Cube-er-riffic

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in What's New | Posted on 22-12-2010

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Well, just like any other developer of software, I work in a cube:

Square cubed is not the same :)

No! Not that kind… this kind:

My life as it is... not so bad!

Anyway, I have seen plenty o’ people’s cubes who’ve inspired me to do more with what I got!

From one of my favorite animators, Jennifer Shiman, to Wired’s display of alternate cubes, I see that you can do a lot with the little space that you have to work in.

So, I know I got some stuff coming in from Santa and some of those things will definitely spruce up the cube.

Some other nice sites:
http://www.on-my-desk.blogspot.com/
http://www.squidoo.com/cubicle-dwellers-essential-reference

Game-o-rama

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in What's New | Posted on 20-12-2010

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Drake hanging on for dear life!

A while ago, I saw a review of Uncharted 2: Among Theives by Adam Sessler on X-Play; he gave the game really good reviews and I don’t ever recall him giving any game such praise.

When I bought my PS3, I looked to see what game to buy and I remembered about Sessler’s review of Uncharted 2. This game actually won perfect scores from 25 other reviewers. Jeeeeeez!

Those reviews were right. I got the game and I was blown away. I thought Gears of War was a game changer, but this title brought game playing to a whole new level.

I played that game straight to the end and it was a perfect gaming experience. Well worth the money and made my purchase of the PS3 worth it.

Well, Spike TV had their Video Game Awards and they had their world premier of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

I can’t wait!

What is a blog

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Not-so-funny | Posted on 17-12-2010

I was reading something on a new site, probably CNN or MSNBC when I saw an advertisement to read someone’s blog.

The first time I read a blog entry was by a U.S. marine, many years ago, it was litterally a day by day account of what this person did. It was an interesting site to read and over time, the blog post was taken down.

I miss that site because it’s a real. It’s someone’s journal online.

Now a days, we have CNN, MSNBC and lots of other companies hosting blog sites for their hosts: Anderson Cooper, et. al.

Some bloggers seem to have an endless amount of content, of which I have no idea how they keep up the volume: Raymon Chen.

So what is a blog, and why do we read some of them? I prefer the ones that aren’t too personal and really follow industrial news, whether games, coding, guns or something else fun.

I haven’t followed any personal blog since that marine who served in Iraq. His stories were very interesting and there isn’t anything quite like that on the net that I have seen.

eBay equals awesome

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in What's New | Posted on 17-12-2010

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This week, as I usually do around this time of year, I make space in my home for the possible new things I am getting for the holidays.

Doing that means that they, they being the old products of mischief and fun that I am getting rid of, must vacate my home in preparedness for the new.

But, I do not leave my items in the hands of the trash man or discarded as if there were no care for them. Nope, I look for their new owners on eBay, where they await a new home for someone who will appreciate them as much as I did.

And eBay is an awesome site. eBay is the place where old items find new homes.

Thank you eBay!

Lego kicks butt

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Funny | Posted on 15-12-2010

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I saw this featured on The Firearm Blog, and it is a parody of “Call of Duty: Black Ops” featuring Legos.

Warning, content contains violence and blood and may not be suitable for all viewers:

A moment of reflection

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 13-12-2010

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A while ago I joined the facebook network. When I started to fill the part about me in the profile section, it reminded me of something that started out a while ago.

Finding Programming Zen

A while ago, I worked for the marketing and research company, NPD. While I was there, I met some interesting people, but like most of the jobs that I had worked at in the past, it was the usual job that paid the bills. Not something that was too particularly fulfilling from a programmers standpoint.

It was at some point that I thought to myself, where will I be in ten years. Will I have spent my time doing something that makes me happy?

I can’t say that my life is the usual. Nor can I say that there aren’t people out there who haven’t experienced the same things that I have. For those who have gone through the same, I tip my hat to you. It’s hard taking a moment to really look around and see if what you are doing is what makes you happy. So many times, we do the things we do to put food on the table, have money to pay the bills, and have just enough time to spend with the family.

Taking the time to stop, look and understand yourself can be the paramount moment of your life. In my life, there have been several occasions where this has happened. Where I stop and think about my life and make a discovery that totally shakes my foundation.

