Submitted by sam on Thu, 2011-03-03 17:59.
If you couldn't tell from my last entry (a month ago, wee! I'm a frequent blogger! ... aaand sarcasm off...) I've been mussing about with music a good deal lately.
This largely has to do with the fact that I've been stuck in a very very very grey cubicle and in desperate need of musical escape.
Well, I've come to the realization lately that I really do not like the current state of music players under Linux, or the direction of music players in general.
Submitted by sam on Tue, 2011-02-08 19:18.
Some of you might know I've been a long-time supporter of Last.fm. You can see on my profile (that I just linked) that I've been a member since November 2006 and I've scrobbled some 26k songs. Looking at the current state of this site, you'll see I even have some blocks dedicated to various feeds from my Last.fm profile including the top artists I've listened to and the most recent music I've played.
What I've always liked about Last.fm was their data collection and statistical analysis tools. As a massive nerd, I find data mining fascinating and enjoy collecting mountains of data on my listening habits (26k+ songs over almost five years). It's been fun to find out things about myself I never would have predicted. For example, I never would have expected that my top most listened to artist was Akira Yamaoka, especially considering I only have two CDs of his music. Nor would I have expected that Goldfrapp, a group I only discovered last summer, would over the course of six months rise to number 10 in my most played artists. Additionally, Tiny Tim's "Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight" was my number 1 most listened to song for years until it was usurped by Gnarls Barkley's "Run (I'm a Natural Disaster)" and Manish's "Series of Tubes". The data-mining of my tastes has been most fascinating as I've discovered a) my musical tastes are actually pretty crazy diverse and b) I tend to get stuck in musical ruts for long periods of time (likely an Asperger's thing).
Submitted by sam on Tue, 2011-02-01 22:19.
This is going to be a morose entry.
This is going to be one of those entries that seemingly should have been written by an overly emotional teenager, angry at life, shouting at nothing in particular because his or her life sucks and because everything is going poorly and nothing is going their way.
I just wanted to give you fair warning so that if you wanted to avoid reading an entry such as this you can click-away. You can go to Facebook and raise a cow, or go to Twitter and see what Justin Bieber just had for lunch, or you can go to Fox News and learn how to be a small-minded bigot.
Seriously, no one is forcing you to stay here and read this. So if you'd rather not read a middle-aged man perform the digital equivalent of crying into his beer then leave now.
Submitted by sam on Mon, 2010-07-05 05:30.
In this first entry in the "Android and dreams undreamt" rambling, I'll briefly go through the Linux history to date, touch on fragmentation, and mention some of the work we did at Progeny (the reasons will become apparent soon :-)
Submitted by sam on Mon, 2010-07-05 01:03.
The Linux community and its associated industries has been a very interesting thing to observe lately. It's gone from an underground hit to an extremely mainstream staple in the 15 or so years I've been working with it, and we have Linux-based devices and platforms which are truly bizarre and unique even in the diverse landscape that is the Linux-verse.
It's no secret that I've spent the last two years in a self-imposed Windows development environment, but it was never my intention to abandon my free software love completely. At Funavision, we've spent two years building some high-quality, first class, gaming technology in the form of an engine we call "Mimicware". This engine is currently closed source and proprietary, however we are seriously considering the pros and cons of releasing it under a free or open software license (since, honestly, our intended business was not centered on this bit of technology).
Mimicware currently is mostly written in C#. This was a practical decision to bootstrap our technology against Microsoft's XNA, but our intention was never to stick with C# ad nauseum. Our intention was to eventually rewrite the core of Mimicware in something more portable and then provide bindings for it in several high level languages (including C#, and using our existing Mimicware engine code).
In fall 2009 we began the work of rewriting our core in a more cross-platform way. Admittedly we haven't completely finished this rewrite, and we have a way to go before we can utilize it in our games, but what we have so far is already fairly impressive as it technically allows us to develop applications which can run on a diverse range of platforms including the Xbox 360 and Google Android (in fact, to my knowledge, we're the first to actually be able to do that :-) If we do ultimately release the source to this engine, I think we'll likely be the first free/open-source multimedia game API to target such a wide range of platforms.
