Tuesday, August 30, 2005

John Carmack's Blog

John Carmack the co-owner, technical director of id software has always had a "Finger" Service that you could use to see what he and other id software team members where up to. But early this year John Carmack started a blog.

As with the Finger its never updated as often as some would like but its always very long posts and can be a interesting input towards the real technology that they can and can't use due to lack of support or issues. Eirther way very interesting to anyone who happens to enjoy programming, rendering and games or Aerospace, physics and rocket engines...

This is because he is also the team leader of Armadillo Aerospace. Expect to see John Carmack throttling
a rocket engine with a joystick... Thrustmaster?

Armadillo Aerospace is a team involved with the "X Prize" (www.xprizefoundation.com). Which is all about making Space travel a relealistic part of life:
On October 4th, 2004, the X PRIZE captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace led by Burt Rutan and Paul Allen built and flew the world’s first private spacecraft to the edge of space to win the $10 million ANSARI X PRIZE."

You can see John Carmack's his blog here: http://www.armadilloaerospace.com/n.x/johnc/Recent%20Updates

KMFDM Hau Ruck Preview

KMFDM's new CD "Hau Ruck" which is ready for Preorder at the moment at: KMFDM(Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid)

There are three preview tracks:
Free Your Hate
Hau Ruck
Mini Mini Mini


Design Process for Web

Below are the three phases.

  1. What order should they be carried out? They must be carried out in order, unordered web design will result in over-cost, time and creep.
  2. Provide detail as to what each heading includes.

  • Information design

  1. Site Goal: The goal of the website, which may have many factors; information, education, entertainment, commerce.
  2. Site Audience:The audience, weather they are young or old or may not have good computer skills. What is the aimed target machine specification.
  3. Site Content:The data to be displayed on the website, this depends on the Audience and the Goals.
  • Site design

  1. Site Structure/Organization: The sites structure is the levels of content and page levels. What page will show what content and how will it be layered.
  2. Navigation:How the website will provide a system to navigate. This depends largely on how experencied the users are, and the needs to show the content. In any case the web site must be easy to navigate.
  3. Interaction/Functionality: What are the functions in the web site. How will this be done via Interaction.
  4. Usability: How useable is the webpage, is it easy to find what the users require to find?

  • Page design

  1. Layout Grids: What is the general layout of the webpage, eg. two column, three column
  2. Design Sketches: Draw the webpage in the many differnert combines to find what works best. Without having to redo and redo...
  3. Mock-ups: A detailed drawing of the webpage to get a greater feel for the final product.
  4. Web-based Prototype: A prototype to be able to really see the naviagation and layout of the website, this shows if it is really going to work out ok. And a "final" chance for the stackholders to have input.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Bookmark icons

Well I remember talking to someone about bookmark icons, so here is how to do it:
Create a .ico image file 16x16 pixels (higher may not used by IE).

Name it "favicon.ico" and upload it to your root directory. And the browser will pick it up, IE5 and up :-).

If you don't have a domain name and it looks something like www.example.com.au/billybob/

You'll have to add some code to the header in your html on every/any page that you want them to be able to bookmark and to see the icon.

Put the following in to a tag(blogger doesn't like tags...):
link rel = "SHORTCUT ICON" href="http://www.example.com.au/billybob/favicon.ico"

To make the icon file (.ico) you may need to find a seperate paint program.
I used Visual Studio.


Server and browser requests

How plasma screens work

This is a good article on how plasma screens work

"So, what exactly is plasma? Plasma by definition is one of the four states of matter (apart from solid, liquid and gas) and consists of positively and negatively charged particles, which are added in roughly the same quantity. This obviously makes the gas more or less inert but ensures that the charged particles are free to conduct electricity. Plasma can be produced if a gas is energized enough to split the molecules into positive and negatively charged ions. Mostly, the plasma displays use a mixture of noble gases like Neon and Xenon."

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Form usability

This link is at about.com which I must say is a damn annoying website too many damn ads and makes me feel like everything on the website is crap.

But in any case:
Forms are annoying to your customers
Is about how we can make forms just a bit easier to use, which can't be a bad thing.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

China Imposing Limits on Online Game Sessions

China Imposing Limits on Online Game Sessions The Chinese government is working with publishers to set up an anti-addiction program that would limit the length of time a person could play online.


Quite a good idea, weather it should be done or not is up to you. But as always there are ways around things like this. Except if they did everything server-side, so then the most problematic games been MMO class games it'll work.

