It seems that more and more these days I find articles cropping up in publications like the Economist or WSJ about open source projects, and it occurred to me how ‘normal’ it had now become for such business-oriented publications to recognise what a driver open source has become in the modern world. It’s expected now, but it made me think back to my personal journey with open source, and how much resistance I’ve encountered to it over the years.

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RB: Funk Pack 1

You’ve got to hand it to Harmonix - not many music games put in the effort to represent the breadth of the (popular) music spectrum quite like they do; whether it’s metal, pop-rock, indie (alternative for our US cousins), punk, classic rock, glam - they try to cover it. Funk, jazz and soul have been a tiny bit underrepresented, mostly turning up in bands that are really rock setups who wove some of these elements into their music (such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine) but it looks like they’re trying to go someway to addressing the situation next week:

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My name’s Steve, and I’m here to admit I have a Peggle problem. Don’t let Popcap’s family-friendly, cuddly surface fool you. These guys are peddling gaming narcotics in their most concentrated form, throwing the authorities off the scent with unicorn/squirrel characters, smiley faces, jingles and rainbows - but I know their true forms; they are a menace I say, a menace! My wife has had Peggle for ages on the PC, and I would often make a jokey comment about how often I’d find her playing it.

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Last night was probably the biggest awards event in the British video games industry, the BAFTA Video Games Awards. There wasn’t one in 2008 for some reason, so this one had an odd amalgam of 2007 and 2008 games in it’s shortlists, which was slightly unfair to more recent games I think - I mean, who really has much of a chance against Super Mario Galaxy (which is one of the very few games it’s worth owning a Wii for)?

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The trouble with developing a project which is not only cross-platform, but is old mature & wizened enough to have users dotted across a whole history of incompatible versions of the same tool, is that you end up having to maintain a ton of project files. Linux makefiles, 3+ versions of Visual Studio, Code::Blocks, XCode, Eclipse - it all gets a little unmanageable. I’ve been meaning to look at cross-environment build managers like CMake for a long time, but the time investment required to port & test, let alone learning how to do it, was daunting enough that it never seemed to make it to the top of my TODO.

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I was already starting to get a little tired of having vanity products targetted at me all the time when I watched TV - seems you just can’t sit down and watch a little bit of sci-fi shlock without having to endure male sports stars and B-list celebrities gurning at you from the screen while they either whisk a razor across their chin at frightening speed, or smear some overpriced goop into their chiseled mugs.

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I’ve always been a fan of staying flexible as regards to platform, but it’s especially true these days, since my desktop environment is heterogeneous - I still tend to use Windows most for work, but for personal use I’m most comfy in Mac OS X now. I do have Ubuntu around too although I generally only use it when I have to on the desktop (although I love it to death as a server OS since it takes everything that is great about Debian and updates it a bit).

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So, after putting my spleen very much on ‘vent’ mode (what else are blogs for?) following my initial experience with Street Fighter IV, I nevertheless stuck with it and have been playing on and off all week - which for me means about 6 hours total, admittedly what hardcore players would have got through in one evening. Despite being absolutely impenetrable and damningly frustrating to begin with, it’s actually a very good game.

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Apologies if you’ve already seen this (it’s 2 weeks old) but it made me laugh out loud today so I thought I’d share it. Warning: strong language and offensive to a certain brand you may have an attachment to if you’re the inexplicably loyal type. To fanboys: it’s not talking about the PS3, or indeed any real product. It’s just comedy. Put down the knife. 😉

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Over my years in working in the IT business, one thing that’s a constant is that we’re never short of talk about the latest “Process” that we should be following. There have been a shedload of them over the years I’ve been doing this, and I’ve tried a load of them out and encountered them via third parties, and while some are interesting and useful when taken as a basis for adaption to individual circumstances, one thing I absolutely cannot stand is the kind of people that focus on this as a proof or guarantee that their projects are being run well.

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