Wednesday, October 29, 2008

vmware esxi is free

Just found out that VMWare's ESXi offering is free. It's basically a hypervisor based virtual server offering... like Xen, but without the need for hardware VT support to run unmodified hosts.

MS Azure

Did a little investigation into the announcement of Azure. It basically sounds like MS's response to Google App Engine, except for And apparently giving you access to a bunch of Live services for your web app. And integrated with the Visual Studio EE stuff.

Might be of interest to folks looking to get some experience with MS's enterprise tools without actually having to shell out cash for them.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Noticed this in the safari rss feed: Expert F#.

I had no idea such a beast existed, let alone had existed long enough for someone to become an expert in it. ;)

tl;dr version: It's a functional programming language for .Net. They talk about OCaml a lot.

After messing around with Erlang, I found that I really, really like functional programming. You skip a lot of the shullbit and get straight down to business of working with the data... the problem for everyday use is that the users kind of like all that shullbit, and so that's what you get paid to write. I'd been thinking that the only way to sneak functional programming in would be as a web/system service, but if it's a .Net assembly... \o/

Will have to check it out more later.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

dead robot society

Found an interesting podcast about writing: Dead Robots Society. Some interesting discussions about stuff like Campbell's Hero Arch and how it applies to not just books and movies, but news and video games, how to handle dialog in a story, a tool called Dramatica you can use to analyze your plots, and an interview with an independent publisher that gives some insight into the business side of things.


Think I already mentioned it before, but Unity3D is an engine/platform you can use to design games/sims. Cool features include a web based plugin, MS/Mono support, Wii and iPhone dev, and apparently MMO dev in their 2.1 release. Basically, it's in the same niche as Torque X. My main concern remains development tools (ie, art and assets, not game code), but it looks like they're both coming along nicely.

I'm not ready to spend money on either one yet as I'd prefer to get a little more experience with the fundamentals (namely, SDL/OpenGL), but I'm kind of leaning towards Unity atm.


An alternative to using XNA for .net game/sim development is to go with SDL (simple directmedia layer) (or its .net wrapper assembly

The good news is that SDL takes care of the 2d, input handling, sound, and some networking crap. The bad news is that 3d is outside of aegis, and the best it can do is setup a surface for drawing OpenGL stuff on. That means you need an OpenGL library, which The Tao Framework provides. Bad news there is that it's basically just wrappers for unmanaged code, so you still need to keep track of what you allocated to prevent memory leaks and setup a Dispose() for stuff.

But the sunny side is: works for MS and Mono. \o/

Jabuka has written up some decent tutorials and example code in his physics engine implementation project, which gives some real-world examples of how to use Tao.

So I'm thinking, what, 2.. maybe 3 months for World of Spooncraft 1.0 launch?

Monday, October 13, 2008

bad start

October has gotten off to a bad start. Suffered a big loss, and everything else seems to be crumbling to dust around me.

Personal hacking has been on hold while I'm in the funk... maybe I've just trying to avoid thinking in my private time and trying to avoid that just vegging out and doing my somber Martian style of "socializing".

Professional hacking has gone pretty good, though. It's good to have something to focus in on, and that's a quick, attainable goal so that not everything is Tantalus's picnic. :)