I updated the plan with a litt …

I updated the plan with a little rant.

I read with interest a review of a beta version of Visual Studio for Windows, and was struck by the amount of fancy names and acronyms for simple computer programs/services. Active-this and Active-that.. Of course! How silly of me! It’s completely impossible to do the same thing with a bit of perl and a decent database (MySQL anyone?) because they haven’t got ActiveXXX built in. I remember listening to a classmate of mine last year about how great a MS app was because methods were exposed and you could call this or that. Dumb! Then there was the two execs at a company I overheard saying you could do a reverse query down the pipe with MS SQL Server! Fancy words! When you get down to it, what’s the best solution? Alternative solutions have been doing the same thing for years! Sockets have “exposed” services to other computers for ages! Libraries have offered functions for longer than MS has been around! How did the world get by without MS for so long?! *gasp*
Next time you hear someone talk about how great an MS or corporate product is, don’t be over-awed by the fancy terminology, just ask what it _actually_ does. Is it useful and reliable? Will it actually help the programmer be _creative_ and offer the freedom to manipulate the computer to do exactly what you want in a timely and efficient manner? Is that “component” your manager is saying you should use actually useful or are you wasting your time?

I used to think that MP3s were “just as good as CDs”. I don’t now. πŸ™ Even at 128k/sec there’s that slight annoying warble, and high pitched female voices sound kinda tinny. That’s one of the side effects in investing in a decent stereo system. At least I can play my CDs without sacrificing a CDROM now!
Lots of demos released at ASM ’98. I downloaded some of them, mostly the ones mentioned on The PC Demos Fanclub homepage. They’re all big monsters but I’d only recommend one myself, the 4k demo called Mesha. Excellent stuff and blew me away with the amount of code and effects they squeezed into 4k! Have a look in the demos incoming directory of Hornet for more demos. Especially check out the 4k directory in the ASM directory. Some very good demos there.
After checking out the latest games featured on the PCW CD, I’m yet again wondering where demo coders hope to go with their huge 5-6 meg 3D demos. If they don’t use a 3DFX or any hardware acceleration demos just will not impress anymore.
Me? I want to do a scroller.. πŸ™‚

Author: Donncha

Donncha Γ“ Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

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