.e. reading), or if you feel that a page's form and content are inseperable, and the drab appearance of my page means that it therefore must contain nothing worthwhile of your attention, you are quite welcome to return from whence your came. I'm not stopping you. Why would I?

For those of you who have read this far, congratulations, and welcome. You find yourself on my main index page. The table immediately below where your eyes are currently fixated contains a list of the various parts of my site along with an executive summary of what you'll find there once you click through. Navigation shouldn't prove difficult, there's not a lot of confusing visual stuff going on. Enjoy yourselves, and feel free to get in touch. Thanks for dropping by!

PLEASE NOTE that this is a mirror of my real home page, which exists on Amristar's web server in Australia. This version is bleeding-edge, in the sense that I try new things out here first before transferring them down under. I also maintain Jason's Ai Home Page, which contains links to all the stuff I've written, as well as a few online demos (including WebBot).

SectionDescription
about me Some information about who I am, where I come from, what I've done in my life so far, what I'm currently doing and how to get in touch with me. You'll also find a few more photos of me.
resume Some brief information about my skills, and my work history.
phd The companion site to my PhD thesis. You can download a lot of things I've written from here, in both PostScript and PDF format, including my PhD thesis itself.
travelogue A collection of slide-shows, containing images snapped from my digital video camera, and a collection of letters that I've written to family and friends back home while abroad.
tmbg They Might Be Giants are my absolutely favourite band of all time.
hex Download HeX, a "conversation simulator" I wrote, and the winner of the 1996 Loebner Contest, and read a page describing how HeX works.
megahal Find out about MegaHAL, a conversation simulator which I wrote. For many years MegaHAL reigned supreme online. Now you can download the program for your computer, read about how the algorithm works, and re-live MegaHAL's hey-day by viewing classic utterances made by the program.
loebner contest My experiences in the Loebner Contest, a pared-down version of the Turing Test which I've entered every year since 1996.
translations A showcase of exactly why machine translation doesn't work very well at the present time. Allows you to translate English to English, via one other language, using AltaVista's BabelFish technology.
language experiments Details of various online natural language experiments which I performed over the course of twelve months, including full text of stories in three genres which were written by collective consciousness (i.e. each word written by a different person).
solresol SolReSol is a musical language designed by a Frenchman.
roshambo Information about programming a computer to play RoShamBo (rock, paper scissors), including a discussion of why this pursuit is infinitely deeper than it may at first appear.
puzzles Playing around with puzzles is a great way to waste valuable time.
skylab In 1979 NASA's space station re-entered earth's atmosphere, scattering debris across southern Western Australia.
spy on lab Reminiscences about the web camera that I hooked up with Paul Williams in early 1995, back when the number of web cameras in existence was quite low. See what all the fuss was about!
mental procrastination Occasionally I get a weird thought. If I'm near a computer at the time I write it down here. If you want to see something really funny, make up some random sentences, and delete any which are contained herein. Whatever's left over is guaranteed to be funnier.
bertha archive In my youth I masqueraded for a while as a female advice columnist. People sent me their problems via email, and I wrote replies. As you'll see, it was great therapy. For myself.
kenny shrine I created a shrine devoted to Kenny, the first troll to appear on the newsgroup aus.tv.
electricity kills A summary of an infamous thread of discussion on the aus.tv newsgroup. A remark about a man being electrocuted on live TV degenerated into a discussion of electrocution, and a debate about what kills you: current or potential difference.
banner ads When banner advertisements first started appearing on web pages, I put some fake ones on mine, which linked to these mini-sites. Nobody every sent me any money, much to my dismay.
schwing ball Rules for the game of Schwing-Ball, a hackey-sack inspired game invented by bored PhD students.
coke wall The script of a mock-umentary inspired by the construction of a massive wall of Coke Cans, built by bored PhD students.
constable care Initially containing a harmless picture and a few choice quotes, this page now contains a brief discussion of net censorship.
opinions A collection of unsolicited email comments which I've received since 1995. People say the darndest things when they're guaranteed anonymity. I still look at this page, whenever I feel down, to remind myself that mankind is fundamentally doomed.

Here are a few links to external sites which are somehow related to my own.

SectionDescription
amristar The home page of Amristar Pty. Ltd., an Australian contract software development company specialising in advanced Internet and client-server applications, using Java and C/C++. I'm a director of Amristar.
lionhead studios The home page of Lionhead Studios, an entertainment software company currently putting the finishing touches to "Black and White". I worked as a senior programmer at Lionhead for four months, during which time I wrote the part of the game which implements "challenges".
artificial intelligence I'm currently the Chief Scientist here at Ai. Working here is like being a character in a Neal Stephenson novel. We're making child machines which can learn language in the same way as human infants do. We're based in a huge mansion in Israel. We watch movies in the atomic bomb shelter. We jack in to the network using wireless technology. It's cool, man.
ciips I am still officially a PhD student within CIIPS and the University of Western Australia, although I suspect that most of the people there will have forgotten about me by now.
tmbg The official web presence of They Might Be Giants.
google Google, my favourite search engine.