It seems this month that I’ve spent more time doing non-coding tasks than, well, coding tasks, which has been a little disappointing considering I wanted to progress much faster with the remaining Eihort features than I have. Well, such is life I suppose. One of the things that’s been yanking my proverbial chain lately has been reliability issues with our current dedicated host. Almost 2 years ago now (wow, has it been that long?
I realise this has been reported by a lot of people already, but I had to link it here as a paragon of corporate cynicism. I can’t believe Sony actually thought they’d get away with trying to engineer a viral marketing campaign for the PSP using fake blogs and YouTube postings. They tried to wipe all trace of it from the net after it was exposed but of course someone has posted a copy.
So there we were last night, letting Auntie fill us in on the pressing news of the day, when our admittedly rather ‘mature’ TV decided that the colour scheme just wasn’t, well, camp enough. You know how most TVs / displays have that colour temperature setting you can play with - warm, cool etc - well, our TV decided to switch to an altogether new one that, if it had a name, would undoubtedly be called ‘Austin Powers’ - very, very pink, and pulsating slowly in a rather suggestive fashion.
Ok, so now you finally get to see what I’ve been working on during the last few weeks and being so obtuse about. I’ve been working for Windward Mark Interactive to create a brand new, totally volumetric cloud system called Nimble. Here are some shots for you (click for full size versions): Clearly there have been cloud systems before, so what’s special about Nimble? Well, for a start it’s completely volumetric - it’s not a prerendered skybox or 2.
I just thought I’d link this article in case you hadn’t already seen it. Quite interesting - I expected most people in the games industry to say ‘both’, and although some did there was a massive bias towards the Wii, more than I would have expected even though I have such a bias too. Of course, we don’t have either in Europe yet, and although it’s not that long until the Wii launches here (December 8th, I have one on pre-order), PS3 has been delayed enough times as to be mostly irrelevent for a while.
I’ll try to resist saying I told you so, but despite the debate in my previous post, Ballmer (Microsoft) and Levy (Novell) have pretty much confirmed that much of the recent agreement between them was to a significant degree about technology patents, of which I bet a significant amount is .Net. Ballmer is basically saying that Novell and its customers were using Microsoft technology and Microsoft shareholders deserved to be compensated for it.
Quite a few things happened in the last week with regard to enterprise software development - whilst I don’t do that full-time anymore I still like to keep abreast of events, and this week was something of a doozy. Firstly, Java has started to become open source. There was some initial surprise that Sun chose to use the GPL rather than a custom-built license like so many others do, but it makes complete sense given that one of their targets is just to get Java distributed with as many Linux distros as possible.
I just read the Eurogamer coverage of the Japanese PS3 launch, where the acute shortage of units has led to many shops running a ‘lottery’ system - basically if your number is picked out of a hat, you get to buy one (and which edition you get - 20Gb or 60Gb - is determined at random). Am I the only one thinking that this situation is just totally bonkers? How did we get to this stage?
If you’re a coder, or indeed a regular keyboard user of any kind, and you don’t have RSI of some form yet, I have a depressing fact for you - it’s just a matter of time. I used to foolishly think I’d somehow be immune to it (for some bizarre reason no doubt associated with youth) but a few years ago it started to stab it’s little knives in my knuckles, wrists and sometimes palms.
As a friend of mine has just posted, Lik-Sang, a very, very popular importer of games hardware and software in the UK, has just been put out of business by Sony. For the heinous crime of actually meeting a demand that Sony themselves didn’t fill - PSP’s in Europe. I’ve been a customer of Lik-Sang too (a trait I allegedly share with many Sony employees in Europe too, laughably), although in my case it was for DS accessories - the range you get in the UK is pathetic and there was much more variety on Japanese import.