Friday, November 19, 2010

To the airport...

Just FYI for anyone who is interested in the N900 ioquake3 work (there seems to be some interest lately.) I'm taking a short vacation where I'll be completely offline for about 6 days. See you when I'm back.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Quake 3 qgl API

I'm sure having the qgl API made sense at some point in time (GL 1.x) however now it's just a pain for doing any kind of porting. The qgl API is a set of function pointers which are initialized by the renderer to point to the real gl API functions (or logging wrappers.) e.g. glClear() becomes qglClear()

I think the original reason for this was logging GL calls (a valid reason, at the time) and handling extensions. IMHO logging could be implemented easier using a GL tracing library (there are a few; Google) and GREMEDY_string_marker for renderer specific messages (begin of function foobar(), etc.)

Actually this is what Robert is doing for XreaL-ET branch, however it's not on the mainline branch yet. I think I'll cherry pick these changes over before doing more work on GLES2 for XreaL. Otherwise the qgl API is going to turn GLES2 support into a massive ifdef mess...

I am quite interested to see what kind of performance SGX can get out of a real VBO optimized renderer.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Me, travel, and fail

It seems I'm rather prone to running into some kind of fail during my travels. Previously the Icelandic Volcanic ash Cloud, and now a rather strong earthquake has hit Christchurch several days before my flight there.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

N900 Quake 3 isn't dead yet...

It's been a while since I've had some free time to hack around with Quake 3 on the N900, and strictly speaking that is still the case, but I've started to look into some issues now. Lightmap support, fixing up the input, and adding support for SixAxis/Dual Shock 3 controllers. :)

Okay, at this point I just have the hardware and basic input working on the device thanks entirely to Tomasz Sterna (and others) work.

I hope tomorrow to get some tangible code added to ioquake3 N900 branch as well as testing out the possible lightmapping fixes and refining touchscreen based input for those who don't have PS3 controllers; I only brought mine today. Btw, does anyone else consider it a bit cheap of Sony not to include a USB to Mini-B cable with the controller, or does the PS3 console come with more than one cable?

Yes, I know it's been a long time, and yes the TS input is currently slightly broken. But well, you know the deal with free-time (or rather the lack thereof) projects...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rain in Helsinki...

Apparently the forecast got it wrong, but none the less it's nice to hear the sound of thunder and rain in Helsinki (which doesn't seem to happen very often.)

Unfortunately I've yet to buy any groceries, and now it's starting to look more like the great deluge out there...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Airports ftw... yeah...

I've finally made it back to Helsinki although my dislike for airports has probably reached monumental levels by now... Unfortunately I had a lot of bad transfers; most of them about 6 hours. Long enough to be annoying, but too short to get a hotel and some sleep. Next time, I'll plan a multi-stop journey so that I can actually sleep during the ~36+ hour journey. Bill Hicks is right on the money when it comes to children on airplanes.

I didn't take many pictures during my vacation, but here's a good reason to remember to fill out the "stop delivering junk mail" form before leaving for over a month. I also have to replace my house plant. The post office apparently doesn't use any no-junk-mail stickers. Quite fun sorting through that to find the important mails...

I brought back some nice teas from Australia: Indian Spice and Turkish Apple. Which is really just sugar, citric acid, and other flavorings (well, it tastes nice anyway.)

Apparently it must have looked interesting enough for customs to open my suitcase. The tea box was left open, but they were nice enough to not rummage through everything... The resemblance is uncanny though.

Now just to sort out paper-work and other miscellaneous things, then back to the office tomorrow (hopefully not totally jet-lagged.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mother Nature's a cold hearted bitch...

Unfortunately due to the EU airspace being closed because of the volcanic ash cloud I wasn't able to make it back to Helsinki; I ended up getting stuck in Hong Kong for a night (which was kind of cool; apart from the exceptionally expensive Airport Hotel.)

Yeah, I was lazy and got the closest place, optimistically thinking this might only last a day or two. Finally I decided to get a flight back to New Zealand rather than stay for an unknown period of time in Hong Kong. I don't even want to think about the number of timezones I've crossed in the course of this fiasco... I'm sure the jet-lag will hit hard.

Finnair are offering a refund for unused tickets (once they get around to processing it) so hopefully I will get at least some of my airfair back.

Oh, and if I never hear the words "final boarding call" or "passengers on flight..." again, it will be far too soon.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Start of my vacation in New Zealand...

After the initial ~35 hours worth of flying and airports (I swear the food gets worse every international flight) and accidentally letting my visa lapse, resulting in a fine from Finnish immigration, I've made it back to New Zealand. (Well, actually a couple of days ago, but I was lazy about updating.)

Fortunately I had an overnight lay-over in Sydney so I was able to get a hotel room for the night, have a shower, and sleep on a real bed. My schedule doesn't look so good on the return flight, though.

