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About this blog

Just like Grandma used to make.

Entries in this blog

Roses say, "My love for you is fleeting and high-maintenance, and I require daily tending-to or I'll wilt". Chocolate says, "I melt in your mouth, yielding to even the weakest challenges, and what little backbone and fortitude I have is made out of delicious, creamy nougat." A card says, "Our relationship exists solely on the basis of meaningless $3.50 platitudes sold at convenience stores and drug-marts."

Give them Distilled Brilliance coupons instead and treat your baby right.

Congrats SiCrane!

SiCrane was named a Staff member on Saturday during our bi-weekly meeting. Elevation to this rank of the GDNet pantheon is a feat approximately equal in coolness to any of the following:

-- finding a whole roll of Pineapple Life-savers that you forgot about in a jacket pocket
-- discovering that your Mag-Lite flashlight is, in actuality, a powerful lightsaber that can slice through steel girders with the ease of a hot knife through butter
-- getting to relive that scene in Back to the Future where Marty turns Doc's amps up to maximum volume, plays a chord, and is hurled against the opposite wall
-- falling into a vat of radioactive waste and then emerging with the supernatural ability to punch Michael Moore in the face at will, no matter the separation between the two of you in space-time
-- extension methods in C# 3.0, mmm

Drop him a line and give him some warm fuzzies, and tell him I sent you. =)
At the behest of the Many-Tentacled One, I've made a short C# quiz. I'm not as cruel as Washu, however, so we'll be breaking up the quiz into several individual mini-quiz entries rather than barraging you at once with an interrogative onslaught.

C# introduces a few new operators that aren't always in other languages. Are you sure about what's going on? Take this short quiz about conversions and the "as" operator and find out.
Solving tricky problems is a technique you need to master if you plan on designing any sort of complicated system. Many times such problems require a healthy dose of intuition and ingenuity. But if you can only get this experience by solving the problems to begin with, isn't it a bit of a catch-22? Not quite. Here's some general strategies on how to crack the tough cookies, with a classic example of a head-scratcher that tends to confound beginners.

Civ 4's title music

I was immediately captivated with the title music for Civ 4 -- the haunting and yet upbeat melody is very forceful and tribal. I set out to getting a copy of the lyrics, and you can see the fruits of my labor here (as well as download the music itself).
(the entry)

Have an opinion about security? Raymond Chen sure does, and he's not happy when he has to fix compatibility issues caused by patches. But who's really at fault:

-- the client developer, for working with someone he didn't know would later be deemed a security hole?
-- the API publisher, for releasing the security hole in the first place?

Chen seems to come down on the side of the API publisher (understandable, since he works for MS), saying that "The real fix is not to rely on the security hole." That seems a bit self-evident -- after all, few people would rely on a security hole if they knew it was a security hole to begin with.
Among the .NET set, Windows Forms comprise the fundamental building blocks for a snazzy application. As far as game development goes, they're excellent for prototyping or tools (and if you're using managed DirectX, you almost certainly paint to a Form surface). Graham Wihlidal uses them extensively for his upcoming publication (the name of which escapes me at the moment), which gets you knee-deep in tools development for games -- level editors, environment builders, world creators, that sort of thing.

Unfortunately, if you do any kind of multithreaded processing, you've probably been tempted to use DoEvents more than once; more so if you've previously used or are currently using Visual Basic.NET. While not intrinsically a bad idea, it's indicative of bad design. But worry not! There are smarter alternatives, as we outline here.

Also, if you're looking for a replacement that solves about 90% of your DoEvents problems, here's one good way to solve your woes. Best of all, it's drag and drop, so you can use it straight from the designer.

-- k2

Go time

We're open. Check out the goodness. Special thanks to everyone that volunteered beforehand to help me test it out. If I had to come up with a short summary of what kinds of things you'll see there, the answer is "thinking about interesting problems". Carrying out thought experiments. Of course there'll be the occasional delving into code. We also have a few side projects going; Metalyzer, a calculus tutorial in the works, and Undictionary, which is more random fun than anything productive.

If you find any problems, I'd also much appreciate if you could report on it. Contact info is in the "Contact Us" link on the upper-right of the page (the linked page, not this one, of course).

I think I'll still use this space to post info about the mobile-platform 2D space shooter (think Raptor but freeform and the ability to turn in all directions instead of always facing forward) and Metalyzer (a heuristic analysis engine), but I just can't abide living without all the cool code-widgets I've set up, so it'll be hard to tear me away for very long. [wink]

Thanks to everybody for all their help, and for getting me motivated to develop software in the first place. It's great to have a hobby that's got such an awesome community behind it, and it's a pleasure to be able to give something back by serving the forum itself as a moderator. Speaking of which if you don't get out to the General Programming forum much, you should! We have a lot of smart people, and there's always several interesting topics on the front page.
Users of the BugMeNot site this morning were greeted with a barrage of GoDaddy advertisements rather than the warm, comforting glow of compulsory-registration bypassing. I hope this isn't a permanent hiccup, or some heads are going to roll. This will also probably upset Eric Hamiter, who was developing a new version of the FF BugMeNot plugin, slated to be released this week.

[edit:] Looks like things are back to normal. Whew!
Howdy, fellow GDNet'ers. After some pushing and prodding and being stabbed with the occasional rhino-horn, I've been persuaded to set up a blog with some colleagues. The GDNet journal interface, while excellent, is just a tad too restrictive for my tastes, so we'll be using our own setup on private hosting. Keep your eyes peeled!

-- k2
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