My broadband connection was on the blink this morning, which affected me less than it would usually would have because I had a dentist appointment, so I didn’t think too much of it. I heard on the radio when driving to said appointment that the whole island was affected so that made me feel a little better, and everything came back about an hour after I returned. However a friend of mine works at one of the local telecoms companies (and which is also the broadband wholesaler to the others - kind of like our local version of BT) phoned me at lunchtime to ask if my connection was back, since he hadn’t seen me on Skype (I’d actually just forgotten to turn it back on).

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The last 12 months have been a big adjustment for me. Just over a year ago, I almost lived at the keyboard of my PC - work, hobbies (mostly Ogre & general coding, but some PC gaming too). It was not unusual for me to spend 12 hours in a day sitting in front of a computer, coding away. I had a bit of RSI (addressed with low-profile keyboards and less mouse use), and some back pain on occasion, but I carried on because I loved what I did, and with always a huge list of things to do (and that I wanted to do!

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So, I’ve just about completed my practical experiments & review of Mercurial and Git.

In the end, I had far too many separate notes and sets of experiences to post, so I boiled the argument down into the 10 most important factors to me, and scored Mercurial and Git on a scale of 1-5 based on what I’d found when using them. Here are the (annoying) results:

# Criterion Git Hg
1 Ease of use - command line 4 5
2 Ease of use - GUI 4 4
3 Platform support - core 3 5
4 Platform support - GUI 4 4
5 Web Host Functionality 5 4
6 Reliability & error handling 3 5
7 Storage efficiency 5 3
8 Run-time performance 5 5
9 Flexibility 5 4
10 OGRE Community support 5 4
Totals 43 43

I’ll explain the scores, and my conclusion, after the jump.

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Penny Arcade tends to divide a room much like Marmite, but I like both. I was pleased this morning, therefore, to see Torchlight, a game deep within which little gears of my own construction are happily spinning away, featured as the news and comic of the day, and in a very positive fashion. [Penny Arcade tends to divide a room much like Marmite, but I like both. I was pleased this morning, therefore, to see Torchlight, a game deep within which little gears of my own construction are happily spinning away, featured as the news and comic of the day, and in a very positive fashion.

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There was a time when patents represented innovation. Thanks to the relaxing of patent rules as championed by the US patent office in a blatant attempt to curry favour with dubious business interests, and make a bit of money at the same time, those days are gone. These days, patents are a tool for those who have no business model other than litigation, either because their primary business model failed, or by design because filing patents and hoping a lawsuit or three will stick (or rather, be settled out of court) is easier than actually building something good.

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As I’ve said before Harmonix really like Foo Fighters, and/or the Foos really like Rock Band, because this week we had more tracks from the band (plus some from Nirvana, where of course Grohl cut his teeth as a drummer before emerging from the shadows as a bloody good all-rounder) which is great in my book. Despite this year’s album being a little too easy-listening for my tastes, Foo Fighters remain one of my favourite bands of the last decade or so.

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Git is picky when it comes to converting large, moderately complex Subversion repositories and so far the only option I’ve found that works reliably is using the very latest version on Linux. Forget about using 1.6.5 on Windows via msysGit, at least for the git-svn conversion it’s very, very unreliable. Similarly I found Git 1.5 on Linux very flaky for the svn conversion. This doesn’t give me the greatest confidence in Git but in order to properly explore all the angles, I’ve committed to making it work even if it means I have to monkey about a bit.

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Aussie gamers don’t half get a raw deal. We bitch here in Europe because of delayed releases (less of a problem these days), and more expensive games & hardware (the typical exchange rate is 1.2 dollars to the pound, which I can’t remember us ever getting close to), but compared to Oz, we’re laughing. Not only do games take ages to appear down there sometimes, they’re often ridiculously priced and mutilated by censorship.

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As soon as Macs started running on Intel, they became infinitely more attractive just because suddenly you had the option of using Windows on them too if you needed to. Because let’s face it, as lovely to use as OS X is, and as much as its popularity has grown, the majority of the world still runs Windows. Boot Camp is a great little tool provided by Apple which makes setting up a dual-boot into Windows generally a breeze, barring a few small niggles such as the slightly ropey support for the extended functions of the track pad (two-finger right-clicking and scrolling is very flaky).

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Woohoo, Torchlight, the new ARPG by Runic Games and using OGRE for rendering, is launching today! Well, strictly speaking the single player game launches today, with an MMO version planned for 2010. Torchlight has been developed in Seattle by a veteran team composed of the designers and leads of projects like Diablo, Diablo II, Mythos, and Fate, so you knew this was going to be good. Well, Runic were kind enough to send me an advance copy which I played a little yesterday, and boy, is it polished.

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