Personal

Deluged with spam

I normally get a fair amount of spam. This is mostly down to owning a number of domains and having the default address set to me in case someone decides to email a random address like guru@ogre3d.org - spammers frequently scatter-shot emails at popular domains or use those domains as spoof return addresses for spams to others. I’ve pretty much just resigned myself to dealing with this, and recruit several layers of filtering using the likes of SpamAssassin, Exim filters and Thunderbird to keep me sane.

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Borat

Well, I’ve managed to pepper my week with more social activities now my evenings are more free, and last night I went to see Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan with a couple of friends. Hmm, where to begin. None of our wives were interested in going, not particularly enjoying the humour of any of Sacha Baron Cohen’s characters (perhaps it’s mostly a bloke thing), and given how raw some elements of the film were in comparison to his TV escapades, I’m quite glad they stayed at home because I doubt they would have approved.

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A weird feeling

Well, yesterday was my last day at work. Officially I’m still employed until the 31st, but I had some holiday I hadn’t taken so yesterday marked the occasion of my leaving. It was a whirlwind of mixed feelings - excitement at cutting loose to do something new, relief at being able to leave at a good time on a postive note (project wise), sadness at leaving behind people whom I’ve very much enjoyed working with, trepidation as it sinks in that I have no regular paycheck to rely on any more.

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Books, pain, motivation and muppet impressions

I’ve just finished reading Raph Koster’s book “A Theory of Fun”, and I have to say I found it very thought provoking, and not exactly what I had expected (in a good way). I’d previously read Chris Crawford on Game Design and sort of expected something similar, but from a different perspective, but in fact the books are very different. Chris’ book is a pretty technical volume, with extensive case studies and lots of detail, especially on the types of games that the author wrote (which is mostly strategy games).

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Funk to lose a champion?

I have pretty varied musical tastes but if there’s one thing I can never resist, it’s a funky bass guitar line and a soul / jazz riff. Perhaps it’s influenced by what I grew up with (and as a 70’s kid, I couldn’t help but be exposed to it), but there’s always been something about that kind of music that makes me grin broadly. I’m just a total sucker for the whole sound - the lyrics don’t have to be insightful, the songs don’t have to be that original, just get that magical bass twang and counter riffs going and I’m sold.

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The Joy Of Travelling

I’ve just got back after a couple of days in Manchester’s shadow, training people who will be responsible for the maintenance of the main system I’ll be leaving behind at the end of the month. I think I may have fried their brains somewhat due to the accelerated knowledge transfer process but hopefully they’ll recover 😉 Travelling was an absolute nightmare though. It’s the first time I’ve flown since the ‘great liquid bomb scare’ a couple of months ago and security, whilst reduced since that incident, is still crazy.

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News, potpourri style

It’s been a bit of a mixed bag of a week so far. I heard that Pacific Storm has hit the shelves in North America and Ankh - Heart of Osiris has gone gold, adding to the list of real, tangible commercial products out there using OGRE. That’s definitely a good thing. On the negative side the professional insurance quotes came back in a form that can only be described as ‘stratospheric’.

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Forms are evil

I just spent a whole evening filling in forms. Yes, an entire evening that could otherwise have been spent productively 🙁 It was a necessary evil though, there is a mini-mountain of things I have to get sorted out for my change in circumstances next month, not least of which is rearranging our mortgage. Anyone who has done this (and this is my third time around, scarily) knows that the papers in question are not so much forms as small novellas.

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GPLv3 - purists versus pragmatists?

I must admit that I haven’t really been following the whole GPLv3 debate very closely. I don’t publish code under the GPL very much (although I did just recently) because most of my open source code code is in libraries rather than applications (which GPL fits much better, IMO). However it’s been interesting to watch the ‘polite disagreement’ going on between the FSF and the maintainers of the Linux kernel in recent days, and I decided to post my musings on the matter.

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Copyright & the collaborative Internet

I’ve been thinking a bit about copyright issues lately, and how things will develop from here what with bandwidth spiralling ever higher and more and more collaboration / self-publishing websites like YouTube becoming popular. We had a fairly threatening email recently from a company (who shall remain nameless) who was understandably upset that one of our forum users had posted a modified version of a shader from their product in our forums, and their license agreement prohibited that.

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