MacBook Pro Lives!

Typical. Not unwelcome, but still typical. After experimenting multiple times with my broken MacBook Pro last night, I’d given up and first thing this morning I took it to my local Apple reseller, iQ (actually there are 2 in the island, but iQ are ‘Premier’ resellers and that’s where I bought it). I was explaining the problem and fired the machine up, and what do you know, it was fine. 😕

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MacBook Pro Dies

Yes, I fired up my MacBook Pro today with the intention of getting on with some more Dx10 work, but was greeted with a completely corrupted display. It appears that other things are still working, as I can still make some things out through the garbage - right from power on I get the top third of the screen as mostly greyish blank, and the bottom two-thirds as a ‘smeared’ version of what I should be seeing, although when I tried sleeping and waking it, I temporarily got a correct login screen view in the top third but it slowly faded into garbage, whilst the bottom section was still smeared.

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Remote debugging tips

I used to use remote debugging as my primary form of debugging many years ago (we’re talking the early to mid 1990’s now), simply because it was impossible to debug code that was tinkering directly with the VGA registers to do things like Mode X any other way. These days I still find it useful although less frequently - I’ve used it to diagnose full-screen issues that couldn’t easily be tracked via simple log output, and at times I’ve used it to debug server applications (J2EE, via Eclipse that time) where the behaviour could not be replicated anywhere but a super-duper beast of a machine.

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Kong!

We’ve been getting glimpses of this in the OGRE Forums for a while but now you can actually have a play with it now; Kong! is a deathmatch / capture the flag game with a couple of twists; firstly, everyone plays as a brightly coloured monkey (and you can never have too many monkeys in a game, IMO), and secondly, it’s top-down, like the GTA’s of old. I liked the look of it before but playing it, it’s remarkably well polished - it includes AI-controlled bots, online play and an integrated map editor.

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Developer.com is on my fairly modest set of RSS feeds, and occasionally it has something interesting in it. In general I have found that over time, online articles on development from this sort of place have become less and less useful to me, probably because most of them are of the ‘getting started’ type, and I’ve been a developer for long enough that often I either already know what the article is about specifically, or I can see that it’s just another technical take on an old idea.

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Mmmm, Orange…

Yes, my pre-ordered copy of The Orange Box turned up today. Seemed like too good an opportunity to miss before the glut of Xmas games comes rolling in - I played Half Life 2 on release, but I hadn’t gotten around to playing Episode 1 yet, so this package includes four new things to play with, namely Half Life 2 add-ons Episodes 1 and 2, Portal and Team Fortress 2. I wouldn’t call it five games in one really, more one full game and 4 nice add-ons.

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Dare to be Digital is the UK’s premier video games creation competition for students, and several of the entrants this year (4 of the 12 teams in fact) used OGRE as a basis for their graphics. This was in itself rather cool when we heard about it in the forum, but I just noticed that out of the 4 awards available, projects using OGRE won 3 of them. That’s not all, as winners these projects get shortlisted for the BAFTA ‘Ones to Watch’ Award so will be no doubt heading to London next week for that.

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The OSI have just approved the Microsoft Public License and Microsoft Reciprocal License as official open source licenses now. Understandably, this has generated some online debate. I’ve read them, and I don’t see the big deal. The former license appears to be quite MIT-like, with the addition of a couple of explicit patent clauses (contributors agree not to sue you over patents, unless you sue them). The latter is much the same, except with the additional clause that you have to pass on the licensed source code to recipients of binary code.

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Incoming Leopards

So, a formal release date for Mac OS X 10.5 aka ‘Leopard’ has been set now, 26th October or just over a week away. Really it should have been out by now, this represents a 4-month delay on the original release schedule which was to see it released with the ‘Santa Rosa’ Macbook Pro line - slightly disappointing but keeping it in context, it could have been a lot worse.

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Quite a few of you will know the name Pelican Crossing already, they’re the company that does Blink3D, a web-based 3D interactive content creation / viewing system which uses OGRE. Well, I was aware that CEO Clive Jackson was in California last week for the Virtual Worlds conference, although I didn’t at that time know precisely why except that there was an announcement on the cards - it would have been good to meet up (especially as he was dropping by NVIDIA too) but unfortunately we missed each other by a week.

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