Thursday, 28 January 2010

Can't Sleep

Although last weeks cough has lessened, I'm still plagued with occasional fits of coughing, such as now...which is keeping me awake and making a lot of noise, so have retreated to my computer screen to avoid disturbing Bina too much.

Have been very excited reading about the new IPad from Apple, what an amazing device. It opens up totally new possibilities for game development which the Iphone/Ipod Touch started to show but didn't quite deliver...nevertheless it generated incredible sales and had everyone going back to their bedroom coding roots.

Its totally true its a device built to fill a niche that probably does not exist, something between smart phones and Laptops and as such many people simply won't see the point of buying one. But like many Apple products, its perhaps the fact that they have made it that will make people buy it to see what it offers which will drive the sales. I think it will sell millions and create an entirely new niche market that will leave us all wondering how we managed before IPad was around

I am amazed to see that my IPhone developer status immediately means I am able to produce for the IPad and I can't wait to get my teeth into it. More so than I have with the IPhone/IPod Touch, which though lovely (and I could not live without now), I found the lack of physical screen space too awkward to work with on a programming level.

But IPad removes that restriction and gives a resolution that is high enough to give great definition to a game but still low enough that you can produce mid quality art and have it look great.

$499 will probably translate to £499 or €499 when it gets released in Europe, but thats an incredible start price for such a gizmo, I will certainly be putting my name down for the 1st batch (even though I know full well, the 2nd batch will be better :))

The SDK already allows development using a simulator so I'll get my mac fired up and make a start on learning how to get stuff done so I can try to have something on it when it is released. My current side project which the PSP team are working on would be a perfect intro, I'll see if I can arrange it ;)


Tuesday, 26 January 2010

new watch

Big Batteries


Monday, 25 January 2010

lazy week

Well not really, have some marking to do and am reading up on my courses for next block, have to teach Open GL to people who already know it!!! But no teaching so no need to rush into the office this week unless theres a total student meltdown. I usually insist that students come to see me for advice in the study week before exam week (this week) and of course no one bothers until 10 to 5 on Friday.

So this week its going to be re-working the OpenGL course, I re-used a lot of the previous tutors course last year but was not very comfortable with it, so I intend to redesign it this year and also to explain some of the main differences between OpenGL and DirectX rather than reinforce stuff they already know.

Not a lot going on in my world at the moment. Bina is busy planning this years holiday, somewhere exotic to celebrate a special landmark birthday at the same time, and I'm just plugging away on my course work and pottering about with some flash and OpenGL code.

I booked mum's flights for her to come over and visit in May and arranged for a nice pressy to be delivered for Danni's Birthday this week. Will sort out a moonpig card today as well.

Oh been fitting in a bit more modeling too, doing a Boulton Paul Defiant :D, though its rather a crappy kit (Pavla) and is proving tricky I have at least got the basic airframe completed, with a few issues, but I'm not going to worry too much about that, should have it finished this weekend if some parts I ordered come through (the guns in the kit were terrible so I ordered some metal replacements with more detail).
I think I have to accept that my modeling skills are being a bit limited by my aging eyesight, I always preferred 1/72 scale models but it is becoming ever more clear to me that I can't see anything at that scale, even with reading might start buying quarter scale kits from now on.

Harvey has been poorly this last few days too, some kind of vomiting bug, he's been franticly trying to eat anything he can get into his mouth, licking the carpets, eating plastic bag, wood, cardboard...anything, then promptly throwing it up again..not nice. After starving him for a bit, he finally seems to be able to keep food down now, but I'm going to take him to the vet later today just to make sure.


Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Faulty cleaning fairies

I have recently noticed a small problem with my cleaning fairies...these of course as all men know, are the small invisible fairies who pick up your crisp wrappers, cups, glasses, plates or orange peels that you accidently leave on the coffee table before bed, and magically put them in the bin for you, so that you don't see them in the morning. Thus providing a helpful and calming service that leads to communal bliss.

Mine for some reason, keep putting my odds and ends onto my work desk of a morning, which is odd, when you think that their little wings need to expend a huge amount of energy to carry things like glasses, cups, wrappers and so on, all that way to my desk, when in fact they could use slighlty less energy by flying straight to the bin with them and leaving no trace of their existance.

Y'know, in the way that Bina's admitidly underused but much more devoted and totally unnoticed cleaning faries do with her things?

I do hope my cleaning fairies will sort themselves out soon, I'd hate to have to put a complaint into the head cleaning fairy about the shoddy service of late, I wouldn't want to be the cause of a general strike in fairy land.


Sunday, 17 January 2010

Human again

Cough is finally starting to relent, still got it but no where near as debilitating.
Also managed to venture out into a surprising snow storm last night (wet snow though so didn't stay on the ground long), for a Poker game which went very well...ended up the clear winner by close of play and took home nearly 70euros.

Not bad despite losing very heavily in a couple of impromptu hands of 7 card stud, which I hate, I ended up just folding on the 7 card games and built up my chips in Texas.

Very enjoyable game and a pleasure to get out and about again after a week locked at home. The other nice effect was being quite drunk when I got back at 2pm and managed to sleep quite well through what was left of the cough so my sleep pattern is nicely back to normal.

Hopefully normal service will be resumed and I can get to sleep in my own bed again, having slept on the couch to avoid disturbing Bina!

