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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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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Based on my discoveries & decisions last weekend about how to go about including pose animation support in XSI, I finished ripping out the old animation detection code in the XSI exporter and replacing it with the new, entirely mixer-based version. I also took the opportunity to ruthlessly excise a whole bunch of code which used to export skeletal animation directly by reading the animation fcurves on the various deformers, in favour of the alternative IK sampling routine I’d added afterwards.

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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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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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I'm a sad, sad man

I just caught myself getting really excited over a PSU. Not any PSU, mind, this is the worlds smallest, fanless 12V ATX PSU. It’s absolutely tiny and can power a low-power motherboard as well as an optical drive and 2 hard drives, completely silently and taking up the space of 2 AA batteries. Wonderful. It does require a separate external AC-DC converter of the type you’re likely to see attached to your printer or laptop, but those don’t have active cooling either.

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Feisty old XSI

I’ve been wrestling with XSI over the weekend trying to figure out how to do the last part of the pose animation support, and I’ve made far less progress than I’d hoped because I have been having problems figuring out how to extract the information I need. XSI’s API is actually quite pleasant to use, and I generally mess about in the embedded script to feel my way to the data I need, then write it properly in C++ for which the interface is anagolous, which is nice.

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Did anyone else slap their forehead when they saw the stats on Gamasutra for the top selling games in the US in 2005? Here they are for those who missed them: Madden NFL 06 on PS2, Pokémon Emerald on GBA, Gran Turismo 4 on PS2, Madden NFL 06 on Xbox, NCAA Football 06 on PS2, Star Wars Battlefront II on PS2, MVP Baseball 2005 on PS2, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith on PS2, NBA Live 06 on PS2, and Lego Star Wars on PS2

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about open source and funding arrangements. The vast, vast majority of the top open source projects have funded members at their core. This is true with Linux, Eclipse, Apache, JBoss, MySQL, Qt etc. There are pretty large variations on where this funding comes from; some are simply employed by organisations which favour open source because it helps them sell their own products (IBM), some because their products are used by enough big businesses that will readily pay for support (Red Hat, JBoss) , some because they dual license and can thus pay their core developers directly (MySQL, Qt).

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