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Synchonising a folder on two systems...

Synchonising a folder on two systems...

Finally i found a program that does the work of synchronising a folder from my desktop to my laptop based on the timestamp in a useful way. I hereby introduce RichCopy! It's a bit of configuring at start, but hell, that thing is powerful, clean and pure, just like i want my software to be. You can choose updates depending on various properties of files, you can also move two folders into one, it copies in a chosen number of threads, you can exclude certain files, ... the list is endless!

What i do for example for my actionscript project: As you can store update settings in a file, i pretty much have two files called "FromLaptop" and "ToLaptop" on my desktop and the vice versa on my laptop. As i use PSPad as my text (and therefore code) editor, i just added those files as source files in the project structure and can start them via a context menu entry. That way i can update the project from each machine whenever i want! The versions on both machines are identical whenever i need them to be.

Over are the times when i couldn't continue my coding ambitions because i forgot to update the files!

Whats the deal...?

Whats the deal...?

I found a nice litte game called "Alien Assault" on an indie-gaming-site. At first i thought it might be nice, as it is a clone of "Space Hulk", a game my best mate Mike used to love and he looks back in sweet pink nostalgica everytime it's name is said.

Oh god, not a good idea. The game is more than hard. It is unfair. I played the tutorial missions until the flamer/alien-mission. Then i couldn't take it anymore. Thing is: You have six space marines, each of them packed with a flame granade thrower, on the way from one end of a space ship to the other. The problem is it's filled with aliens. Those buggers are quick and pretty much lethal in melee combat.

The unfainess comes with two problems: The aliens spawn in spawnpoints. And those are endless. The ammunition of your granade blasters though is quite limited. Furthermore these blaster have no guarantee to kill an alien, which makes a daring offensive attack on one of these pretty much as surviveable as a round of russian roulette. Endless aliens, limited ammo and random surviveability mixes to a highly frustrating cocktail that only the most masochistic players will happily endure.

Respawning enemies should be a big "Nono" also for indie programmers... goddamnit...

Launchy

Launchy

I recently tried Launchy, a nice alternative to the start menu in Windows XP. I got used to that in Vista, which came preinstalled on my laptop.

Launchy's funcionality is quite a bliss! After adding some custom paths to make it work properly, it made me a lot more independant of my ever mutating start menu (which spans over more than half my screen on 1280x1024 with it's three bars of menu entries!). I am not so happy with it's CPU consume though. Wikipedia states that occasionally older versions were reported to use up to 100% CPU every five minutes. From what I see now you can adjust the interval, the consumation stays the same. When scanning, it still abuses one of my cores up to full 100%.

I don't understand that behaviour at all! After an initial scan (which i would acceptto be CPU-heavy), the constant background scan shouldn't need the whole processor...? Scanning itself is mainly accessing the HD and computing the results shouldn't be that tough on a gigahertz core? After all it's not like hacking decryption or trying to unfold RNA molecules...

Tree Generator

Tree Generator

I created a little script/programm to generate 3D trees. Check it out on my homepage!

Clawjelly.net

It's for 3D Studio max, but i managed to translate the code to Panda3D (a 3D engine for Python). I like this Panda! As Python is a great and easy language to work with, Panda3D is just what i needed.

3D Studio Max => Valve Source SDK & Hammer

3D Studio Max => Valve Source SDK & Hammer

I've started a little project once again and once again it's an exporter for 3D Studio Max. I've seen that there is an exporter for models, yet there is none for maps. After all my experience with Hammer, i have to say i'm surprised nobody tried that yet. Hammer isn't really what i would call "intuitive" and the low number of beautyful user-maps so far sorta proves my point (at least to me).

Nevertheless, i started my own exporter script. So far it's kinda not even alpha, but i guess the results are promising. I can export all objects that can be converted to mesh objects (like boxes, cylinders, polygons, meshes of course, etc...).

Download MapExporter.zip

Hook Nr. 1: It only works as far as these objects are convex (just like in Hammer). A concave objects (like say a pipe) has to be created out of convex objects. I'm working on a solution of that problem.

Hook Nr. 2: The UV-coordinates in the map-file are in world space, while in max they are stored in UV-space. This is a major pain in the ass to convert, the moment a face is in an arbitrary position (both in the world and in uv-space) there has to be a lot of math shit evaluated to get to a conversion matrix. So far my poor little artist brain can't handle the pressure, therefore i integrated a generic uv format so far. It looks alright for general texturing, so i'll put that back in priority.

