Yay, Encoding issues

I’ll try to get encoding issues resolved, for now enjoy your “” characters and more!

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Wannabe: Dimensionality

As I proceed farther into wannabe, I find I need more content to test and validate the work I’m doing.  That is the purpose for the vignette milestones over in the issue tracker.  So, I’ve finally started on one: Rain.  In it, the plan is to have a house, a yard, some background terrain, and ultimately some animated rain falling silently. Read through the end for some fun videos! Continue reading

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Wannabe: The Perils of Hidden Voxel Removal

At least part of the problem Wannabe has with rendering is that we’re blindly drawing every voxel in a somewhat arbitrary manner.  Right now, it’s sorted only by Z, the rest stays in the order added to the initial grid.  We can trick the various RenderTypes to show the wrong thing pretty easily then, just by crafting the data properly.  Only reason things have been reasonably decent is because I’ve tended to add voxels from left to right, top to bottom, and the best looking renderer is up-and-to-the-left.  Any mistakes will get drawn over. Continue reading

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Wannabe: Interlude

I’ve not not been working on wannabe — in fact I have significant code and written content that I haven’t posted.  I’ll try to get somewhere more this weekend.  In a nutshell, there’s at least two problems: I use a pretty naive neighbor data structure, and I ended up conflating hidden surface removal with hidden voxel removal.  And I’m not sure I can quite tease those apart.

Continue reading

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Wannabe: Gaining some perspective

Small diversion:  What I didn’t really mention in the last post was that I had actually gotten the PsuedoPerspective working a bit better.  Let’s see what that looks like! Continue reading

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Wannabe: Advanced cubism

Continuing the Cabinet projection effort from the last post let’s see if we can close out issue #1 on github.  We need to add sides and make sure things look good under different circumstances. Continue reading

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Wannabe: making a Cabinet

I’ve copied several of the issues from the last post into the github project’s issues list. Herein, I work on issue #1: A Cabinet (Projection).  Read on to see how we can make these little squares a little more cubey. Continue reading

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Even a wannabe needs goals

In the first article, I described the basics of wannabe: a simple graphics engine.  I haven’t been letting it sit, I’ve added some small features to it and have been making plans.

On github: wannabe: Multiplatform low-resolution 3d engine. For losers, by losers. Continue reading

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Muppets Most Bestest

Someone on the Internet is wrong.  IGN recently made an ordering of the Muppet movies from worst to best. It’s almost entirely wrong.

Here’s my list, from best to worst:

  1. The Muppet Movie — It’s hard to argue with the first one.  Lots of heart, fun introductions for all the characters.  This was my introduction to the Muppets, I hadn’t really seen much of the series yet.
  2. The Muppet Christmas Carol — Aside from the great story, a great juggling of traditional Muppet roles.  Gonzo and Rizzo as narrators, lots of fun songs.  Except “The Love Is Gone”, ugh, that one’s tedious (and only involves humans anyway).
  3. Muppets From Space — Mega-funk soundtrack, and lots of chances for the new Muppets Tonight characters to really shine.  Much love for Bobo.
  4. Muppet Treasure Island — Tim Curry is always gold.  Great songs and wackiness, but it just didn’t rise to the level of the Christmas Carol.
  5. Muppets Most Wanted — a pretty good return to form after the disappointing The Muppets.  Action, goofiness, good songs.  Ty Burrell and Sam the Eagle had a fun subplot and one of the betters songs.
  6. The Muppets — while it was great to see a return to the big screen, this film felt a little whiny and angsty.  It seemed to have very few musical numbers, too.  The opening bit was pretty good, though.

And here’s the Miasma.  I just don’t remember anything remarkable about these Muppet films; I should re-watch so I can insert in the above list.  And isn’t there another one?  I’m almost positive that in the opening act of Muppets Most Wanted they said that this was the eighth sequel.

  • The Muppets Take Manhattan
  • The Great Muppet Caper
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Fun economic reading

Three interesting (but not short) economic documents came across my desk over the last couple of months. Sort of natural, I guess, given that I work for Square, but I think they are all worth reading. That said, I’m about halfway through each. 😉

  1. A simple explanation of how money moves around the banking system — Ever Move money electronically?  How does that work?
  2. How the Bitcoin protocol actually works — pretty applicable to Dogecoin, too, a far more impressive currency.
  3. The Economics of Star Trek — I often give some thought to this.  This is a fun exploration of really doing it.
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The Clumsy Pattern: Doing “Girl Power” wrong.

