Older blog entries for TheCorruptor (starting at number 343)

OpenGL

So, my adventures in OpenGL continue. Managed to get live SDL surfaces mapped onto a cube, although this took longer than I thought. Mainly because I was being thick, and not converting the surface to the correct pixel format prior to binding the texture. In the end I had to google the web to find out how to do it properly, and found some nice example conversion code which was OS and free for use, so I changed that about to suit my needs and everything fell into place...

Yet another example of why Open Source is good. You can learn from it!

The new code is up on my website for anyone that's interested. I have to say, texture mapping a cube with a plasma effect looks pretty cool :)

TiBook

Upped the RAM in the TiBook to 768MB. The difference is only really apparent when I'm in Photoshop. Now I can have that, Illustrator and Project Builder all open on seperate displays with no lag. Damn nice as well ;-)

Says something about how well OS X 10.2 was handling my memory in the first place I guess...

GFX

Tonight I've finished a few more icons for Virusdot and done some more sprite work for YaSS2.

The first GFX I ever did were for a Shoot-em-up, in fact it's that project (Neutrino) that pulled me out of a life in Noisetracker and into DPaint. Man, things could have been different! Anyway, it's really nice to do sprite work for a shooter again. Brings back some old memories, and the problems haven't changed in 10 years. ;-) Animating ships is still a pain in the arse. I guess that's why most shoot-em-ups have rendered sprites instead.

Am I the only monkey that prefers hand-drawn sprites over rendered ones?!

OpenGL

Spent some time today playing with OpenGL and going throught NeHe's tutorials (again!). I found the SDL "Base" Code for the tutorials, which handles setting up a window, timing and event handling. As there was only a linux and win32 version of this (that I could see) I created an OS X PB project for it, made a few changes (and removed the win32 pragmas) so I have a nice framework for playing around in.

From there, I went through some of the examples and got the texture mapped cube up and running, making some changes to use SDL/SDL_Image to load the texture from a surface. All very easy admittedly, but I've not had the time to sit down and do this despite saying I would for ages. I'm also happy that I know what I'm doing (now) instead of stumbling around in the dark.

I'm surprised how nice it is to use SDL for events and surface mangling like this, not just because I know what I'm doing with SDL, but because of how easy it is to combine with OpenGL. Of course, the other benefit is taking some of my 2D pixel effects and bunging them on a texture each frame. The addition of linear filtering is gonna make some of those *very* nice when spun about and zoomed all over the place! ;-)

I think I'll have a play with this some more before I start using OpenGL to speed up my sprite work in Seal Basher...

26 Oct 2002 (updated 26 Oct 2002 at 19:30 UTC) »

Code

More code today. Got the Interference Plasma routine I'd done in C working in Pygame and did a basic Shade Bob routine. Well, to be exact I mangled the video feedback effect already in the PCR and got something similar for little coding. Shade bobs should really be additive, where as I'm just blurring the surface feedback. Still, it looks the same... :)

I submitted the Interference Plasma to the PCR, but I doubt it's worth a new addition. It's identical to the circles version previously featured bar the use of a calculated surface instead of a bitmap, although it does look mighty different. I should probably just include that as a comment to the existing routine instead...

Car

Ah, got my car back. Sounds as good as new although I've got to run it in for a hundred miles to let the cam-belt settle into the head. I did get shown the state of the old head and it wasn't pretty.

Anyway, 1200UKP dent in my wallet and I don't know if I should be happy or gutted. It was nice to drive again!

Virus.org

Spent some time today producing the Michelangelo t-shirt for Virus.org. Mort will hopefully make a variant of this available soon.

Code

I'm still having fun with video feedback effects. Got a fairly fast SDL version of it going, now I just need to do something funky on top of it. Or, I could remove the zoom and do a reasonable shade-bob. Hmmm, probably something for Pygame...

It's my birthday today, so I was sensible and did some work on Civil: added some forest clearings, added character level formatting to the QandA sets (in the docbook2HTML stylesheets) and some buttons for army status. Only then did I break out the whiskey and get tipsy! ;-)

Home Office

So, I've been trying to figure out exactly why Z'hadum, my backup server at home keeps crashing. I know, it's my fault for being lazy and leaving 2k on there but lately it's not stayed on it's feet more than a couple of days.

I've gone through and scandisked, hotfixed and defraged the beast in the hope some stability may result. From here it a question of "wait and see". If things get worse I'll have to put a monitor back on it and wait for another dump instead of relying on the lack of information Event Viewer provides.

Ho hum...

At least on the good side, I have been motivated enough to clean my office and do some cable tidying, something that's been long over due...

