Sunday, 14 August 2011

Hanger 18

Back to early 90's - XCOM aka UFO returns (via an open-source remake). Happily, nearly trivial to build on OSX.

Grab the source. Github has a nice OSX client, and the webpages have a wee button to spawn the OSX client and make the git clone process painless.

Get a packaging system for install Unix packages on OSX - the new hotness is Homebrew, in addition to fink or macports. Homebrew has the relevant dependencies, so it works (tm).

brew install yaml-cpp
brew install sdl
brew install sdl_gfx
brew install sdl_mixer

set the pkgconfig tools environment variable to find the installed stuff.

export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$PKG_CONFIG_PATH:/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig

In the src directory of OpenXcom


And tis done. Copy the games data files to the relevant location, and all is well.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Terminal Illusions

Flocking makes for a nice screen-saver - see here for a nice JS demo, and this pseudocode for a nice, dirt simple explanation. Managing so many objects interacting in space, even 2D, calls for some spatial data structures. The approach of buckets in 1D, and sorting + binary searching in the other dimension seems to work well for my flocking screen saver. 64 bit in Lion (hmm. and Snow Leopard?) break 32 bit screen saver modules (bah!) and also Saver Lab. Can capture screenshots with another OSX command line tool, screencapture.

Simple Flocking ScreenSaver
GDB in Visual Studio - they are working on an Android NDK version,
which could be a great improvement on current tools, if it worked.

The C++ language has plenty of odd corners; but so do the standard libraries, and the cross platform variations. The std::string class can surprise on some platforms with its Copy On Write semantics and the sharing of underlying memory buffers.

Every new version of Windows breeds a new bit of software to handle disk images, see WinCDEmu for Windows 7.

Getting a visa to travel to the states can be done online. The EU should reciprocate with US visitors until this nonsense gets stopped. 

Consider Lockharts lament; replace "maths" with "programming", and ponder on education now. And recall how maths was taught, too. Ick.

The HunSpell spell checker has many dictionaries. The executable can be controlled via pipes from Java. There is a Swedish dictionary from "The Big Swedish Wordlist".