Lightning Photography

I remember reading an amazing article in National Geographic back in the early '90s about lightning. There were a handful of brilliant photographs, but the one that really grabbed me was a night shot overlooking a city as a storm front moved in, capturing 30 or more forks of lightning over a 30-second exposure. I'm no photographer (as I am happy to admit at every available opportunity), but when I saw an incredible storm front moving in on the evening of the 24th, I couldn't resist trying to create some of my own photographs of lightning.

Fixing an Overheating Laptop

I've been having some trouble with my Lenovo T400 laptop recently. When under a heavy load, such as playing a game or watching a full-screen video on YouTube, the computer would spontaneously shut down without warning. I finally got fed up when it happened while playing a game, causing the saved game to become corrupted and losing several hours of progress. I had seen these kinds of spontaneous shutdowns before on a desktop, which I eventually traced to an overheating graphics card, but had never seen this show up on a laptop before. Still, suspecting some overheating, I decided to investigate

Review - Javascript: The Good Parts

JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford is a short, dense, humorless outline of a safe subset of JavaScript, targeted at programmers who already hang a few languages on their toolbelt and who find themselves curious about this newfangled "web programming" thing. This book is packed - packed - with key details on the many quirks and foibles of this less-than-perfect language, but ultimately misses its goal of being a strong first stop for new JavaScript developers.

SoOnCamp Location Scouting

On Victoria Day Monday, I joined a handful of folks from the Hamilton hackerspace Think|haus in Mount Nemo to have a look at one of the leading location candidates for SoOnCamp 2012.

Thursday Open Night at Site 3

On April 21, a delegation from Kwartzlab made the trek to Toronto to check out fellow hackerspace Site 3 - and in particular their laser cutter!

Nine Day Game, Day 9 - Game Over

The beginning of Day 9 marked a change in our goal planning. Up until the end of Day 8, our development was still targeting the path laid out in our original design doc on Day 0. While we knew after about Day 5 that we weren't going to meet all our goals, it wasn't really until Day 9 that we stopped and talked about our revised target. Considering what we had (and more importantly, what we didn't have), we changed the core of our game to better suit our development timeframe. Instead of "evolving a powerful dungeon-crawling character", our game was going to be about "destroying as many enemies as possible before dying".

Nine Day Game, Day 8 - mad skillz

We've wrapped up our penultimate day on this project. However, there isn't much time for reflection - in order to have something fun and playable for the final day, we need to push hard on Day 9. The goals for Day 8:

Nine Day Game, Day 7 - A Snail's Pace

I've been feeling the effects of my early design decisions over the past few days. With this being the most involved game engine I've written, I've definitely suffered from the lack of experience, meaning most of Day 6 and 7 needed to be spent correcting those problems. This means that on the 3D side, a bunch of the requirement that we've needed to implement are far overdue, and are hurting our chances of meeting the Sunday deadline. The goals for Day 7 were:

Nine Day Game, Day 6 - The Numbers Game

Role-playing Games (RPGs) are all about the numbers. Quantifying attributes, calculating armor values, computing damage after mitigation; It's a thing of beauty for data geeks. Up until Day 6, we had enough on our plate to worry about just getting the world to work without thinking about the calculations and equations that are integral to it. But, finally, it's time to bust out the Excel spreadsheets, power up the calculators and do some math. The goals:

Nine Day Game, Day 5 - Hump Day

Day 5 marks the midpoint of our development cycle, coincidentally falling on a Wednesday. I think we've come a long way in just the first half of the project - the trick will be continuing that pace of development over the second half. Day 5's goals were a bit more modest compared to previous days. On the OpenGL side, I'm getting to a point where most of the development I'm doing is the kind of work I've never done before with this tech, so progress feels like it's slowing down.