Damn, it’s not a bad situation to be in, but I suddenly feel even more swamped than usual with gaming opportunities. Rock Band continues to be a bottomless well of fun, with its continuous drip-feed of new content and experience-driven gameplay, it just seems to get more enjoyable as time goes on as the song library expands, and you get to grips with the less known tracks. However, my birthday just passed and I received 3 new games, two for the Wii and one for the DS, both fairly neglected platforms of late.

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This is the kind of thing that gets me up in the morning. This is a new interactive exhibit at the Australian Museum in Sydney called 'Dangerous Australians'; it's a 6-metre long table with motion tracking cameras, allowing people to interact with 10 of Australia's most dangerous creatures. It looks great, and I'm glad to say it's running on Ogre (among other things). The table is in fact driven by 4 Macs, each with a projector and camera setup.

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E3 was on while I was away, so on my return I eagerly checked the various gaming news for what juicy nuggets had emerged - and that would be almost none. It’s telling that probably the biggest news was that Final Fantasy XIII is no longer to be a PS3 exclusive - not even a timed exclusive, it’ll be multi-platform at launch (in the US and Europe anyway). A headline grabber for MS for sure, but while I get the feeling that this will be greeted with equal amounts of teeth-gnashing and gloating from the Playstation and XBox fanboy camps respectively, for everyone else located on planet Earth it’s really not that interesting.

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The last few weeks have been pretty hectic for both myself and my wife, with weekends and evenings frequently acting as extensions to the regular working week as much as anything else, and as such the trip we’d booked to Paris a few months back kinda snuck up on us - pretty much before we knew it, we’re sat in a cafe blinking at the sun, frantically trying to excavate memories of school French lessons buried under 15 years of neglect.

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It’s formally the end of an era - even though Windows 3.11 (aka Windows for Workgroups) hasn’t been sold for PCs for some considerable time, Microsoft has still been licensing it to embedded device manufacturers right up until the present day. However, now they’re finally pulling the plug. I’m actually impressed they kept it up this long! Most serious enterprise software vendors will support product lines for 10 years at a stretch, but it’s been 15 years since WFW was released - that’s pretty impressive.

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I consider LinkedIn to be one of the few genuinely useful things to come out of the whole Web 2.0 gold rush, since it’s a business-oriented, generally ‘fluffless’ site (if I see one more virtual gift or stupid time-wasting Facebook application, I’ll lose all will to live) - as such I actually do use it fairly regularly. I finally got around to creating an OGRE Group - feel free to join if you’re a professional OGRE user / contributor.

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I had to chuckle at these comments from Microsoft’s VP for “Windows Consumer Product Marketing” Brad Brooks on what they’re going to do about Vista’s current image problem. He says all the bad things people are saying about Vista are lies: “There’s a conversation in the market place right now and it’s plain wrong,” he claimed. Ah, I see now Brad. As a paying customer I’ve bought several Vista licenses and been totally underwhelmed by what I got for the money, and have been far more engaged with OS X in almost the same period, but I’m just plain wrong.

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I’m going to risk being called a dunce for not picking up on this until now, because I think there are probably other people with this annoying problem too. When you’re debugging in VC++, by default raw pointers only display a single item when you expand them, like this: Now, if you know this pointer is actually a series of items and not just one, you really want to inspect them all - you can add array indices (pFoo[n]) but this is awkward if you want to browse rather than cherry-pick single items.

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My venerable MX510 has served me well but after a few years of concentrated (ab)use it was somewhat the worse for wear - the scroll wheel died a few months back, and more and more of the low-friction feet had become detached, making it start to limp like a wounded animal. I finally caved this week and took it out to the barn with a 12-gauge. I thought about getting a wireless mouse this time around, but I concluded that I really can’t be arsed to charge yet another wireless device or keep it stocked with batteries, so I stuck with a traditional wired rodent.

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I’ve been having a bit of a crappy week, with a particular project taking way longer than I had expected and causing me to explore the darkest crevices of my mind looking for new and creative ways to swear at it, with only mixed success. Cue long hours, too much coffee and Red Bull, and some seriously knotted shoulder muscles. That’s why it was an especially nice surprise this morning to find a box on my doorstep, containing an unexpected gift from a friend & long-time Ogre user in France (tuan kuranes) - a bottle of Champagne and also a bottle of a local speciality, Chartreuse.

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