ProcGen: Playing with Color
June 11th, 2018
Welcome back to my series on procedural content generation. Today we are going to learn how to play with color. Generating textures is great, but it's so much better when we can generate new color schemes to go with our textures. First, however, we need to do a little clean up.
I'm Afraid Your Daughter is a Vampire
June 11th, 2018
"I'm afraid your daughter is a vampire". The words still rang in Bob's ears. The content of the words were less shocking than the calm and straightforward manner the old man said them. Vampires are the fictitious villains of medieval fairy tales, yet the man used that word so casually, as if her were describing a case of the flu.
In the Year of our Lord
June 11th, 2018
The captain stared into the abyss through his cabin window pensively. So many stars. So many possible worlds, yet so empty. He took another swig of a drink. It's hard to get the good stuff in space, he mused, but captains rations were decent.
ProcGen: Gradients and Lerps
June 7th, 2018
We've built a lot of stuff so far. In part one we built some tools and noise. In part two we created patterns with sine waves, then mixed them with noise. However, so far our images are essentially black and white, or occasionally hard coded to a particular color like red. Today we're going to lerp through some colors. Don't worry, I'll explain that this means in a minute.
ProcGen: Sine Waves
June 6th, 2018
Now that we've got a little toolkit from part 1, let's draw a simple sin wave. As you may recall from your trigonometry, the sin function goes from -1 to 1. It also loops forever. That's going to be very handy.
Procedural Generation Challenge
June 6th, 2018
Thanks to a project I'm doing at work I started reading a book on procedural content generation. ProcGen (as apparently the cool kids call it) is all about creating interesting systems with randomness, which inevitably brings up texture generation, which brings up Perlin Noise, one of the most useful sources of randomness.
Introducing AMX: a simple node process manager
June 3rd, 2018
Or rather, re-introducing. I created AMX a few years ago when I needed to run some crash prone node processes on my server. I looked at existing tools and found them all overly complicated. In my mind a process manager is pretty simple. There's a list of programs that should keep running. If one stops, start it again. That's it.
Beat Saber Rawks
May 19th, 2018
It's not a secret that I am unimpressed by most VR games. While I am excited about the potential of VR & AR for education and enhancing human cognition, games simply bore me. Or the did. Now I stand corrected. Beat Saber rawks!
Mobile VR Problems
May 15th, 2018
I tried to use my sparkling new Oculus Go on an airplane yesterday, since it seems like the obvious place to use it. The number one thing I think people will want to do with this device is download some Netflix movies for a plane. I mean, who wouldn't want to leave the cramped loud environment of an airplane for the calm of their favorite movie over a fun moonscape background. Sadly, Netflix doesn't support downloads in their VR app, even though they do in their mobile ones. Hey Netflix! Turn it on!
Heading out for some MR fun
May 14th, 2018
Holy carp, we've been busy.
My Cut of the White Album
May 12th, 2018
I have always loved The Beatles, even when I was little. I'm too young to have known about The Beatles in a cultural sense. I was 5 when John Lennon was murdered, far too young to remember, so to me The Beatles were always just music that existed. While I love their entire catalog I've always felt the White Album was their weakest effort due to lack of editing. Today we're going to fix that.
First 360 Video
May 9th, 2018
This is the first 360 video test with Jesse. It might make you dizzy.
Things Which Annoy Me About Modern Computers
May 9th, 2018
I'm annoyed that we don't have something like the Amiga anymore. A computer that doesn't give you apps, but instead gives you primitives that you can combine in different ways to be creative and make art. Okay, the Amiga wasn't quite like that, but it had the spirit and desire to become that.
Oculus Go: First thoughts
May 8th, 2018
I purchased an Oculus Go on launch day, but due to other commitments I wasn't able to play with it until today. These are my initial uncensored thoughts. First off, for 200 bucks it's pretty good. You get a standalone device that boots up and lets you do things. It's preloaded with a few apps, and the catalog features a bunch of free demos, videos, and games. I haven't dug very far into the catalog yet, but so far I'm impressed.
Music App Update
May 5th, 2018
Well, I've continued working on my React Native music app and everything is going smooth. I already like using it much better than Amazon's iOS Music App for the simple reason it uses less memory.
May 4th, 2018
Today I received a note from our local recycling company that they can no longer take any plastics except for washed milk jugs. Even the many kinds of hard plastic that claim to be fully recyclable they are unable to take. They say it's because of the international recycling crisis currently affecting the world. I'm a curious fellow, so I did some reading.
React Native Tips
May 3rd, 2018
Following Blair MacIntyre's lead, I've accepted that the only way to write more is to write more. No more waiting for the perfect topic at the perfect time with perfect editing. It's better to publish something unpolished than to not publish at all.
Ongoing Revenue: How to build a new smartphone platform
April 25th, 2018
Yesterday I ran across a post on Hacker News about a new phone. From the website it appears to be a brand new OS with features to help you keep focused and clear away the distractions. While the site was pretty, the lack of good UI screenshots was a red flag. What did this OS look like? How can a new OS possibly be built by a small company and be any good?
Why don't we have Wayland yet?!
March 26th, 2018
Or: The state of Linux Graphics with Raspberry Pi and Rust
I have long wanted to create my own desktop operating system targeting the Raspberry Pi. I believe we should have a hackable desktop environment that is both powerful and lightweight, similar to BeOS and the Amiga. To build this desktop we really need full control over how apps draw to the screen, but still have hardware acceleration. That means we'll need to use real graphics drivers and real graphics APIs from existing Linux desktops. When I last looked at all things Linux graphics five years ago everything was a mess but with some promising signs. Over the past couple of days I've been researching the current state. Here is my report, with both good and bad news.