We had a bit of a blow today during our lounge & dining room renovations - now that almost all the painting is done we pulled up all of the carpet in both rooms. We had already pulled up a fair amount to look underneath and had been pleasantly surprised to find a really excellent hardwood floor underneath, which had a few small holes and patches which needed work, but nothing major.

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I just spent 2 hours looking for an obscure memory leak in OGRE which only occurred in very, very specific circumstances - you had to be using modulative texture shadows (one of OGRE’s 4 in-built shadow types), a spotlight, and have provided a custom shadow receiver material (e.g. for performing a funky shadow effect like percentage closest filtering). Take all 3 together and slowly the app leaked memory, vary any one of them and it didn’t.

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The tipping point

If you needed a definitive reason to buy a MacBook as your next laptop rather than a regular Windows machine, surely this has to be it. Using the internal motion sensor in the MacBook which protects the hard drive from sudden drops, you can turn your MacBook into a Jedi weapon. Oh yes - these MacBooks are not as clumsy or random as a blaster, you know. Shamefully I’ve barely touched the borrowed Powerbook since the 1.

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Damn, curtains are expensive. I mean, basically they’re just bits of cloth, right? Rectangular pieces of cloth in regular patterns at that, it’s not like they generally feature soaring Turner-esque qualities or anything. But I tell you, these things are gold dust. I’ll admit, I’ve never actually had to buy curtains before. I’m not one for taking a great interest in the nuances of soft furnishings (and let’s face it, if I did, I think my sexuality may well be called into question) so I’ve generally just gone with whatever was in the house when I rented / bought it.

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Yes, Sun have finally capitulated and committed to going open source with Java, they just have to figure out the procedure. They’re worried about control & fragmentation, but they should know that like any open source project, forking is only a danger if the primary maintainer doesn’t do a good job (as viewed by the majority of users). Forking is generally not in the interests of any project, and any forks that are made by a minority of rebels will receive little support and will be sidelined and/or will die off.

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Psychonauts completed

I haven’t had much (read: any) time at all for games lately, but since this evening was already broken up since we went out for a meal with family for a birthday, I figured I may as well have a bash at this. I’d heard the last level (Meat circus) was pretty difficult and frustrating, and at times it certainly did fray my nerves a little, but perhaps it was good to be forewarned because it wasn’t as bad as I expected.

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I missed this when it was originally announced just over a week ago, but the OpenDocument format has now been ratified by the ISO committe and is now known as ISO/IEC 26300. This was widely expected, but it’s good news nonetheless. With backing from huge numbers of organisations wanting to break free of proprietary formats in their important business data, this was without doubt the right decision, and the only sane one.

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E3 musings

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know that last week in LA was E3, the glitz-infused, mad gaming extravaganza that it is. I’ve found some time to watch the edited highlights of the event, and I’ve come away feeling even more strongly that the Wii is going to be fantastic fun. I was amused by Sony’s introduction of a motion-sensing controller - nice idea of course, but at this stage in the game just smacks of ‘me too’.

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Farewell, jaw

I seem to remember that up until fairly recently, my jaw was firmly attached directly to the lower part of my face. Sitting here staring at the screens of Alliance : The Silent War, I find that I appear to have lost track of it - I am, to all intents and purposes, jawless. They’re beautiful. You’ll understand why the feeling of wonder is especially acute when you realise that underneath that beauty lies an engine I’m rather intimately familiar with - OGRE.

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Wow. Demonstrating typical student behaviour in the face of a deadline, in the last hours leading up to the Summer of Code student application deadline our application count almost doubled. In fact, Google had to extend the deadline to this morning (PST) because some students were having problems submitting, I guess because they were all trying to get in at once 😀 We’ve had over 50 applications now, and whilst a small handful are discardable, clearly having been given no thought at all, the vast majority seem to be of a decent quality.

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