2003 May 5 (Mon), 09:50 I'm moving to Canada...
Just more reason why America (and Americans, for not doing anything about it) kinda sucks.

2003 May 5 (Mon), 09:53 Oh, and BTW

One of these days I'll get my anti-war rally pics online... For those of you who were with me and are waiting for them ;-)

2003 May 6 (Tue), 10:38 bashing

What is with these micro-updates? Oh yeah... I'm freakin' busy.

Go ahead... keep poking sharp pointy sticks at the Fremen... I'm sure that Mua'dib isn't real...

Having your cake and eating it too...

Yeah... and monkeys might fly out my butt...

Worst... Movie... Ever! (why did I see it? Let's just say I was being 'nice' to a moron)

Speaking of morons, I elect we all Googlebomb these morons. If I were still up in American Fork, I'd do everything within my power to orchestrate peaceful protests outside SCO/Caldera's offices and try to show the community that this little company aint the sweet little small-town company everything thinks (or thought.. dunno, haven't lived there in 3 years) they are.

2003 May 8 (Thu), 11:04 Smacketh Macbeth

I failed to mention yesterday that I've got the Tux Typing website transitionned over to sf.net finally. The previous Tux Typing website has been kept around for archival purposes (and because I think good links should never die), but they have been depreciated and are now unmaintained as a disclaimer on them now indicates.

Jesse is planning a 1.5 release next week for Tux Typing. He also wants a 2.0 release by the end of summer. Ah, to be a young project admin again! ;-) I remember wanting a 1.0 release by the end of 1999 when I got 0.4 out the door... but because of constantly found bugs we didn't get 1.0 out the door until 2001. Still, he may very well do it. From what I've messed with the code (and I've been staggeringly busy) it seems /extremely/ stable and rock solid. My only problem so far as been with the Win32 port, which I suspect is more a problem of MINGW than anything else. Then again, you never know what nasty and completely unexpected bugs will crop up once you get a lot of people trying it out. Of course, my stable branch still wont compile because I've been too busy/lazy (take your pick) to fix the simple build bug we've had since 1.0.3 was released.

My class is going good (were in UNIX02 now). I've got a good bunch of students and I think the classes are going well (though, apparently I am challenging them with many of our in-class projects).

In my copious ammounts of free-time I've been playing the sublimely divine War of The Monsters for PS2. My wife and I have really gotten into this game, as much as we did with Incog Inc.'s other titles like Twisted Metal Black. I wish I had the time to do nothing but play this game until I have every last detail unlocked.

2003 May 12 (Mon), 14:21 MOTHER OF PEARL

I have just consumed a Rockstar energy drink and a Monster energy drink in about 4-6 hours while studying for the final for this.

I feel as though I am covered in spiders and that monkeys are crawling around my brain... Perhaps I took too much.

Shouldn't this stuff be illegal? This is like crack for computer scientists. My heart f'ing hurts. I think I may die. I am not joking... Holy shit. I am wigging the hell out!

2003 May 14 (Wed), 16:56 Microsoft's Technet!

Hey look! I'm on Microsoft's Technet! Wow! Aren't I special?

2003 May 15 (Thu), 22:07 Not an update

...not at all... I'm just hurredly prepping for my class this weekend (and discovering that Knoppix's install scripts dont work for RAID devices... which sucks, and means that the class I had planned will have to be changed... Hmm... maybe I need to figure out where the bottle-neck is and submit a patch)... when I came across an article...

...all I can say is why is Tux so fat? What's up with that?

2003 May 18 (Sun), 19:47 Sploo!

Well, in case you haven't heard, Tux Typing version 1.5.0 has been released! You can get the files from its new site here. You can read read the press release here. Jesse has done a remarkable job rewriting this puppy, and I've been really excited with the direction he's been taking it in. So get out there and test the crap outta this so that Jesse et al can continue to perfect the game.

My UNIX02 class just ended yesterday. I kinda feel we ended with a fizzle. My intent for the class was to summarize what we had learned all class long, and then add two new concepts (software RAID and kernel compilation), both of which I felt we'd skim enough to make due. Unfortunately, I think everyone was kind of burnt out in the series (they had already taken another class before this one, and I'll admit I do work them kinda hard) and so there were many mistakes that made it so we only had two machines working by the end of the day (and one of the machines had a hard drive error just before completion that un-did everything they'd worked on all day). Still, I don't think the class was an utter failure... just the last half of the last day. Perhaps in the future, I'll split up the RAID and kernel compilation to different days (but they really do fit together.. so maybe I wont).

The next class starts in two weeks, and it should be quite fun. It's on security and the book is incredible. So, I am really looking forward to teaching it.

Anyway, right now I'm just waiting for some other players in ClanAM to show up for our UT CTF game now. I new that several people may be out of town this weekend, but it's been 40 minutes and the only person to show up is Skillz. I'm giving it another 20-30 minutes and then I'm calling the game off...

Oh, and BTW, Needless to say, I'm pretty stoked after what's come out from E3 ;-)

2003 May 29 (Thu), 12:03 Rocking the Frickin' Boat

More proof that most Slashdot readers are frickin' morons. I'm sorry, but it's my opinion that we're seeing more innovation happenning in the video game industry now than we have in a very long time. And the Slashdot reader's poo-pooing the PS2, my hell! You want to talk about innovative and original titles, can we mention GTA3/GTAVC? How about SOCOM? Or maybe Incog Inc's brilliant War of the Monsters? Should we forget .hack? Or maybe the console Sims (which totally revitalized a series I personally thought as "dead" in that they've just been rehashing the same crap again and again)? Then we really shouldn't forget Ico. I mean, I'll admit that there's no Animal Crossing for the PS2 (Harvest Moon doesn't count), which really is one of the most original and innovative titles of all time, but come on!

