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Battlestar Galactica Season 2
Date: 31/7/2006
For those of you that follow the excellent new Battlestar Galactica in Australia, channel Ten is showing season 2 on Wednesday nights around 11pm, starting this week with the opening episode "Scattered". Warm up those PVR's and clear out some HD space!
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Windows Font Drawing
Date: 28/7/2006
I ran into a delightful little issue with windows fonts this week. Given a 32-bit HBITMAP (from CreateDIBSection) each pixel is 4 bytes long, 1 byte each for Red, Green, Blue and well... Alpha. My code uses the last channel for alpha but windows sometimes ignores it and other times uses it as alpha. When you draw with a font onto the bitmap it will set the alpha component of the pixels it changes to 0. Which means that later on you get transparent pixels in compositing operations instead of solid colour, which isn't annoying at all!

So as a quick fix, in one instance I just force all the pixel's alpha back to 0xff manually before compositing. However thats slow and non-general (which wasn't a problem for the one case I needed to fix). Is there some way to get windows to draw fonts with the correct 32bpp value instead of 24bit colour and no alpha?
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Wanted: Mesa Boogie Single Rectifier
Date: 21/7/2006
I've decided on getting a new guitar amp, and I've narrowed it down to a single amp. A Mesa Single Rectifier, 240v version and preferably a older series 1 amp.

If you have such an amp for sale in NSW, especially if your in Syndey, then I'm interested in talking $$, either send me an email or post in the comments your email or something.

I am also somewhat vaguely interested in a 50w JMP 800 head (2204) as a 2nd option, and if cheap enough I'd own both. So feel free to contact me if you have one of those as well.

Once I've got a Single Rectifier I'll probably sell my current amp, a Peavey Classic 100, which is a fantastic amp sound wise, but has shared EQ between the channels. Which gets really frustrating in a live situation. I see the Mesa as being a more flexible version of the Peavey Classics.

Maybe someone out there can help.
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I Hate My PC
Date: 21/7/2006
For years I've put up with a flakey Athlon 1.4 and a few months ago I snapped and bought a Athlon64 3000 (new), a gigabyte nforce3 motherboard (ebay), 1gb of dual channel Geil DDR (ebay) and a Xpertvision 6200 agp (new). Well that sucked even worse, so I tried a 6600gt by leadtek (new) and that was worse again. Google informed me that nforce3 + 6xxx series nVidia cards don't play nice. So thwarted again I dropped that and bought a brand new motherboard, a gigabyte nforce4 based board (new) and a xfx 7600gs pci-e (new). Which worked for all of 3 days before the system started crashing. I ran memtest86 and one of the 2 sticks of ram is bad. #@(*%^@#*(%^@!#)$%! *@&!)(*&$!)@$*&!@)$*(&!@($*&

Everything I bought on ebay has been busted. Let that be a warning to you!

So I've pulled the bad stick of ram, lost 1/2 my memory and dual channel but I think it'll run stable for a few weeks while I sort out this bloody mess.

In stark contrast the Mac mini has been kicking arse for a year now with nary a foot wrong. Gee I wonder which side of the fence I'll choose a laptop from!

I hate PC's.
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Community Service Announcement
Date: 20/7/2006
Blown Car Fuse Advice: If you are having intermittant issues with fuses that keep blowing for interior features like lights, dash, cigarette lighter and so in your car then heed my advice. Before taking your car to the auto electrician have a look for small bits of metal inside the cigarette lighter, could save you a bucket 'o money.

We were informed that the "short" in our car was in fact a 5¢ peice in the cigarette lighter. Possibly placed there by a small child, as none of us smoke or even use it. So yeah we lost $110 to find $0.05, hmmm. Thats not annoying at all! @$(#*%&#@%*(#@#%

May you learn from my experience.
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Mac Development Screenshot
Date: 18/7/2006
So hows that whole Mac port thing going?

The main screen of i.Ftp renders fairly well. The text on bitmaps is still a little out of place but otherwise it's looking pretty good. This week after I clear some high priority Scribe things I'll get some mouse and keyboard input handling going. It feels like I'm over the hump now and it's going to be fairly downhill from here on in. I hope that it'll only take me another few weeks till I get a mostly working build of i.Ftp. At which point I'll have to start putting together a release script or whatever you have to do to build .dmg images for distributing software for a Mac. Exciting! :D
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