Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We're Moving

To anyone who might be following this blog:
Since the time that I started this blog over a year and a half ago I have had the opportunity to start my own web design business. It only makes sense at this point that this blog gets merged with the website for my business. This blog has therefore been migrated to its new home at Enjoy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Unity is Now Free!

Do you want to program games in 3D? There is no better (and easier!) program than Unity. The problem until now has been the $100 price tag. That has changed now, however, as the indie version of Unity is now free! There is still a more expensive "Pro" version, but the indie version is a great tool in its own right. You can read the press release here, or just go download Unity!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Virii - The Game

Every month a website called the Experimental Gameplay Project issues a challenge to create a game based on a theme in seven days or less. This month's theme is "numbers" and I decided that I would submit an entry. Here is some more information about the game as I posted on the Experimental Gameplay website:

Okay, I have an entry. As much as anything this was an opportunity to learn how to do Object Oriented Programming in Lua and also to actually finish a game for once (yes, I do have that awful habit of starting something and not completing it).

Computers, at the most basic level, run on a code of 1s and 0s, known as binary code. Several virii (aka viruses) have attacked your computer by changing some of these 1s and 0s into… 2s! Use the + and – keys to add or subtract from any number on your screen, but be warned: every time you change a number the virus will attempt to spread. Surround a virus with either all 1s or all 0s and it will be neutralized. Press ‘r’ on your keyboard to reset the puzzle.

The game is made available as a love file and requires the LOVE “game engine” to run. You can download it at:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Smooth, round edges in The Gimp

For a website I am working on I wanted to have some nice looking round edges. The gimp has a built in way to make round edges when selecting a rectangle. Simply check the "Rounded Corners" option and you're set. I did this and then used the Edit -> Stroke Selection action to draw my edges. The problem was that I only wanted a 1px border and, even with antialising on, it looked rather ugly. The corners are less than perfect and I want a nice, professional, smooth look for the site I am designing. I couldn't find any good way to make my corners any smoother when using a google search, so I had to come up with my own method.

1. Use the rectangle selection tool to select the area where you want your border.

2. From the menu: Select -> Rounded Rectangle. I rounded mine by 30%.

3. From the menu: Select -> Feather. Enter a low number. For my rectangle I chose to feather by 2px.

4. Fill your rectangle with your desired border color.

5. From the menu: Select -> Feather. This time feather your selection by 0 pixels.

6. Fill your rectangle with your desired fill color (white in my case).

7. You're done!

Doesn't this one look so much nicer?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Web Browsers

Only a couple of blog posts ago I was talking about the curse of IE6. I think I should officially declare it the worst browser ever made. Its a HUGE pain for a web developer. The WC3, however, tells us that 15% of web surfers still use it. Ugh. On the plus side you should also realize that if you ever need to change something on your site specifically for IE6 (you probably will), than you can use:
<!--[if IE 6]> (Put this before your IE6 specific html)

<![endif]--> (Put this after your IE6 specific html)

Alternatively, you could also use:
<!--[if ! IE 6]> to make IE6 ignore certain parts of your html.

While we're on the topic, if you want a good laugh head over to Yes, this is a joke; the site was opened on April 1.

And finally, some exciting news. A developer build of Google Chrome has been released for Linux and Mac OS X!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

After E3

Everyone seems to be making a big deal out of the Project Natal announcement by Microsoft at E3. Sure its cool, but I think Sony's new motion controller for PS3 is even cooler. Check it out!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Curse of IE

There is no question in my mind that Firefox is a vastly superior web browser to Internet Explorer. That may sound like a conceited fan-boy statement, but it really isn't. I'm not saying Firefox is the best (I'm waiting for a Linux version of Google Chrome). Its just that, as a web developer, I can't stand the way IE continually ignores internet standards when displaying web pages. My pages will look amazing in every other browser - but alas! I will go to check them in IE and inevitably something is not displaying properly. I realize, however, that the majority of internet surfers use IE and so, much to my chagrin, I must make it look pretty in IE as well. What's more annoying is the fact that, since IE is so closely connected to the Windows OS, I can only have one version of IE installed at a time. Yet, my statistics tell me that there are still as many people using IE 6 as there are using IE 7 or 8. And pages display vastly different in each version. This is why I wrote this post. Today I discovered the Internet Explorer Collection. Someone has put together stand-alone builds of every version of IE from 1.0 to 8.0. Now I can test my pages in every version of IE that I need to! Oh, this is a bitter-sweet day. As a result, today I used IE 8 for the first time. And guess what? My page displayed properly! I was shocked. And amazed. And thrilled. Unfortunately I also got an illegal opperation as soon as I tried to open a new tab. Oh well, nothing is perfect :p. Its hard to tell if this is a problem with the browser itself or if it is just an unfortunate side-effect of making a stand-alone version.