Personal

Flash-obsessed web designers getting more retarded?

I often want to kill web designers. Ok, perhaps not kill. More like, strap them to a chair, lock their head in a vice, prop their eyelids open and then make them watch one of their poxy flash animations over, and over, and over again until it is burned deep into their visual cortex. Flash animations have always been the anathema of a pleasant web experience. From incredibly irritating flashing / scrolling, pulsing adverts that make you susceptible to frequent seizures, to ‘cool’ popping-out, sliding about, fading / sparkling user interfaces that only an art graduate with his head firmly wedged up his own arse could love.

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DS Lite, Ankh compo on Eurogamer

Well, it appears that Ninty were fibbing to everyone when they denied the rumours over the last few weeks, and they do in fact have a new version of the DS in the wings, called the DS Lite, so named not because it has less features than the regular DS (as the misspelling of ‘Light’ would usually imply), but because it’s, well, lighter. Both in hue and mass - it’s ‘iPod white’ and 21% lighter at 215g.

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Softimage give permission to use tutorial material

Good news, I’ve had permission from Avid / Softimage to use content from the XSI tutorials, so I’ll be able to distribute the facial animation demo with Dagon. This is great, since I’m truly rubbish at modelling anyway, and my attempt would have no doubt resulted in a supremely disfigured face contorting in some freakish way, which rather than suggesting speech, would have hinted at some sort of high-voltage genital torture.

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Four things…

Darn, Damien tagged me with another chain-letter meme so I guess I’d better do it, otherwise he’ll think no-one reads his blog anymore, the poor chap 😉 Four jobs I’ve had in my life Supermarket drone (age 15) Tax man / accountant Software engineer / team lead Company director Four movies I can watch over and over Shawshank Redemption Aliens Fellowship of the Ring The Matrix (the first one of course, I don’t acknowledge the existence of any others) Four places I have lived

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It speaks!

Well, I managed to hit my self-imposed deadline - the XSI pose / facial animation exporter is working! It works beautifully, and here’s a small video to show it off. Yes, I know his smiling is a little extreme at the end, that’s how it was in XSI. They were doing that in a rather exaggerated fashion to show how you would combine ‘emotion’ poses with lip sync poses, and that’s exactly how OGRE is playing it back.

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VC8 - protecting me from myself

OK, here’s something I like a lot about VC8. It’s a very small change, but it makes a lot of difference to me. The default behaviour of the ‘Stop Debugging’ button is now to detach from the external process rather than terminating it. That might not sound like a big deal, but you’ve no idea how frustrating it was in previous versions, to be debugging a plugin to a 3rd-party application, e.

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Portable console sales - function actually wins over form?

The comparative sales figures of the DS and PSP so far make for some interesting reading: Nintendo DS US: 4 Million Japan: 5 Million Europe: 3.5 Million Worldwide Total: 13 Million Sony PSP US: 4.5 Million Japan: 3 Million Europe: 2.5 Million Worldwide Total: 10 Million I must admit, I didn’t expect things to be like this, despite personally choosing the DS. I figured that more people (especially teenagers) would be overwhelmed by the looks and graphical power of the PSP, and the (IMO) gimmicky MP3 and movie playing capabilities, and see it as a no-brainer decision to buy the slicker looking one, but that hasn’t happened.

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Musical Rediscoveries

Digital music players are wonderful things. They encourage you to dig out old albums you haven’t listened to in years just so you can try (in vain) to fill up that iPod or whatever hip-mounted device of your choice. In the process you often rediscover some forgotten gems. Music is very emotive, you tend to associate it with events that were happening at that time. There are a couple of albums I bought close to 10 years ago that I remember not really liking that much at the time, but I wonder now whether I haven’t listened to them much because they reminded me of a pretty stressful period, around when I was buying my first house and had all kinds of hassle with it (like water not staying on the outside as much as it should).

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Better late than never

Today I finally got through the post an author’s agreement from Software 2.0, a magazine I wrote an OGRE article for over a year ago now. I also got copies of the magazines the article was published in (in February 2005), both the French and German versions. It’s kind of weird to see your own words translated into 2 foreign languages; it’s a shame there was no English version of that issue (even though that was the original language of the article, obviously).

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Walking is good for the soul

I like walking. It helps you think, clears out the cobwebs in the morning, burns a bit of the xmas flab (it’s got its work cut out on that one though), and works out the kinks and stresses of the day. People rush around far too much, generally. Especially to and from work, it’s all start - stop in the traffic jams into work, angry faces crushed behind steering wheels, feet jabbing at the pedals in a vain attempt to somehow shave some time off the journey but in the end just increasing their blood pressure and getting nowhere any faster.

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