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Mood 556 on the Penfield: “Technolust that results in refreshing Slashdot every 5 minutes”

I don't use an RSS reader. If I did, it would probably save this company a whole heap of cash: our bandwidth usage would halve, I'd be much more productive and I imagine various news sites around the web would probably pay us for keeping me away from their sites.

Bird brained

WowzersI'm rubbish at photography. Seriously, abysmally rubbish. My pictures of landscape scenes are about as inspiring as a '70s geography schoolbook diagram, and my attempts at snapping humans look like cheesy in-house bios from an insurance company corporate outing.

I love fantasy fiction!

Specifically, I love David Gemmell books!

Why the heck did C# launch without generics?

Mike and I are almost two weeks into our little programming project, and things are progressing nicely. Scrolling is now implemented, which means you can set the screen to follow a given player on the X or Y axis (or both), and it'll do just that. The input back-end has also been rewritten to handle key repeats, which means you can specify that pressing a key will only execute an action once, so the player needs to release the key and repress it.

Shiver me timbers

Bath is still reeling from the society event of the season – my house's pirate party. Aaaaarrr. It was a rather confusing party because everyone was dressed the same – white shirt, black trousers, evil-looking weapon, red headscarf, rum stains – a situation made more confusing after everyone had had their share of Grog and Pugwash Punch.

C#, Sunderland, Sonnets and Apress

I haven't blogged for a little while. Much has happened, leaving me in the curious position of being too busy to blog, but still trying to remember all the things I should blog about when I get the chance. Well, that chance is now, so here's my brain dump over the last week.

Day return to Burkina Faso, please

This Thursday, I'm off to see HP demonstrating some snazzy server kit in Reading. Unfortunately, though, the choice of location seems a tad unworkable -- it's apparently at Oracle Parkway, and Google Mapping it brings up 'Oracle Centre' as a suggested search. Fair enough, it looks like the same area! So anyway...


SDL and C#

Last night I had an epiphany of sorts. I've just finished reviewing a new Linux game for the magazine, and as I got up to go home it occurred to me, "this game was hardly advanced; how come there's nothing like it in the open source world?"

I wrote an SDL tutorial for LXF many issues ago, the infamous "Trout Wars" series. But if you followed that tutorial all the way through you might remember that the levels and enemies were loaded at run-time from text files, which meant that you could change various parts of the game just by editing the text files.

Bristol, broken dictaphones, and billionaires

Here at LXF Towers, we let no geographical boundaries get in the way of our reporting. Be it Barcelona, Paris or San Francisco, when there's an interview to be done, Team LXF scurries around the globe like a crazy Linux-using ferret holding a tape recorder. On Tuesday, I took the long trek to Bristol to chat with Kristian Van Der Vliet (aka Vanders), the lead developer behind Syllable.

On the obviousness of patents

Patents are granted in the UK and other countries because the idea is non-obvious, and the developers deserve sole use of the new technology for a period of time. They last for varying amounts of time depending on the country, but it seems that 20 years is about the average. 20 years of monopoly on an idea seems like a long time, particularly in the fast moving world of computer science.

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