root/news/Archive 2008
At work I have been using JavaCC for a long time. Due to update restrictions, it wasn't the newest version, but it did its job, and I doubt that it has changed very fundamentally since then. It always bothered me that the generated code was full of Java warnings. I'm just experimenting with this parser generator topic a little myself and realized that: I can tell you, it is really weird to specify a transformation from regular expressions to C# code... and then actually matching those regular expressions with code manually copied together from the transformations. I also have a grammar on hand which defines the grammar of itself... I like this!
Voxelstein 3D
I think that Voxelstein 3D looks pretty and pretty interesting and promising.
Keep up the good work! - to whoever is working on it.
Merry X-Mas
I always thought that one thing my language was missing were typedefs. I have some complex unreleased things written in it that deal with emitting VMF files (to be used for Half-Life 2), complete with brush, texture and entity data. With typedefs, I could now give proper names to the objects managed by that API, so one doesn't have to type array<int> for everything, and so that types can be changed without problems. Initially, before I decided for typedefs, I implemented the "auto" keyword, which makes it unecessary to type out long parametrized data types. The rest of changes are just fixes for consistency and require no more comments. There is a new version of Accuracy2 available.
Smooth movements
In my engine there are so-called Object3Ds. These inherit from TransformedObjects, which can be conducted affine transformations on. My engine ticks every 50 msecs (by default), executing user code from a project. There is the possibility to interrupt the Engine and execute event handler code (e.g. on key press). In the frames displayed between ticks, smooth animations are interpolated, and at the end of such a smooth animation, a transforming TransformedObject is removed from a list indicating which objects are scheduled for halt, and the internal coordinates are updated, and so on.

Now, when deallocating TransformedObjects, I forgot updating this list indicating which objects are to be stopped, causing memory to become corrupt when invalid objects were stopped. That caused a crash in Animator when I had a sequence with smooth animations running and interrupted it by reloading the thing (on key press). Therefore, a new version is now available. Hmh, I should really document the concepts of my 3D engine someday.
Microbrush Accuracy 2 export
There are new versions of Accuracy 2 and Microbrush online.
Accuracy 2 now has a language construct for inputting big amounts of data in reasonable time in the compile process, and Microbrush can export to that format. A sample script for the Microbrush-specific Accuracy 2 import is included in the Microbrush distribution.
Now there is a contact section, and the website manager finally behaves in a usable way. There are two new HL2DM maps we're going to release soon, Miqrobrush and MeetAZombie.

Changes in the projects section: Microbrush, my experimental brush editor for Valve's Hammer/Half-Life 2/Source Engine, is now available too. Ever thought how life would be if you could create architecture for HL2 much faster? Now you can find out! :-D

Remaining TODO:
Totally fucked addendum
I am now going to work again, parallel to university. That money I earn they can't take. When I arrived home in the evening, my mother was waiting for me and apologized. Good.
Totally fucked
My brush creator experiment went so well that in the past three days I created the architecture for two full HL2DM levels. SG is now texturing them.

After my mother used a lawyer to demand money from my father, for me, my father used a lawyer too to demand money for the house. There was of course a little lying involved from his side, and stuff. I finally got rid of the rolling trashcan I had to drive around with (hey, it was cheap for him to maintain, insurance for trash is minimal), and unfortunately my motorcycle too. Now I have a real car though, a VW Polo. Well... we calculated, and if both sides got what they wanted, my father would still have to pay like 200? per month, and without the vehicles, a little more too. My mother, though, was emotional about this and gave up. She made some short-sighted decisions again, such as dropping lawyer support and moving out tonight. A few minutes ago she came to my door telling me that the main gate is unlocked and bye, she is seeking an apartment (yes, it is about 10 PM here). Now I am left with a house, two dogs, two cats, university, a "mini job" (job with only so little money that there is no tax deduced).

I tried everything I could to convince her to make sane steps, but she has proven immune to it. I encountered my father too, today, and he blamed us for everything. I told him what I think of his overall behavior, of his lies and accusing style, and managed to get him to leave the scene, shutting the door loudly. I hate him for lying so much to me. He was always talking about support and is now trying to take away as much as he can. And my mother seems incapable of dealing with the situation. None of them is going to pay anything in the house, and I technically don't have the resources. Heck, I don't even have time for the animals as a student taking so many courses. I hear sounds from the other side of the house, maybe she still is there and will move out in the coming days? I get bad news from them daily now. What would a normal person do? I can only try to be more and more emotionless. Screw them.
Experiments going well
So I am still working on that fast brush creator. It already supports 90 degree rotations, translation, cloning, facedrag, clipping, brush merge (and brush intersection), paint select... Next to come: VMF export, select inside tall, and maybe XML configuration for the command layout. Even in simple debug testing I can create stairs with sloped undersides within seconds. That must mean something, something good! Soon it will be put to productive use for mapping. :-D
I have created an experimental program to increase my Half-Life 2 mapping speed a lot. Creating brushes in Valve's Hammer is intuitive and stuff, but really, why do we need to aim for those anchor points all the time instead of simply dragging a face by holding down the mouse near it? Radiant wasn't as pretty as Hammer, but it could do things like that much better! Also, how about 3D clip planes, instead of just 2D? It's all too slow, too slow I tell you! So far I decided for an all-3D user interface, I have a grid which can quickly be aligned everywhere, and which takes the position of the camera into account too. Even though I can only create brushes yet, and not modify or delete them afterwards, the fact that I could already create a house and rooms seems very promising. In the end I hope to be able to create brushwork in my program and simply paste it to hammer. Even if I have to texture everything in hammer, it will still be a much faster mapping experience. SG will surely like me throwing more architecture at him :P

