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Importing FireFox bookmarks into Opera

Complaining that there is no way to import FireFox bookmarks into Opera 8 ? There is:
In FireFox: Bookmarks -> Manage Bookmarks -> File -> Export -> Save (as html).
In Opera: File -> Import and Export -> Import Netscape Bookmarks.
That's it. Now delete FireFox from your disk and be happy.



Gates of Destiny

One of the coolest games I ever wrote was Gates of Destiny. If you search for it you'll find really, really lots of pages where you can download it. So, it is maybe one of my most successful games - even if it is now freely available.
If you are interested, download it from here. I wrote it 6 years ago, so don't expect to much, especially because I also created everything by myself, even graphics and sounds. Ok, everything except the cool music which was created by Markus Rohde. The reason why I'm writing this is because I just found out that it even works on ReactOS. Quite cool. Here's a screen shot of the game:


I also wrote a precedessor of this game, about 1 year before I created Gates of Destiny. It was called "Fire & Dragons". There was also a "Fire & Dragons II", which I sold for about 300 euro (that was a lot of money for me then) to a game magazine. And because of this, Gates of Destiny has one dirty little secret: It is nearly the same game as "Fire & Dragons II". The funny thing about it: You can change the downloadable "Gates of Destiny" into a "Fire & Dragons II" demo: Just delete the file god.map in the level sub directory, and Gates of Destiny will start up as Fire & Dragons II demo. ;)



F*cking for virginity

So, now we've got three times more terrorist attacks than last year. 1900 dead, more than 7000 injured. Surprised, anyone? I think who ever invented this slogan was right: Fighting against terrorism is like fucking for virginity.



Handcuffed

Just had a nice meal in a pizzeria in the Mariahilferstrasse just around the corner of the office. When we wanted to pay, 8 (read: eight) police men stormed the restaurant, handcuffed and arrested a customer next to us. This took some time and all the attention of the waitress away from us so we had do wait before we could go away. But it was an interesting time of waiting, though.



Doesn't work as in tv

Running away from the ticket inspector in the subway - even for fun because you own a ticket - doesn't work as currently shown in tv in a coke advertisement. At least not in vienna. The inspectors are too lazy to follow you.



Database development vs. Game development

I really enjoy programming database applications. I don't know why. I've written a few applications like this until now, and it always was quite fun. I even sometime catch myself thinking of changing industries someday from game development to database development. And my girlfriend tells me that I'm stupid because of that. Maybe I should listen to her, she's a database programmer and Oracle expert and knows what she is talking about.
But it's like that: Games and 3D graphics are cool, but they are just toys. Sure, it may be a lot more work of writing realtime 3d applications, creating cool shaders, debugging network protocols, dealing with sound and physic engines and optimizing code at assembly level, but no one takes you seriously for this. When you are a database programmer, you create software that people need. No one really needs games. And that's a little bit sad.
But for now, as long as I can be a game programmer, I'll keep on doing this. And to make this post a little bit more colorful, here's a screenshot of the database of an application I'm just working on (for university). It's using PostgreSQL 8.0, a really great free database. Try it out, if you haven't yet. MySQL has nothing against it, in my opinion.





Functional shader programming language

About one year ago I played around with haskell, the popular functional programming language. It was a lot of fun using a functional programming language, but I never thought it could be of any real world use for me. Recently, I found Chad Austin's blog and saw that he created a functional shader programming language, named Renaissance. I've read through the paper and besides that it is damn cool, I think this could be really quite useful. I am really tempted to try it out once it is released. Another interesting piece of information: Renaissance is not the first language like this: Vertigo is built on top on Haskell and generates C# and vertex shader assembly code.



Errlicht

Martin is working on a C++ wrapper generator for Eiffel. (Wish I had something like that for C++ and Managed C++). The cool thing about it: He is using Irrlicht as example and test library. And it seems to work: In this entry on his blog he posted a screen shot and example code showing how to use Errlicht (=Irrlicht for Eiffel). Really cool.



Opera 8

Yay, finally! Opera 8 is there! Downloaded it, tried it out and deleted firefox immediately. Subjective feeling: It is about 3 times faster than firefox. How I missed that transfer window. And its cool status display. And it now even includes a rss reader which is a lot nicer than the default firefox reader. And no matter what you say, it looks cool:


[BTW: Yes, I had some fun making that screenshot if you see what I mean ;)]
I think I'm going to support Opera and buy it.



Why MEL sucks

I am now programming MEL for about 3 years. And after this time, I think that I am allowed to say: MEL sucks.
It is, of course a powerful thing. You can do nearly everything in Maya with it. And it has a real great documentation, which is being improved with every new release. But it sucks as language. The biggest problem is that you can do hundreds of different things with the same command. For example the 'file' command. You can query and set filenames, read, write, export, open and create new scenes, export animations, list references, change file options and a lot more. All with one single command. So besides some general flaws in the language itself, it is the API design of MEL with really sucks in my opinion. So here's a clue to the Alias guys: How about creating a wrapper for this in a programmer friendly programming language of your choice? Take a look at Softimage XSI: That thing can be scripted in JScript, VBScript, PerlScript, Pythonscript, etc. And they use object orientated approaches. Would be cool to see something like that in Maya soon, instead of this crippled MEL.



