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Finally: My book available as eBook

It took a long time, and I even received a few emails asking for it. Some angry comments were even posted on this blog, complaining that there is no eBook version of my Book "Die Wiederentdeckung der Erde", although I'm a technical person and complaining about the old-tech publishers. :)
So it took now about two months, but finally, the eBook is ready:

The book only costs 11 euro. Personally, I think this is still a bit much for a simple digital copy, but apparently, eBooks costs that much :/
What took so long is the self-publishing company - BooksOnDemand. In November, when my book was published as paper version, they said they would also create the eBook at the same time. Numerous support requests by me, telling them that the eBook wasn't there, have been ignored. My last support request finally, a few days ago, seemed to have been finally enough annoying: Just a day later, they didn't care to respond, but at least sent me an automatic mail that the eBook now is available everywhere. Not the best customer service, but at least it is out now. I think should I write a new book again, I'll probably try another company. But I'm happy that it's finished now, finally.
If you should get a copy of this eBook, please tell me if its quality is ok, and also any other form of feedback is welcome :)



Legend of Grimrock

I just came across Legend of Grimrock, a dungeon crawl game in the style I used to play them nearly 20 years ago (whoa, how time goes by!) :) Never thought of how those games would look like when implemented using the current 3D technology. Apparently, they look very cool:



I'm going to need to remember the name of this game and maybe buy a copy of it once they release it.



Starcrafting

As I previously mentioned on this blog, I play a match of Starcraft 2 from time to time, but I basically sucked at it. And although I'm not sure if anyone is actually interested in this topic, but here is a small update :) Basically, I've now become a bit better. I'm Gold now in 1v1 and Platin in 3v3 (random):

Yay. I think if you are a slow player like me, with a quite low APM (=Actions per minute) value, you simply need a bit more of practice and experience to be able to crush gold and even platin players. When I play 1v1, I now usually know what the other player will be doing at a specific time, without much scouting. I think this is the key for playing successfully as Zerg. I think Zerg is a more defensive race, so you basically can only be good if you know what the next options for your enemy are, in order to react accordingly, and smash him afterwards. I'm not sure if this is also true for the other races since I didn't try them extensively, but it obviously helps for playing as Zerg. :)
Also, for 3v3 and 4v4 random team games, the key seems to be communication. If you start a game, type "hi!", and none of the other players in your team ever answers, you can be sure you will lose that game. Bad communication and no strategy or timing plan and you'll lose as team, simply as that.

So I'm now quite happy that I'm obviously not too bad or too old for this game as I assumed previously and that it was possible for me to have some more success when I find some time to play a match :)



Ambiera Website Statistics

I already posted this into the Ambiera Forum, but since everyone likes stats and it's quite interesting, why shouldn't I blog this here as well. When I fired up the statistics page for the Ambiera website, I was a bit surprised when looking at the browser page:

As you can see, Chrome appears to be the browser of the year. And better: Internet Explorer only has a market share of 12% anymore. To be fair, visitors of the Ambiera website usually are a bit more tech savy then the average internet surfer. Also: WTF is rockmeit and who is using it? :)



The restart page

I just came across the restart page. That page uses JavaScript and dynamc HTML to 'simulate' restarting various operating systems, from Windows 3.1 over OS/2 to Mac OS. And it does it surprisingly well, including the startup sounds. Uh, so many memories. :)



The Duck

Have you ever heard of DuckDuckGo? It's a search engine, just like Google or Bing. And it's surprisingly nice. Go, try it out.



WebsitePainter 2

I just uploaded a new major release of WebsitePainter, the website design editor. It's version 2, and besides all the new features in this release, looking back to the very first release of the editor, it now has evolved to a very nice piece of software.

The one most complicated thing I implemented for this release was table support. It doesn't seem to be very extraordinary, but try programming an editor for selecting, merging, splitting table cells and columns, complete with undo support, and freely formatted rich text in each cell. Not that simple :)
WebsitePainter now also supports master pages, image galleries, justified text, and much more. Also thanks to readers of this blog, the editor has now been translated into 16 (!) languages. BTW: If you are already using WebsitePainter 1, updating to WebsitePainter 2 is free for you. All in all, I'm quite happy with this release. Hope the users of this software are too. :)



IDN support - still not there today

It appears like IDN is still something quite unusual. IDN stands for 'internationalized domain name', and with it, you can create URLS and domain names with non-ascii characters. Like for example www.raumträume.at: Internally, this gets converted to www.xn--raumtrume-02a.at, and actually, some older browsers even show this domain instead of the one you entered.

Unfortunately, depending on your local language settings, even very popular apps like the Internet Explorer still cannot handle this today. (Just tried this out with IE 8 on an english Windows). Another example: Google Analytics. If you tell it to track your website with non-Acii-characters, it will pretend to do this, but unfortunately, it will never show you any visitors coming to your site. It will never show you any error and even report your tracking code as successfully installed. I needed two days to figure out why this didn't work.

IDN support is something important, and although it is existing now for 8 years already, still today, support for it isn't there yet. I guess one of the reasons might be that lots of developers don't even know of its existence. But I hope this will get better soon, as more and more people are using these domains.



New Irrlicht Website

The Irrlicht Engine now has a new website! Well, it still looks a bit like the old one, which was created by me in 2002, but now it is based on Wordpress, and it is for example possible to make comments. Thanks to Bitplane and Yoran for converting the website, they did a great job.



CopperCube 3.0.2 and CopperLicht 1.4.2 released

Another month, another release: I just uploaded the editor CopperCube in version 3.0.2, and the free WebGL library CopperLicht in version 1.4.2.

Basically, both are bug fix releases, patching problems reported by users during the last few weeks. But if you are using WebGL, there are also some other good news: The WebGL target in CopperCube, as well as the JavaScript library Copperlicht (which is, btw, actually the same) have been optimized quite a lot by adjusting just a few lines of code. Some piece of code running all the time in the engine now needs about half the amount of instructions, speeding the engine up quite a lot. I haven't made a benchmark yet, but in certain examples, the difference can be literally felt. Nice :)



MOD3 now has support for copperlicht

MOD3, a Javascript port of AS3Mod Actionscript Modifier Library now has support for the WebGL library CopperLicht. Nice!
Also: Happy new year.