geek(n): An intelligent, eccentric person with an interest in the perceptibly useless and esoteric.
asylum(n): 1) A place offering protection and safety; a shelter.
2) An institution for the care of those requiring organized supervision.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Why ?

Why is it, that when I offer to do something simple for someone, it turns into a massive task?

My wife created a Twitter Widget, just like the one below, for Full Of Books. Since I look after the code, I offered to add the widget to the site for her. Its a few simple lines of javascript. No big deal. I'll be done in 30 seconds, max!

Or so I thought.

It works fine here, but when I add it to Full Of Books, it spins out in a mad loop, spewing error messages in its wake!. Hundreds of them appear in the console, in just a few seconds - and it doesnt stop! The widget itself, does not display at all. "Operation Not Supported". WTF?? Its supported just fine here, using the same browser...

Why wouldnt the same code, running in the same Java-VM, work when called by a different site?

It means, I'll have to fast-track, the real "Twitter" solution that I had planned for the site, which will allow the girls to update their status from within the admin area. With all the other things I have to do, I hadn't planned on adding that for a while, as its not just a simple drop in, like this javascript was supposed to be.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I've had a particular programming task to complete for the past couple of days... well, to tell the truth, Ive had it for a lot longer - maybe a couple of months now, but I set my sights on finishing it in the last few days, and failed.

Ive spent my time tweaking other code and writing other programs rather than doing it. Its not all that hard, but its part of a larger set of programs which I guess I havnt quite gotten my head around, and i'm hesitant to finish this bit off, because I dont really know where the larger task is going. If I just rush in and finish it, I'll probably have to rewrite it later when the goal posts move.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Here's a bug report I filed today... Im a geek, its what I do.

Life is interetsing recently. Debugging mysql issues, doing hex and bitwise math for ipv6, and its all because of one new project. I wish it was finished so I can get on with the rest of them! :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Im finally taking the plunge into IPv6. Its related to the new secret web project. I was gong to put it off, but I happened to find that AARNET are offering free v6 over v4 tunnels with global addressing to aid IPv6 deployment within Australia. Wish me luck.... Im gonna need it

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I started on yet another new web project. This makes about 4 that Im working on at the moment. One day I'll learn not to start new ones until the existing ones are done, or at least launched.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Whats the buzz?

Wow. I guess Im really bad at blogging - 2 years since my last post here.

I've been posting on Google Buzz regularly since it began - mainly because Im always in Gmail for my mail, and Buzz is right there, so Ive decided to share those posts here as well.

Perhaps one day when I get some time, I'll figure out how to Buzz directly to this blog so I dont have copy it over by hand.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Full Of Books - Coming Soon!

One of the projects I am currently working on is the Hondarake - Full Of Books Online Shop. A lot of people have been arriving here at this blog by following the link from my temporary "Under Construction" page, so if you are looking for the Hondarake - Full Of Books Blog, you can click on the image below. The online store is almost ready, but I have been busy with some other things recently (much to Tomoko's frustration). I hope to have the site up and running very soon, and Tomoko is already beginning to fill it full of books and other interesting thngs.

Dont forget to check out their blog!

Hondareke - Full Of Books Blog

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Call Of Juarez

I dont play a lot of games - I have too many projects, and games always seem to take up a lot of valuable time. Thats not to say I dont enjoy a good gaming session whenever I have the chance. A couple of favourites over the years have included Neverwinter Nights (looking forward to playing the sequel too), and Freelancer. Ive also played the original DOOM, Quake, and Ureal First Person Shooter (FPS) games (and the sequals, and the multi-player deathmatches etc) and really enjoyed them.

So anyway, Im building a new PC for 3D modelling. Having tried out the new AMD X2 Dual core processors and Nvidia SLI graphics on the PVR, I wanted the new machine to be built for graphics power and speed. I was not looking for a new game to play. Really.

The Gigabyte 7600GS graphics cards that I bought included the new game "Call Of Juarez" to show off the cards capabilities. I figured it was just a crappy bundled demo, and pretty much ignored it. Finally I decided to load it up to try out the Dual GPU SLI mode, and see what it could do. I was amazed not only by the graphics appearing on my screen, but by the game itself. The new machine gave me a frame rate of around 60 fps on a single card, before I enabled SLI mode, so I figure Im probably getting almost double that now - way overkill, but I havnt benchmarked it yet.

Call Of Juarez is awesome!. At first, I didnt expect to get into it, since the Western style isnt really my thing, but as I played it drew me further and further into it, to the point where I just had to write this review.

