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"To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity."

Douglas Adams 
 .:[ Use the source... ]:.Posted: 02:28 on Thursday, 01 July 2004 
State: still sniffly  Music: Necronom 

Some people seem to think that source code should be professional, that programmers for people like Microsoft shouldn't use expletives and so forth. That's bollocks in my book.

If we're talking about commercial code, the source isn't meant to be seen by anyone who is outside the company without a watertight NDA to their name so the knowledge that a few F words snuck into the Windows source (as in the belters found in that chunk that leaked at the end of 2003) is hardly a surprise - personally, i'd have been gobsmacked if there hadn't been anything rude in there! And some of what is in there are legitimate use of expletives to highlight points; for example the comment that "If you change tabs to spaces, you will be killed! Doing so fucks the build process!" all in caps and surrounded by exclamation marks is actually a safety warning!

If we're talking about freeware, copyleft or GPL'd source, well it was developed for nothing by enthusiasts who, like me, have the right to "embelish" their work by putting whatever the hell they like in their comments and labels. If people have a problem there's always the alternatives...

(And for those interested, a link to the Kuro5hin story with more expletive-laden comments from Redmond!)

 .:[ If you build it... ]:.Posted: 17:29 on Thursday, 01 July 2004 
State: bewildered  Music: Z-Out Highscore 

PictureIt seems that Leeds city council have had a brainfart of some kind, these huge blocks of what i'm assured are Yorkshire stone (although i wasn't aware of a distinction as such) have been dumped in the mini park type thing over the road from us.

There's been a baby JCB digging the entire area up for the last few days now but this new arrival was a tad unexpected, i can only assume that they're trying to build a replica of Stonehenge to get the tourists in...

Thinking about it a bit more, it wouldn't be the daftest idea they've ever had...!

 .:[ Woo! Woo! ]:.Posted: 02:15 on Sunday, 04 July 2004 
State: happy  Music: none 

Been out on a little excursion with the Boss and a couple of friends; we headed off to the lake district to visit the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway and spent a couple of hours riding the scale steam trains from one end of the track to the other and back again. T'was a really nice day out, but the result is that i'm knackered so i'm going to bed now! Too much fresh air i expect... =-)

 .:[ Quiet times ]:.Posted: 19:51 on Wednesday, 07 July 2004 
State: quiet  Music: Krakout 

Well, it's been a bloody quiet start to the week; the only events of note between the last post and this one were me popping out to Halifax to help a friend with her computer, the upgrading of a load of generic scripts i've been doing since the weekend and a little PC "game" i started because we're trying to get rid of a load of old Acorn kit at the school where i do IT support and someone wanted this particular thing on the PC. The game is about 80% done after a day and incredibly simple, but apparently it's used for practising mouse control skills in first year pupils and good for that - my version is cuter though! =-)

The scripts are pretty generic, an image gallery system (i've got the content half done for some pictures i want to add to this site so that'll appear in the next three to four days fingers crossed) and a guestbook based on the same stuff behind this web log but more open-ended for later expansion. i'm sort of getting into PHP now, trying to remember the command structure is a little fiddly and i've barely scratched the surface but it produces some results i'm happy with.

 .:[ Memory seepage ]:.Posted: 20:08 on Wednesday, 14 July 2004 
State: average  Music: Whale's Voyage 

Whoops! Been tied up a bit lately (s'cuse the pun) and haven't got around to updating the log yet again. Most of what's been going on is work as well, so it's just the everyday hum of "life" and nothing of particular note to report... Well, the Stonehenge impression over the road is slowly turning into a play area and the stones are apparently to stop the local gits getting cars into the middle and burning them out; judging by the size of the things and guessing a lot about the weight, they might actually achieve that too!

i've not had much time to play of late, i'm meaning to make a point of sitting down and getting my arse kicked by Psyvariar 2 tonight though, fingers crossed.

 .:[ End of term ]:.Posted: 00:52 on Monday, 19 July 2004 
State: mellow  Music: none 

Well that's the current term over with and, since i do a bit of work at the local school, it means i'm on "holiday" for the next six and a bit weeks. Well, barring being called in to be checked out on the new server...

It leaves me with a bit of "free" time on my hands (since i have the kids to sometimes worry about) and only one real PHP project and a little bespoke software to go with it that i need to worry about, so fingers crossed i'll get back into harness and knock out a bit of 8-bit code in the near future. Can't decide for the life of me what i'm going to work on at the moment, though...!

 .:[ The Craft ]:.Posted: 01:59 on Monday, 26 July 2004 
State: sleepy  Music: Heli Rescue 

Well, i've had very little on my mind this past week, and whilst some would say that's normal for me but i've been more a blank than usual! Still, something had to pop into my skull to muse over eventually and it just did whilst i wasn't getting through Psy 2 on a single credit for the fifth time this evening; are shoot-em-ups cool or what?!

Yeah, bit crap as topics go but i'll elaborate a little before anyone thinks i'm getting desperate for things to write here. What actually struck me is the regional variation and how the different schools of thought make different games; it's pretty much always been possible to tell a Japanese shooter from a Western one just by the feel and, despite the goals being generally the same (it's your mission to save the Earth/galaxy/universe/last dance for me by twonking anything that fires at you), the way the games feel and play just varies so much to the point where it's possible to pick a game style for your mood.

i forget who said it, but the point has been made that the Eastern titles tend to reward the player at milestones whilst Western games are more a slog and i suspect that's part of the reason, but it's got to be the little touches; the black and white system in Ikaruga or the buzz system in Psyvariar 2 are so incredibly simple but a touch of genius! In both cases it's possible to end up getting a self-inflicted mental kicking because the ridiculous manoeuvre you just attempted to get a few more buzz points blew the mecha up...

On the other hand, there's a lot to be said for the pure shoot-em-up too; the games where it's one ship, one bullet and six nasties in a fixed speed scrolling scape and may the best sprite win. These games are great for a bit of getting "into the zone" as i've seen it described, when it's just possible to sit there and hammer nasties into the ground without any brainpower whatsoever.

Maybe i should take one of those SEU engines i've had sitting around and add some gimmick like the buzz system to see how it plays...? Then again, maybe i should have worked out where i was going with this entry...

 .:[ Wooo! ]:.Posted: 00:11 on Saturday, 31 July 2004 
State: happy bunny  Music: Cyberwing 

Finished the Cyberwing masters today, so fingers crossed that's everything for it done and it can be sent over to Cronosoft for release. =-)

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