Archive for May, 2005

Making the game.

Posted: May 31, 2005 in Computing, General

I’ve been following the development of Dim3 for a while, which looks like a pretty decent (free) product. The biggest issue is that 3D games on the Mac is that it’s always lagged pretty far behind PC and console games. Dim3D is technically probably equal to something like Quake or Quake II (of course the power is that you only have to know JavaScript to write “code”). Even with the best tools, it would take a small team to craft a complete game (and I don’t really have the patience for modeling, but I think I would be a decent level designer).

Enter Sawblade Software, who I’ve never heard of until today when they released Power Game Factory, which is an old-school 2D side scrolling authoring system. This targets my skills a bit better (graphics and level design). I really wish there was a demo to download, but I figured for the $44 it was worth checking out (so I ordered a copy today). The best part is that a 2D side scroller is well within the performance envelope of most Macs (and well designed 2D graphics can be more impressive than 3D).

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A Delicious Monster

Posted: May 30, 2005 in Computing, General

Last night I decided to see if my GL1 would work as a scanner for Delicious Monster’s Library. I figured it probably would (but Flash doesn’t like it as a web cam, so anything is possible). It did, which is nice, expect that it has a steep $40 price tag (for shareware), which of course I decided to pay.

The coolest thing about this software is that it will use a web cam (or DV camcorder) to “scan” barcodes and look up the product on Amazon.com. So rather than manually adding all my DVD titles into some kind of catalog it will do it for me (including all kinds of fun info, including a summary and cover image). Of course it still took me a good two hours to scan all my DVDs.

Cara still has a good chunk of our DVDs, but I put what I currently have into the system. I then spent a little time tweaking the cover images, and breaking some of my box sets into individual discs (like Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, Matrix and Aliens). All said the count is 405, but I’m willing to bet Cara has another 100 at her place. Far too many DVDs, and yet when I’m board I don’t feel like watching a single one.

Everyone is gone this weekend. Cara’s down in Florida this week at a Veterinary conference, Brian left mid-week to go to “hippy camp” up in Mass. Justin, John, Matt and Ben who are hiking in Peru. I have to admit a little jealousy, but there was really no realistic way that I could have taken the trip. If not for the fact that I’m already taking a great deal of time off from work for the wedding, then for the fact that I’m pretty damn out of shape. I look forward to many stories from South America when they return.

I’ve been going a little stir crazy here. I did work on the Subaru (installed the subwoofer) and the Jeep (finished the skid plate install), as well as some other tasks around the house yesterday. Today I decided to catch Episode III (I figured Sunday morning at 10AM was a good time, not to mention it was matinee prices).

There has been a lot of talk about Episode III, so I don’t think I’ll go into a lot of detail. The movie was good, better than episodes I and II. I did get chills when Darth dons the suit, but overall I would consider the movie a failure. There were a lot of good ideas in this flick, but too many problems. I felt that the final scenes should have been a bigger send off (they were particularly weak).

Next on the upcoming movie list are Mr. & Mrs. Smith (6/10) and Batman Begins (6/17) which I think will both be very enjoyable films.

No baton in my pocket…

Posted: May 25, 2005 in General

Outside of the normal meme circles a “musical baton” has been making it’s way around. I figured I’d contribute even though no one asked.

*Total volume of music files on my computer:*
97.76 GB (stored on a RAID 0 hardware array)
15,985 songs
46 days, 20 hours+ of music

*Last CD I bought was:*
Show & Tell by Silvertide

*Song playing right now:*
Call Me Mellow by Tears for Fears

*Five songs I listen to a lot these days:*
(I rarely listen to singles, I usually listen to mostly complete albums, so the five albums).
* Before the Robots : Better Than Ezra
* Halo2 Soundtrack (sans the Incubus tracks)
* Songs for Silverman : Ben Folds
* Get Born : Jet
* The Battle for Everything : Five for Fighting

Unspoken rules of graphic design

Posted: May 25, 2005 in General

I’ve chosen the rules that seem to affect me the most from Ad Rag:

1. Your fonts will default to the worst possible font available on the machine you are showing your work on.

6. If the text consists of two words, one will be misspelled.

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Living with construction.

Posted: May 24, 2005 in General

My father the architect is rarely satisfied with the status-quo, well at least as far as a building is concerned. Not too long ago my parents decided that now that my brother and I were out of the house and they were getting older, that they should downsize their 3,800 square foot house that they built in 1996 and move into something smaller that would be appropriate for their “golden years”.

With that in mind they promptly went out and bought a 5,800 square foot mansion (to some degree) in Manchester. Yes, they are a little insane. Of course the thought is that they will be turning it into a bed and breakfast, and their living area would be a smaller subset of the whole house (of course this doesn’t include the large 4 bay garage they plan on building to house their vehicles).

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I have to admit, I had my doubts about this 4th day (season) of 24. It started a little slow, but really got moving over the last 12 episodes. More important than any of that is the finish, which is the most important thing of any story (I’m a firm believer that an audience will forgive a lot if you give them gold at the end).

There was no super surprise at the end of this season. I like that we had another 30 minutes left in the day to tie up some of the other loose ends, and I think the ending was probably one of the stronger season finales yet. Left us with enough to crave the next season (which doesn’t start until January 2006), without being a complete cliff hanger. Kudos to the producers of 24 for keeping the bar high, I can’t wait until next season.