Reading

I've finally done some catching up on my reading. I've eaten XML's Blueberry candidate, finished off UML distilled and got about a third of the way through the OpenGL redbook. That's better than I've done in a while... There's still a rather large pile of design patterns to go through, especially the intriguing XML related ones. At first I thought this was highly amusing, but given how sensible some of the Java patterns I've seen recently are I'm hoping for something good on the XML front. Even better, some XSLT ones... I've already noticed several that I use on a regular basis...

Holiday

As I think I mentioned, I'm officially on holiday for a week to catch up on projects. Tomorrow is going to be for Civil GFX, Tuesday I think I'm going to setup the Radio G website (good excuse to play with Flash MX), Wednesday will be YaSS GFX, Thursday; stuff for Virusdot and Friday will be Seal Basher code.

Of course, it's bound not to turn out like that.

GPRS

I finally jumped off the fence and got Orange to start my GPRS account. 5MB over a month; 15UKP charge.

In their wisdom, Orange UK don't support any platform other than windows, so I had to go through several hoops in order to get the APN and user/pword details out of them. More bizzare: OS X doesn't supply modem scripts for the T68i despite the seamless support it offers for syncing and updates. Luckily Ross Barkman supplies some very tidy resources for the phone (not to mention most other models) on his homepage. This made my life much easier, and everything worked first time once these were dropped in /Library/ModemScripts.

The GPRS seems to work as advertised: 4.6-4.8k sec sustained while downloading, which is more than enough for what I intend to use it for (email and journal updates whilst on the move). The one thing I don't like is the habit the connection has of dropping out. I'm not sure if that's Orange being crap, or my setup, but it is slightly annoying to have to reconnect every 5 mins if the network stalls. I suspect there's probably some more tweaking of the settings to do, but without any official word from Orange it's hard to tell where to start...

Regardless, downloading my email at 70MPH on the motorway was very cool. ;-)

Life

I'm now officially on holiday for a week, hopefully to catch up with some of the work I've neglected to do over the last month or so on my various projects. I also want to do some more OGL hacking, as most of the developers I'm working with atm are moving over to OGL for their next projects. The more I know about this, the easier I can make everyone's life. :-)

17 Oct 2002 (updated 17 Oct 2002 at 11:49 UTC) »

Particularly hung over today due to the excesses of last nights leaving do for one of the engineers... A good time was had by all! ;-)

Just debating what to do with myself now. There's some out standing issues to deal with at work, but I'm not sure I'm in the right frame of mind (read: sober enough) to do anything.

Civil

chakie added some more features: army status. This looks pretty damn excellent, and it's great to get a clear over view of your troups during the game. I've got a few bits to add next week as well, so hopefully the next release can come reasonably soon...

T68i

As predicted, more fun with the phone. I've worked out that a 128x108 gif image can be uploaded to it, so I've exported various photos of friends from iPhoto and uploaded them. The photo appears when that contact calls me, which is fun if a little unexciting. The one thing I did do was create a small image that looks just like the blue screen you used to see when you first switched on a C64, "Ready" prompt and all, so I've uploaded this and set it as the phone's background. Given the general blue theme it's very apt and looks very cool. I know. I'm sad...

The phone has about 1MB of RAM available for images and sounds, probably to support the "MMS" style services being bandied about. I'm not particularly interested in this so I've deleted all the supplied media and templates. It would be nice if I could use this to store anything I wanted, so I'm going to try uploading random text files to see what happens. It might be nice to upload my PGP keyring to it for instance? (Update: this didn't work. Seems you can only upload certain things.)

In general, the range of the phone/bluetooth adaptor appears to be quite good. I can discover and pair from 8 or 9 meters away which is more than enough, but this seems to go down drastically if a partition or wall is in the way. To be expected I guess. Still can't find a bluetooth version of Netstumbler though! ;-)

I've also given Apple's software a fairly extensive kick of the tyres and everything seems solid and clean. Once the initial authentication has been made both devices recognise each other and will pair seamlessly and managing multiple devices is trivially easy. All in all, simple, but useful. I'd like to compare this to XP...

Ok, had some more time to play with this bluetooth stuff, and Apple's Address Book app is superb with Bluetooth enabled.

In addition, incoming SMS messages flash up on the laptop so I can read and reply to them without having to pickup the phone (this has already proven to be very handy at work. I can have the phone on silent, iTunes playing in my headphones and still deal with messages). Incoming calls come up with a photo, the number of times they've rung and the usual "Do you want to answer" prompt. I can redirect to the answering machine or accept the call from the laptop. I can also ring or SMS anyone in my contacts list via the address book. Very cool.

From a brief experiment it appears that the sound input on the laptop acts as a handsfree mic, but as I'm not getting the voice of the caller coming through the laptop I suspect the mic on the T68i is particularly sensitive. More experiments to come. One of my work-mates also has a T68i, so we may try and hook them directly to each other this afternoon and see what that lets us do. Then I'm going to stop running up my phone bill with test calls! ;-)

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