There is a new version of Accuracy 2, fixing the command line and making it more flexible in regards to include file paths.
Seems my parents are now starting a legal fight over their property and the duties for me.
University is going on well.
New Homepage
I declare my new website finished, it is now hosted at InterComm too, replacing the old version.
Father And The New Lock
A few days ago we exchanged the lock for our main door, which was already half broken (and couldn't be opened from the inside anymore), with a new lock. We had been warned that my father's new girlfriend is rather curious to see the inside of the house she doesn't belong into. Shortly before that, I prepared to go to the university in the morning, and suddenly there was my father standing in the corridor. He seemed like he didn't expect me, and quickly left the house again. Must be interesting to lurk here. Anyway, he and his girlfriend are now locked out. Apparently, in the past few days once when we were not at home, he paid us a visit and recognized the new lock. He called my brother about it. At first he asked why he was so stupid to insert a new lock (well, we all worked on that, hand in hand), and later he managed to convince my brother's boss to get to call my brother again because he had an "important matter" to talk about. It turned out he only wanted to ask when we're gonna change the locks for his garage. What the hell? He didn't seem to understand the meaning of him moving out when he, well, moved out.

He kept saying that he would repair this and that, or that it is impossible to change this or that. Since he moved out, we managed to refurbish/repair the following things: Apparently, we're fine without him.

Now he paid us an evening visit. He is installing new locks on his garage. Okay :D
I am still fixing little quirks in the website design, but my main project, Accuracy 2, is now available here. Initially, I had the gallery consist only of PNG images, but they were slightly too big in size on the server. I wanted to batch convert them with GIMP and its Script-Fu-System, but that failed miserably. Whenever you make a mistake there, it just tells you that there is an error, but not what error exactly. After a lot of trial and error, we at least learned this useful fact: If you want to start a script with GIMP, you might have to cat it into its command line (cygwin-bash on Windows): ./gimp-x.y.exe -b "$$(cat script.scm)" (thanks to thp-Thomas for this!)

Morale of the story? After quite some time, we still couldn't get Script-Fu to do what we needed. I simply wrote a converter in C# now, available from the projects page now, with source! :D
Red Alert 3
Two days ago, my brother and a friend of him bought Red Alert 3 in a retail store. We intended to play through it in cooperative play, since we like cooperative play. ... about three days ago, the game was released, and since then there have been three patches. A patch per day, great! And in the change logs for the patches 1.02 and 1.03, there is NOTHING! They wrote nothing! What do they patch, I wonder? We figured quickly that they didn't write anything in there because it is nothing but ridiculous what they did. We had two legally authorized copies installed on two computers. No matter what we tried in 1.02, they just wouldn't connect to the internet! After a lot of search online, we got to know about patch 1.03, released today, and that made one of the games capable of going online. ... at the point where it actually established a connection to the EA/GameSpy servers, it complained about the CD KEY NOT BEING CORRECT, What The Hell?! That was the very point where we decided to return the game back to the store. And later this day, we did so. This was the first game that we returned to the store.

Before doing so, we played a little in LAN (yes, that worked), and figured that the game is not worth its money (oh hey, did I mention that we paid 50 Euros for it?). From my standpoint, what I found most annoying were consistencies like this: I can press F1 to build the first unit, I can hold down shift and press the unit button to build 5. But I can not press F1 while holding down shift to build 5 too? Also, what is up with the zoom level? How come we play CNC games with a magnifying glass all the time? Hello game creators, you should have arrived in the future by now. We like zooming out a little! The Japanese faction was funny, but I personally found them way too exaggerated in terms of comical style and such. Lack of realism is part of the concept, but mechs/transformers everywhere, and the Japanese special infantry unit was... a flying girl? WTF? Please, someone tell me, how can a company which made so many great games fail so hard with their new and most anticipated title? This was one of the few first games with a widely known beta. What is a beta there for? For recognizing and fixing bugs. I can only explain the total failure of quality assurance on this title with terrorists teleporting a bomb into their offices. This is not funny at all, but a completely ruined release. I can't say it often enough: Three patches in three days, and no changelog on the last two patches! They were probably ashamed of their flagship being unable to connect to the internet. They were probably ashamed of their biggest selling feature, the cooperative mode, not working. I do hope that gaming sites will pay them back in their tests and reviews.