This idea maybe should really be put in around the world. Could make it so it’s a decision to the players so they can control themselves easily and not be forced to do so.

5 hours before everything gets back to normal is too much though.

I wonder if people will just set an alarm to go off at 170mins and then restart the game?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

MS Speaks Out Against New Zealand's Anti Spam Bill

MS Speaks out against New Zealand's Anti-Spam Bill

Ryan Hamlin, head of Microsoft's Technology Care and Safety Group spoke out against New Zealand's proposed anti-spam legislation, warning that it could impinge on 'the amazing vehicle of e-mail marketing'. He also suggests that CAN-SPAM has been effective in deterring spammers. From The Article: 'Though often criticized as too meek, US anti-spam legislation - which relies on people opting out of spam - has proved effective in supporting prosecutions and deterring spammers.' Anyone else think that one message doesn't count as spam?

From- slashdot.org

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Toolbar shortcuts:
T - Type
V - Move
D - Reset palette to black and white
X - Swaps the foreground and background colours in the palette
Z - Zoom tool


id Software releases the Quake 3 Engine source code! (a small history by me...)

Quake 3 Arena Engine Source code released

This engine was the fore runner of engines since 1999 til Doom 3's release in 2004. Doom 3 was in fact built using the Quake 3 engine keeping the sub-system. Quake 3 was used to create many wonderful games, Soldier of Fortune 2, Jedi Knight 2, Medal of Honour, Call of Duty... the list goes on.

The engine is in C/C++/ASM and uses OpenGL for rendering and DirectX for input of controllers. It was first designed to use Displacement-mapping but didn't make the final cut due to GPU speeds. So it shouldn't be hard to add back in.

It was built/designed by the famous John Carmack, the co-founder and lead tech programmer/rendering programmer of "id Software". The company came from the early days of Dangerous Dave, Commander Keen and later developed the first, first person shooter (Catacombs Abyss).

The engine was the first to have real curved surfaces and showed it off with all the archs and wonderful architure displayed by the Level designers like Tim Willits.

With all the developments seen with the Quake 1 Engine and Quake 2 Engine what will see now from this great step for development this gives us is amazing. It gives us a chance to see the wonders and be able to stress our video cards to the limit! Until the next "id Software" engine that is.

Expect to see Quake 3 rendered with bump-mapping and displacement-mapping and GLSL additions and who knows? any new techs will most likely be swipped in to this beast!

Friday, August 19, 2005

nVidia's OpenGL nature scene code sample

NVIDIA has posted an OpenGL nature scene code sample. The demo combines several techinques to produce a realistic looking natural scene. The gently swaying grass is rendered using transparency anti-aliasing to ensure realism even in the distance; and the horizon is tinted using an exponential fall off effect. Several textures and a pixel shader are used to create the diverse terrain. A whitepaper is included that explains all of these techniques in detail.

(text taken from DevMaster.net)

The rendering is very impressive.

Dynamic Level-of-Detail on the GPU

Dynamic Level-of-Detail on the GPU

About GPU processing of level-of-detail.

Violent or erotic images cause momentary periods of “emotion-induced blindness”

Violent or erotic images cause momentary periods of “emotion-induced blindness”

Quote from this page:
"If your partner seems to be ignoring you after a flash of nudity on the television screen, it might not be his or her fault: A new psychological study finds that when people are shown violent or erotic images they frequently fail to process what they see immediately afterwards."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

javascript form vaildation doing it right!

When using Javascript for form validation, there is a right way, a wrong way, a very wrong way, and a suicidally wrong way! Unfortunately many sites use one of the wrong ways, including even some which claim to be form-validation tutorials. This page tries to help people in the right direction.

CSS Layout for Forms

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Flash web links

Hundreds of Hours of BBS Documentary Interviews

Hundreds of Hours of BBS Documentary Interviews

Looks interesting, for anyone interested in Bulletin Board Systems.

Urine Powered Battery Developed

The 10 Best Resourses for CSS

The following site has a list of websites and related CSS matterial which have been seen as the top 10 by Mark Daoust.

The 10 Best
Resources for CSS

Many of these have most likely already been posted and are floating about.

Monday, August 15, 2005


ECMAScript is a scripting programming language, standardized by Ecma International in ECMA-262 specification. The language is widely used on the web and is often referred to as JavaScript or JScript, although those two terms have more specific meaning. To understand the relation between ECMAScript, JavaScript, and JScript, you need to know the history of ECMAScript.