Well, as we've been working on this cross-platform core, I've been learning more and more about Google's Android platform. What I've learned is completely and utterly fascinating, so I thought I'd share...
Submitted by sam on Thu, 2010-05-06 14:57.
I have many reasons for loving Python, but I think my favorite aspect of it is the inherent readability of the language. I mean, you really have to work hard to make your Python code unreadable (though, people mis-using decorators can make otherwise readable Python code extraordinarily unreadable...)
The thing about Python is how hard it can make working with other languages once you've fully ingested the Python kool-aid. The many aspects that make Python such a wonderful language to work with really amplify related weaknesses in other languages. For example, I always had complaints about Java, but I couldn't completely articulate my biggest complaint (how hard it is to make readable Java code) until I worked with Python for a few years.
Well, for the last two years I've been working the majority of my time in C# (doing games for Funavision). I have to say, I really don't mind C# as much as I expected I would- while it is obviously C/C++ and Java inspired in many ways, it has a good deal of sanity to it that reduces my frustration when working with it. It also helps that Visual Studio has handy features that make working in the language even easier.
However, it still has the big problems associated with making readable code. Inconsistent syntactic sugar (see C# switch/case), ability to hide entire code segments in property get/sets (grrrr), "Interface" objects that are supposed to be method free but which can still contain method-like code (see get/set previously), etcetera are all examples of language hurdles to readable code.
Well, a while ago I came up with what is probably the least readable C# code I've ever done. I'm not proud of it... but I've decided to share it anyway...
Submitted by sam on Mon, 2010-04-19 21:00.
I just read something that I couldn't quite believe. In an editorial "blog" posting, Las Vegas Review-Journal editor Thomas Mitchell wrote some of the most idiotic things I think I've ever attempted to read. What I can't quite believe about it is that he meant what he wrote to be serious....
In his post, Mr. Mitchell says it's time to repeal the 19th Amendment (you know, the one that gives women the right to vote) because he claims that women are "fickle and biased". To back up his claim, he points to some poll results in his newspaper and draws some very bizarre conclusions based upon these results.
In all honesty, I can't completely grok the nonsensical bullshit he's trying to say. Somehow, he is trying to claim that because women in one poll preferred one candidate higher than they did in another poll, and because women tend to be Democratic nationally, that means they are biased and fickle... Or something... His post makes about as much sense as the ramblings of a schizophrenic homeless person claiming that the NBA is trying to steal his brain....
Since his argument is so confusing and bizarre, I've attempted to summarize it more succinctly in this image:
Submitted by sam on Fri, 2010-04-16 00:50.
I really should be writing about my game which I released second footage of today, but I'm not going to.
I'm not going to write about my game because I am mad as hell. I'm absolutely livid. I sit here, and all I see being tweeted, blogged, broadcast and shat out around me is a torrent of idiotic anti-tax bullshit. All of it incorrect and uninformed. It's not the torrent of anti-tax bullshit that's pissing me off, either, it's the fact that so many people blindly allow themselves to continue to be so rabidly ignorant about the facts.
So, in my own feeble way, I am going to write something on this. I am going to vainly try to insert some modicum of sanity and reason into this white-knuckled scream-fest of right-wing idiocy, libertarian fantasy, and plain-old-fashioned fact manipulation by the wealthy.
Read on for more...
Submitted by sam on Tue, 2010-03-02 15:26.
I mentioned before that I was quitting FFXI, and I did, in fact, quit in February, however it took me until now to actually get the final screenshots and stories up detailing my character's end.
Vis Maior: 2004-2010
You can read about my last month in the game here as well as see my final entry here.
I really did enjoy this game for the last 6 years, and if FFXIV is half as much fun I see myself easily spending another 6 years in it :-)
Submitted by sam on Mon, 2010-03-01 19:12.
Wow... information overload..... Where do I begin?