My recommendation: Do not buy, unless a nicely designed menu and good music are reason enough for you to throw out 50 bucks. On quality assurance, I also have to complain about Spore. When I installed it, it complained about my video drivers not being the latest drivers, and asked me to disable SLI mode rendering. I did that and it still complained. After some search I found out that there is a config file, written in some scripting language, where there is a check for the driver number. NVidia seemingly introduced a new numbering scheme for their drivers (starting at a lower number than checked), so the test failed each time, preventing the game from starting. How the hell can such SHIT go through QUALTIY ASSURANCE? I had to comment out the test to make it run... but what would a normal customer do? But no worrying about that game anymore. Shortly after I installed Bioshock, yet another game with strong Securom support, my computer had enough of Securom and hanged up. I can not be entirely sure, but Securom was the only really new thing introduced to my system at that time. It wiped out my full registry, preventing Windows from rebooting. And somehow, after system restore, all programs kept behaved like they had never been installed. Fuck you, Securom, and new games. With quality assurance failing so hard recently on so many titles, I really hope that more people will return their games, hitting this stinking gaming industry hard because right now it deserves it.
Eviction Notice
I am sorry, and proud, to announce, that this is probably my last post to my website in this form. I am working on a system to supersede this web presence completely. All existing data will be made accessible better, every single page of this web presence will conform to the W3C XHTML 1.0 specification. As a result of the migration, the Accuracy 2 page is not being updated at the moment. I have already fixed a few more things in the current development version, but will not be publishing that revision as quickly as the other ones. If you are an Accuracy 2 user and have a problem of any sort, consult the readme on how to contact me, and I'll gladly help you in any way I can. That includes giving you the latest pre-release version.

