A bit late with this update. T …

A bit late with this update. The Babylon Project was featured on Slashdot a while back. It has an ambitious aim, it “aims to become a standard development platform for Computer Games (and possibly other software in the future) allowing the developer to make one executable that can run on any x86 based microprocessor, regardless of operating system (thus freeing the developer to concentrate on developing the GAME, and not having to worry about platform specific problems).”

They’re going to use Linux as a base OS, one reason being is the availability of the OS on many different architectures. It seems they hope to use the idea of booting Linux to play games using some Linux loader (loadlin?). This would have worked in the days of DOS but nowadays people expect things to work by just clicking..
Several new versions of PTC came out in the last while. Check them out at the link below somewhere.
My machine isn’t so out of date anymore! I now have a P200MMX chip, 64 megs of ram, 13 gigs of space (heh.. gotta try out Suse and BeOS again!) and I invested in a tv tuner which unfortunetly doesn’t work very well with my S3 chip in X 🙁
‘Course, some friends have PII 400s and masses of ram and lots of other stuff, but then, they’re running an MS OS 😉
A note to all you Irish guys! There may be a Quake meet in Dublin on the 19th of the month (next week!) I want to be there, will you? email me about it!
It appears that a large minority of you would like some help in demo coding.. Anyone interested in a series on coding in X? My aim will be portability, and I might veer off to weird stuff like networked demos and the like.. I’ll be thinking about it. It might require a whole new site though!
I was just checking through The Linux Scenezone when I stumbled across the Optimum homepage. Unfortunetly it’s in French but it has a nice bit of Javascript that makes some circling balls follow the mouse around the browser.. *cool* IMO 🙂 Besides that the page has tiny fonts 🙁 One more thing to note is they host the Linux DemoScene Ring. I joined. If you have a Linux demoscene related site why not join too?

**Late News**
It seems like the Babylon project had to rename itself because the name was being used already. It’ll now be called the Babel project and can be found at http://celsius-software.hypermart.net/babel

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. 🙁 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.. 🙂

Check out the new design I'm …

Check out the new design I’m working on for this page. It’s something I’m working on and this is only the first draft of the new page.
I tested Xwinallegro and unfortunetly I wasn’t impressed by graphical performance at anything above 320×200 on my P200. Hopefully more routines will be written in ASM to speed up routines and the library in gerneral.
The new version of XPTC has inline assembly (i386 only) so it should offer improved performance for demos in X.

More good news for you demo co …

More good news for you demo coders out there! A version of Allegro for X11 is out! Allegro is a very nice library for creating graphical applications, be they demos, games or whatever! It has primitives for handling graphical functions as well as sound and packaging functions too! I used it for a project last year in DOS and hopefully I’ll now be able to port the code from DOS to Linux/X! More news about this later.

On a related note, a new version of X11PTC was released recently.
The new themes page for Windowmaker is open on themes.org. Make sure you give it a visit and download some of the amazing looking themes!

Following hot on the heels of …

Following hot on the heels of the Frame Buffer FAQ there’s an editorial about the frame buffer on slashdot.org.
So, I now have PTC and midas downloaded. Now all I need is some spare time and I’ll start coding some demo effects to put up here somewhere. Anyone else want to contribute some code and maybe screenshots? Or even provide links to demos/effects in Linux? I’d like stuff that runs in an X window, but console goods are just as welcome.
Oh! And does anyone want their site linked from my selection of buttons over there on the right? Mail me if you do.

Prometheus True Colour has a n …

Prometheus True Colour has a new page for the X version of the library. Check it out on the Prometheus Truecolour for X page!
There’s FAQ for the Kernel Vesa Framebuffer. Should be interesting. Pass the URL onto your demo coding friends!
I changed the quizlet. Final results for the previous one were (Which is the best interface for coding multimedia apps on Linux?):

10% SVGALIB, it’s close to the H/W.
38% X11, it’s more compatible.
42% GGI, graphics independent API.
10% Any of the above.
(378 respondents)

X and GGI quite close there right at the end.
No more, got some news? email me!

I have to admit I like Java. I …

I have to admit I like Java. I’m not going to go on about it, but it’s something I’d like to code a demo in soonish.. hmm..
PC Demo FanClub made its move to Hornet today. Check out the new (DOS)demos Jer has featured there.
linuxgames.com has some interesting titbits, especially the announcement of version 7 of Simple DirectMedia Layer, a low level game development API for Linux, BeOS and win32. I’d download it but my net connection is woefully slow 🙁
‘Gratz to CPX4 for getting the Beginners Linux Guide up and running again!
As all you experimental kernel guys probably know already, version 111 of the kernel had Linear Frame Buffer (LFB to its’ friends.) support built in. This is exactly what Linux needs for fullscreen graphics programming! I can’t wait for 2.2 to come out!!!!

A new Linux gaming site has op …

A new Linux gaming site has opened at http://www.linuxgames.com. Demos and games people have always been at loggerheads over one thing or another, but keep an eye on this site. It’s good to have a major games site (telefragged.com) supporting Linux games.
Anyone notice that the webwatcher doesn’t seem to be watching my site anymore? It’s still listed, but updates haven’t been reported.
Now, getting those TBL demos to run in Linux..
Beware that the iXalance executable is a libc6 app.
The README file with the iXalance loader only mentions the TBL page (original authors of the iXalance loader on Win32) and I’m not sure if the Linux version can be downloaded there. Check it out at http://www.tbl.org/tbl32.htm.
The loader is quite small so here it is, located on my own site, the iXalance loader.
The GGI project can be found at http://www.ggi-project.org. Find the file libggi-1.3.0-1.i386.rpm if you have RPM installed and download it.
Note that you don’t have to recompile your kernel or anything. The loader only requires the libggi library.
Now look at those TBL demos in all their glory!

Right at this moment I'm look …

Right at this moment I’m looking at Astral Blur running natively in my X display! I’ll post a link to the two files I needed tommorow. (iXalance loader and ggi 1.3 rpm file.)
Wow, it looks cool! Linux not for demos anyone? 🙂
Interesting Quizlet on the PC Demo Fanclub. I voted for the 4k/64k demos. To my mind these small demos show the most skill in writing fast, efficient AND effective code (it’s fast, does its’ job properly AND does the right job).. What will you vote for?