Welcome to my new blog!

Wow, isn’t blogger great? Anyone who may have visited my site before can see that its been given quite a face-lift (no offense to Mark’s design though, which was/is excellent). I’ve chosen to go with a blog, because it better caters for what I want to do with this web-space. This blog is more of a technical blog, and I’ll be using it to write about what I’m working on at the moment, my thoughts about tech (well, Linux) related items/news and that sort of thing. If you’re more interested in my personal life (you sicko!), you can check out my other blog, linked at the side of this page. If you want to contact me, do so with the comments – I’ll get back to you. Now, commencing with this whole ‘blog’ business! Recently (as you can see on my software page, linked to the side and directly below this post), I’ve been working on beautifying the interface to gxine. I’d like to think I’ve done a pretty good job, so far, but my work is far from complete. I intend for it to be a replacement for totem, for people who want something a bit more technical, and without all the dependencies – I’ve included some of the things I plan to add to it on the Sourceforge bug I filed (also linked on the software page). I think there’s a real gap for a technical xine front-end – One that allows you to access all the xine options and doesn’t depend on Gnome, but at the same time isn’t… crap (xine-ui). I’ll be moving back to Southampton soon (end of Easter holidays), so work will probably be put on hold for a week or so, as I pack, move and then spend a few days furiously trying to catch up on all the work I neglected to do this holiday… That said, I have another project I want to take on – Modifying Gnome’s AilseRiot Solitaire to not depend on Gnome. This would be great for GPE (link to the side), and for people who want a decent gtk-based Solitaire game. I don’t know when I’ll have time for that though šŸ™ I also plan on porting Gnomine with it, but I need to make a few more changes to that to work better with a stylus (remove the need to middle/right click). I was thinking middle-click is unnecessary, just replace that with left-click, and to mark mines, you start holding on the square, then drag the stylus off. When I owned a Clie, a few minesweeper games worked like that and I think it worked rather well. Even more to add to the todo list, I need to get a hold of a Zaurus serial cable to debug the apm bugs in the collie linux kernel, and also add a proc interface for the sharp buzzer. I’m so going to fail my degree.

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Software

This post contains information about software I’ve written, and is updated as often as need be (whoops, kind of breaking away from the whole ‘blog’ idea with this!). Anyway, what follows is a summary of some of my past and present works. Unless otherwise stated, these works are under a ‘contact-me-if-you-want-to-do-anything-with-them‘ license – i.e. If you want to redistribute, modify, sell, etc. any of this (which is highly doubtful, but still..), you need to contact me first and see what I say. I’d like to think I’m a reasonable guy, so most likely my answer will be ‘sure, do whatever you want, guy!’, but all the same. Contact me. Contacting me can be done via the comments of this post (oh, the wonders of blogs!). Where possible, I’ve included source (if it isn’t included, likelihood is I’ve since lost it). Right, anyway, the software:
gxine-enhanced I wrote a big patch for gxine that vastly improves the interface. This was mostly for my PDA, but it works great on the desktop too. This is, of course, under the GPL. Here’s a quick before and after: Before:
After:
Link to Sourceforge bug, with attached patch
Link to .deb for Ubuntu 5.04 (Hoary)
Operating Systems coursework 1, 2004 We were given a simple operating system and the task was to add structure and design/implement an API. This was a group coursework, which I worked on with Luke Jennings. We added memory management, generic device and file management, some simple API calls and Unicode in the form of UTF-8 encoding support.

You will almost certainly need a recent Bochs to get this working, and I’ve not tried it under anything but Linux (obviously, that should make no difference, but all the same).

DecaDrop 2Ā© (alpha)

The sequel to DecaDropĀ©. This was really going somewhere (check out the great graphics, by my lovely girlfriend :)), but I didn’t have the time to finish it. I do plan on re-programming it from scratch some time in the near future. Unfortunately, I also used Python to code this, so it runs pretty slowly. Unfortunately again, I didn’t really get object-oriented programming at the time, so the code’s pretty all-over-the-place too. Oh well, nevermind – still fun! This requires python (>=2.2 I think), pygame, and optionally psyco. If you don’t have psyco, you might have to edit the code and take out the first three lines of code (ignore lines that start with ‘#’). Arrows keys, a, z and space are the controls – They’re obvious when you use them in the game.

DecaDropĀ©: Christmas Edition One of the larger projects I’ve worked on that I actually finished (or semi-finished). This is the gameboy advance version of my puzzle game DecaDropĀ©. It runs on the hardware and, as such, all good emulators.
DecaDropĀ© (alpha) The original first version of DecaDropĀ©, my beloved puzzle game. You make vertical lines of 4 or more consecutive coloured blocks by shifting rows left and right and rotating the grid. Simple, but fun to play, even if I do say so myself. This version requires Windows.
WinPost-It Something I made when I was bored one day – Stick post-it notes on your screen (if you run Windows). On first run it creates a config file in its directory, fiddle around with it to customise it (it has strict formatting, so don’t be surprised if you start up and it crashes/doesn’t appear/works wrongly).
Paddle Wars Just something I whipped up in a few hours ages ago because I fancied coding something. Nothing special – requires Windows, uses the mouse for control (I think).

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