jwatte's blog

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Things that are broken in California -- a k a "If I were Governor..."

There are a bunch of things that are systemically broken in California, and the state would do a lot better if these could be fixed. The problem is, the far left and far right aren't much in agreement about how to fix it, or even what it is that is broken.

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Two product ideas

I've been thinking about two separate products that I'd want to purchase if they existed, but they don't. For an enterprising entrepreneur, this might be the point where you MAKE one of those products, and see if there's a market. However, I'm already enterprising within IMVU, and as they say -- ideas are a dime a dozen, it's execution that counts.

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In a browser

I'm taking some time to learn how to actually use Unity3d.

Here's a screen shot of my initial set-up for "space invaders in a browser" (or probably more like "galaga" or "galaxians" or something). Btw: I'm sure those are all trademarked names of games, and they are only used for comparison in this article.

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Digging through older code

In my career, I've dug through a number of scene graph renderer internals. Almost always, they claim to be "hardware independent" by abstracting the hardware, and then they go ahead and expose functions like "bindSecondTexture()" and "setAlphaBlendFunc()" to objects, and have objects "render" themselves by calling those functions.

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Taking XNA 4.0 Beta for a spin: Terrain Editing

I'm taking the XNA 4.0 beta for a spin. I don't have a Windows 7 phone (who does? :-) so I can't get motivated to start porting things like kW Animation / X-port to it, but I thought I'd check out the new and improved render target and effects APIs. Here's a little screen shot:

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APB: The Good, The Bad and the Tech Support!

All Points Bulletin -- a great idea for a MMOFPS. Also, a nice vehicle for in-game customization of clothing and vehicles.

You can draw decals. You can sculpt avatars. You can paint cars. The game even has a built-in step/pattern sequencer!

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VMWare Workstation DNS doesn't work right

VMWare workstation is in many ways a great product. It allows you to do all kinds of nifty set-ups that let multiple virtual machines talk to each other and the rest of the world, within the confines of your local PC.

However, there are some problems with it. I have a couple of virtual machines that I use as a sandbox for developing networked applications at work. These are hosted inside a Dell Inspiron XPS 1330 laptop. The laptop travels between networks frequently. At work, it's usually plugged in, but sometimes gets un-plugged and goes on wireless-G. On the train, it goes on a Sprint WAN card. At home, it generally goes on another wireless-G network.

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Remote controls, wireless and Linux

I have a home theater with a reasonably advanced remote control set-up -- the Universal Remote 950 MX. While having a conventional "remote stick" form factor, it is actually an embedded system running some small version of Windows CE.

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Android programming, layouts and activities

I've been doing some Android programming, trying to get a feel for what an Android app would look like when structured as a main screen, some set-up screens, and a main gameplay screen (which then wants to go back to the main screen). I've fought a bit with the built-in Android layout views. They seem to be missing some capabilities that would be really useful.

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