Scott T: The Blog

Twenty-Twelve!

Posted Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 11:00pm by Scott
Tagged: everyday
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Another year down - it all goes so fast! Even worse is I'm strugging to think of all the things that have happened since my last post 'update' post in June - although I guess my Twitter stream could help there.

I guess the major achievement in the second half of the year was getting back into an exercise routine. I initially got my old bike brought down from my parents and rode that for a few weeks - the first ride left me crumpled on the lounge for a good hour and it was only 5km long however that slowly increased each weekend. A month after starting, I could push out 20km in an hour - not bad for the heavy old mountain bike I had. It was about that point I decided to upgrade as well - a new 'end of season' hybrid, which I've been absolutely enjoying - even going on 2 or 3 hour rides now. (Side note: Strava is an awesome online service to track rides online, and is currently also branching out to runs/walks too).

Weather warmed up, more cycling (with a bit of sailing mixed in), Relay for Life came and went (Strava says I walked just shy of 20km) and suddenly it's December! Christmas Day was fairly pleasant although a bit warm during the day. We did, however, have a nice lightning storm come through in the evening providing the chance for my sister to grab this impressive photo.

Hope everyone else had a great Christmas and New Year period too, because I know I certainly did :)


Digging into T7G iOS

Posted Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 8:43pm by Scott
Tagged: games, programming, scummvm
7 comments

I've been thinking about writing up this post for the last few months now but with the release of ScummVM 1.4.0 a few weeks back (which supports T7G iOS), now seems like a suitable time.


My first iOS game!

The 7th Guest for iPhone and iPad was announced mid last year and then released in December. I read around a bit at the launch and it seemed a mixed bag - three culled puzzles (including the notorious microscope puzzle), high framerates for most videos, but a good large dose of nostalgia for many people.

Back in April I was able to borrow a friends iPhone, and so was finally able to test out the port for myself. Though it played fluidly, it was a little rough around the edges - the music was a little flat (admittedly this is personal preference), the cursor mapping just above the finger was a little awkward for some puzzles, high-speed animations included all the 'teeth' events which took away from the atmosphere (and caused out-of-sync music). Interestingly, the port also suffered the same problem as the Windows interpreter (see ScummVM bug #2831041) though not too surprising given the Windows release source was likely used as the reference. Similarly, the cake puzzle bug also still exists.

After the playthrough, the next step was to obviously look under the hood. After extracting the app archive and digging down into the folder heirarchy, it turns out almost all the original game datafiles were present, completely untouched (including the original introduction and credits - both of which were replaced in the port). Data-wise, the largest change was the removal of XMIDI music in favour of AAC.


AAC powered music!

Work then began on the required changes to support the game - clone2727 mostly worked on the AAC decoder (as part of extending the QuickTime code) while I added the necessary changes to handle and load the music resources as well as a config file option to run the game at faster game speeds (add t7g_speed=tweaked in the ScummVM config file for faster walking/puzzles but normal cutscenes and supernatural events, t7g_speed=im_an_ios for all non-cutscene videos sped up).


Stauf is back for more microscopic action

In the end, it was a relatively straight-forward process to add support for the game. The missing puzzles are also back as the required game scripts were never removed. Best of all - this provides an easy way (if you have an iTunes account) to grab T7G but play it on whatever platform you desire :)


The photo-post

Posted Tue, Jun 07, 2011 at 10:43pm by Scott
Tagged: everyday, water
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If a picture is worth a thousand words, this post should cover me for silence over the last few months. As always, click the picture for an enlarged view.

Just a random assortment of images from my life over the past four months.

Now for a brief explanation: Firstly, I do admit I've gone a little coffee-crazy recently. The image top-left has some 35kg of green beans sitting in it... by my math it's 2 years worth of beans (assuming I'm the only person to drink the coffee). All those greens do explain the third image down on the left too - home roasting is the next step in my hobby, and it's rather fun being able to choose some different varieties to roast in a session and then individually sample them over the following weeks. Latte art seems to be getting better too - can get things resembling a heart or rosetta most attempts now, even though they're not perfect.

The water did get quite high at one point back in February - the jetty is shown with water lapping the boards. It was quite strange to walk along the jetty getting wet feet when only a year or so ago the jetty barely reached the water. I also headed home for the Easter regatta in April, but unfortunately didn't get much sailing done. Yet another year with no breeze over the Saturday or Sunday (while the days leading up to the weekend would have been great).

Also back in Feb/Mar we had a few power interruptions which got annoying quickly - after the 3rd or 4th within a four week period I splurged on a UPS. One could say I've wasted money, but I say it's doing it's job - we haven't had a single power blip since =P That said, if the power does go out, the computer should be good for some 45 minutes now with both monitors off and left completely idle.

Unfortunately, the weather is definitely cooling off now - still tolerable during the day but below 5C each night makes it a little hard to get up each morning... bed is much nicer =P


Lake Update

Posted Sat, Feb 19, 2011 at 10:39am by Scott
Tagged: water
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Just to re-iterate how much water is flowing at the moment, I just received this photo of the current lake level.

Wow.


Summer Rain

Posted Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 9:03pm by Scott
Tagged: water
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Really have been neglecting this blog a bit the last few months. Have been meaning to get two different posts up recently, but will instead just combine it into one. Anyway - some of you may have heard that Australia's had a fair bit of rain recently. Queensland in particular has had flooding in the south and a cyclone through the north. Victoria, Northern NSW and Tasmania have also received pretty heavy rain in the last few weeks. SA has hence had a rather large inflow down the river for the last few months which has lead to the removal of the regulator at the entrance to Lake Bonney and it's now above the natural pool level. Photos will be below.

Prior to this, we had a few fairly heavy storms drift over the state two months ago.

This brought quite a bit of rain as well as flooding.

Just looking back through the weather history, December had 95mm; January 99mm; and 82mm so far in February. That totals to 276mm for approximately 2 and a half months. Impressive effort considering the annual average is only around 220mm, with even lower rainfalls in recent years due to drought.

As I mentioned however, all this rain throughout the Murray-Darling catchment has increased flow dramatically. Last Friday, the Murray River had ~92.5GL flow across the border for the day - again, somewhat higher than usual given that around this time last year, the flows were only a few GL (can't find any exact numbers - sorry). Although the high water has caused issues interstate, SA hasn't had much trouble yet. On the other hand, the high water means the regulator to the lake was finally removed!

This, in turn, has allowed the lake to fill back up above and beyond the natural pool level.

That small stump in the second photo is the one I've been focusing on for the last few years (second from the left in my current header picture). Just for comparison purposes, here's a side-by-side of the two extremes.

Keep in mind that the 'full-lake' photo is more than a month old, so the actual lake level is slightly higher again =)


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