I’m back; refreshed, revitalised and a little bit sunburnt. The weather was absolutely fantastic for April - we didn’t see a single cloud for the entire 4 days, and whilst we’re not the laying-on-the-beach types (when you grow up in a place where a beach is always within spitting distance, the novelty isn’t quite there anymore), just being outside walking around for that time was enough to absorb a fair amount of solar radiation, most of it on the bridge of the nose.
I’ve never actually attended a webinar before, until today. That’s for a range of reasons, including that I haven’t seen one that interested me much, and the fact that the word ‘webinar’ somewhat irritates me - another new buzzword that the world didn’t really need. How hard it is to say ‘online seminar’ anyway? I can’t say ‘webinar’ out loud without feeling like a total tit yet; it’s all I can do to type it without shuddering.
I blogged a few days ago that I’d started to get into TrackMania Nations, the online-only, community-track populated version of the regular TrackMania series. I’d often been drawn to the TrackMania games since they very much represent a small independent studio success story on the PC, and the games do look very good - the time just never seemed to come up. TrackMania Nations is a great idea because it lets you experience the quality of the title without laying out any cash.
So, one of the things I’ve been doing over the last couple of days is getting to know wxWidgets a little. I’d always said that if I was going to write a cross-platform GUI tool, that wxWidgets would be my first port of call because it’s native code and is proven to work well on the major platforms I’m interested in - Code::Blocks is the primary poster child there. Sure, I could have used .
This post is inspired by my wife coming back from Mondomundi today with a huge bag of new variety coffee beans. Yum 😀 Coffee. Tea. Chocolate. Mmm, chocolate. They’re great, but most of us also know by now that the people that produce them have been generally getting screwed over the years. I saw a BBC documentary recently in fact about cocoa farmers and what a crushingly poor quality of life they had, getting paid the same base price for cocoa that they were paid up to 30 years ago.
This story is up to about a month old, but I only just heard it so if you’re similarly behind the curve, you can join me in a collective belated ‘oooh’. The Optimus Maximus keyboard, or Optimus 103 as it was previously known, is the kind of keyboard that’s both recklessly indulgent and gloriously over-technical at the same time. This baby will set back the average slightly insane customer a cool seven hundred quid when it’s finally released late this year - although the actual release has been judged an unachievable fantasy many times in it’s aparantly long development history, with accusations of vapourware being common since no physical prototype has ever been seen, and the fact that it missed CeBIT didn’t help.
It’s been a bit of a ‘bitty’ start to the week after the Easter break, I of course had a ton of email / forum posts to catch up on to begin with. One nice outcome of that was seeing what is AFAIK the first dedicated OSX-only application using Ogre, Live Interior 3D. Looks pretty darned nice too. There is also the Summer of Code which came to a head yesterday - we had a last-minute conflict come up with Mozilla which had to be sorted out.
People told me that working for yourself made holidays much harder to take, but I didn’t really appreciate it at first. It’s true though - especially since the OGRE community never, ever sleeps, never mind taking a few days off - there were plenty of people happily posting questions on the forum on Christmas day, all expecting a prompt answer like there was nothing unusual in that 😉 It’s pretty hard not to try to keep up though, since letting it lapse makes it really hard to catch up again afterwards - but, sometimes it’s a necessity.
I was in the market for a new DS game last week. I’d pretty much got to the end of the enjoyment curve with Portrait of Ruin, which whilst an excellent game, is plagued by near-vertical difficulty spikes that my patience and tenacity can only tolerate for a finite amount of time. I toyed with Brain Training again and tinkered a little with Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time (which is my wife’s - she’s completed it but I’ve only ever dabbled), and I’m looking forward to picking up the excellent Elite Beat Agents sometime once a friend has finished with it, but I had a hankering for something new.