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Monday, February 12, 2007

Rebuilding All Projects..

Well it’s Monday, and I’m sitting here waiting for a massive solution to build after getting latest from Source(un)Safe for the first time in over a week (for fear of someone changing something that would break the build of my app that was working fine for client testing). Needless to say it’s quite a long wait, so I thought a blog post might be in order.


Please Mr. Google Man

The PortableApps obsession I mentioned last week led me to try SunBird for the first time. Sunbird is, in a way, the calendar equivalent of FireFox and ThunderBird in that it is the free and open source Mozilla answer to time management. Besides being able to locally manage your schedule and appointments, Sunbird allows you to subscribe to external calendar feeds in the iCal format. I thought this would be pretty nifty, since Google Calendars allows you to publish both your public and private calendar views as an iCal feed (among other formats). I was quite disappointed to discover that an iCal feed is exactly that-a one way feed. For me this limits the usability of Sunbird’s usability somewhat, as it’s all good and well to be able to use it to view my google calendar(s), but I can’t use it to add or edit events, so I still end up having to visit the website.

Now I realize that this is no fault of Sunbird’s authors, nor necessarily of the creators of the iCal format.. but I’d really like to see the ability to use the app as more than just a viewer for my online calendars. After doing a small amount of digging it seems that there is a bit of a hacky way to get this kind of behavior out of the latest version of Sunbird, but unfortunately the PortableApps version isn’t quite so recent, so for now it would appear I’m out of luck.


Whack that piñata

No, this isn’t another Viva Piñata obsessed rant.. ok so maybe it is a little. I had the interesting experience of playing Samurai Warriors 2 last week for review, and damn it makes the enemy AI in just about every other title in the long history of games look good. That includes the ghosts in Pac-Man and the slowly strafing spacecraft in Space Invaders-they at least managed to dodge your attacks on occasion by means of their slow sideways crawl. Except for the commander characters in SW2, the enemy AI (and for that matter,  the ally AI as well) is basically nonexistent. They pretty much just stand there and let you hit them over and over and over again. Hence the piñata reference-in fact I suspect a piñata might just give up more of a fight-and I’m not even talking about the animated ones created by Rare. The game is pretty damned ugly too. It would appear that it is a direct PS2 port though, so I’m not entirely surprised. EA and some of the other publishers have come under fire for some of their earlier games of this generation being cheap ports from the PS2 and Xbox with some shinier graphics and a few extra features (or even fewer features in some cases), however at least they bothered to add to the graphics. SW2 has, at best, some upgraded textures on the character models. It doesn’t even manage to look like a modern PS2 game.. it appears to be a few generations old. Very sad, and to top it all off, it plays about as well as it looks..

(yup, still building..)

Mind Quiz also doesn’t look like much, but it does the job considering it’s basically just a PSP IQ test. It’s actually quite fun in small doses (which is what it is intended for anyway) and daily Brain Age tests have quickly become a part of my and Natz’ routines.


Ok, the build is finally done, that’s it for today.. go on, nothing more to see here..



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