I recently touched down at San Francisco International (SFO) and have made my way to the hotel, which as you can tell, has wireless internet. Well, this is Silicon Valley, I’d personally expect pedestrian crossings to be internet enabled here (they’re not, I’ve tried). I didn’t expect to get a lot done today, owing to the jet lag, and indeed, I’m feeling it. It’s ostensibly 6pm but of course, due to this being GMT-7, which because of daylight savings is 8 hours behind, I’m in a sort of grey half-wakefulness right now.

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Wild Wild West

If the post title made you think of an awful film of the same name and the awful title single that went with it, I apologise. It popped into my head this morning unsummoned, and I’ll be darned if I’m going to be the only one trying to engage a mental decontamination protocol. Yes, over the next 24 hours I’m heading over to the west coast of the USA to attend the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit, for a full day of debate and general open source geekery.

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Being self-employed has many advantages, but I’m sure one bugbear we all share is debt collection. When it comes to payment, customers generally fall into a number of categories: Those that pay immediately on receiving the invoice, or even all in advance; you want to hold on to these with both hands! Those that pay precisely on the 30-day due date; which is fine, we all have cash flows to manage Those that pay on the first reminder; not too bad Those that pay sometime after the second reminder (when I start threatening interest) or not at all; now you’re yanking my chain After almost a year of doing this full time, and almost 3 years before that part-time, I’ve had at least one customer in each of these categories, although I guess I’ve been fortunate that most are in the better groups.

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PS3 vs 360 wavering

Readers of this blog will already know I don’t own a HD console yet, due to there being no games on either that I have a visceral need to play, at least none that I can’t already play on other platforms. In many ways this generation has been the ‘FPS coming of age’ for consoles, with online play being far more widespread and console lovers lauding it like a new age, but I already did all that on the PC a few years ago so it holds no particular magic for me.

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Bioshock Completed

Spoiler-free section_ _ Well, it took me about a month elapsed to finish it, barring a few days away, and I guess all told it’s been approaching 20 hours play time. Some people have said they found it too short, and that they finished it in 10 hours or something, but personally I think that means they were rushing about too much - me, I took my time. There are lots of things hidden away if you take the time to look, and when the environments are this pretty, and peppered with little side-stories if you look, who wouldn’t want to?

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Open Season Episode 3

Open Season Episiode 3 Definitely worth taking the time to listen in on this podcast if you’re interested in open source and the effect it has on business (and vice versa). Also a little depressing if you’re an open source project leader and you hear them say that unless you’re doing at least $10m a year revenue you’re ‘not relevant’ 😉

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Photoshop++

I haven’t had too much time for blogging the last few days, been super-busy. Apart from catching up after travelling and being sick, I have some sizeable client work on, I’m doing a presentation tomorrow at our local BCS-affiliated developers group about cross-platform development issues, I’ve been getting ready for an OGRE stable maintenance release (v1.4.5) at the weekend, and of course I’m off to Silicon Valley next week for the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit - and I’ve been invited to spend some time with NVIDIA and Intel while I’m there too, which is excellent.

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I’m still feeling a little rough but infinitely better than yesterday, if that’s at all possible - I imagine you couldn’t honestly say you feel infinitely better unless you simultaneously won 10 million on the lottery and discovered you were actually Spiderman. At least. But let’s put boyish dreams aside for now. Unfortunately my wife has the bug now too - who said sharing everything was a good thing? A rather nice new project came up in the OGRE forums yesterday called MotorM4X, courtesy of The Easy Company in Prague.

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Bleh

I was looking forward to putting some quality time into Bioshock last night, having neglected it for over a week now due to travelling, multiplayer GH2 sessions and such. Unfortunately however my stomach and related organs chose this time to encounter what can be most tactfully described as a ‘significant containment breach’ and thus my evening was completely ruined. It felt very much like food poisoning but since my wife ate the exact same meal and has been fine it can’t be that.

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Here’s a quick tip for you - XCode helpfully makes using precompiled headers in your project a cinch, even easier than trusty old MSVC in fact, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, it also places the result of said precompilation step in a shared location by default, namely /Library/Caches/com.apple.Xcode.$(UID)/SharedPrecompiledHeaders. It actually creates folders in this location corresponding to each combination of target name and a hash of the compiler settings used.

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