Epoch Zero

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Having worked on a couple of software systems that required localisation for multiple countries, I've encountered many situations where, much to my dismay, I've needed to dip into the baffling world of international time zones. Time zones are one of those awkward real-world domains, the rules for which have evolved independently over many years across many different authorities. They are chock-full of arbitrary edge cases that fly in the face of the kind of neat, organised abstractions that software developers love... Read more...

Gift Giving: A Chart

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Gift Giving

Gift Giving

Super Sam World

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Last month I was asked very nicely by Manchester Girl Geeks organiser Sam Headleand if I would consider making a simple platform game for their BarCamp event. So after a bit of coding with PyGame I came up with:

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Ascidia

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A few years ago I wrote an ASCII diagram parser in Python. I never got round to blogging about it at the time, but now I want to finally get some of my thoughts about it down in writing...

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Quick Python Web Setup for Apache

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Today I wanted to set up a quick web script; just something that ran on the Apache server I already had set up, took some query parameters and spat out a basic page in response. My usual go-to for this kind of thing would typically be PHP, because it's so quick to throw together and deploy. But this time, I wanted to see what the Python equivalent would be. Is it possible to write a quick Python script, drop it on a server and have it just work? Well, yes, it turns out it is. Or very close, at least. Here's how...

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Mipmap Caveats for 2D Sprites

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Recently I have been having some issues with sprites in the game I'm currently working on. It's a 2D game and I'm using OpenGL to render textured triangle pairs for my sprites. Let me explain some of the caveats I've run into with regard to mipmaps...

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Hear! Hear! Sneaking Hat Get

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I've been going to the Manchester Game Jam ever since the awesome Dan Hett started it up over a year ago at MadLab in Manchester's northern quarter. It's so much fun to turn up with a laptop, blast out a game idea over the course of a weekend and see how it turns out. Most of the time, what seems like a great idea on paper turns out to be a terrible idea in practice, once you can see it moving in the form of a prototype. Occasionally though, an idea will work, and at the last-but-one game jam this happened to me...

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Why Isn't Microsoft Telnet Echoing Locally Any More?

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Recently, for the Manchester Raspberry Jam, I decided to write an extremely simple MUD game which could be run on the Raspberry Pi. The aim was to create something fun that might spark curiosity for someone learning to program. The code is up on GitHub.

Getting the server to work with Microsoft's Telnet client that ships with Windows (or doesn't, as is currently the case), proved to be a bit of a pain. In Linux I could connect to the server, type a command, and as I typed I would be able to see the letters appearing in my local terminal. When I hit enter, the server would receive the whole line I had typed. All good.

In Windows, however, the first problem I discovered was that the telnet client is no longer installed by default for Vista onwards...

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How's That Game Going?

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It's been 3 months since my post previous about the game I'm working on. This is the game that I'm determined to finish no matter what - a simple 2-player strategy game centered around a cannon-firing mechanic - think Worms but on an isometric map.

What's happened with it since then? Well...

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Cluedo - Family Christmas Variant

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A despair-inducing variation on the classic detective game Cluedo (or Clue) for 2-6 overstuffed and resentfully blood-related players at Christmas time.

Rules of the game are the same as the standard version, but with the following additions...

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