As you know I’ve been reviewing DVCSs lately. I’m taking my time doing real use cases on them, and deliberately not doing the sort of feet-first leap into whatever looks best / most popular on the surface because I don’t particularly want to discover unexpected problems down the track. It’s consuming a lot more time than I expected - I’m writing up my findings and may publish the entire results later on if I can find the time to clean them up and format them better, but for the moment I thought I’d share some experiences with the conversion process of a relatively large, long-lived, multi-branch repository (OGRE) from Subversion to Git and Mercurial, because that’s what I’ve been wrestling with in the last few days.

Read more →

I’m not sure if this is the intro or just a trailer, since the first game had an intro which led directly to the starting point of the first chapter, which worked well, which this one clearly doesn’t (unless they start you in absolute mahem which would not make sense). If this is the intro, then I have to say I preferred the intro from the first game, which was a bit more suspense and atmosphere and less chainsaws & explosions, but I suspect it’s just a marketing trailer and hence appealing to the attention-span-challenged is paramount.

Read more →

I could hug Harmonix. They have lived up to their original promise to providing a large, ever-expanding and varied collection of tracks on Rock Band with the kind of fervour that I think even fans have been surprised by. Apart from a couple of odd cases (Lego Rock Band and Beatles: Rock Band - the former puzzling, the latter due to brand management insistence that The Beatles should be revered as gods and can’t be seen mixing with peasants) Harmonix have avoided fragmenting the content available as much as possible and the result is a lot of people who have no reason to buy another music game; in fact there’s a positive incentive not to.

Read more →

Before 2009, I’d never set foot in Germany before; not for any particular reason, I just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. However, thanks to gracious invitations to conferences I’ve now been twice. 😀In May I went to Stuttgart for FMX, and last week I went to Munich for Qt Developer Days. It was an enjoyable conference, as always the best part is just meeting other delegates, the sessions themselves are merely the icing on the cake.

Read more →

I’ve been pushing quite hard to get this done before I head off to Qt DevDays next week, and luckily it all came together in the last few days: Some of the notable back-of-the-box (if there was a box) items: Upgrade to SpeedTree v5 - supporting all the great new features. See the SpeedTree site for more details on this release. More lighting options - Ambient Occlusion, Ambient Contrast, Specular Lighting, Transmission Lighting, Global Light Scalar, HDR.

Read more →

It was about 10pm last night and I figured I’d just do half an hour’s practice on the guitar as I often do. I often use headphones to avoid causing undue annoyance to the neighbourhood, and like a lot of music equipment my Pod has a ¼″ headphone socket, despite the fact that most regular headphones use a 1/8″ mini-jack, so I use a converter that came with the headphones (Sony in this case), pictured below.

Read more →

I like Steam. Sure, you’ve got all the people moaning about not being able to sell on their games afterwards, but I don’t care about that - maybe because I don’t buy that many games compared to some, and I tend to hold on to them regardless more often than not. It’s the nearest thing to XBox Live on the PC and it does a pretty good job of it. Buying games and keeping them up to date is simple, and it’s indie-friendly with far less of the snooty attitide that seems to be increasing in the console online marketplaces now they’re established.

Read more →

Oh hell yes. Finally, one of the best British classic rock bands that was sorely missing from Rock Band makes an appearance on 20th October, and how: Another One Bites The Dust Crazy Little Thing Called Love One Vision Fat Bottomed Girls I Want It All I Want To Break Free Killer Queen Somebody To Love Tie Your Mother Down Under Pressure Now, I could lament the absence of Don’t Stop Me Now, and Princes of the Universe which I would have loved, but really that would be being petulant because this list is pure class.

Read more →

A few weeks ago I decided to start seriously investigating switching to a DVCS. I’m currently up to my eyes in work and haven’t really had time to progress that in the last few weeks; however some absolutely abhorrent performance / reliability problems with Sourceforge’s Subversion server made a large merge process so costly to me (in the end I had to commit in small chunks, breaking transactional consistency, and it needed so much babysitting because of the speed / reliability it took me 4 bloody hours just to commit!

Read more →

I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve needed this on OS X, but it came about from needing to write a document for a European customer and suddenly realising I didn’t know how to make an umlaut on my Macbook Pro’s British keyboard. On Windows I might fire up the Character Map, but I didn’t know how to do it on OS X. Here’s what I discovered: OS X friendly apps like Mail, Safari, iCal and even Firefox have a ‘Special Characters’ entry on the Edit menu which brings up an equivalent of Character Map.

Read more →