Intro to Web Scripting

General programming principles

  • Webpages can sometimes require server-side scripting for example a shopping-cart or for a webpage to dynamicy create webpages. Client-side scripting can also be needed to provide people with a "web application" to do simple operations.
  • A "variable" is a reference to a space in memory, which holds the data that you can use in your program. Or you could say its a label to the data.
  • Programming languages have control structions so you are able to make choices, and to take different paths for differnet types of data, answers and situations.

Object-Oriented Programming principles

  • Object Oriented Programming (OOP) is a way of sperating the code in to "Object's" these objects can be seen as real-world objects. A bike has wheels and gears. Instead of writting a program to have gears and wheels, you will end up with dupilcated code. So you create a Wheel Object which you can create and place in to the required positions on the bike.
  • A Property is like weather an Object likea pencil in red or blue. And a method is a set of movements, so the pencil can be used to draw.
  • The "dot" is used to reference a call to, example: The object frame.setVisible(); will get the "varible" frame and call the method setVisible. Basiclly the "." allows you to look in to the object that the varible frame is. Also a "->" can be used in C++ instead of the "." when using Pointers (call by reference"->" and call by value".").
For the following I used this website:
Javascript Objects
Also this is recommened:
Core JavaScript Reference
  • Object: Window
  • Object: History
  • Object: Navigator

Web Programming(Scripting) languages

Investigate 3 of the following languages, identifying features, pro's and con's etc.

  • php(PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) Pros: C style syntax, free Cons: No software certification
  • ruby on rails Pros: Changable at Runtime, free Cons: syntax is a mix of C++/Pascal/Smalltalk, Class name is just a label pasted on an object
  • jsp(Java Server Pages) Pros: Java/C style syntax, Class name directly identifies the class, free Cons: Unchangable at Runtime, software certification

A, AA, AAA Accessibility Conformance

This website explains the different levels for conformance to accessibility.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Object-Oriented Programming Concepts

Object-Oriented Programming Concepts

This is good for anyone who isn't used to OOP concepts. This is Java based, but applies to all OOP languages from C++ to Small Talk.

And should be useful for scripting languages like C-script, JavaScript, PHP and ASP.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Free online course in .NET Web Applications

For anyone interested in getting into .NET related technologies:

Get 17 hours of hands-on ASP.NET training for Free - a $349 value!
For a limited time only, Microsoft Learning is offering Developing Microsoft® ASP.NET Web Applications Using Visual Studio® .NET, a 17-hour self-paced online training course, for free ($349 value).


It on the right hand side.

The Cog!

Answers to web questions

1. The importance of flexibility in design is that you can add or remove elements easily.

2. Useability is the ease at which people can get to the fatcs, or use of the website. Without digging.

3. 60k is the maxium page weight as of rule. Because users will turn away after 10seconds ona 56k modem. (Users in fact feel that 1 second is 1.5 seconds so 10 seconds will be about 15seconds to the user).

4. The use of Flash. When best used...

5. The goal of the website points to the tools required.

6. To stop people from leaving your website feeling ticked off

7. Keep the design to the point and not over flashy.


4th generation web sites have all the elements of a 3rd generation web site along with the following:

  1. The proper use of markup (HTML): only structural tags in the HTML, use of CSS, proper use of structural tags in the layout ( tag order in a document for example).
  2. Respect to usability in web site design: using proven layouts
  3. Search engine aware web pages and web site.
  4. Well structured - easily updateable.
  5. Automatically printable with CSS media type linked CSS files.
  6. In a nutshell: a web standards compliant website.

9. A standard computer with internet access. There is no need to draw millions of vertexs or to process a warehouse, and you need an internet connection so you can upload your site, and test it in the real world sitution.

10. Light Images are images that don't kill bandwidth. They are small, and serve there purpose.

11. 80/20

12. Image Optimization, is the process of compressing, or drawing the line where quality and size. This is done with the use of filters.

13. We optimize images, by using applications designed for image processing which contain the required filters and compression algorithms.

14. JPEG is best used for images with 16bit or 24bit colour and or photos. While GIF is best used for documents, 8bit graphics.

15. Rules are made to be broken, this is invalid generally when used with computers, because they are outlined in its programs so there isn't much choice. But with webdesign, you must stick to the rules if you want your website to be seen and used for the purpose it was created for.

Using Sprites in CSS

I just used this tutorial:
CSS Sprites: Image Slicing’s Kiss of Death

It shows you how to use a single image to create buttons with hover and visited attributes.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

First post

This is just really a test...

My current "website" or of an address with an info page:
Strike Swiftly

So as you can see its time to get in to the design of web pages! :-)