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Life, Computer Science, and the occasional game programming

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Well, I have been somewhat busy this quarter, between picking a double major in Computer Info Science and Political Science, I am now catching up to PS just as I reached senior level CS core. I am taking interesting courses this term, mafia and corruption in Russia, a methods of political analysis course, the obligatory CS course is operating systems this term, and Calculus 3(here that is Sequences and series). I am currently studying for my calculus midterm(second midterms always suck!) and registering for classes for next term(which is about 4 weeks or so from now). So far I am still splitting between CS and PS, taking my final elective for Computer Science(intro to comp. graphics), since it is from the same professor as my OO3DAPI course, I think it will more than liekly be an extension of the concepts that I learned from that class. Well, that is about all I have for the moment, as I need to study math stuff now.


Well, a slow day at work. Have one spyware infected machine that is right next to me right now, and my Computer Organization book next to me. I have not much to do, study for my Comp Org final, which is on wednesday, and turn in my OO3DAPI final(takehome) by friday. Then I will start my winter research of doom(Cocoa and OpenGL), and possibly, if I can get my skills up quickly enough try to enter in the newest CreateMacGames challenge.Well, back to getting rid of the spyware..

Argh! Java3D...

Well, I am currently(as of now, 1 AM PST) fairly fed up with the Java3D API. I am working on my second term project for my Object-Oriented 3D API course, and using some libraries from my classmates to have hopefully made something cool. The unfortunate thing about this API, as far as I have been taught/shown through presentations and my own pain and suffering is making a program in these steps
1) get things to compile
2) get things to render, period
3) get things to render correctly
4) break things horribly by adding new features
5) repeat steps as needed

So, I may or may not be able to create something.. that looks decent, but on the bright side, I have a red sphere that is able to track along a surface(thanks to some API from a few classmates).. now I just need to get 2 other libraries included, and maybe do something that doesn't completely suck in a short amount of time. Ah, Java.. write once, hope it runs somewhere.. possibly the same as on my development box... please... Does the OS X implementation suck that badly? One day I will get something that looks cool... I hope.

Wrapping up..

Well, I finished my proposals, and turned them in to my professor. Tomorrow we get to see people's ideas for API, and then decide on one to implement. Considering the amount of time I spent trying to find documentation to expand API features. Also, just as a point of reference, my Java3D textbook isn't particularly good if you want information on Java3D. It's like they stripped the class summaries from Sun's Javadoc, and then placed code examples, once in a while. Online documentation(including Sun's tutorial) are a better learning resource. Although I think, for what I wanted to do for my project, I learned the most from reading Xith documentation, to see what types of controls I could add, in order to make things easier to program, for our final projects(which are due some time in Nov).
the Java3D documentation leaves room for desire. I am currently working on submitting 4 requests for possible API to build in my Object Oriented 3D API course, and I have been taking the last two days looking at what Java3D has, versus what other 3D API with scenegraphs have(mainly looking at xith).The API I will probably push hardest for proposal(since it looks like there is the most material on it) is creating smooth, connected surfaces. Although I will probably get more into details of the proposal when I get time to write down my ideas, since I am more working on making the interfaces and summaries of the 4 API at the moment.
Well, classes have begun for me, and there have been some interesting things that have happened. I am taking 3 courses of CS this term, Computer Organization, Principles of Programming Languages, and Object Oriented 3d API.
For my comp org class, I just finished my first assignment, which was supposed to be a trivial entrance into MIPS assembly. Although the instructor didn't really explain anything other than add and sub, we were supposed to create a program that prompted for input, used those numbers to compute a formula, and then print the result. The main issue that I had, was that output modes are specific whether it was a string or a number. That and while I was home, my parents' net connection was so slow that I couldn't type in an ssh terminal without feeling like I was logging onto the system using a 486. My OO3d class seems to be fairly cool, although it is in Java3d, so I guess Java will be my high level language for the term, but the teacher is really cool, and he also really knows what he is talking about. I went through a simple walkthrough of a premade Java3d program, and saw the structure, and what a SimpleUniverse was, somewhat and a few of the other classes in that API. Programming languages seems cool, we will be studying how programming languages work using Scheme and ML.. neither of which I know, so that will be interesting, hopefully I will have time to make more posts and such, but I have my doubts.
Well, at my job, I did a few things.. part of which is try to deal with Windows XP Service Pack 2, which is having some problems with our computers. I have been talking to friends, and if I can get help from them, I may change my project. I have also looked that practice GRE questions, I guess I would probably feel a little more comfortable if I actually did well on my SAT before college, so it will be interesting how that pans out in the next few months I take the tests, since I am going to have to study the General test and CS subject tests. I guess this may all seem to be worth the effort in "the end", whenever that is.
Thinking about my next project.. and I don't quite know what to do.
I have written a tetris clone in Python using pygame for my final project in my python class, and am not exactly sure if I want to continue with making another game in pygame, or if I want to use Cocoa & SDL. I know that may be somewhat confusing, but I am more making these games in languages that are fresh in my mind at the moment, as opposed to languages that are the industry standard, because:
1) I am currently using a Mac(PowerMac G5 1.8) Mac OS 10.3.5, Xcode 1.5
2) This is more for me to practice, rather than others to use.. I don't really see my projects of being worthy of others using them yet.
3) not sure which language I favor at the moment.. haven't written a line of code that isn't python in about 10 weeks.
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