Here's the deal. I've been a video game player for longer than I can remember. I have played literally everything from Computer Space on up, and am still an avid collector and gamer today (I work to feed my gaming habits). Considering I have played practically everything, I would think that I would have a reasonable scheme of reference when judging innovation in the industry. Based upon that scheme of reference, it is my opinion that we are in a Renaissance era for video games. In my opinion, gaming was on a gradual decline since the 16-bit era. Sure, you had some great titles in the 32-bit/64-bit era (Panzer Dragoon Saga, Metal Gear Solid, Shining The Holy Ark, Dark Saviour, Mega Man Legends, Shadows of the Empire, etc.), but you had a higher percentage of crap than you had had previously. This new generation of games and systems (which, really started with the DC) has really pushed the envelope with respect to both gameplay and using games to tell a story.

Another thing irritating in the /. article was the people thought that it was innovating titles (like Shenmue et al) that killed the DC. Idiots. The DC, in its final year before the PS2 came out, was outselling all of the other consoles (including the PS1 and N64). It was experiencing great success and was in a very good position.

The problem was that Sega has been mismanaged since the mid-16-bit days. Halfway through the Genesis's lifespan Sega started spacing on marketting. Ask anyone who's been around long enough and they'll tell you that some of the greatest late-generation Genesis games (eg Gunstar Heroes, Ranger X, etc) recieved little to no advertising while mediocre junk like Vectorman got all the media blitz. Then, Sega killed off their decent selling portable system by no longer producing games for it. They then released a Game Boy killer in the form of the Nomad (a portable Sega Genesis compatible with 99% of the Genesis games- coming into the market with a killer 500+ game library) with no fanfare whatsoever and proceeded to never mention it again (the Nomad was costly to produce, and they sold it at a loss). They then released the 32X addon to the already addon-addled Genesis (the Sega CD was actually very cool, and sold well, but the 32X was just too much already) within 3 months of the PS1's release. They then brought out an excellent system, The Sauturn, which seemingly had some good media coverage (indeed, the first half-year it outsold the PS1), but they dinked around with marginal games while the competition brought out the big guns like Mario 64 and FFVII. They then committed console hari-kari by not releasing their internal libraries to second and third party developers- this made programming for their dual processor machine a real pain in the ass. This also meant that first-party Sega games looked incredible while third-party games looked like crap (especially compared to their PS1 contemporaries). The Saturn slowly faded into nothingness, and was followed by the DC. Now, for the DC, Sega did things right: they had excellent and original titles and were spending money on advertising. The problem is, they had just had 8 years of plunking money down the toilet with little gain. Couple this with the fact that their original cash cow (the thing that kept them alive in the '80s), the arcade, was going the way of the dinosaur, and you have very bleak financial times at Sega. Sega getting out of the console market was a very smart move: the console market is costly and extraordinarily risky. The more sure-fire way to make money in the industry is to be a third-party developer, and let the console guys eat their losses from hardware (just look at EA, they know how to play this game).

Anyway.... sorry for the rant.

I've been getting into Mono lately. You know, C# is a pretty nifty language, and the concepts behind it seem really keen. It seems to deliver on the promises of Java without getting mired down in all the overly-academic and annoyingly pedantic restrictions. I've been monkeying with SDL#, and I'll report my final conclusions on the language in general after I've messed with it for a while.

2003 May 31 (Sat), 23:07 Look how #

The big news today is that I have hacked together my first little C#/SDL# demo. You can get it here. Please be kind, I've only started picking up C# this last week. I assume it'll work on other OSes, but it was written under Linux using Mono and SDLDotNet so I make no garantees that it runs elsewhere. Also, I'm aware I'm sort-of violating the LGPL distributing the SDL.NET.dll binary with no code (if not by the letter, then certainly by the spirit)... but I'm sorry, I just quickly hacked this together and besides, you can get the source from the SDLDotNet website.

Anyway, so what's my verdict? Well, I certainly like C# better than Java. The Mono implementation (at least) seems much more efficient and faster than equivalent Java code. Plus I really like the language structure (much better than Java, IMHO, so much less pedantic). It's funny, because it seems to have taken a lot of my favorite features of other languages and crunched them into one. There's tons of things ripped out of Perl in the language (nefarious of M$, I know, but the language is supposedly an open standard (or will be) and with an excellent Free-Software rendition of it, hey, I can't loose.)

So what's with this new found love of a Microsoft technology? Well, honestly it started here. See, when M$ first announced C#, I was as credulous as anyone (I'm sure if you look through my archives you'll find me ranting about it.) But then I read the above message (actually, just this last week, I was tre' late in reading it) I decided to give it chance. Am I a M$ lover now? Hell no. But just because a company is the most evil entity we've ever encountered doesn't mean that they're completely devoid of inspiration. Heck, AT&T used to be nightmarishly evil too, and yet my primary OS is based-on and written in two different technologies from their era.

Anyway, my third UNIX class started today. It would have gone great if we hadn't had some strange-ness around the room (my teacher machine had a Trident card in it that kept locking up the system). Also, my Java class from this last week sucked... my students all flaked out and stopped showing up (granted, they were all fresh from highshool punks new to college, so whaddya expect?).

Also, if you haven't seen this... well, you really ought to. I'll be releasing my Perl script that actually performs the scripting of this movie under the GPL sometime soon. The Perl allows you to create movie scripts based on timed events and string single frame images together for piping into mencoder. The script expands or contracts frames as needed for a desired FPS. As soon as I finish the above movie, I'll release the code.