This website is not dead, and in future it will not look dead.
Hammerproblem: Orange Box
Do you have very blurry low resolution textures in your Half-Life 2 Hammer: The Orange Box version? That comes from a severe default misconfiguration and is by default not your fault. Luckily, there is a solution.
  1. Use GCFScape to open "Steam\SteamApps\base source engine 2.gcf" and locate bin\dxsupport.cfg
  2. Extract that file to SourceSDK\bin\orangebox\bin\
  3. edit the file and change the line
    "ConVar.mat_picmip" "2"
    "ConVar.mat_picmip" "-1"
A new Windows Vista trick
Go to your desktop and do ctrl+mwheelup while not hovering over an icon. Everything gets much more readable! This is best for photos and allows icons bigger than the biggest setting usable from the context menu. Note that you might have to click your desktop once before, so it gets the focus.
DVD: Copy-Protect Fail
Mediaplayer Classic refused to play genuine, 100% legit DVDs for me with that error message. I am using Vista Business and it seems that since a certain patch, with Windows Media Player 11, it forgot how to playback DVDs. I was afraid that this might be a new weird DRM scheme, but after some Googling I figured that this is an MPEG-2 issue. MPEG-2 is a proprietary codec and you'd normally purchase a compatible codec from a third party. WMP told me: "Windows Media Player cannot play this DVD because there is a problem with digital copy protection between your DVD drive, decoder, and video card. Try installing an updated driver for your video card." Unfortunately I have an Acer Laptop with a mobility Radeon and can't update the video driver any further. After an hour of testing around, this turned out to be the solution:
  1. install the Cyberlink MPEG-2 codec from the K-Lite codec pack
  2. from Microsoft, obtain the free of charge tool "Windows XP Video Decoder Checkup Utility"
  3. use that tool, running it as administrator, to set the Cyberlink codec as your preferred MPEG-2 codec, and done
Immediate Payment Required "Page Not Found"
I was just unable to pay via PayPal for an eBay auction that required immediate payment. I tried it in Firefox and Internet Explorer. Internet explorer asked whether eBay could start Skype. Why would ebay want to start Skype? It seems to me like a fatal programming flaw to connect eBay and Skype, but eBay bought Skype some time ago so they are at liberty to make such mistakes. When I reached the PayPal page to confirm my payment after the address selection, I always got a "Page Not Found" page, no matter what I did. I only later figured that Skype might be the cause for this, uninstalled and rebooted. You wouldn't believe my amazement when PayPal suddenly worked!
Weird Windows shortcuts
I just found: Shift+Mwheelup on an icon = doubleclick it. Shift+Mwheeldown+Mwheelup = Ctrl+Shift+Mwheelup = start whatever is under the cursor in the background. The desktop or an explorer window needs to have focus for that first. F2, F6 in an explorer window, ctrl+esc and so on are useful too, but not new ;)
Check out this basic arithmetic parser I made in Haskell. [link removed in transfer]
Don't criticize it, that hurts the Lead Programmer!
YouTube video grab
How to save/grab/download a video from youtube, google video, collegehumor, etc.
  1. Open video in Firefox.
  2. Go to the local Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\XXXXXXXX.default\Cache and locate the newest and biggest file
  3. Add .flv extension, done
Accuracy 2
So this is the 3D modelling language nobody waited for! You might want to play around with this, it feels like C++. Sample sources and the grammar definition are included. Check it out here!
Random News
[Note from 2008: That modding project was "Serious Sam Forever".]
Computer hotkey for Vista!
Q: How to make the content of "Computer" show up when hitting Ctrl+Alt+# on Vista, e.g. for quick access on a notebook? A: 1. Ctrl+Alt+LMB-drag it from the start menu to the desktop 2. open command prompt and go to there, cd inside "Computer - Shortcut" (yeah, it's a directory actually) and rename target.lnk to Computer.lnk 3. browse into the folder through your desktop, delete desktop.ini there, and move Computer.lnk to "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs" 4. locate it in your start menu (all programs), rightclick and set the global hotkey
Old ATI Drivers :(
If you happen to have OpenGL applications crashing with an ATI card, make sure to upgrade your drivers! There is a well-known problem about atioglxx.dll causing a stack overflow and crashing, since 2004. The ATI verification program didn't let me update my drivers (laptop, bound to use the customized driver versions that Acer releases), but there's a nice workaround: in the install dir of that program, locate atioglxx.dll, and use the console command "expand" (expand /?) to make a dll out of it. Then copy that to your sys32 dir (backup the original one first!), and tada! Preditor works again without crashes!
Prey is such an awesome game! Check out my prey page!
An image!
Yep yep, a year passed. This shall be the first image I post in the forums this year.
[that old image is gone now]
Serious Sam 2 Release
Yep, it's finally there. My copy should arrive within the next 2-3 weeks, bundled with FEAR. I am in the credits! :D If only I had had the option to test the game, too :/
[Note from the bright future, 2008: Serious Sam 2 was an unprecedented disappointment. I despise CroTeam for making such an unpolished children's game, not fixing bugs we reported, and misusing us alpha testers for viral marketing. SS2 was definitely the last CT game I will have acquired.]
Something to bore you: [that old image is gone now]
82944 triangles, model generated completely in code, layer operation based model format. I now go on vacation :D
[Note from the future, 2008: IIRC, it was done in Accuracy 1, the never-released predecessor to Accuracy 2]
I dunno wtf (as asko used to say)
Past events: I'm sorry for those who came here in the past and never saw anything new... this site serves mostly as a file base for me. If you ever played BTBA, make sure to check my BTBA page.
News? Yes? Well maybe
Hey, no news for 3-4 months? Oh well, I'm mainly using this web space for file storage. Checking this site for news is futile, just drop me a message if you are interested in anything topical. (this page is even 1 scripting language behind my development)
[contact details: see appropriate node]
News! (for dead eye)
Well... nothing new. Hey, did you skip the 11th grade, too?
I dunno what normal people do when they are bored, but I am doing stuff like this:
[that old image is gone now]
Weee, I didn't write news for a long time so here we go. In 3 weeks I will have my exams... buh. asko was so kind to include me in the BTBA testing stage, BTBA is the ubermod for Serious Sam and will pwn everyone when it gets released. Be sure to check out cad-creations, the team behind BTBA.

If you were looking forward to a release of Script++, there will be none since I dropped the project as it is and started working on another one using MSVC this time for better compatibility and professionalism. I is still named Script++ and will feature much more native C++ features... and will have a new kewl text editor around (Blackpad 2). And to everyone who says MFC sucks: I can't decide whether to hate it (for not letting me replace the app icon) or love it (for providing cool stuffs to make windows).
[A note from 2008: MFC sucked big time.]
News again!
I was able to implement some 2D stuff in S++ and it is just 1337!
Don't forget to check out my new forums!
S++ development is currently headed to support both a 2D Windows and 3D OpenGL interface. I was able to create a sub-form and react on basic mouse events with scripts.
Yesterday I decided to leave the Seriously!-Forums behind for a while since most of the active users are completely dumb. Dumbness sucks!
I worked 2 days now on completing the basic S++ command set, this is a fun sine thing:
[that old image is gone now]
After AJ kicked my design from CsF, I decided to use it for this hp - it looks better without the auto-adverts from 50megs.com.
Design by Shrinker.