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So, yeah, nothing new here

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I worked all week-end for work. Turns out, transparency had never really been done right. I added code that fogs transparency differently based on blend mode (filter/modulate fogs to white, additive fogs to black). I added code that splits two-sided triangles into two single-sided triangles, and then sorts the triangles based on a partial ordering (in front/behind) to reduce transparency overdraw artifacts. I added some more code to the exporter (supporting system units other than meters, setting LOD distances that don't mean that objects by default come into the world invisible, etc). I even added code that looks at the texture format of the configured diffuse texture, and if it contains alpha, render the geometry with alpha blending, rather than requiring a second configuration option to turn this on.

And to think that this code has been shipping for six years... At least these days, we're worrying about users and developers outside the company, which is why some niceties like this (making the art path fool-proof) suddenly becomes more important.

Did I work on my home project? Not at all.

At least I've picked out the remote control I will use when my living room is done re-modeling: the Universal Remote Control MX-950 "Aurora" with a MRF-350 narrow-band RF receiver. I had been looking at a Harmony 670, or a 890, for a long time, but the programming for the Harmonies is somewhat wimpy, and the RF support apparently finicky. The narrow-band interference-resistant behavior of the newer URC remotes has gotten very good reviews. The draw-back: a cool $522.50 plus tax and shipping, after a 45% ask-for-it discount. Oof!

I'm also looking for HD media players. I'll need to get an X-box 360, because I want to play Gears of War, and I have an original X-box. Unfortunately, the MechAssault series is not on the backwards compatibility list, so the old box will stay in the A/V cage for a while longer.
However, getting the HD-DVD for the 360 doesn't seem like the right thing to do. I never liked DVD playback for the original box -- and HD-DVD seems to have fewer titles than Blu-Ray. On the other hand dedicated HD-DVD players start at about $240, which isn't too bad (heck, a decent regular DVD player costs about that much). Blu-Ray players cost $400 and up, so I might as well get a PS/3 with the wimpy hard drive for $499 (or less, on e-bay).

Why not the premium version?

Well, if I need a bigger drive, I'll put in a SATA of 120 GB or more -- so 20 vs 60 really doesn't matter. And I don't need the WiFi, as I have wired my A/V cage for Cat 6 already. And I don't need the card readers, as I never have media on that format, preferring to use networking and perhaps a HTPC for disk-based video, as well as the SlimServer for music. So I might as well save the money.

Once all that's done, do you think I'll have time to finish my game, or will I just turn into a couch potato? We'll know sometime in May, when all the painting and floor installation is allegedly going to be done.
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I actually just did the same thing regarding the media formats. I really love the 360 as a system and play it all the time, but I went out and bought the PS3 just a few days ago mainly for Bluray, although Resistance and Motorstorm are actually quite good as well :)

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