Thursday, 27 February 2014

HTML5 Animation "Bouncing Balls" Example

Bouncing Circles I've been playing about with some HTML5 canvas drawing/animation examples... You can follow the same tutorials here.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Keep it simple Stupid

Today is a frustrated by hardware day, at work this is, at home I only have hardware which behaves and any which dare annoy me gets binned, or worse thrown to the dogs.

But in the office it seems people set out to actively annoy one another...

We have a series of buttons, they sit in order zero through eight... one set of people, including me, want to address them zero through eight in the software... and they have... but then some bright *cough* spark on the hardware side has mapped them to the numbers.... 6, 11, 13, 15, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15,... Making working with them an absolute ball ache, everyone gets confused....

"I'm senting 14" says one chap... nothing lights up... "Which button did you want?"... "Second from the right"... "You mean the seventh?"... "Yes"... "So send 7".... "Oh does that work?"... 

Fuck sake... yes 7 works... Keep it simple stupid... KISS... Whoever invented the previous order needs a kicking.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Man Lab Loft Edition

This has been a slow weekend for me, I worked Saturday, which put pay to doing anything of interest... Though the wife and I were happy to go for a walk with the dogs and see the Council, or some other benefactor, had been out and cleared all the shrub and scrub from the Erewash washlands.

Now, I know the washlands well, I lived in the area for 10 years between 2001 and 2011, and recently bought a second home close by them again.  And never in that time had I seen much in the way of repair to the place, sure they repaired the wooden stand bridge and replaced the dilapidated World War 2 era concrete bridge, but they never tended the banks, or cleared the scrub.

It was a sight to behold to see the river from the raised walk way on the Western side...

Sunday however was more my time, no gaming, not even a stitch of interest on the computer, though the wife and mother-in-law did sit down and play Monopoly... Yes a board game... I'm tempted to try them on a copy of the Red Box... but I don't think 2D+4 against Fort will go down like passing go and collecting £200.

The only other thing I got up to was clearing the loft out... An interesting time, the loft area is an office, it's only accessible through a loft ladder, but it is a room, but since we moved in it has been utterly overrun with mess.  Boxes, wires, and a hell of a lot of stuff...

Today, I spend 5 hours clearing it out, and sorting the stuff... There was loads of stuff to be thrown out, including my first primer on C++ which had been eaten by a parrot, covered in ash, and torn to shreds in places... Why is this important?  Well, up there now is I hope going to be a place I can escape myself to, to play games away from the prying eye of the wife...

But up there is already a small shrine to my gaming past... My old P4 machine, the first machine I played World of Warcraft on... I hand built this machine with the last of my cash from my crash and burn job in Matlock... It was a then top of the line P4 motherboard, with 1.5Gb of top end ram with coolers, a custom cooler stack, a P4 2.4Ghz (HT) so my first dual core machine, and a pair (yes two) GeForce 8800 GTX... top of the line at the time.

I built it for other things, but I ended up living most all my World of Warcraft life in there...

Yes, I'm still thinking about going to play WoW... I don't want to, I just miss the old days, the level 60 days, the original and best WoW.  I even went as far as downloading the "Starter Edition" of Wow and playing a new Worgen character on that Free to Play starter edition... But, I got the chap from level 1 to 10 in like 15 minutes... And you know what, I didn't read or think about a single quest...

This was new content, this was new quests, in a new area, with a new back story, and... It just passed me by in 15 minutes.

What an utter and total shame.

I mean, I was pointed where to go on the map, they highlighted blue areas on the map to find the mobs to hit, they pointed to quest hand-ins, they even added the items to click (from my inventory) to the right of the quest listing on the right of the screen, so I didn't even have to open my bag to do things...

Then I noticed leveling up, they just gave me my skills, they just came to me, no need for a trainer... I mean, my first WoW character was a Human Warrior, and I remember the pleasure of running all the way back to Goldshire to around the back of the Smithy to train up, and lending a guild member 10 silver to buy their skills.... I miss those days....

I miss the endless running, and running, and getting level 40 and then selecting where to run to get your mount from... Do I try one from Elwynn Forest?... Do I go to Menethil?... Do I go mad and try taking the boat from Menethil to see what they have across the pond?....

Yeah, that's what I miss...

My guild, Arx... And original Wow...

Chaplin I know you're there, I miss Chaplin the Dwarf Warrior... Or even the Rogue ;)
Eesu, yes Sue I even miss you....
Eve, aye Nick not spoke to you in yonks, missing you telling us about Pork Belly....

Now, Nightwisp, I ran into him in WarThunder recently, which was nice... Wish I'd have made a note of your user name.

