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The journal title is strangly apt...

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_the_phantom_

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.. because I'm not dead, although I'm convinced with each virus I get closer.. but I'll come to that.

It's been a while since I bothered to update this, mostly because my social life took a moment to go insane and well I kinda lost all spare time, between going out and drinking and going out and drinking my time kinda vanished before my eyes until we get to the here and now of it all.

Last post was before the GD.Net London meetup, which went pretty well although at the time we only believed 4 of us had turned up. We had pie and it was as always a good laught, although I'm sure the waitress in the Porters resturant we ate in wondered what god she had offended that day to end up with a bunch of loonies like us.. but hey, she played along and we tipped well, heh.. oh, and great Steak, Guinness and mushroom pies there btw...

The week which followed was a reasonable mad one, as well as my normal required (yes, required) outings on a monday and thursday night I went to see Killswich Engage in london, got battered and bruised in the crowd and stage dived (which was fun).. oh, and accidently grope a lass who is a friend of mine, heh, gotta love those crushes of people [grin].

The Friday was the Oxford GD.Net group meet, which I'd decided to attend despite living about 4.2billion miles away from Oxford (for those of you who don't know the geography it goes something like Ipswich, London, France, German, Outer Monglia, The Hanging Gardens Of Babylon, Oxford..) but given I could crash at Richard's place I figured it would be a good idea... I didn't figure on the virus I picked up at some point however which was slowly chewing it's way thru my system.

On the friday I felt a bit crappy but figured it was a just a cold, made it to oxford and eventually found the eatting place (it was off set from the street and not being a local it took me a few mins to find it), were upon once he turned up Mark told us that he had infact come down for the london meet but his phone had died, he didn't have any numbers on his sim, couldn't find the rest of us so buggered off to another meeting with some friends near by *chuckles*

Anyways, evening went well, when asked by our waitress "on the list" was it a special occasion for us meeting the subject of Richard's impending b'day was brought up... as she walked off I recall Richard saying he suspected she was up to something, so I guess it wasn't a huge suprise when 4 or 5 members of staff, including "on the list", appeared with an icecream with basically a firework stuck in it and preceeded to sing happy birthday to him, complete with the help of the GD.Net Male Voice Choir (or Rick, Mark, Rob and myself...).

Post food we retired to the Honey Pot put not far from there for a drink before myself and Richard caught a bus and then taxi back to his house so sleep could be obtained.. not before however he shared some cool music and showed me some of the game he worked on last summer with Rebellion (which I'll probably get a copy of as it looks pretty fun). (btw, I've never been in a house with so many books! It was like there were everywhere...I kinda felt like I was in the Unseen Univerity's Library at times...)

Awoke the next day, wittness the 'Opening of the Presents' and then got a lift to the station to catch a train home.. this is kinda were it all started to go wrong, and continued todo so.

You see, as I mentioned I was feeling ill going down there, but pushed on coz I figured it was just a little cold and I had a bbq/house party to goto saturday once home (thus a slight mad dash home, which for those of you who still don't know the geography goes; Bichester, London, France, German, Outer Monglia, The Hanging Gardens Of Babylon, Ipswich). However on route home I ended I feeling worse and worse, got some Neurofen on route, took a couple, felt better for a while.. got to my mates.. and about 11pm by body tried to shut down and I spent the next 3h laying on a sofa with no real ability to move... oops! [grin]

I got home walking in the end and spent sunday in bed.. the fact I'm still alive is infact slightly shocking to me as the whole day I had 1.5pints of water and 3 biscuits and due to the temperature in my room I was sweating most of the day... (this is a good diet plan however, as I've lost around 10lbs somehow... I guess my body converted it from fat to water to stop me doing the dying thing, did you know that 1g of fat + O2 can be turned into 1.1g or water? I found that amazing when I learnt it in biology..)

By monday I'd recovered enuff to go out, although no drinking but my hell didn't stop there... you see some of my newer friends have got it into their head I need a girlfriend... so, for 6 weeks, starting with the monday just gone I can expect them to present me with a random lass who I'll not talk to and she'll run away (not that I can't talk to lasses, I just hate being dropped into situations like this.. plus, when I saw her I was reminded of a line from the last series of Scrubs; "Welcome to Fuglyville.."). I have told them they are in for a life time of pain because of this. They are younger than me, so I'll just have to make sure I out live them.

So, yes, I've 5 more weeks of this, amusing the people I know for 30mins while I sit, not talking and slowly dream up new and intresting ways to make their lives hell..

Gamedev wise I've still not done anything and well, my summer holidays draw to a close all too soon, however I'm hoping now that all my social engagements are done with (aside from a 3 day house party I have to survive next week) I should be able to find some time to get WinXP reinstalled and get all my dev stuff setup... at last!

Earlier today I did however read an intresting article on gamasutra, the link of which was posted by Emmanuel Deloget in a thread requesting a structured RTS tutorial, called Too Many Clicks! and talks about how games require the user to do to much, how RTS a games are click-fests and how the human brain can only hold (apprenyly) 7 things at a time and focus on them. Don't let my bad discription put you off, I certainly enjoyed the read and it gave me some stuff to think about (given one of my goals is to make an RTS game at some point...).

One other idea I have been kicking around is related to my third year degree project; a scripting language along the lines of Lua et al.

Now, I know they have been done before and I don't intend to go out and do faster and better than them, infact unless I really like it'll probable drop it post-degree and just leave it on a code dump somewhere.

Anyways, the idea.. it's related to multi-threading. Nowever, afaik scripting languages impliment MT as co-routines, so each function has to yield control back. However, with the rise of multi-core systems I had an idea, co-routine groups.

Basically, each co-routine group would consist of a set of co-routines which depend on each other (or not) but each group would have to be independant to each other. Each group could then be executed in it's own real thread on the CPU, as resources were avaiable. I've a few things to sort out, such as how this'll work and what kinda use is it? (global game update maybe? *shrugs*) but it'll at least give me something to look into and research 'above and beyond' what current languages do...

So, yeah.. thats the last week or so.. I'm off now to watch some Farscape or something and dream up ways of inflicting pain upon my friends [grin]
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