Sometimes, these discoveries can give me resolve. Sometimes, they scare me. But the best ones are the ones that make me feel calmer.

One of these moments is when I realized that I wasn’t true to myself. That I had to take a moment and see if what I did, was what I wanted to be doing in 10, 20, 30 years from now. Job security is great, but doing something you love is even better.

At that moment, I set out to fulfill that goal: to find programming zen. On my path towards finding zen, I found my job at Nikon.

Another Cocoa technology I had to battle with

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Coding | Posted on 10-12-2010

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So, I was messing around with a Cocoa app I created to test out some imaging code I had created. The point of this code was to deliver a really large image in smaller tiles and the Cocoa app would take those images and stitch them together into one large image. Now, the code I wrote delivered these small tiles quickly, and the point of the code was to handle the tiles, not to deliver one big image, so I used NSImage to put these tiles together.

Now… that didn’t work out too well. After many attempts, debugging and coding permutations, I realized that NSImage might not have been the best choice for drawing for one reason: it’s not that fast.

So, on to the web. After some digging around, and some patient reading, I found that CGImage would be the better way to go. Great! Now I have to admit, all of the projects I have done in the past were with whole images, not diced up ones. So, looking at the Cocoa API, I wondered, how do I draw just one Rect.

Now, before I go any further, I would like to point out something. I don’t write about anything unless I had a hard time finding information about something and I couldn’t find it on the web. And to my surprise, I really couldn’t find that much information about tiling images.

Okay, so, back to my problem. I implemented tiled drawing, and it wasn’t too hard to do, but then I started having some problems. My original code was expecting only one tile at a time to be drawn in. However, there were sections of the image that were not being drawn.

My - (void)drawRect:(NSRect)inrect method was being called every time, or at least from what I could see, but, tiles were still missing.

So what gives?

Well, by accident I found out that you can get more than one tile at a time. Cocoa tries to make the drawing as efficient as possible if it detects that it can draw two or more tiles at the same time. So, I also had to use:

- (void)getRectsBeingDrawn:(const NSRect **)rects count:(NSInteger *)count

This method tells me how many tiles were given to me, so instead of only drawing one tile, I was now able to draw many tiles:

- (void)drawRect:(NSRect)inrect
{
	/* Prevent anyone else from trying to update the view by locking our mutex*/
	[self lockMyView];
 
	/* Get the array of rects Cocoa wants us to draw */
	const NSRect* 	arrayOfRects;
    NSInteger		countOfTiles;
	[self getRectsBeingDrawn:&arrayOfRects tileCount:&countOfTiles];
 
	if (countOfTiles==1)
	{
		/* We only have one tile to draw... easy! */
		[self drawMyTile:(*arrayOfRects)];
	}
	else
	{
		/* We have more than one tile to draw. */
		for (int i = 0; i <= countOfTiles; i++ )
		{
			NSRect currentRect;
			currentRect.origin.x = arrayOfRects[i].origin.x;
			currentRect.origin.y = arrayOfRects[i].origin.y;
			currentRect.size.width = arrayOfRects[i].size.width;
			currentRect.size.height = arrayOfRects[i].size.height;
 
			[self drawMyTile:currentRect];
		} 
	}
 
	/* It is now safe to allow view updates */
	[self unlockMyView];
}

Alright! Another problem solved!

Christmas Gift Ideas for…

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Tip | Posted on 08-12-2010

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If you are having a hard time trying to figure out what you are going to buy that special someone who happens to be into guns… well then check out this website: Gift Guide for Shooters (22 gifts under $50)

The Nikon SpotOn software looks very interesting 🙂

Quote of the day

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Quote of the day | Posted on 08-12-2010

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“He’s comfortable in his skin.”

Two of my co-workers were talking about football and I only heard this phrase part way into their conversation about a player.

I just got a Griffin case for $20

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Review | Posted on 08-12-2010

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I had a couple of cases for my iPhone 3G and the Griffin Reveal Case, being one of the cheaper ones I’ve come to own, is also one of the most practical.

It’s clear on the back, black around the borders and is pretty spiffy looking.

For $20 bucks you can’t go wrong. If you are looking for a decent case that won’t break your wallet, check out the Griffin Reveal Case