So, I actually managed to squeeze out a few rare slices of ‘me’ time this week in between other things, and put some of it into my elusive ‘Tool Project’. I’ve basically made little outward progress on this for a while for two reasons - one, a glut of business talks (some of which have turned into real project work, some of which haven’t yet) has meant time has been very, very short, and two, some knotty design issues.

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The Best Medicine

We had a very good night out last night - this week has been the very first Guernsey Festival of Comedy, and being regular watchers of shows like the Comedy Store and Live at Jongleurs we snapped up the opportunity to see a number of live acts locally for a change. As expected, given the talent on show, it was a superb evening. The major headliner for us was Mitch Benn, who is consistently hilarious with his blend of musical comedy and fast-paced, often ranting satire, and he didn’t disappoint.

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There are things I love and hate about Microsoft. Let’s start on the plus side - they’re generally pretty good at making various technical tasks easier, such as developing code and running servers. If you’re a developer or server admin on Microsoft technologies these days, chances are you don’t have to be as ‘hardcore’ as once was necessary - that doesn’t mean there aren’t hardcore developers & admins in Microsoft environments of course, but generally the bar has been lowered so there’s an increasingly wide range of skill levels in that arena.

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Over the years I’ve always been well aware of the inherent cost of a machine context switch, whether it was the old days of manual interrupt-based programming (ah, the nostalgia) or today’s swanky multithreaded systems, the issue was always the same - it just ain’t free to remember where you are, go do something else, and come back where you left off. Well, in recent days my poor noggin has been feeling the strain of that particular phenomenon.

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Pedal update

Well, it looks like I’ve been lucky. I got a lot of rest yesterday and whilst my foot is really painful, still terrible at it’s load-bearing duties and has turned the colour that no flesh should ever be outside of a George Romero movie, I don’t think I broke anything. The doctor said he would have put money on it being broken, but I wasn’t savvy enough to ask for odds at the time.

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Almost a Rooney

Ok, so this morning didn’t start so well. I was coming down the stairs after getting up just to stick some washing on before starting work (yes, I’m that domesticated), when I slipped and landed really badly on my right foot. There was a really loud ‘cracking’ sort of sound and monstrous amounts of pain (and a generous fountain of dirty clothing, I have to say) which led to the air becoming rather blue.

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Seems that Harmonix is collecting suggestions for tracks to include in their upcoming Rock Band. The (4 track) submission page didn’t work for me, but for what it’s worth here’s what I suggested, which consisted of tracks picked rapidly from my iTunes collection that I thought would work well: Won’t Get Fooled Again (The Who) Pumping on Your Stereo (Supergrass) You’re All I Have (Snow Patrol) Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen)

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It seems the old adage ‘It never rains, but it pours’ is particularly appropriate at the moment. I seem to have had something of an influx of business enquiries & early stage project talks recently and it’s been fairly time consuming to keep up with it all. All too often I’ll find that most of the day has gone answering business-related emails, talking on the phone and IM, and addressing the paid work I already have going, leaving just enough time to do the forums and perhaps a few bits of Ogre but not much more.

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I love seeing stuff like this. axyzimages just released details of an interactive historical walkthrough application they did using Ogre for the ‘Castles of the Dukes of Brittany’ Museum, which is really not that far away from here, wedged as our little stretch of sea is between Normandy and Brittany. They reproduced an impressive 11 districts of the city of Nantes from the 18th century (1757 if you want to get technical), allowing a user to walk through medieval streets, take a stroll along the 18th century waterfront, that sort of thing.

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I see the MacBook Pro has been upgraded again, and now comes with (minimum configuration): 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 1440 x 900 resolution 2GB memory 120GB hard drive 8x double-layer SuperDrive NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 128MB SDRAM Now that’s suddenly very interesting, given that previous MacBook graphics chipsets were rather underwhelming for the price.

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