Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Atari Infesa

This video, dated about 1986 is an ad from the public channels offering an Atari 800 computer.

Thanks to this video my father purchased our first computer. I even went to the training center (offered for free by the seller)

Thanks Dad, this is one of the two best gifts ever!!!!

"You can gift your child many things or a future"

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bioshock status .... Finished


I can believe it .... Just a couple of minutes ago, I finished Bioshock (without cheating).

This is an amazing game. I love the graphics and the characters (I am a real fan of Art-Deco style). I love the Chrysler and the American Radiator Buildings in NY (they are Art-Deco too, right?).

Please take a look at the following pictures from my cellphone. (I was unable to take screenshots using the "Print Screen" key).


I have to say that the ending was not as good as the whole game, It looked more like a "Love movie". (Well, if you played as Mr Goodie two shoes)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ubuntu 7.10 on Inspiron 1520


Today Ubuntu 7.10 has been released!
You can download it at: www.ubuntu.com
Where I live, Internet connection is not fast so I rather prefer downloading the Torrent first.

I Installed Ubuntu in my Inspiron 1520 Machine without any trouble (Compared to previous versions). So far, I have tried the following Items:

  • Wireless Network. It worked like a breeze
  • Screen at High Resolution (Although I haven't tried yet the nVidia drivers)
  • Bluetooth seem to be working (It finds devices nearby)

First Item I was not able to have running is the audio, so I searched over the Internet, and I found this great thread in a Forum:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=577469

I followed the steps in a similar way as described in that thread:

Reboot the system (just to make sure everything is set up) and Audio worked.

I had issues with the Bluetooth mouse. When trying to connect to that device, system thrown an error.
I followed directions on this thread:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=87919


But, with some slight modifications. Please take a look:

Execute:
hcitool scan

This application will scan the surroundings identifying Bluetooth devices. Don't forget clicking on the "Available" button on your mouse. If mouse is found, then you will be able to view its MAC address



Next instruction:
sudo hidd --connect xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
Where xx... is the MAC address you found with the previous command.
This command will connect the mouse to your computer, but ... only temporarily. As soon as you restart your computer, you loose connection.

Having you mouse working always, you have to edit the following file:
/etc/default/bluetooth
(This is the correct name under Ubuntu 7.10)
By modifying the following lines:
HIDD_ENABLED=1
HIDD_OPTIONS="-i xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx --server"

This way, mouse will be working as you ever dreamed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Running Bioshock on Inspiron 1520

I just received my new Dell Inspiron 1520 with the nVidia 8600 GT. This purchase also included Bioshock, The Sims 2 Deluxe and Company of Heroes.

As soon as I turned on the computer, It was too slow. More than I expected for a new computer with 2GB of RAM. I blame the Bloatware preinstalled on this machine. Also, going to "My computer", I found there were 3 "Three"! partitions: main drive and two more with media direct and some other stuff. I really found it useless. What's the purpose of getting access to media without booting the computer? I rather prefer turning on the iPod or the radio.

I decided to clean up that preloaded-mess and reinstalled Windows Vista. Install is pretty straightforward. I removed all partitions and created only two: One for Windows and some empty space for Ubuntu (Which will be installed later).

Drivers were installed without any trouble from the DELL drivers Disk. I couldn't wait more to play Bioshock ...

Game Installed successfully after a couple of minutes and I was now ready to play.

Game intro worked .... [They told me .... son you're special] .... but after that, the game crash, the screen remains black.

If you have faced this, then you still have the Dell Drivers installed. To overcome this issue, you have to get the latest drivers. The ones from the nVidia website didn't work (Oh sorry, I forgot to mention that my machine is equiped with the nVidia 8600M GT video Card).

http://www.laptopvideo2go.com/

On the link above you will find the latest drivers location. I downloaded the 163.67 version. After you download the drivers, run the .exe file and replace the [nv_disp.inf] file with the Modded Inf file located in the same page.

Following the steps mentioned, I ran the game again. Now, I was able to view the stunning graphics provided by 2k, but ..... No Sound!!!

At first I thought this was part of the scene mood, but quickly I noticed the game was running without sound (The game Intro was heared ok).

To solve this, go to the executable location, right click on it and under the Compatibility mode, enable and select Windows XP/2000.


No I have my game Working. Here a screnshoot as a proof:







Friday, October 05, 2007

So, do you want to go into space?

Science fiction is slowly merging with reality.



Surfing on the web I read that Lord British (Richard Garriot, the creator of the Ultima series) is planning to travel to the ISS (International Space Station).

You can travel too .... if you can afford it.

More details for those interested can be found in the Space Adventures (Private Space Exploration company) website:




http://www.spaceadventures.com/


For about $100 million you can join the Lunar Mission.

For $30 to 40 million, yo can join the crew in the ISS (International Space Station)

And suborbital spaceflights for only $102.000.

The Lord British news link:



http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=15683

Monday, September 24, 2007

gcc Preprocessor directives

Preprocessor directives will allow you to determine at compiling time which pieces of code will be processed from your source code (I suppose there must be other usages, so please reply if you know other).

One known example are the debug variables or messages. When you finish your job you can forget to delete all debugging messages. It won't be good if the customer clicks on a button and suddenly gets a "Oh Shit!!" as a message.

Well, you can avoid that with preprocessor directives. This is an example (I had to simulate the signal from an ADC). ADC was not available all the time, so I read from a plain text file the same way ADC data was gathered:

------------------------------------------------------------

#ifdef _USEFILESRC_

double SignalSource::read(){

//Read from a text file
}

#else

double SignalSource::read(){

//Read from ADC


}


#endif

-----------------------------------------------------------

That means: if _USERFILESRC_ has been defined when compiling then use the first function, otherwise, use the second function.

Next, the gcc command will look like this when compiling the application to read from the plain file:

gcc -Wall -D _USEFILESRC_ signalsource.cpp -o signalsource.o

And, when reading from ADC (Analog to digital conversor):

gcc -Wall signalsource.cpp -o signalsource.o


Another use for this technique is when writing code for different platforms, you can for example define register and interrupt variables and porting when compiling.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Looking for a good Linux mp3 player?


When I installed Ubuntu, I found that the mp3 coded was not available due to licensing issues.

I installed the codec, and some music applications under Linux, but I was really missing the simplicity and power of Winamp.

Seaching on the Internet I found a great application which runs under linux and is similar to Winamp. So similar that you can even apply the winamp skins.

Its name: AUDACIOUS

This is the application link:

http://audacious-media-player.org/

Installing was pretty straightforward:

Add the Audacious repository by editing the /etc/apt/sources.list and adding the following lines:
deb http://static.audacious-media-player.org/ubuntu edgy main
deb-src http://static.audacious-media-player.org/ubuntu edgy main

Then updating the repository:
apt-get update.

Finally:
apt-get install audacious.
That's all. 


Note: For Ubuntu, I downladed the debian package (For some reason the ubuntu package didn't work)