There are the others to... Hulalu, the first Druid I met... Yes I played in an era when Humans were in the forest and Westshire then Darkshire, long before Nightelves ventured far enough to meet us... Dwarves sometimes took the risk of legging it from Loch Modan over the Blasted Lands to meet up, and yes I remember going and opening that tunnel for people time and again....

The old tales of Wow are the best, I might try and find some of my old screenshots and put them up here, there seem to be a fair few YouTubers whom are making a good following around telling old tales, I'm pretty sure no-one who knows me would argue I played this game so much, I lived it, literally.  I knew every inch of the overworld and nearly every inch of every dungeon.

And believe it or not at level 60 I went back and found later raids to all the original content raids to complete the set... But I was so sad to see all the gear and effort and time melt away.

I mean my level 60 warrior had about 90 days played, solid days... played in about 6 hour stints... It took over a year to get to this state... a year to 60... And I loved it... Then 18 months in I rolled my first alt... It was slow, it was fun... It was life.

So, if I miss it so much, why am I not back in there now... Well, firstly, I won't have the time, the wife won't let me play the amount of life away... I wish we could go back to the old days and she'd then play with me, but she'd not get it now with the hundreds of thousands of health and gear demands...

Also, the link above includes my appearance on "Shut up We're Talking"... I miss SUWT... But in this podcast I'd just quit playing, recorded in 2010 I'd been cold turkey since about December 2009... I had met the now wife in June 2009, she'd seen me playing as the "Tree waving its hands", but the good old days were already gone then... Burning Crusade was an okay, even possibly good expansion, by Wrath just had me furious.

And I point this out with numbers about the gear levels, and my predictions were right, you can see the massive health pools and silly high gear levels... I remember when level 50 gear on level 60 folks was the norm, and seeing a hunter in Dragon armour (level 65) at 60 was just amazing... I never was that swinging dick, but I saw the appeal of it.... Blizzard pretty much sold out the game I'd sold my soul to, so I quit, I griped (as you can hear) and then I met my wife and got on with life...

Could a different arc in the progress of Wow have affected my life?... You know what, I think it could... But that's perhaps a topic for another day.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Minecraft Ordeal 3

I've been back in my Minecraft world, and I'm a little disappointed by a couple of things, first of all, that lava pool, I've breached it above and below with glass, it's even bigger than I previously thought, it goes under other rock in a circle now over 100 squares around.

This is a major problem, you can see my lower mining hall below, were I've propped the lava pool up on glass, and you can now see above where I've made a passage directly through for my higher mining shafts, but it is a lot of dangerous work, I was at one point down to 1 heart and burning before I had my water out to quench myself.

And that only then resulted in more damn problems...

Then the temple... What a let down... There was basically just a shaft down the middle, and TNT below a pressure plate... No adventure there at all, not what I expected.  I dunno, I expected something like CubeWorld, I assumed CubeWorld had copied Minecraft, but now it seems not.

Here's my expedition and you can see I expose the trap after digging down parallel with the shaft, in the chests was gold, bones, iron and one saddle as well as a lot of rotten flesh.

I had all the sandstone I could away with me, filling my inventory... But still no adventure, no fulfillment.

CubeWorld lacks any depth, Minecraft lacks any adventure... I don't know what to do... I'm tempted to sub to Eve to make sure my name gets on the statue... And I'm even tempted to download WoW again.

I would love to have the time to sit down and write my own new game, a mix of D&D with Lort of Ultima, with I dunno, something else... But I really don't have the time when I'm in a programming mood... Work is taking over, I worked a 6 day week, where I should have done 37 hours I've done 54; and the project is still not done.

I need something I can put on and zone out with...

So Wow is the perfect place for me, I find other games, like D&D online, LOTRO and the like to look terrible... I like the cartoony world of WoW... It's just not the same as the old days... And I've been out of it for 2 years... and really for the amount of time I'll get to play it, would £9 a month be worth it?... I doubt it.

But, take a look at my Battle.NET account and it says there's "Wow Starter", which is free to play?

It's a whole other account?

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Thread Safety - Don't #1

Do not oscillate the value of an integer as the back-bone of making your code thread safe...


int m_Count = 0;

    if ( m_Count++ == 0)
        m_Count = 0;
while ( true );

This is not good code... This is bad... Evil... Malign... Code.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Minecraft Ordeal 2

I have still not had time to venture out into the Desert to that Temple, however, I will be maybe tonight... Depends....

For now however, I've been trying to gather resources, this means expansing my mining... But I've had this lava pool blocking me... I've been supporting it with glass, and its getting bigger and bigger

So, I took myself a big of time to dig up and around it... Lighting my path up...

