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7. November 2012

Ok, if I am completely honest, I opened the account in April, but it has sat there doing absolutely nothing.  This is about to change.  I have been noticing that more and more of this sites traffic is coming from t.co and it started to feel a bit like I had my head buried in the sands when it comes to this whole social media thing.

 

So, if you like GameFromScratch the site, try GameFromScratch the Twi… er, Tweet.

 

Basically, follow us on Twitter.

 

I won't promise you it will be funny, or informative or even interesting.  But I do promise you it won't ever contain a single cat picture.

 

Unless of course that cat creates a damned good game that is.  Even then, probably not.  Stupid cats.

 

Are you a Twitterer?  Any recommendations of must follow game development Twitterers, well other of course than @GameFromScratch that is!

General Totally Off Topic


16. October 2012

 

I recently read this ( very good ) blog post documenting the process of developing and publishing the game Pumped BMX and was struck by one thing.  I really really liked the font he used on his site, it was clean but not gimmicky.

 

It turns out the font is Open Sans, created by Google.  I have decided to adopt it on GameFromScratch.com.  With the recent increase of page width I also decided to increase the font size from 12 to 14pt.

 

Here are before and after results:

image

 

What do you think?  Like it better the new way, or prefer the old font?  All told they are both fairly similar fonts, so it’s not a very massive change.

Totally Off Topic


12. October 2012

Just a heads up, this post has absolutely nothing to do with game development.  It was a little annoyance I ran into today that had a completely unintuitive answer.  I post here so that, thanks to the power of Google, others may learn from my frustration.

 

I have a laptop that is for portability, the one I use when I am out and about ( which is more often then not ), but when I am home, my wife often makes use of it.  For debugging reasons, I hate having unknown processes running in the background, so I always log her account off the next time I log in.  I have done it the same way for years, open Task Manager ( CTRL+SHIFT+ESC ), go to the Users tab, right click the user name and select log off.  As the title suggests, today things didn’t quite work out and I received the error “User username (SessionId=1) could not be logged off.  Access denied.”.  First off, my wife’s name isn’t Bob in case you are wondering.

 

Second, the fix is really easy, just completely confusing why it is a fix at all!

In Task Manager, switch over to the process tab and click “Show processes from all users.”

 

image

 

That’s it, you can now log the other user off.

 

Again, I haven’t got the foggiest idea why this works.  I have that feature checked 99.99% of the time, so I have never run into this problem before.  Obviously more happens behind the scenes than just displaying more processes when you click that button.

 

Anyways, hope that proves useful to someone at some point. 

 

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Totally Off Topic


19. September 2012

The ignore me part of this post is very real, this post has content that is probably of very little interest to 99% of you.  You see, until now I have been spoiled by the wonderful ( and free! ) Windows Live Writer blogging software, part of the Windows Live Essentials package.  Coincidentally that pack also includes a very good video editing package, so if you have written it off as garbage, you've made a serious mistake.

 

 

Anyways, Windows Live Writer seems to be universally regarded as the best blogging software out there ( Google it… this shocked me too! ), and on a Mac there is no good (free) alternative.  There is however hope, in the form of MarsEdit which I am currently giving a test drive in this post.  It's 40$, which compared to free is quite expensive, but compared to say…  kobe beef, is extremely cheap.  It's quite simple initially, but seems to do most of what I require so far…  mind you, I haven't posted any images or source code yet, so who knows what is going to happen.  I also haven't tried editing an existing post ( too afraid ), or editing a MarsEdit post in WLW ( I haven't got one yet. )

 

So that is what this post is all about… test driving MarsEdit and then seeing how friendly it plays with Windows.  So, the rest of this post is going to be a mish-mash of … stuff.

 

So, feel free to ignore me :)  Unless of course, you too recently added a Mac to your daily regime and are looking for a blogging alternative to Live Writer.  Oh, and I tried QTM already ( it was free ), and…  yeah, no.

 

The good news so far is, it spoke to my blog, got all the recent posts and downloaded the categories, which is nice as I use a slightly less common blog platform ( BlogEngine ).  That said, I haven't seen support for tags yet...

 

Now lets give an image a shot.

 

This is a centre aligned image ( of Oolong, the famous pancake balancing rabbit.  It appears you can position easily enough, but image effects and wrapping text

Oolong

around the image is beyond MarsEdit.

 

Now lets see what happens with a right aligned image, If this text can't be wrapped around an image, that is actually a gigantic deal breaker right there.

Oolong

 

Hmm, well it appears I can at least do that much, but I don't appear to be able to set the padding between my text and the image.

 

 

Perhaps even more oddly, I don't have the ability to resize an image once it has been added.

 

That frankly is just bizarre.

 

Also, I am just typing this stuff so I can fill the space to the bottom of the image.  Not that I can guarantee that will make sense once published, as this column of text doesn't come close to matching the actual width of my blog, so I have no idea how the text is going to format once posted.

