Open Source

Hit me with your rhythm stick

Guitar Hero and Rock Band have been derided by some, with extensive cries of ‘learn a real instrument!’; however it’s my experience that by making simulated instrument playing more accessible to the masses, these games are responsible for many taking up an instrument for the first time, or reconnecting with a previously abandoned musical hobby. It’s the latter for me - I was heavily involved in music throughout my school days, until an overly pushy music teacher sucked all the joy out of it (what, you have a free evening / weekend that you’re not playing music in?

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Circular dependencies

I can’t remember who made the assertion / joke that if you looked through an infinitely powerful telescope you’d end up seeing the back of of your own head, but I was reminded of that by a certain event today. In the last couple of years I’ve often Googled for a particular subject and ended up with the top hits pointing me back at one of my own posts in the OGRE Forum or on my blog, in a weird self-citing manner.

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It's Aliiiive!

E74 repair xbox 360

Ahem. Yeah, that means my 360 came back today, fixed and happy. MS tech support have put a smiley-faced band-aid over its owwies, and now it’s all better. I took a long coffee break to hook it up and test that it works, and whether my DLC still works or needs re-downloading (answer, it does, and it doesn’t, respectively). Muchos gracias, señor Microsoft. Total turnaround time: 33 days, although it would have been 10 days less had it not been for the first support request disappearing down a virtual plughole while I was away for a week (and 2 bank holidays didn’t help).

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Google Wave - email finally RIP?

email Google IM wave

Many people have declared email to be dead in the past, and they’ve all been wrong. The typical play has been from instant messenger advocates, and most recently from Facebook. But, while these options have been a valid all-encompassing solution for teenagers and students, I haven’t met a single serious modern IT user whose life isn’t still driven primarily by email. There’s a reason that Outlook and Exchange are such consistent cash cows for Microsoft, and so many business people own Blackberrys.

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Qt / Nokia ramping up open source involvement

community Open Source qt

I reported a few months ago on how pleased I was that Qt was changing license to the LGPL, something I saw as a watershed for Qt adoption. I already had an awful lot of respect for Qt, but the previous GPL/commercial license did mean that adoption was in two quite widely separated camps - those who were already making GPL software, and those that could afford to license it for other cases.

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Moblin looks really interesting

Intel Linux Moblin Novell

Not being the kind of person who would buy a netbook, I hadn’t really paid much attention to Moblin, Intel & Novell’s new netbook-targetted, Linux based operating system. However, Matt Asay posted about it today and that got me looking at it, and I have to say I’m very impressed. I love that they’ve tried to rethink the operating system interface from the ground up rather than just follow in the footsteps of previous efforts.

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Oracle - the devourer of open source databases

In a past working life, I used Oracle a fair amount - I used Oracle 7 through 10, and they were pretty decent products. The lineup was pretty simple back then - Oracle was the gruff, stoic mercenary who didn’t talk much and cost a fortune, but had it where it counted - if you could get him to do what you wanted; SQL Server was the approachable and gregarious rogue who was a jack of all trades and came fairly cheap, but had a habit of disappearing into the shadows or asking for more money at more sticky moments; and MySQL was the happy-go-lucky bard who was just along for the ride, happy to work for free so long as it was all just a jape and no-one asked him to do any real work.

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Open source - globally representative

I enjoyed reading this post at l2admin, celebrating some of the big names in open source development. Of course, we can all argue about names which didn’t make this particular list (personally I think Larry Wall and Guido van Rossum are just two of the important omissions), but what strikes me most - well, except that Mark Shuttleworth is younger than me, which is slightly dispiriting - is how globally representative the list is.

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OGRE on the BBC web site

2012 bbc london ogre

This is cool - last weekend OGRE was one of the technologies behind an interactive public event called Animation Decathlon, inspired by London 2012, which involved kids in London playing a kind of version of Track and Field via Arduino-controlled custom ‘thumping pads’ 😀The images were projected onto the side of Kensington and Chelsea town hall, and the BBC has a page about it. If you think the characters look like they were drawn by children, that’s because they were 😀The characters in the game were drawn by kids from the borough and animated by the creators, Quadratura.

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Google Summer of Code 2009

As I just announced on the OGRE site, I was really pleased to find out today that we’ll be participating in Google Summer of Code 2009. This will be the 4th year running for us, and it wasn’t at all a given that we’d be accepted again this year - even though I think we’ve been a good mentoring organisation for the past 3 years, there are always new organisations wanting to get onboard and there are a finite number of places, so I wouldn’t have gotten my panties in a bunch if we’d been passed over in favour of letting someone else have a go this year.

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