Breda's snows are almost all melted away at last and the place is starting to recover though they still have to clear up from New Year, there are still dead fireworks all over the place.


Friday, 15 January 2010

Curry Powder is Orange

Paprika is red. Always the best way to identify these 2 spices in unmarked jars!! though Labels might be a better idea???

Do try to remember that unless you actually like hot cheese sauce (wasn't bad actually).

The chest infections/cough is still present, though seems to be improving, had to scratch the whole week in the end so will have a lot of catching up work to do this weekend producing more hand out sheets and sample code for the students to use which I was going to go over in class.

I will try to get to the Doctor Bina is registered with soon and register with them since clearly I needed some antibiotics to fight this and I suppose its about time I did actually register since theres no telling when your going to get ill, is there!


Tuesday, 12 January 2010


Had to call in sick today the cough got worse despite the accidental overdose of cough mixture (once a day???? I had 2 doses before I realised).
Feeling quite rough and my throat is raw from the coughing....arrrghhh hate being sick. am writing up some note sheets for my students to catch up before their final assignments need to be handed in.

Mum reports she's been ill with a nasty cough too, doubt its the same bug mum not unless its a good swimmer.

Did see a surprising sight today though when I took the dog out, a hot air balloon! not that uncommon here in Breda, especially in summer, but I really never thought about them flying in such cold (and slightly windy) weather.


Monday, 11 January 2010

Normal service to be resumed soon..I hope

Not very well today, have been suffering from a bit of a chesty cold the last few days which I was coping with but today its turned into a full blown cough cough cough. I went to my guitar lesson, spluttered through it then had a working class later in the morning but was clearly not able to talk for long or stop coughing for long so decided to cancel my afternoon lecture and head for the safety and warmth of home with a bottle of cough mixture the lady behind the counter said would fix me up.

Aside from the sneeze incident last year this is the 1s time I've ever had to cancel a lecture which pisses me off, I was hoping to have a perfect record of lectures come year end. Hopefully I'll be ok tomorrow and will type up a handout on the lecture so they still can get the info needed before class.

My AGT class have been doing amazing work on the PSP project I gave them, I have to take this over by myself in 2 weeks and by the looks of things they are not going to leave me much to do to get this up to commercial quality.

The weather is starting to warm up a bit, if you can call 0 to -3 degs warm, but there are definite signs of a thaw on the way even though it stil insists on having little snow flurries. Definitely looks like we're in for a long cold winter. Bina said she hopes that getting all this snow now will mean it will get it out of the way and it'll be milder in Feb...I doubt that, but her optimism is not always misplaced.

Nothing much more to report, mums parcel containing my birthday card and pressie posted last month have still not arrived, she's a bit upset about that but I guess we'll have to consider it officially lost now.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Reasons to hate computers -1

I have a spanking new work laptop, an Aspire 7738G. Thats a dual core 2.2Ghz system with a massive 4G ram and an video card to die for.

But it takes almost 17mins to fire up due to the idiotic Windows XP process of booting up multitudes of small files each of which have to be checked by the school supplied virus checker....via the only weak point in most laptops spec...the slow hard drive.

Arghh so I use standby rather that reset most of the time. So imagine my annoyance when I decided to install the new beta2 of Visual studio 2010. 1st off it took over an hour to download, then decided to do an install process that also took close to an 2 hours...why?? Because it forced a reset THREE times!
For basically 3 hours my laptop was uselss becuase I decided to trial an MS product.

get a grip guys!!!!


Sunday, 3 January 2010

The party's over, its time...

To call it a day...

well thats the holidays over and done with, just got back from Schipol where we picked up Jodie, amazingly the trains were no problem and we got back nice and easy.

Back to work/school tomorrow and time to pack up the holiday toys.

I finished the model, well a bit of paint touch up and matt coat to do but that can wait a few days. I decided not to wash it in the end as I could not find any Future clear wax to provide a safe gloss I've left it just looking distressed. I also found the other half of the canopy and glued it together...yes there's a crack but ah well. The point is a managed to finish it which is a good feeling and much better use of free time than pissing about on here. As soon as I work out a way to make my modelling tools stowable I'll start on another and take a bit more care.

oh pics....

totally out of the box apart from the radio cable which I couldn't resist needs to be painted black before the matt coat and the small tensioner (a blob of superglue) painted silver to complete it.

Not a patch on the quality I used to do but as I say nice to get one done for a change.


Saturday, 2 January 2010


Saw Avatar 3D


Story was just revamped Dances with Wolves but stunning visuals. CGI has come of age at last.


Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year

2010 already...and no sign of any space flights to Jupiter by HAL computers...bahhh

We had a lovely time here, stood on the balcony drinking champagne, eating truffles (not too keen on the more traditional oilibollen) and watching Hollands entire collection of fireworks blast off over the course of 50 mins or so.... I've genuinely never seen so many fireworks go on for so long. After 30 mins or so we went up to the top floor to look out from there and were amazed to see it was still going on all over the city. People just went onto the roads plopped down their Superblasterbangwhiz 5000's, lit the fuse and bang...I suspect the A&E depts were a bit busy.

This morning the streets are absolutely covered in firework debris....amazing sight...Next year we're going to start at the top floor (assuming we stay here).

Oh no modelling...had a break :)