And this is what I found...

The trouble is, the lava seems to go off under the walls to the sides, its wide, very much more wide than this shot makes it look and its just as deep.... its around 8 blocks deep, at least 80 blocks long and at least 50 blocks deep...

I don't want to turn it into obsidian as I don't have efficient diamond pick axes to deal with it...

News Flash: Lord of Ultima Closing

Just a few minutes ago I heard news that Lord of Ultima will be being closed down, it is always sad to see a game going down... I doubt news of this will filter far beyond the community playing.


I for one briefly enjoyed Lord of Ultima, but eventually found it a very grindy game, with a lot of elitists playing it.

However, I do wonder whether this news opens the market for an open source, or free to play, game in the same vein.  When I last played it I did strongly consider developing my own version of it, which sorted out some of my problems with the game... This maybe that time... Watch this space.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Manlab White Out

It has been a long and arduous weekend, first of all.... The MAN LAB IS DONE.

It's all plastered through, invarying levels of quality, until the very last walls is perfect, and I mean that, it's a brilliant flat, smooth lovely wall.... The first wall I did is appauling, the last, well I think I could sell myself as a plasterer of walls with that last wall...

I've also painted it all, after applying watered-down-PVA to seal the plaster, I've put on three coats on all the walls and four coats of matt brilliant white emulsion.  It's very much like a mental ward, or a dream... You could easily re-film the scene with Harry and Dumbledore at Kings Cross station in there....

Though the room might actually be more white than it's possible for a convensional camera to pick up.

The room needs a new carpet next, and a better light fitting, and then the electrical outlets and switches are going to be swapped for brushed chrome, but... None of that can happen for at least a month, so for now the room is done.

I'm going to put the power extensions back around to my work area, set up my desk and get on with living in the room.

A trip to Ikea maybe on the bill too, for some new wardrobe space.

Oh, but I did fall off the ladder once, the thing just folded up on me, and I fell down and bounced off the header of my bed... which is iron bars... I bent one of the bars something furious, and my left hip is utterly shot today, but hey ho.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Must not listen to office morons talking about building their own PC's... Must resist... Must not rise to them...

The conversation about PC's started about the person buying new kit going from an AMD product to an Intel product, then to the giant can or worms that is "Re-installing Windows 7", and then his recommending to someone else to buy a big fat new copy of windows (instead of just buying one of the perfectly legal and legit OEM stickered ones from people like Spartan).

And then he dived into his ultra cool cooling system... Which was... a case fan... yes he added one, finally.. 2014... Case Fan... Right dude... I got four and memory fans, plus a water system from CPU to GPU and out to a major dual 180mm fan radiators...

And then he started to bemoan hos loud the fans are... I could point him back to my silent fan reviews from what... two years ago... but... I can't... I can't get involved.

In other news, on top of Thursdays post about sleep, I was in bed last night at like 9:20pm and I got up for work at 5:50am... I was here and working - after a nice breakfast - at 6:50am.

Usually, when I get up at 9:20am I'm here and working by 9:50am... So, why did getting up early take nearly an hour to deliver me to work, when getting up late gets me here quick?... Hmmm...

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Sleep and Work

Embarrassing confessions time... I was just watching Good Mythical Morning 374, today's edition, and they're talking about sleep & sleeping  habits.

And I was just thinking I need to improve my sleep quality, and then the embarrassment set in...

I remember in a job I had 12 years ago, whilst in a face to face meeting with the owner of the company, so my uber boss... I feel asleep...

Right in front of the guy... he wasn't being boring, he was actually offering me interesting work, but at the time my sleep was so pitiful, and there were so many problems at home with my then girlfriend I just was not getting any sleep.

In fact, not to make excuses, but I went to work to get some peace and quiet.  It was a good job, I should have tried harder, and in fact the day I left it I went home and the girlfriend was gone... and it was praise be... I do wonder to this day if I should have got a good nights sleep and then just gone back to them and explained, but I never did.

I never told them about her activities, and she got up to some funky things, and like 18 months after she'd just walked out, well... I got a credit card company knocking on the door asking for £14,000... Which she'd spent.

All this was my fault, I let my life change so dramatically, and the rubber band broke.  It was ironic really because for months before this job I basically poisoned with lack of sleep, I was getting up at like 5am each morning and driving 70 odd miles to my previous place of work, beavering away there until at least 7pm at night and heading 70 miles home again... to basically dead sleep until the next morning...

But I was living on junk food and youth, and the then girlfriend didn't live with me... the moment I got the job closer to home, she moved in... my brother moved in with me, having been made homeless, and basically my job, my life, my way of working was lost.