Hook Nr. 3: The geometry shouldn't be too detailed. I've exported a normal sphere with 16 segments as a test and the result was... "okay". The problem comes from two issues: For once 3D Studio MAX gives no proper access to UV-data via Poly's, so i have to use Meshes. This mostly doubles the amount of faces, which isn't a problem most of the time, as Source works with planes. Only if loads of planes connect in a single point, you will encounter some problems for sure.

Anyway, take a look of my results so far:

For that last picture i created a temporary light to have some contrast. So far i don't export lights, but that's next on my list.

EDIT:

Okay, lot of progress, by now the exporter is (at least on my machine :-D) in a quite workable state, as these images prove:

For these images i didn't have to start Hammer at all, everything from modelling to lighting to exporting was done purely through my script. Of course for finishing and setting up entities i'll still rely on the Valve-editor, but hey, at least some of the more tedious work is eased :-D

Lets get physical

Lets get physical

E3 hat begonnen und die grossen Game-Hersteller versuchen sich gegenseitig die Show zu stehlen. Da müssen natürlich Superlativen aufgefahren werden, ganz besonders der lukrative Casual-Markt will beeindruckt werden.

Der Platzhirsch Nintendo präsentiert hierbei wenig innovativ die MotionPlus expansion device, welche anscheinend allein die Präzesion hochschraubt. Ansich eine gute Idee, trotzdem bleibt der schale Nachgeschmack, dass das ganze im Prinzip nur ein Patch einer existierenden Technologie ist. Sozusagen funktioniert die Wiimote erst mit diesem Ding "wirklich".

Microsoft hat da schon ein interessanteres Blatt in der Hand, das Project Natal. Ob der Name jetzt darauf anspielt, dass es möglicherweise zu Weihnachten in die Läden kommt oder Microsofts Trademark-Agentur mal wieder einen Anfall von Kreativität hatte, wird sich wohl nie ermitteln lassen. Der deutsche Wikipedia-Eintrag meint zur Namensfindung:Das Projekt Natal ist nach dem Herkunftsort des Entwicklers Alex Kipman, welcher das Projekt ins Leben gerufen hat, benannt. Natal ist eine Stadt an der nordöstlichen Küste von Brasilien. Soviel also zum Namen. Was mich eher irritiert ist das Promotion-Video:

Es startet mit einem Teenager, der ein Kampfsportspiel spielt, die Tech dahinter nimmt offensichtlich seine Bewegungen ab und kopiert sie auf den virtuellen Prügelmann, der diese Bewegung seinem Gegenüber in Form eines Schlages weitergibt. Soweit so gut, das klingt ja alles noch schön plausibel. Szene zwei zeigt dann die ganze Familie beim Formel-1-Fahren und ausgerechnet das pupertierende Töchterlein lenkt den Wagen (beeindruckend kompetent übrigens). Microsofts Beitrag zur Anti-Rollenerziehung? Angst vor Imageverlust durch protestierende Frauenverbände? Noch bizarrer triffts uns ein paar Szenen weiter: Mutter und Tochter spielen Fussball! Okay, neutrale Geschlechterrollen hin oder her, aber das ist lächerlich. Speziell im Vergleich mit der einer späteren Szene, wo selbige Tochter dann wieder brav Kleider mit einer Freundin tauscht. Wo lebt die Firma, die solche Promotionvideos kreirt? Alles wird aber getoppt durch mein Lieblingsbild, jetzt mal alle raten, was diese Familie gerade spielt:

Da könnte man jetzt alles mögliche hineininterpretieren, aber es ist ganz harmlos: ein Ratespiel. Den Vogel schiesst jedoch Sony mit deren Präsentationsobjekt ab:

Ansich ein Motion Sensor Controller ident zur Wiimote, jedoch könnte die Form den einen oder die andere dazu verleiten, es zweckzuentfremden. Der Sony-Mann liefert dazu noch das passende Kommentar: "Sports are a kinda no-brainer, but you can hold anything in your hand." Und falls das noch zu subtil war, hier ein passendes Rätsel: Spot the PS3-Controller!

Hmmm... Denkt irgendwer, woran ich gerade denke? Nein, das nicht. Das auch nicht. Dachte eher an was symbiotisches wie z. B. eine Sony-Microsoft-Kooperation:

Nein zum Ausstieg aus CERN!

Nein zum Ausstieg aus CERN!

Ich bitte alle meine österreichischen Freunde, diese Petition zu unterschreiben:

Unterschriftliste - STOPPT DEN BEABSICHTIGTEN CERN-AUSTRITT ÖSTERREICHS!

cheers Oli