What does a European politician earn?

On sunday, I wanted to know how much money I am paying for the european politicians. I did not find one single real official source for this. Maybe I am blind. But I am suspecting that they know why they don't publish these numbers. Here is what I googled together from several pages. Note that these values may not be 100% correct. But after reviewing lots of pages, I think they must be quite close to reality. A European paralamentarian gets the following:

moneypurpose / comment
15.339 € per monthI think this is what german EU parliarmentarians get, don't know if this is different in other countries
+ 268 € per dayThey get this when they actually work. So what do they get the monthly money for?
+ 1.000 € per weekTravel expenses, tax free. In fact they request this every week, and no one examinates if they are doing this rightly.
+ 3.785 € per monthGeneral expenses, tax free. Just like travel expenses above.
+ 14.865 € per monthMoney to pay assistants. Some of these politicans seem to declare their wifes as assistants. No joke.
pricelessLots of shocking high insurances: Death, accidents, pension. All dues are being paid by the european people.
insert big number hereAdditional jobs. They are allowed to have other jobs, and they have. Looks like the EU parlamentarian job isn't a lot of work to do.


This is about 44.281 € per month. 531.372 € per year. Or 686.957 $ per year. For sitting around some hours per day. For being arse licked by lobbyists like software patent supporters. For not knowing anything about the stuff you are voting for.



Stargate SG-1: The Alliance

I'm really looking forward to the game Stargate SG-1: The Alliance. I'm not a Stargate fan, but after having watched lots of DVDs of this series (long story), I like it. So it would be cool to play the game. I only hope that the game will be good. And after what I've seen until now, I don't think it will be good: They've already posted lots of screenshots and even one short video of the game, but they only show static geometry. No characters. No gameplay. So I think the developers are a little bit late, because the game should be released at the end of this year. Maybe they still are able to create a nice gameplay, but if they have to do it in a hurry, it will end up like in most PC games: The game will be playable only after the 5th patch or so.
However, JoWooD will show the game at the E3, and maybe they will show more and prove me wrong here.



I'm blogging for one year now

After Martin wrote that his blog is now one year old, I realized that my blog must be older than one year too. [He started his after mine, this copy-cat. ;)]. So it's time for a short resume, summary and some conclusions:
BTW: Now I should be learning for an exam tomorrow. Need.. to.. stop.. blogging. Must... learn.



Irrlicht video for download

Mika created a video, showing a new feature of his linux distribution grml. This gave me the idea of creating a video too. And mine is way more cool (note: personal opinion). Download it here.



Vote 'good' on this entry

Ok, who is voting 'good' on all these entries in my blog? Looks like some people are doing this. And more important: Why are you doing this? Quite funny. :)
Or is it because that '+' button looks like it would bring up more text and/or the comments? Anyway, as long as nobody is clicking on that '-' button. :)
Update:After posting this, everybody seems to start rating the entries on this blog. Hehe :) I changed the design a little bit, now the vote buttons are not that big anymore and below the text.



C++ fun

What's the result of this code?

a[c++] = b[c++];

And what's the result of this one?

a[++c] = b[++c];

Fun for the brain. And pretty senseless. If you write code like this, throw it away, and write it again, more clearly. So that you or your co-worker will understand it easily later too. :)



What is Parallax mapping?

What's that picture up there? I already wrote this on my old blog. But to be able to post the cool shots again, and to write a short explanation for people without a lot of 3D background, I'll explain it here. It is parallax mapping, a currently quite popular 3D technique I've tried out and which will be implemented in the next version of Irrlicht. So what's so cool about it? Look at the screenshot. Do you see the bricks? They are not really there. In fact, they are just painted on a texture. In the scene, there are only about 8 triangles. Not about 1000 as you would expect. Parallax mapping lets the bricks look as they were real 3d objects in the wall, not flat and boring as they are painted in 2D on the wall. Take a look at the difference.

With parallax mapping:


Without parallax mapping:


Simply makes everything look cooler without the need of creating lots of geometry. And of course it is less work, for artists and the gpu. BTW: Thanks to Terry Welsh for allowing me to use his textures in Irrlicht.



Pleague of our century

That's not possible. Or is it? Yesterday I announced my brand new email adress at my brand new domain on the main page of irrlicht.sf.net, and I didn't write the adress correctly, I wrote additional spaces and an (at) instead of @. Today I'm getting the first spam mail. 'argl'
Update: Replaced the adress with images. Hope it helps.



Last test post.

I think the blog software works now. Had some small problems. But it works. Yay.



Posting from Irrlicht3d.org

This is my first post on my new domain irrlicht3d.org. It should replace my old one, code3d.com. We had some troubles with it during the last few weeks. Thanks to my new provider, Mikas.at which provides a very excellent service at really amazing price and speed, everything seems to work perfectly.
If you've sent a mail to me during the last few weeks, and didn't get a response: Sorry, I didn't get that mail. This was one reason for switching quickly to irrlicht3d.org. My new email adress now is niko (at) irrlicht3d.org. Please resend it. I'm very sorry for any inconvenience.