Tim Hatch

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Whackamole? 26 Sep, 2005

I often experience a weird sensation: I want to reboot, but it's like my computer doesn't want me to. Because my Mac almost never crashes, I have things like scratch notes and browser tabs that just pile up. I want to figure out what I was going to do with each of them before I close it, and there's no way to just save them to look at next time (though if there was, it probably wouldn't be a good thing to use). I saw this mentioned once on sbp’s site, and was trying to find the post using Google. I agree with his feelings on closing so many windows as detailed in whackamole.

In trying to find it using Google, it was suggested that I can find it on ebay but ebay says they don’t have any. Darn, I wanted to buy one.

Uppercase Bad Thing 22 Sep, 2005

This is something that we keep mentioning at the office: some things are “bad” but it's hard to explain exactly how bad it is without using voice inflection, so it's easy to transcribe it into an email or IM.

Thus, we coined the term “uppercase bad thing” for when something is not just “bad” but catastrophically bad. For future reference, it is written out as an "\Ubad thing" because Cameron and I know Perl.

Surreal Week 22 Sep, 2005

I hereby declare this week “Surreal.”

Wednesday, my group in human development class had to present a talk on Jean Piaget. The first comment from everyone when we got our slideshow se up was not “When did he live,” “Wow, I didn’t think you’d find a goofier portrait than we had with Freud,” or anything else of the sort. It was “How’d you change slides without touching the computer,” simultaneously from all sides of the room. Powerbook + Bluetooth Phone + Romeo = technological awe. We didn’t get to go through all the presentation, so the remaining parts (to be presented entirely by me, gah!) to be done first thing Monday. We’d put the slides together the night before.

Second verse, same as the first. I was up late last night finishing my book report for history today (which garnered an ooh from the professor) and left the office a little early to actually get something to eat for breakfast, and ran into someone in the One O’Clock Lounge who I recognized and spoke to online but never talked to. Name withheld to protect the innocent:

walks up “Hi, person’s-name?”
“It’s Tim, we’ve never met.”
“I know.”
“Well, I was walking by and recognized you and thought I’d say ‘Hi.’”
“You did. Ok.”
“I’ve got to head over to class, ttyl.”

Gnometastic 15 Sep, 2005

I’ve got a lot of things I should get off the draft shelf and actually post, but it’s late and I’ve got physics tomorrow so I won’t get anything really big done… but be warned, there will be a deluge once I find some free time.

I’m in the game programming class this semester taught by Dr. Parberry. The class has about 25 programmers, who are paired with people from an art class. The art students come up with art, the computer science student come up with code. Somewhere in all this is a whole that somehow ought to be more than the sum of parts, which we hope will come through iterative design.

They demoed several of the previous years’ games during the first class period, including some of my favorites (which I thought I’d posted about, but may have gotten lost in an upgrade) like “Lost Child”, “Zombie Beer Run” (mistakenly referred to as “Nazi Beer Run” more than one during class), and several more with names less memorable. Then the students all pitch their ideas and self-form groups. Ours has four programmers and (now) two artists, who will be making a game about lawn gnomes. That come alive after they’re stolen by uncaring college students.

We’ve got till the end of November (two months?) to get a working demo going, and we’ve got an awesome team of helpers doing additional assets like sound, so I think we can do it. I’ll give more updates as it progresses, and post the demo once it’s finished.

But now it’s time for sleep.

History Is Dog-Eat-Dog 08 Sep, 2005

We had a lot of interesting discussions today in history class. I took college history out of order, so I already know how it all ends up.

Dr. Smith:
walking into class with a giant map stand Somebody stole our U.S. map!
So you stole theirs?
Dr. Smith:
Exactly, if there’s one thing you should learn from history class, it’s that it’s a dog-eat-dog world.

We’re lucky we had that map too, because we kept losing track of places and dates that Dr. Smith thinks ought to be taught in high school but apparently aren’t to his satisfaction.

This is now the fourth class period, and so far, every lesson could be reduced down to the following form:

(European nation) arrives in the (New World country). Brings diseases. Indians die. (European nation) brings slaves. (European nation) profits.

This must be the missing step 2 before profit: bring in foreign diseases to which the natives have no immunity.

Deer Park Alpha 2 06 Sep, 2005

The Deer Park nightlies (think of Firefox alpha builds) are really fleshing out and haven’t had any major bugs for over a week now. Among the features added are draggable tabs (you can reorder them), auto-update (kind of silly on nightlies, but hey), mini-thumbnailing of images as tab favicons, and Safar-like rendering of RSS feeds (which seems to be disabled by default as of today). Give it a try, I use it as my daily browser on Windows.

I’d give a screenshot but a lot of the features are just nice things that you won’t notice unless you use them daily.

SquareFree: The Burning Edge

Game Programming I 06 Sep, 2005

“Friends will help you fix your computer. Real friends will help you even if it’s Windows.”

— source lost

I’ve been happily on Linux and Mac for the last many months, however for one of my classes, I’m being forced to use Windows + VS.net + DXSDK to develop a game. Our concept is still being fleshed out but currently involves a top-down view of a garden gnome who’s trying to escape from a dorm room with precarious pizza boxes. We’re going to cheat a lot on the actual rendering, and use 2D textures for (almost) everything. But before all this, I’m going to have to get Windows installed again.

I’ll be giving more reports with screenshots after the game actually has, code and/or graphics behind it.

I’m up late at the university and they’re attempting to scare off birds using loud noises but it’s having zero effect. Wanna go ride bikes?