Countdown…

Stop fantasizing about Carol Vorderman. No, this is the countdown to OGRE 1.2.0 RC1, and I managed to get everything that was essential done today - the critical patches, documentation and testing in Linux. It was a bit of a rush - I’d hoped to get my Linux build environment sorted out last weekend, but hardware problems saw to that. Luckily getting OGRE built on Ubuntu really wasn’t that hard at all so I managed to sort it out.

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Taming of the FBO

I had the day off today, with the intention of getting through some of the outstanding work needing to be done in time for Dagon (OGRE 1.2.0) to hit RC1. Well, it turned into one of ‘those’ days - the ones where you seem to spend eternity not getting very much done at all. Although luckily this one does have a happy ending. The crux of the bug that I had on my hitlist today was the fact that stencil shadows were misbehaving when used in combination with the compositor framework (full screen post processing effects, doable for a while in OGRE but very, very easily scriptable in Dagon to produce groovy effects like this), but only in OpenGL.

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Another IP just lost their connectivity to the OGRE site for a denial-of-service attack. Pretty basic stuff, a script by the looks hammering the same URL over and over, didn’t even try to follow any links or spoof a valid-looking User-Agent. It brought the server to its knees all the same, so they’re out. If you’re in Sweden and you suddenly lost www.ogre3d.org connectivity in the last 30 minutes, you now know why.

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I managed to plough through the majority of the Debian install on my new (well, recyled mostly) server today; pretty much all the software is there but it will need some more configuration and fine-tuning before it’s ready to replace the limping Gentoo server. The speed at which I could get everything on the box, starting from only a minimal boot CD is a testament to the wonders of apt and related tools.

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Hardware patching

Well, coding has been on the back burner today as I rejig my hardware to recover from the damage done a few days ago to the sensitive electronics in my home network by the sinister Captain Power Spike. Amazon and Overclockers have been their usual speedy selves, so my wireless and ADSL connections are restored to their previous state, with the small advantage that the new modem can handle ADSL2+, should it become available over here (for a fee which doesn’t require the auctioning of one or more of my organs), and I’ve shunted the firewall / VPN responsibilities off the Linux server to the dedicated hardware.

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Gah, v3

I was juggling some network cables today as I tested the hardware I plan to use to replace my Linux server. The good news is the Linux server worked fine, I just plan to order a couple of 80Gb hard drives to mirror on it and it’ll be up and running. The bad news is that I noticed while rearranging said network cables that my wireless acces point was completely blank.

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In between getting a new Linux desktop install up and running and fiddling with busted PSUs (I bought 2 new surge protection strips this morning), I’ve implemented what is likely to be the last new feature I’ll add to Dagon before release, ‘material schemes’. You can now associate any Technique you define in a material with a named ‘scheme’, the default setting being, rather unimaginatively, a scheme called ‘Default’. Material schemes are a way of switching the preferred techniques used to render your objects, allowing you to implement many different paths and choose between them.

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Gah, v2

I got home today to discover that the PSU on my mini-Linux server had blown, and it’s turning out to be very difficult to find a simple replacement - this particular PSU was one of the early small form factor ones made by Chyang Fun and as such nobody seems to stock them anymore. I could buy a completely new case but that’s a bit of a waste. I need this machine since it’s my main mail repository, test web server, and the machine I build OGRE releases on.

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UK Patent Review

It appears that finally, the upper echelons of government (in the UK at least) are realising that the patent system is fundamentally broken and needs serious medical attention. It is, however, a little worrying to see a few too many quotes about reducing the complexity of the current system to encourage more patenting by SMEs, without explaining what to do about defensive patenting, patent hoarding by holding companies doing absolutely nothing productive, patent scatter-shotting where quality is irrelevent so long as a % goes through, and other such atrocities.

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Ubuntu 5.1

Well, I’m blogging this from Ubuntu 5.1 which I just installed this evening. It’s been a little while since I used desktop Linux, I’ve been using Debian or Gentoo on servers with a command-line interface alone for the past year and a bit and enjoy using them. However, the Ubuntu desktop install experience has left me somewhat underwhelmed, for a number of reasons: Installer wasn’t much above the bare Debian installer, and had a habit of just sitting on a blank blue screen whilst examining and / or formatting partitions, which can be unnerving.

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