 

Now it's time to see how code gets pasted:

 

var express = require('express'),
server = express.createServer();

server.use('/scripts', express.static(__dirname + '/scripts'));

server.get('/', function (req, res) {
res.sendfile('index.html');
});

//server.get('*', function (req, res) {
// res.redirect('/#' + req.url, 302);
//});

server.listen(process.env.PORT || 3000);

 

Hm, default from WebStorm, it pastes as simple text.  Well, that's not going to work.  There doesn't appear to be any plugin support, so let's try pasting as RTF from the wonderful Sublime Text:

 

viewport = MOAIViewport.new()
viewport:setSize(screenWidth,screenHeight)
viewport:setScale(screenWidth,screenHeight)

 

 

Hmmm, nope.  HTML maybe?

 

viewport = MOAIViewport.new()

viewport:setSize(screenWidth,screenHeight)

viewport:setScale(screenWidth,screenHeight)

 

main.lua

09/19/12 10:04:21 /Users/Mike/Dropbox/Moai/Adventure/2/main.lua
  5
if screenWidth == nil then screenWidth =640 end
  6
if screenHeight == nil then screenHeight = 480 end
  7  
  8
MOAISim.openWindow("Window",screenWidth,screenHeight)
  9  
10
viewport = MOAIViewport.new()
11
viewport:setSize(screenWidth,screenHeight)
12
viewport:setScale(screenWidth,screenHeight)

 

 

 

… well, getting there, but ugly as sin.  Thats using the ExportHtml plugin for Sublime Text.  I will look in to a better option in the future.

 

EDIT: Opened and edited in MarsEdit.  No tag support, picture formatting is meh at best and I am not happy with code markup yet, but the basics are there for now.  May have made progress with code formatting:

 

09/19/12 10:26:20 /Users/Mike/Dropbox/Moai/Adventure/2/main.lua 
17 MOAIRenderMgr.pushRenderPass(layer)
18
19 sprite = MOAIGfxQuad2D.new()
20 sprite:setTexture("smile.png")
21 sprite:setRect(-200,-200,200,200)
layer = MOAILayer2D.new()
layer:setViewport(viewport)
 
MOAIRenderMgr.pushRenderPass(layer)
 
sprite = MOAIGfxQuad2D.new()
sprite:setTexture("smile.png")

sprite:setRect(-200,-200,200,200)

EDIT2: Pages opens and edits fine in Live Writer.

 

 

Verdict:

 

MarsEdit may work for me, but the lack of built in code formatting makes things a gigantic pain in the hoop, as do the lack of image formatting tools and (albeit a minor point) the lack of tagging.  On the other hand, I really do like the editing environment, it’s a much nicer and more natural experience than Live Writer.  The publishing process is also much nicer, as is the management aspects.

 

On the whole, MarsEdit seems like a capable product that falls short in a few key categories.  If I find nothing else, I will probably purchase a license.  Does anyone have another recommendation for Mac based blogging software?z

Totally Off Topic


17. September 2012

In recent years I have gotten used to having increasingly larger hard drives, so I never really paid attention to how large Windows 7 had gotten.  Until I recently installed Win 7 on a 60GB SSD partition…

and nearly half of if was consumed by the OS!

 

This is simply put, insane.

 

The first obvious use of space is the PageFile ( 4GB, or 1 to 1 with actual RAM ), but for now I am leaving that one be.  So I wondered how much low hanging fruit I could get, and the answer is, surprisingly a lot.

 

First to go, System Restore.  I never use this feature anyways.  I backup remotely, so If my OS corrupts, I reinstall.  I never trust the state of a machine that requires a System Restore anyways.  Net savings, 1.5GB.

 

Next up, and this one kinda sucks to remove, but Hibernate.  Removing Hibernate ( powercfg –hibernate off ).  Net savings, 4GB.

 

Then I went in to Windows Features and removed the bits I didn’t use ( Games, DVD Maker, a few others ) for a grand total savings of a few hundred MB.  Meh.

 

At this point I started to think I was out of options, then I looked at WinSxS in the Windows folder… holy crap.

 

image

 

10GB, and a fresh install!  What the hell is going on here!

 

So looking in to it a little deeper, apparently Windows 7 makes a backup copy of pretty much every file it ever patches, so after a service pack there is a gigantic amount of bloat, so you can uninstall the Service Pack.  This one falls under the same category as System Restore… I will not undo a Service Pack install… I will reinstall completely.  Problem is, I couldn’t figure out a way to remove bits from WinSxS safely, until I found this.

Basically you run ( as Admin )

dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded

and:

image

 

And after it finished:

 

image

 

A net savings of nearly 4GB. 

 

So, grand total I managed to shrink the install size down by damn near 50%, with almost no downsides.  So, if you are running on a solid state drive and need more space free, consider the steps above.  Just a warning, if something goes wrong ( a bad driver install, a corrupted program install, etc… ) you will probably be doing a reinstall.

Totally Off Topic


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