I'm having a fairly relaxing vacation so far, with the exception that I'm going to need to have some wisdom teeth removed. The dentist in Helsinki thought they would be fine, but considering pain is the body's way of telling the mind something is wrong, and after seeing the X-ray myself, I'm going with the second opinion. Hopefully this won't ruin my planned trip to Melbourne too much; apparently the recovery time is about a week.

I have been doing a little programming on personal projects, even though I said I wouldn't... :-) The next book that I want to read, Sleepless by Charlie Huston doesn't seem to be available in any bookstores in NZ yet. Perhaps I can pick that up in Melbourne; it's not worth the shipping costs for a single book from Amazon (UK or US) to New Zealand (although to Helsinki from the UK site is quite reasonable.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Maemo 5/ioquake3 with native QVM's...

A number of people have asked me questions along the lines of "can I play my favorite Quake 3 mod with your package on Maemo?" The answer used to be that you could not, due to changes in the Client Game (cgame) module. I've now fixes these issues (mostly absolute vs. relative touchscreen events) so that an unmodified cgame will work correctly.

The short answer: yes, your favorite mod should now work.

I have done absolutely no testing other than checking that the vanilla, unmodified QVM's shipped on the Quake 3 CD work as expected. So your millage may vary.

There are still a couple of issues with UI interaction, but since this is a highly requested feature, and I have a flight to catch in some hours, I'm pushing ioquake3 (1558-maemo6) to extras-devel now.

Also, there are two cvar's you might like to tweak: sensitivity and accel_sensitivity.

Pro-tip: the key combination "Fn (Blue Arrow) + =" is Escape, and "Fn + Sym" is console up/down. Yes, eventually I will write some better release notes. :-)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Helsinki: Fun in the Sun... or Not

It's been a bit longer between updates than I had hoped; busy with Maemo 6, random hacking projects, and of course (attempting to) have a life away from said activities. I have finally booked my vacation back to New Zealand (and will also be visiting a friend in Melbourne, Australia.)

I probably picked the worst day to do my pre-vacation shopping; the weather in Helsinki has warmed up just enough (+1 degrees C) that everything on the ground has turned into a slippery slush:
  • Number of times almost doing an unintentional back flip (or other such acrobatics): ~6.
  • Number of times sprayed by passing cars: 2 (one of which I saw coming, but couldn't move out of the way...)
However, it seems the Finns are not totally immune to walking on slush; I saw one unfortunate person do a back-slide into a melted puddle.

This was just walking from Kaisaniemi to Rautatientori (Forum) and back; I still need to pickup a few things at Verkkokauppa. Unfortunately it doesn't look like the slush will be freezing again any time soon (more likely it melts slowly over time) so my vacation has turned out to be quite well timed. I'm leaving on the 10th.

Since I tend not to get out nearly as much as I should, I'm going to attempt to try some things I've never done before. Currently tandem skydiving is something I'm considering; I figure jumping out of an airplane is about as far away from software engineering as you can get. ;-) (Yes, I know about n900fly)

Anyone who has some ideas for things to do in Australia or New Zealand, please, leave a comment. :-)

Monday, January 18, 2010

ioquake3 on the N900

Apparently my little after work project was cool enough to make the news page over at :-) I just thought I'd mention here that you can read some more about it in my earlier (first actually) blog post, and there are more pictures over here.

Thanks again to id Software and ioquake3 for a great code base! And to the people at Nokia and Maemo Summit for support and encouragement.

Btw, if you do own an N900 and have played with the ioquake3 port, please leave your comments and suggestions for improvements in case I feel the urge for another weekend hacking session. (I am aware there have been problems installing the package in the past, but they should now be fixed.)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Avatar 3D worth it...

I just got back from watching Avatar in the cinema this time, in much higher quality and in anaglyph 3D; actually I started out at the wrong cinema, Finnkino in Kaisaniemi; luckily the one in Kamppi is only a few minutes walk away.

I've mentioned before that usually these anaglyph 3D effects don't work very well for me due to varying degrees of myopia in both of my eyes, but I thought the movie was visually cool enough to give it a try with contact lenses instead of my normal glasses. I think this helped the effect significantly, but I still get the feeling that my brain starts to adjust to the effect over time so it's most impressive at the start of the movie.

This peaked my interest in ioquake3's anaglyph rendering mode, but unfortunately they ask for the glasses back after the movie, so no chance of trying it out (at least until I order a pair of my own.)

Anaglyph 3D on the N900 might be quite interesting, but of course I would either need to make much more efficient use of vertex buffer objects to make up for halving the FPS, or do a port of XreaL...

I think the later option is better for several reasons, but we'll see; Python, SCons and Scratchbox is a whole bundle of pain that I really don't want to be getting into at 02:00 in the morning.