The debate over gendered pronouns popped up in computer-science-land over a couple of commits for node.js.  There are serious problems with the male-dominated culture in CS (and video games, for that matter), and this blog post by the corporate maintainers of node.js was really the wrong reaction on a couple of points. Continue reading

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The wannabe graphics engine

After recently getting an Ouya device, I got inspired to make a game.  Then I realized two things: I don’t have any skill with 3d, and I learn by doing.

Here’s a quick guide to what I’ve done so far: wannabe, a multiplatform 3d engine, for losers, by losers. Continue reading

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Making an Android app look like a web browser

I’m not in the business of writing web browsers, but my HTC One X has a problem: HtcLinkify. Due to an annoying lawsuit from Apple, HTC changed the behavior of web links on their devices.  Instead of jumping right into a specific app, the web browser just dumbly follows the link itself.  There is a way to fix, but you have to root your phone. Continue reading

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Great game music…

I have a large mix of games, many of the recent additions from yon Humble Indie Bundle.  The great thing about Humble is you always get access to game soundtracks, so there’s a lot of top-quality music available.  Here’s some of my favorites. Continue reading

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What’s it like to be smart?

What’s it like to be smart?  Some quick thoughts, with a twist that surprised even me.

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I’m on a Mac: Recovery

Tried to boot up my macbook after a long weekend.  Got the inscrutable flashing folder with a question mark.  Tried a couple of tips from the internet, like holding option or ‘c’ down, neither of which worked.

Then, hooked up my TimeMachine backup and the recovery console came up on its own, and allowed me to fix the disk (partition table reported the wrong size).  Everything was happy.

Kudos, then, Mr. Mac.  If you have a time machine handy, it works pretty well.  The opposite of kudos for not really telling me that before or after, and for crashing in the first place!


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Upgrading Git on MacOS X Lion

This was way harder than it needs to be, because MacOS X Lion ships with git in /usr/bin.  Here’s a quick sequence of steps:

  1. Download and install latest version from http://git-scm.com/.  This appears to work but won’t change anything from the command line.  The new version is installed in /usr/local/git.
  2. Reconfigure your path to put /usr/local/git/bin in front of /usr/bin.  Something like this in your ~/.bash_profile:
    export PATH=/usr/local/git/bin:$PATH
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I’m on a Mac: Utilities you need to survive

Several utilities that make life bearable on the mac:

  • KeyRemap4MacBook — awesome way to make sensible keyboard changes.  Recommend the following settings:
    • Change Eject Key / Eject to Forward Delete
    • Change Fn Key / Fn+letter to Control_L+Letter (note: I use MacOS’s keyboard changes to change Control keys to Command keys)
    • Custom Shortcuts / Hold Command+Q to Quit Application
    • And my own private.xml file, with Change Cmd+H to Ctrl+H (For Eclipse), and remap Alt-F4 to Command+Q (not that I love windows, but I don’t want quitting to be easy)
  • Stay — $15, but worth it if you move between different monitor configurations.
  • Airfoil — $25, if you want to use AirPlay with external programs like Pandora or Spotify.
  • Jumpcut — clipboard history
  • Disk Inventory X — find out where your disk space is going
  • Bigger names, all cross-platform: Songbird, Firefox, Chrome, Steam, etc.
  • Finally, VirtualBox, so I can use real operating systems when I need them.
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I’m on a Mac: Screensavers and keys

No real editorial here, just capturing some metrics.  Number of keys lost when coming out of screensaver or sleep to the unlock password prompt:

  • Windows XP: 1..n — You have to hit ctrl-alt-del anyway.  And all keys between CAD and when the prompt shows are lost.
  • MacOS X (Snow, Lion): 0..1 — sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t.
  • Linux (Ubuntu 6.6 +): 0 keys lost.  Always works just like you want.  You can type your password before your screen powers on.


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I’m on a Mac: Operating System

As mentioned in my Third Day post, I’m using a MacBook now, every day, as my work computer.  And, well, I’ve not died nor been struck by lightning or anything.  But am I a convert?  Read my my ongoing discussion of my experiences with the platform.  This week: the operating system, Mac OS X 10.6.

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