Call Of Juarez is based on the old classic western genre of movies such as "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" or "Fistful of Dollars" where the west is a hard and dirty place, and justice is served swiftly with a Colt 45. It is set near the Mexican border and features all of the classic things you would expect from a great western - Indians, hold ups, train robberies, quickdraw duels, outlaws, the wrongly accused hero, and of course the righteous gunslinger.

Whats most impressive about Call Of Juarez is the attention to detail in every aspect. Not only does the game look and feel like a Western movie, but all of the expected First Person Shooter features are there, plus a few innovative additions, such as a "bullet-time" mode which represents the seasoned gunslinger's advantage over the common outlaws. All of the classic weaponry has been faithfully reproduced, from the basic whip to the classic Colt 45 and Winchester rifle, and even a Gattling Gun, which you get to play with for a while.

The scenery and characters did not escape the level of detail applied to the rest of the game. The characters are superbly modelled with a hard and chiselled appearance from their life on the plains. The scenery is brilliant with water, grass, and even heat haze all realistic and believable. The overall look is enhanced by the superb cinematography - every scene is picture perfect, adding to the whole movie-like experience. The game's engine is the best I have seen so far, for its versatility and ability to create many unique features and challenges.

At times, I was surprised by the level of violence and blood unfolding before me. Even here the detail is high. At one point while walking to a nearby farmhouse, I was attacked by a wolf, and having almost killed it with a swift crack of my whip, I watched it quiver for a minute or so until it finally died - not a pleasant experience, but one that highlights the level of realism that this game has achieved.

Game play alternates between Billy, the young hero, who is falsely accused of murdering his own family, and the Reverend Ray, who is Billy's uncle, and seeking revenge for the death of his brother. Billy must try to escape, while Reverend Ray, a former gunslinger who has reverted to his old ways, tracks him every step of the way. Often their paths cross briefly, though usually via a slightly different route.

At first, I enjoyed playing Billy - figuring out who he was, learning how to control the game, and solving all of the challenges to advance through the levels. When the game first switched me to Reverend Ray, I really missed him, but the more I played as the gunslinging reverend, the more I enjoyed his character, and realised that he probably wasnt as bad as Billy thought he was. Now, its hard to switch back to being Billy again.

Im about half way through the game at present, and can't wait to get back to it.

You can buy Call Of Juarez via the official web site - its a bargain at only $US30, or get it like I did, for free, with a Gigabyte 7600GS PCI-Express SLI video card.

Highly Recommended

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Encoding Digital TV

Ok, so it took me a while... I finally realised that because the HTPC is going to be all about digital TV, I dont need an encoder card. I guess I was still buzzed by all the good reviews I read about the Haupage PVR-350 (which includes a hardware MPEG encoder because it is an analog TV card).

Digital TV is already digitally encoded (Duh!) so the data stream is simply written directly to the disk.

Still, a hardware MPEG encoder might be useful for transcoding into other MPEG formats, but the dual core CPU should be able to handle that without assistance.

Im still learning about video and the various codecs and formats, and it is all starting to fall into place. I have a lot of experience with Linux (since 1991) and computers in general (since 1979) but video is something I havnt played with before.

Ive been shopping, and will post more on that soon.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

More HTPC thoughts

Now that the shopping list for this stage of the project is complete, ive been reading whatever I can about MythTV and general tips and tricks. I cant wait to buy the next lot of parts tomorrow, and really wish the hardware was all assembled and working so that I could get on with tinkering with the software that will be installed eventually.

In my research Ive discovered that the DVICO dual DVB-T tuner card that I want outputs one tuner via the PCI slot, and the other via an internal USB connector. I wrote last time about the USB connectors on the motherboard, and my need for more than the usual two (dual) internal connectors. Luckily after the 4 front panel USB connectors and the VFD are connected to the motherboard, I will still have one more internal USB port left. I will use that for the dual tuner card's USB output. I guess in a pinch I could add a mini USB hub to the inside of the case somewhere, to add some extra internal ports.

It also occurred to me that the Haupage PVR-350 is probably an analog TV card. I couldnt find any info which specifically said that it is or isnt, but I assume that if it was digital (DVB-T), the specs would say so. Thats a problem because the analog TV reception around here is rubbish, and digital TV is much clearer to begin with.

I still want a hardware MPEG encoder (one of the PVR-350 features that I was looking forward to) but I may have to do without it, or try and find a decent digital tuner card which includes a working encoder. With the dual core AMD64 X2 CPU, I probably wont miss it too much, but it would be nice to have. The motherboard only has two standard PCI slots, and they are reserved for the tuner cards - I have been quite surprised that I have not yet found a digital tuner card on a PCI-Express board - they all still seem to be on standard PCI cards, but that should change as PCI-Express makes a wider impact.