Neat headphones

I got these headphones from a second hand record store. They were only five bucks so I wasn’t sure if they would work. They have a large stereo plug and included in the box was a stereo to mono plug (to connect it to consumer audio equipment). Using this plug sound only came out one earpiece. I wonder if this why someone got rid of them. Anyhow, I went to Dick Smith’s and got a stereo to stereo plug and they work fine (and look cool to boot). Yay!

GOMM revisited

I was working on plans for the game project at ViSLAB and dug up the old “Get Off My Mountain!” code. It didn’t work… so I made it work. That said, a lot of code is still pretty bad. Some of it is tied to clock speed: the thermometer never goes up on my machine because it’s too fast. Other bits are quite messy: why no enum or #defines for menu state and game state? (ints? ints!?!)

Anyhow, the important thing is that it compiles and runs. I even put a video on the wiki to prove it! (Jim: I hope it isn’t too big!) No sound unfortunately; Anyone want to try capturing sound? Check it out of CVS and have a hack around 🙂

RMS on European patent reforms

Richard Stallman wrote an article for the Guardian in which he exposes the absurdity of software patent laws by applying them to other large bodies of writing: classical literature. A good read. It’s disturbing that I can actually imagine planning a software project, worrying about the patent issues, and thinking “this is too much trouble, I just won’t bother writing it”.

Playing with Inkscape

In between thesis stuff, I was playing with Inkscape today and put this together.

I have a few unresolved problems with gradients. Specifically, are all gradients “alpha gradients”? I just want a fade from one opaque colour to another, but in order to do that I have to make a white copy of the shape and put it underneath the original. Why? why? (Probably because there is something obvious that I am missing).

Update: I’m using .40 (default under Ubuntu), I’ll try gradient stuff under .41 instead. Apparantly there are significant updates in just that .01.

Sessions from GDC’05

I just watched Keita Takahashi’s presentation on Katamari Damacy. It included humourous anecdotes from his time in Art College including what are possibly the greatest coffee table, tissue box, and plant pot ever made. Highly recommended.

I’m going to check out Will Wright’s Spore presentation and see if it lives up (down?) to Penny Arcade’s commentry. It looks like it will be in stark contrast to Takahashi’s. Seriously, one game is based on something as simple as “you roll a ball” and the other is based on “you start and evolve life on your own planet and then others”.

Update: Will Wright’s “Spore” looks excellent. Takahashi said something about different styles of games, and that he wants to be the rock/punk game designer. Wright is definately a science-geek game designer. I think there’s room in the world for both.

Batman Begins

Saw Batman Begins. It was better than recent Batman movies, but that isn’t saying much in itself. It was more “gritty”, but not as much as I expected. Some bits still had a little too much of a “this will sell toys” feel, and Christian Bale looked less badass when he was dressed up as Batman (compared to, say, his ninja suit… or even his business suit).

Overall the movie was worthwhile. Working within the superhero genre is a bit of a blessing and a curse. Fans (myself included) will go and see it because it’s based on a comic book they like. On the other hand, comic book stories sometimes look odd when illustrated in what otherwise looks like “real life”.