Open Office 2.0

I’ve been a user and promoter to friends / family of Open Office for some time, simply because as a tool for writing personal documents and keeping simple accounts etc it’s ideal. In my experience too many people use MS Office at work and assume it’s the only option, so either waste a lot of money on MS Office for home, pirate it, or use MS Works, which is frankly rubbish.

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I added morph animation to Dagon a little while back, but I’ve recently been pondering some further enhancements, mainly following a few experiments with XSI v5.0’s shape animation. The problem with animation is that there are so many variables. Firstly you can have morph animation, skeletal animation, or a combination of both. Then, either one can be powered by the CPU or by shaders. Finally, you have stencil shadows (potentially hardware extruded) adding their extra little complications.

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Clearly a colossal stock market crash can’t keep the arm-waving, tragically vague but ever so enthusiastic ‘paradigm shift surfers’ away for ever. The same kind of bullshit that caused multitudes of lemming investors to leap off a financial precipice 5 years ago is back, and somehow there are people that are still buying it, in the vain hope that they’ll hit on the next Google perhaps. What is Web 2.0? I don’t think anyone actually knows for sure - but it’s all about ‘creating platforms via collaboration’ - basically think about connecting blogs, wikis, forums etc into some kind of ‘system’.

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Blog software switch

As you can see, I’ve given the site a bit of a makeover, simplified the theme somewhat and switched from PostNuke to WordPress; PostNuke hasn’t been my software of choice for some years but I never got around to moving to anything else. I had considered Mambo, which I’ve used for other sites, but I only use this site for blogging now so I thought I’d use something simpler for that purpose.

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Getting back on track

I’m starting to get slightly back to some sense of normality after a turbulent few weeks. I did a little more work on Kadath, eliminating as much as possible dummy portals which are generated by intersecting or coplanar-but-inverted geometry, e.g. a box in a room which is butted up directly against the wall, and the degenerate tris have not been removed. This causes cells to be created both outside the room (to display the side of the box) and inside the box (to display the wall fragment that overlaps with the box side).

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A farewell

Well, the inevitable happened this morning and my Granddad passed away, peacefully and surrounded by family. Upsetting though this is, in one way it is a relief since he is at least no longer in the pain he was near the end. Now the emphasis has to move to looking after other people, especially my Gran, who has been incredibly strong throughout all of this, despite illnesses of her own to contend with.

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I’ve been back of sorts, posting a bit here and there in the forums and joining IRC sometimes. I hear that the OGRE website was briefly down again this week due to a DNS outage, which I am sorting out longer term prevention for, but please bear with me. The unfortunate situation is that my Grandfather was diagnosed with a terminal illness only last week, and has been fading distressingly fast since then, so OGRE has not been high on my list of priorities.

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Time out

I had some very bad news yesterday so don’t be surprised / alarmed if you don’t see me around so much on IRC/forums for a little while, my attention is elsewhere.

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Productivity

I’m struggling to make much coding headway right now - a family member was taken suddenly and quite seriously ill recently which has made it a little difficult to concentrate, plus I’m now reliably informed by El Doc that I have a virus of some kind which is currently sparring enthusiastically with my throat and tonsils. I’m quite disappointed in Norton for not alerting me to this infection - just what exactly do I pay my subscription fees for anyway?

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Inkscape

Inkscape is pretty darn cool. I’ve only dabbled with it a little bit in the past, when I needed to generate some high-res OGRE logo images for our CafePress Store and :wumpus: handily converted my bitmap logo into SVG for the purpose. SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics - basically it’s an XML standard which defines how images can be built from lines, curves, fills, patterns and various operations on all of the above.

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