Does anyone even care about Windows Vista (aka Longhorn) anymore? Microsoft have been harping on about it for so many years now I’m well past caring about it, and what I’m hearing about it doesn’t exactly fill me with excitement. Feature 1: A 3D desktop. It’s been attempted in various forms (mostly academic) and I still have to be convinced that it actually makes anything any better. For one, a desk is inherently a 2D item - sure there’s the third dimension of ‘pile height’, but lets face it, anything under the top layer gets forgotten about.

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Oh, this is a lot of fun indeed. Penny Arcade today brought to attention the story of how something as simple as a Burger King commercial has shot giant holes in the E3 marketing sham for one XBox 360 title, John Madden 06 (I’m surprised it’s not called John Madden 360, because gosh darn, isn’t is amazing how simply appending ‘360’ to your products makes them sound infinitely better? To prepubescent ape/human cross-breeds, at least, I presume.

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Well, after much deliberation I let slip some of my plans for Kadath today on the OGRE Forums. In many ways I would have preferred to keep it all under wraps until I could whip off the cover with a resounding ‘Tadaaaa!’, but in practice I realise I have to give people some idea of what it is I’m doing, because many of them may be making plans which could be affected by my intentions.

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Caution - proceeding beyond this point may expose you to dangerous levels of opinionated ranting. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…“

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Since the only thing wrong with my v1 ‘retro’ iPod was the battery, I decided to take a look at how much the 3rd-party replacements were, and was quite pleasantly surprised both at how cheap, and how much more powerful than the original they were. I guess I should have looked before I splashed out on the new one, but for obvious reasons a large part of me is glad I didn’t.

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So, I managed to get a little work done on Kadath today, not as much as I’d have liked (what’s new), but at least it’s some. One thing I did was take a quick look around for a new unit testing framework, since although I’ve been relatively happy with CppUnit, it’s always hung in debug mode, which is fine during regression testing when it all works (since you always run in release anyway), but makes investigating issues when you first set them up - or if, horror of horrors, your regression test fails - a little awkward.

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Stats record

For interest, we broke our monthly web stats record in August: Hits: 8,143,695 Pages: 1,995,725 Visits: 141,969 Unique Visitors: 61,351 Of course the latter is unique IPs and so there may well be more actual individuals than that if they’re behind a corporate firewall. Bonkers!

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A lot of people like GL intermediate-mode style code for building custom objects. Unfortunately, it’s very inefficient for large objects or those which are rendered multiple times. OGRE gives you a full render API independent interface to the wonders of hardware vertex and index buffers, and all the super-flexible vertex declarations and shared buffer bindings that allows, but a lot of people find it intimidating. So I’ve decided to write a class for Dagon which allows a user to build a piece of custom geometry which is both efficient and hardware-friendly, whilst at the same time being very simple to define.

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iPod, the return

My other news today is that I’ve taken the plunge with a new iPod and have just got it set up again. I was disappointed to note that Apple don’t provide a remote or carrying case with them anymore, like they did with the early mid-range models, and then have the cheek to charge £25 for each. Surely Mr Jobs has quite enough turtle-neck sweaters already that he doesn’t need to stoop to that sort of tactic to raise extra funds.

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Hosting musings

Over the last 24 hours stevestreeting.com has been having some network issues, because my ISP has suffered a DOS attack on one of their boxes. It was so bad even their upstream provider was having problems and they apparantly had to deadvertise an entire netblock for a while. Ouch. The target wasn’t on the server stevestreeting.com sits on, but even so we experienced some outage. Luckily I was asleep for most of it.

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