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Happy holidays & what I'm going to do in the meantime

This blog will be a bit more quiet during the next few days. Fortunately, the package with my new toy just has arrived so I can play around a bit with it during this time. I'm unfortunately a bit too stupid to create good looking humans using Maya, Max, Softimage, Blender - tried them all - , so maybe this time I will be a bit more successful. The chance is good, because my Poser 7 package includes a >400 page strong manual. And interestingly it is printed in german. Don't remember that I have chosen that language ;)
I already recieved about 100 mails from people and companies wishing me happy holidays, thanks all :) This is one of the reasons why Ambiera customers won't receive similar mails: It's unnecessary spam after all, in my opinion, altough sent with good intentions ;)
So happy holidays!



Crash Car

Cédric sent me screenshots of his Irrlicht Based game Crash Car. Notice the Irrlicht logo in the background ;)


Looks very nice. The project website can be found at coder3d.com, the game is going to be a free car game for windows and linux. The graphic artists (Marts and Le Golo) working on that project are using Blender as 3D tool.



Gegen den Überwachungsstaat

(The target audience of this text is from austria, so sorry for german here:)
In Österreich wurde ja vor kurzem das so genannte Sicherheitspolizeigesetz beschlossen. Das bedeutet im Prinzip dass die Polizei ab 2008 völlig frei und vor allem ohne Kontrolle durch Richter auf IP-Adressen zugreifen, Standortdaten von Mobiltelefonen abfragen und IMSI-Catcher einsetzen darf. Damit haben wir dann in wenigen Tagen de facto einen Überwachungsstaat, egal wie die Politiker das schön zu reden versuchen.
Auf ueberwachungsstaat.at gibt es jetzt eine Petition dagegen. Mitmachen und unterschreiben, würde ich vorschlagen. Wer weiss, vielleicht hilft es ja was. Ich bin jedenfalls dabei.
Und zum Thema passend: Auf onlinedurchsuchung.at gibt es jetzt auch die verwandte Seite gegen die drohende Onlinedurchsuchung.



Irrlicht 1.4 for Mac OS released

We just released Irrlicht 1.4 for Mac OS. The release itself was created by our new team member Varmint. Happy downloading!



Debris

Just stumbled over Debris, a 177KB demo by farbrausch. Totally impressive. If your system doesn't have to power to render this at decent framerates, try the youtube video of it, worth a look.



Fear & Loathing in Leningrad

Leonid sent me some screenshots of an Irrlicht based game named 'Fear & Loathing in Leningrad'. It is not commercial and the project is now frozen. There are 14 locations & 8 characters in the game. It looks like this:

fear & loathing in leningrad


In short, the story of the game is: "The main hero of game, addict Slavon eats narcotic porridge and gets transfered into a parallel universe."
I've not much information about the game, but it looks very interesting, IMO.



Minesweeper the movie

We all know - movie versions of computer games just suck. But here is the movie we've all been waiting for: Minesweeper: The Movie



I'm an Opera evangelist

Today I recommended my favourite browser, Opera to a new victim (co-worker). This time it was quite interesting, because I was sitting next to him while he was starting it and used it for the first time. His first reaction: "Wow, this thing really is pretty fast!". Looks like he is going to use it :)
Oh, if I would only get one Euro by Opera for each user I am able convert to their browser. :)



Licht aus!

Greenpeace and the WWF had organized a campaign where all big cities in Germany and Austria should have switched off the light on last saturday, between 20:00 and 20:05. They named this Licht aus! Für unser Klima! (Lights off, for the climate).
So on saturday, we went to a tower block in the middle of vienna, and watched that event. Here is the result:


There was no difference to be noticed at all. Apparently nobody cared for the campaign in Austria. :(



Mac OS Maintainer Wanted

We, the Irrlicht team, are currently looking for a maintainer of the Mac OS port of Irrlicht because we don't have the time to do it ourselves. If you are experienced developing C++ on MacOS and want to join our team to help, just send us a mail. Here is what you should do first:
Note: We usually get several applications, so if you did all this, we still cannot guarantee that you will become a irrlicht development team member then. But we hope you will :)
That's it :)



2007: 1984

Welcome to DDR 2.0: The Austrian parliarment just passed a new law without any warning or discussion, it wasn't even possible to preview it. The new law de facto allows the police to locate the position of any citizen using his cell phone id without the need of asking a judge. Police is also allowed to request identity of the IP of any internet user - again without asking a judge before.
The protest is huge of course, although there is nearly no media coverage. But it is senseless, the law has already been passed. I cannot believe that this is still called a democracy.



Software Development: The Linux Problem

Warning: Senseless rant ahead.
Since I am developing cross platform software like Irrlicht, irrKlang and commercial games, I only had constant problems on one single system: Linux. Writing applications on this operation system can be a pain in the *** sometimes. Windows and MacOS don't have these problems at all or at least in a very reduced form only. Maybe this is the reason why Linux is so slowly getting accept by the average user. The problem is that if you write software which runs on the Linux system you are using, you can not be sure that it will work with another linux distribution or even on the same distribution but a different version. Different gcc compiler versions will produce code which may have bugs, _other_ bugs, or interfaces wich are not binary compatible, different kernel versions cause side effects you never could have thought of, some libraries will behave totally different on other hardware or if they are simply another version, and some features suddenly stop to be supported or work. In short: Backward or fortward compatibility hell. Fortunately, I have the subjective feeling that the situation has improved during the last years at Linux. The current work around for this mess is the open source community: Everybody is able to patch everything. And maybe this is also a part of the cause of this problem. So maybe Linux wouldn't have that problem if it wouldn't be that open. Just a thought.



Compiling cookies

Look what we've compiled:


0 error(s), 0 warning(s), 280 calories.
Did it without any workmanlike utilities (aka wrote the makefile by hand). One of those cookies has the same amount of calories as half a big pizza. Nice :)



irrKlang 1.0.3 released - support for Power PCs

Now right after irrlicht 1.4, irrKlang 1.0.3 has just been released.


The audio library now even runs on Power PCs, enabling 3D sound also on older Mac hardware. In addition, it finally includes a manual audio device selection, so that users may choose the hardware device the sounds gets played on, if there is more than one device in a PC. And I think Linux users will also be happy about this one: The latency of the ALSA device has been reduced quite a lot. Just try it out for yourself :)