Quite a few things happened in the last week with regard to enterprise software development - whilst I don’t do that full-time anymore I still like to keep abreast of events, and this week was something of a doozy. Firstly, Java has started to become open source. There was some initial surprise that Sun chose to use the GPL rather than a custom-built license like so many others do, but it makes complete sense given that one of their targets is just to get Java distributed with as many Linux distros as possible.
I kept meaning to spend some time doing more testing of the new texture shadow rendering techniques I added a week or so back, so took a little time yesterday and this morning to do that. But. as part of it I started implementing a more generic lighting shader so I could integrate a number of techniques. Our example shaders for normal and offset mapping deal with point and directional lights, but not spotlights, so I decided to add that in as well as dealing with several lights & their shadows in a single pass.
I just read the Eurogamer coverage of the Japanese PS3 launch, where the acute shortage of units has led to many shops running a ‘lottery’ system - basically if your number is picked out of a hat, you get to buy one (and which edition you get - 20Gb or 60Gb - is determined at random). Am I the only one thinking that this situation is just totally bonkers? How did we get to this stage?
I’ve broken my new working rules again (since it’s the weekend) and spent most of today doing some last-minute bugfixing / patch reviewing ready for the next Dagon maintenance release tomorrow. It’s been our usual 6 weeks or so and quite a few things have built up so it’s definitely time to get them out the door. Most of today was tracking down an elusive XSI exporter issue when combining skeletal and pose animation and overlapping animation clips in the mixer - a tricky one that but it’s ok now.
The Greek classics referred to Ambrosia as the food of the Gods, and there is still much speculation as to what it actually was. Personally, I just think they’d discovered Marmite a little early - it’s just that through an incredible stroke of bad luck the recipe got lost when they hid this great secret from the incoming Persian empire. Recently in the news here they’ve been talking about a website which is building up a list of British national icons, so I took a quick look today.
If you’re a coder, or indeed a regular keyboard user of any kind, and you don’t have RSIof some form yet, I have a depressing fact for you - it’s just a matter of time. I used to foolishly think I’d somehow be immune to it (for some bizarre reason no doubt associated with youth) but a few years ago it started to stab it’s little knives in my knuckles, wrists and sometimes palms.
This morning we had to attend court to officially transfer our millstone (ie our mortgage) from one bank to another. The mortgage we took out 5 years ago was good value but the business was bought by another bank who are not as competetive, so we’re switching over to a better deal, as well as reorganising our financial affairs generally from this month due to my altered working arrangements This is now technically the third mortgage I’ve had over the last 10 or so years - I’m an inconstant customer 😀The bonus is that our monthly debt repayments will be quite substantially reduced due to all this juggling, which gels well with my new lack of reliable income.
I normally get a fair amount of spam. This is mostly down to owning a number of domains and having the default address set to me in case someone decides to email a random address like email@example.com - spammers frequently scatter-shot emails at popular domains or use those domains as spoof return addresses for spams to others. I’ve pretty much just resigned myself to dealing with this, and recruit several layers of filtering using the likes of SpamAssassin, Exim filters and Thunderbird to keep me sane.
Well, we’re still planning on getting Eihort out of the door in time for the end of the year, although judging by previous experience there may be some small amount of last-minute slippage 😉 The majority of the headline featuresare done, what remains is either already in progress, partly done or at least well understood, or could wait until the next stable if we got into a fix. On my current immediate TODO is (this isn’t everything on the list, but it’s for the next few weeks):
Well, I’ve managed to pepper my week with more social activities now my evenings are more free, and last night I went to see Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan with a couple of friends. Hmm, where to begin. None of our wives were interested in going, not particularly enjoying the humour of any of Sacha Baron Cohen’s characters (perhaps it’s mostly a bloke thing), and given how raw some elements of the film were in comparison to his TV escapades, I’m quite glad they stayed at home because I doubt they would have approved.