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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Smoking and me...

Ok.  Woke up at 8:00am.  It took one hour to have every environmental variable twisted and re-interpreted into the phrase: You picked the wrong time to stop smoking.  At 9:06am, I rolled a cigarette and smoked it.

Even the Habitrol (like Nicroderm patches) manual...I would read happy phrases like "Congratulations!  Now that you've decided to quit smoking, you should pick a date within the next 2 - 3 weeks as your offical quit date."  Key word is within.  What my mind said:  2 - 3 weeks from now; I obviously did this wrong; I didn't prep enough; I'm not ready!; Oh fuck, where's my cigs?

I also have friends showing up the next two weekends, which equals drinking.  Probably not a good idea to stop until after they're gone.  Wife's addendum to this: well, if you buck up like a REAL MAN, and deal with it, and...

I stopped listening after that; smoke got in my eyes, which kinda hurt.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mazes, SDL, Smoking, and Me...

So, first and foremost, I will (hopefully) be posting daily for the next month.  I've decided to quit smoking.  I feel like ass all the time and have a 4-month old son for whom I've promised to quit.  I will, starting tomorrow, be using the patch, eating excessively, and curling up into a fetal position.  I will also, as a reminder to myself and a small benefit to mankind, provide an entry each day recounting my pain and suffering.  I've "quit" twice before for 2+ years.  If I can make it 30 days, I should be golden.

I have also been playing around with SDL the last week or so, and have re-written my MazeRunner screensaver to use SDL.  Based on my recent OCD on (GDI-based) screensavers, some initial Pros and Cons:


  • WAY WAY easy to use; much more so than DirectX or OpenGL
  • Fast and effective


  • Screensaver display settings "preview" seems next to impossible
  • SDL_Timer + SDL_Events for rendering = bad idea.  I had the timer send an event message for when to re-render the screen.  Quitting the saver would throw an error big time.  Seems that the saver was "in the process of rendering" when SDL_Quit was called and the saver was trying to free the surfaces.

I've also been having one hell of a time trying to figure out how to remove the "chunkiness" of the animation.  It's not flicker, but rather looks like a screen sync issue.

Although I'm not near to being fully pleased with the final product, and haven't taken the time to clean up my code, I've decided to throw the source (Visual Studio 2005) out here.  The screensaver and necessary dlls are here in a zip file.  I've also decided to throw the Yagol++ screensaver and GDI-based MazeRunner source out in zips.  They are here and here, respectively.

If anyone out there can take a look at the SDL MazeRunner code and provide any tips, changes, etc., I'd be thrilled.  I'd really like to know what I might be able to do to improve the "smoothness" of the animation.  I've only tried it out so far on my laptop here at home, so that may be a major reason, but I'd like it to look good on any system.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Screensavers, Mazes, and Me...

Ok, I'm on a major OCD track with screensavers.  I've written a stupid Maze Runner one, which you can download here.

I need to update this and the Yagol one for the Preview dialogs, plus potentially add some settings.  Currently, the preview for the Maze Runner looks like this:


Which doesn't really show the guy running through the maze.  Not sure when I'll get to this as I'm now focused on my next masterpiece!

I'll also throw the sourcecode up for Yagol and this soon, even though I get no love from my (limited) audience.


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