Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Do Robots Dream of Electric Fish?


So since the last blog we've actually burned some programs in so that the robot wheels move! Writing in sort of C at the moment, although I'm using g++ compiler on a C++ file. It's straight C mostly because it is test stuff at the moment. The next step is to get it moving in a straight line and at a speed that we can set. Then we can get the input sensors working. It's exciting - but it's only a one evening a week deal.


We have come up with a list of things that need to be fixing before we release from the play testing. We think we definately need to fix these and neither of us want to rush this out without is being playable. Who, us rush a game out? It's difficult to delay it any longer than the eternity it has taken so far ... but it has to play right otherwise all our hard work will be in vain.


I really fancy doing some more (interesting) OO/C++ stuff. At the moment most of my coding is in C ... Zex although it has a couple of C++ classes and compiles under a C++ compiler, it is basically nearly all modular procedural code. I'm doing another project (a sensor processor in a tiny chip) and that can't be anything but C. The Robot could have some classes at some point - but for the current test code it doesn't really matter. There are two possibilities for OO/C++: (1) the game after Zex will be re-written totally in classes (it is almost all in OO but doesn't use an OO implementation language) - but that's a couple of months way yet. (2) I've also got to write some demo code - whether this will be as satisfying as I want, I don't know yet.

Not much stuff in Python, Objective-C, or any other language at the moment. But of a dry patch in terms of technologies. Some UML design though - so it isn't all bad. And sometimes you need to spend your creative effort in making rather than learning.


I had a week long trip to the U.S. for the 'day-job' last week. A week before this my car got written off - caused a whole bunch of trauma which is only just about coming to an end. (Sometimes I really hate cars.) My wife's mom and dad are up this weekend which is a good excuse for taking it easy. (I could do with it to be honest!). Occasionally playing a bit of Warcraft with George. Hopefully back to coding real soon now.

In the Crazy World

Apparently, Pacman is 64% violent! What the f....

Lots of people think that computers are fast enough (4 cores are enough)- something that I beleive is totally false - my computer still doesn't compile fast enough, or redraw the web fast enough or do enough frames per second on games. And it certainly doesn't do good voice recognition (I've heard this is a processor not fast enough problem as well). There are plenty of other problems that need more speed, memory, etc., that would be beneficial to normal people. Computers are NEVER fast enough.

Stuff I have read...

"The Design and Evolution of C++" ... great book, good read, gives real insight. Realise a good language is done empirically not theoretically. Guess that's why languages like Python work. Lots of good reasons for the way C++ is, and additionally gives an insight into why features work. C++ was really breaking new ground in a lot of respects and has had a big impact on other languages around it.

Was looking at braille the other night. Seems a simple enough code, but whether I could learn to identify the characters by touch?

Claire is learning British Sign Language animals. A lot of them are so easy to guess and so funny.

Stuff I haven't read yet...

A technical history of Apple operating systems, published on slashdot. Sounds interesting.
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