Categories
C64

Amazing C64 and Speccy Pixel Art

Computers have always been home to amazing artwork. The C64 has so many graphics modes that artists were spoiled for choice near the end of the machine’s life. Luckily, artists are still working on the machine and releasing stuff even now!



You can find some amazing Commodore 64 artwork on c64pixels.com and it’s even sorted by graphics format like hires, FLI and others.

There’s also a comprehensive and detailed collection at CSDB of course but it does have a gallery. You’ll have to click through to each image to view it.





Here’s a wonderful ZX Spectrum gallery. The Speccy was known for attribute clash but despite this you can create really amazing work if you know what you’re doing. Check out this Binary Zone tribute to Speccy artist David Thorpe. You will recognise the loading screens!

Categories
Linux

HOWTO: Ubuntu desktop visual effects on Dell D630

The Dell Latitude D630 comes with a number of different video cards but if you use the Intel chipset you may be frustrated when trying to activate the visual effects eye candy of Compiz:

Ubuntu Visual Effects

Checking either of the lower two options brings up this alert saying, “Desktop effects could not be enabled”.

Ubuntu Visual Effects

I didn’t bother trying to fix it for ages and put it down to using Ubuntu on exotic hardware. Fortunately it’s simple to get working. I just needed to install the xGL server:

# aptitude install xserver-xgl
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Reading extended state information
Initializing package states... Done
Building tag database... Done
The following NEW packages will be automatically installed:
  libglitz-glx1 libglitz1
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  libglitz-glx1 libglitz1 xserver-xgl
0 packages upgraded, 3 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 0B/1843kB of archives. After unpacking 4854kB will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n/?]

Once I logged out (and rebooted, for some reason my external monitor doesn’t always “catch” when I restart X) and back in again xGL was loaded and I was able to enable desktop visual effects. Despite my misgivings about using an embedded graphics chip it actually works really well. Windows bounced around, bent out of shape and did lots of nice animation stuff.

Then I removed the whole lot by uninstalling the xserver-xgl package again. Why? Unfortunately it conflicts with other openGL apps. In a toss up between fancy desktop effects and decent SDLMame performance, SDLMame wins hands down. It’s nice to know the visual effects work though!

Categories
blogging Web

Find new stuff with the image wall

While everyone seems to be running to the new kid on the block, Google Reader, I stuck with Bloglines because I prefer the old-style interface and the sorting options over the new fangled web 2.0ish Google upstart.

At the same time, I’ve lusted after some of the new features of Google Reader but Bloglines have been busy with a new feature I quite like called the Image Wall. The wall is basically a collection of images grabbed from the latest posts that Bloglines sees. The wall refreshes continuously bringing in new content as you’re watching. Clicking on an image leads to the Bloglines preview of that post where you can then click through to the actual post.

It’s not perfect. The images don’t always fade in correctly, sometimes stuttering or suddenly appearing or changing for some reason. That’s only a minor problem compared to the big one. When you hover an image, a popup appears with a large verson of that image, and allows you to mark offensive images. Unfortunately to get to an image in the middle of the wall you have to move your cursor over other images, thus suffering more popups. If you haven’t tried it, image what it would be like to mouse over a Snap Preview powered page full of closely formatted links. Ugh.

Besides that problem I really like the idea. I found a blog with an hour’s worth of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody remakes yesterday because they included a screen grab from that song’s video. Unfortunately my browser crashed shortly afterwards so I can’t share it with you. I can see you’re disappointed.

Just in case you’re worried about such things, you have to click through the following disclaimer each time you activate the wall.

The Image Wall is comprised of dynamically generated images from user feeds and may contain material of an explicit sexual nature or other adult content.

You do read the small print don’t you? Don’t go complaining that you weren’t warned!

bloglines-imagewall.jpg

Edit: Looks like Bloglines have listened to the complaints and have responded.

Effective today, Bloglines will move the Image Wall to its own, new domain at http://www.bloglinesimagewall.com. Now, any school, library, parent/guardian or third party filtering service can add this full domain to their list of restricted domains to be blocked.