I regained it when she'd left and I made my brother move on, I had like two weeks and was into one of the longest and best roles I ever had, and I delivered, but I always wish I'd delivered to that previous company who had took me on... I never spoke to them about it, in fact when the Director spoke to me I just admitted my faults and accepted the inevitable, because... well I was through fighting, to get home and find the girl gone was a blessing.

If those previous employers out there read this... Vanessa, Stuart, et al.... Sorry folks, I was a sleep deprived knob.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Code::Blocks from Source on Linux (Debian) Mint

I've had a bit of a programming tools review, especially on my Linux boxes.  I've been using the stable release of Code::Blocks 12 for a long time, the reason being the lack of time and space to evaluate the newer v13.

Today however, the boss is out of the office, and with two projects under test I'm not going to do any more project progression for the next two days... This is therefore my window of opportunity... My chance to try v13!

And just to add to my thrill... God I'm sad... I built it from source...

For my own records then, my steps were...

1. Install the dependencies...
  sudo apt-get update
  sudo apt-get upgrade
  sudo apt-get install gtk+-2.0
  sudo apt-get install libwxgtk2.8-dev
  sudo apt-get install libwxbase2.8-dev
2. Download the source
3. Extract to a folder and within...
  sudo make
  sudo make install
4. Edit the
  sudo nano /etc/
- Add -
include /usr/local/lib
- Save -
  sudo ldconfig
5. Run Code Blocks!

So far my tests have been fine, the project all load, and better than all this... My main project compile time has gotten a lot shorter, I'm talking we've gone from 1m8s on v12 to 48seconds... This may sound like nothing, but extend this out over 137 projects... That's just over 45 minutes on a full system rebuild for the main project.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Minecraft Ordeal 1

Lets take a tour of my new Survival world in Minecraft.  I started this world so that I might actually play the game, but also to experiment with some of the items in it.

For you see, I'm interested in volume rendering, I've been enjoying both Minecraft and CubeWorld, the latter I enjoy the visuals the former I enjoy the details, and though I can't do better than either I'd like to explore GLSL programming and do it with something interesting, so all this play has been about teaching myself about a world, a structure and thinking how I'd like to emulate it myself.

They say this is a form of flattery, and I sincerely hope Notch & Wollay take my efforts (if I ever get properly motivated) as they are intended - sincere and honest flattery to their excellent work.

The first thing I did was open a branch mine.  Luckily I spawned by a river, neighbouring a desert and with chickens a plenty, so after gathering wood and penning up the chickens I dur a stair case down....

Down to bed rock and then I stripped it all out and filled it back in to level with cobble stone, many players and articles say not to bother stripping this out that diamonds won't be found within the bedrock layer, or some other such myths.  In fact, as you can see, stripping down the bedrock and then building it back up does yield diamonds.

And I have found them in significant numbers in both this, and my previous worlds... Where many wiki entries and other such guides actually discourage looking for them.

So the branch mine itself, has two halves, the main hall and then the layered hall...

From this the initial tunnels run out around 500 blocks on both sides, and on two layers, they meet one cave system to the West and an underground river is present there, with the walls of the cave as yet un-tapped for resources.

However, on the lower levels to the East there is a large, deep, magma/lava pocket.  I've hemmed this in with glass to try and build around it, but so far its around 60 blocks wide with no end in sight.

The secondary halls were cut with a landing between them, but they're otherwise the same as the main branch mine hall.

Aside from branch mining, I have been setting up all the comforts of home, I've the start of a storage area.

An enchanting room... with a full library... More about the leather for the books in a moment.

Outside I then have the chickens mentioned earlier, along with a pumpkin and wheat growing area.  There are also sugar cane ranks beyond, but all this is manual farming, nothing is yet automated.

Following from home, before I could build the library, I needed leather, so I set off creating beacon towers to let me find my way home...

My towers went from short squat things, to taller more elegant things as resources became available...

And with each tower spaced to see another, I could track my route across the deserts which seem to envelope my corner of green.

From the last tower in the desert however, I created a small path to a specific area, which I cleared...

For within the area I found, and could breed cows...

This was my first source of leather, however, being open and in the middle of a forest, I had to start clearing and I started to sculpt the land and open up the area, then added lighting to stop the overwhelming mobs spawning.

Finally being able to create a second cow shed, with a roof and proper lighting to support breeding and leather harvesting...

After mile upon mile of desert however I built another tower to the East... And though the views were bleak....

My next challenge soon was spotted....

Let the adventure continue.... I'm hoping this is where Minecraft get to feel like CubeWorld... Lets see.