Over the Christmas holidays, I thought I'd spend a little time getting back into the 'blog' spirit. Kind of a new years resolution of sorts. I also wanted to make my blogging a little less painful ( I wasn't a fan of the interface to bloggers toolset and sending emails just was a bit of a pain ). So, I decided that I'd go surfing for some tools. I've found one that's interesting and I thought I'd share. It's a plug in for Firefox (my browser of choice) called 'Performancing' (link). Here's why I like it. A lot of times while I'm blogging, I'm usually referencing another site. This blogging tool resides in a split window in firefox, allowing me to browse the web, grab links and just generally work the way that I want to work. So far, it does everything that I want it to do. If you're like me and post occasionally to your blog, you may want to check it out.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
I love Dev Studio. No, seriously, I do. Not in that 'dark lights and smooth music' kinda way, but in the "let's split a cab fare to get to where we're going" kinda way. But one of the things I don't like about it is the ability, or more properly, the inability to set up the coloration in a nice format. Actually, I'd like other people to do it for me, let me tweak it to my likings and claim it as my own! An lo an behold, I've found a site that is doing just that, for Dev Studio 2005. IDEHotOrNot.ning.com. Now, given that there aren't a lot of themes up there now, but it is a start. And a fairly decent one too.
Posted by Ash Matheson at 9:17 pm
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
I'm always on the lookout for free things. The last couple of days I've found a couple of freebies that I don't know how I've lived without. Or at least that's my excuse for posting! First on the block is a little utility called Colibri. If you're a Mac user, you've probably heard of a tool like this called QuickSilver. It's pretty damn cool. Essentially, it's a thin version of Google Desktop, but it only parses your registry/installed executable files. Once installed, you can activate it by pressing "Ctrl+space" then typing in the name of the application to launch. For instance 'Fir' for "Firefox" or "not" for "Notepad". Really quick for me, since I tend not to use the mouse for much if I can get away with it. Linkage is here: http://colibri.leetspeak.org/ Next up is a really, REALLY cool plugin for Explorer. If you're like me, you usually have a command prompt open most of the time. This little extension for Explorer essentially embeds a command prompt directly into the explorer window. I can't stress how cool this is. Linkage is here: CodeProject link I'm looking at a few others right now. More to come, I do believe!
Posted by Ash Matheson at 10:02 pm
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
No, I don't just develop games. I actually play a fair bit of guitar. A couple of weeks ago, I was at Tom Lee Music in Downtown Van. Apparntly Line 6 (makes awesome amps and amp simulators) had released a while back a new guitar line called the 'Variax'. What's different about these guitars? They have no traditional pickups. What they have is a set of digital piezo pickups mounted into the bridge that work on a string by string basis. What's that mean? If you've ever tried doing the old "Midi Guitar/Guitar synth" route as I did when I was a kid, it means that you've essentially a digital system for modelling on a string by string basis the tonality of any guitar. Want to change the tuning of your guitar, without actually changing the tuning of your guitar? Just model the tuning that you're interested and away you go. Want to have the guitar sound like a 12 string? Again, just model that behaviour. It's a bit pricy, and I didn't like the way the one I played felt, but it was the bottom of the line model. And you have to pick up a fair bit of extras in order to get the most out of this guitar. But it really has some interesting potential. Check it out at: http://line6.com/variax/overview.html
Posted by Ash Matheson at 5:02 pm
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
I'm actually very impressed by this guy's work. Makes me want to start playing some more: http://www.jonathancoulton.com/2006/04/14/thing-a-week-29-code-monkey/ Go. Buy the song. Thus commands Ash.
Posted by Ash Matheson at 4:33 pm
Saturday, April 22, 2006
So, I've borrowed a laptop from work. But there isn't any photo editing software on it. So, I go digging around the web looking for something. The urge to grab JASC's Paint Shop Pro (which is now owned by Corel ... jeez, are they still around?) was high. But out of pure luck, I found this: http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/paint.net/ Essentially, some folks over at WSU decided to build a little (little, he says ...) Paint and photo editing software package. And so far, it's pretty decent. OK, so before all you linux folks out there (are there any linux folks out there reading this???) jump all over me and tell me to use "The Gimp", I've been there, I've done that and I've burned the T-shirt. Gimp was one of the least friendly packages that I've used for quick little editing jobs. So far, this puppy has been everything that I want. So go check it out.
Posted by Ash Matheson at 4:02 pm
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Sunday, April 16, 2006
One of the things that has been bothering me a lot about TDD is just how to get things started. Specifically, directory setup as well as compiler setup. I'm in the process of putting some ideas together to test out some processes. The web's pretty much useless to help me out here. Noel's blogspot (www.gamesfromwithin.com) has links to UnitTest++, but there really aren't any good examples of how to do this, in practice. I really wish he had distributed not just the source code to his GDC presentation, but the actual project files that went along with it. Anyway, as I progress with this, I'll post more results.
Posted by Ash Matheson at 9:59 pm
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Is making a book really worth it? Seriously. The main reason why a lot of folks write books is to get self-recognition. And I have to say that may be one of the main reasons why I was thinking about writing the book. Sure, there's not a lot of good books out there (and absolute horrible sucking VOID of books), but would I actually be adding anything to the mix? Maybe the best thing to do would be to just experiment on my own and post results to this blog. I mean, I was thinking there may be a bit of income from writing a book, but it definetly wouldn't be a huge amount of money. I mean, I *still* want to do something. I just don't want to spend the years it will take to write something all-encompassing. I dunno. Lots ant lots to think about. However, at this point in time, I'd say that the book is currently on hold.
Posted by Ash Matheson at 7:40 pm