(01:16:25) Sohail Ali: their annoying, whats the point of a flash intro, you dont go to a webpage to look at the flash intro
(01:16:42) Sam Steele: strongbad emails = why flash is teh rock
(01:16:52) Sohail Ali: strongbad sucks donkeys
(01:16:58) Sam Steele: OMGOMGOMG FIRED
(01:17:46) Sam Steele: hello!? Teen girl squad!? Strongbad rocks.
(01:18:35) Sam Steele: ARROWED!!!

First week of classes

Ok, so I’ve just finished my first week of classes.

First off, MGMT-4something.. you know you’re in trouble when the instructor comes in and says everyone in this class should be a senior, and that the texts are written towards PhD level students.

They gave us a group project that involves reading an entire textbook and presenting it to the class. I can’t even afford to buy the main textbook for the class, let alone a second one! 95% sure I’m gonna drop this class..

Next up, my Rutgers Newark class. I’m taking Psyc 101 at Rutgers because NJIT’s social science requirement classes were all full. First, I was impressed by the diversity of Rutgers as compared to NJIT. Since NJIT is an “engineering” school, you mostly have geeky males. I actually had like.. more than 2 females in my class! It was a scary sight. Anyway, this has got to be the most boring class ever. The professor is going on and on and on about “parts of yourself analyzing other parts of yourself” and drawing stupid pictures on the blackboard, and I’m thinking “Ok, so that’s like introspection”. Several more minutes of his senseless drawing and he writes “INTROSPECTION” on the board… EVERYONE whips out their notebooks and writes it down. I can’t be the only person in the world that knows what that word means, can I? *sigh* Anyway, it’s interesting to be in a class with “real” people again, instead of the boring NJIT people.

Apparently for this course, we need 3 “R-Points”. This basically means we have to participate in experiments that the Rutgers upperclassmen are performing. Usually stupid case studys about behavior and what-not. The TA handed out a sign-up sheet for an experiment a friend of hers was doing, but I didn’t sign it.

Finally, my IT “Computer Graphics” course. Basically, we’re gonna learn OpenGL, which I already know. This instructor introduced himself as a “chemistry teacher” and computer programming is his hobby. Man, I hope this guy doesn’t actively teach chemistry.. he has to be the most absent-minded person. He constantly forgot what he was saying (he spent more time saying “uhhmmmmmmmm” (for several seconds at a time, not like a quick “um”), clicking on the wrong things on the computer, typing the wrong things, and telling us the wrong things. Now, with computers this is fine.. click the wrong thing, just hit cancel. But chem? Geez, please don’t let this guy near a lab or any dangerous chemicals.

He sounds like a nice guy though, and he’s really interested in the OpenGL stuff, and he said “I want to teach you OpenGL. I don’t want to teach you Microsoft.” Finally someone who gets that theory is more important than learning a specific product (typing courses teaching Microsoft Word now? Ugh..). There was a Mac user sitting behind me happilly following along with the lecture, it was nice.

Anyway, this class takes place in a “lab” of about 16 computers.. really old IBMs with no 3D accelleration. That’s right, we’re learning OpenGL on machines that are unable to even render anything at more than 1 frame per second. An interesting quirk about these machines is that if you run your OpenGL app full-screen, it refuses to display the red channel, only green and blue. However, if you run it in a window, the colors display properly. Very interesting machines.

This is definatly a course I’ll enjoy, hopefully I’ll learn some new techniques and effects to add to DCBlap.

On Monday I’ll have my last “new” class (the lab part of my psyc course), and I’m sure that will be boring and stupid too. And I picked “Quixotic” for my mood, because I have no idea what it means, but it sounds cool. I suppose I’ll look it up later.


Ok, since I can’t code from the living room anymore, I’ve moved the Dreamcast into my room and hooked it up to the capture card. This way I can debug stuff without having run all around the apartment. Anyway, I found a spindle of old cds, so I figured I’d take some screenshots of my old Dreamcast work. So as not to fill up everyone’s friends pages, click below to read the rest of this post (I’m learning how to use LJ! yay!)


Ok, so since saving is almost complete, I figured I should make an icon for the Dreamcast’s file manager. They’re 32×32, 16 colors (of a 16-bit palette), and can animate if you put in more thanone frame. Anyway, I came up with this cute little guy:

I’ll probably do something a bit more inspired later, but this will do for now. None of my previous Dreamcast games even have an icon, they just use the generic icon the filemanager provides, so at least this is a step up!

Here’s what it looks like in the Dreamcast’s file manager:

Isn’t it cute? I knew my capture card would come in handy eventually.


Ok, so GNOME comes with this kick-ass Unicode Character Map:

It shows what those crazy non-arabic symbols mean in the status bar. Anyway, here’s a funny conversation I had with James (you probably wont be able to see the japanese characters, but you wouldn’t understand them anyway):

(12:09:16) Sam Steele: 下丌
(12:09:23) Sam Steele: I made something that makes sense!
(12:09:23) Sam Steele: hehe
(12:09:37) James F: lol but its in katakana!
(12:09:46) Sam Steele: lol
(12:10:22) Sam Steele: 丈 = unit of length equal 3.3 meters; gentleman, man, husband

how are those even related? rofl
(12:10:37) James F: lol they aren’t but i can explain’
(12:11:03) ***Sam Steele waits for explanation
(12:11:28) James F: ok japanese isn’t just japanese
(12:11:42) James F: the kanji are all borrowed from chinese
(12:12:10) Sam Steele: ah, so one country’s unit of measure is another country’s husband.. I get it.
(12:12:18) James F: and sometimes when things change meanings from china, such as the origin kanji meaning of height
(12:12:52) James F: they are borrowed into the language… just like how a pound means like 5 different things in the us…
(12:12:57) James F: to hit
(12:12:59) James F: to weigh
(12:13:05) James F: to spend english money.
(12:13:07) James F: uhh…
(12:13:20) Sam Steele: that’s 3
(12:13:20) Sam Steele: lol
(12:13:20) James F: many other adopted slang references… …
(12:13:28) Sam Steele: … .. sure.
(12:13:29) Sam Steele: hehe
(12:13:35) James F: lol yeah.
(12:13:39) James F: totally unrelated.

Fsck you, theif!

As my way of saying fsck you to who ever has my laptop, I’ve revived the MS-DOS build of DreamZZT, and decided to pit it head-to-head (or xdosemu window to xdosemu window) with the original ZZT:

It still needs a bit more polishing before release, but it works well enough (even saving / restoring!), and I’m not gonna let the loss of my laptop stop me from coding. I’m hoping to do another release within a few days.

DreamZZT status

Because I no longer have my laptop with Visual Studio, I will be unable to produce Nero or DiscJuggler CD images, and will be unable to do any further Windows releases for DreamZZT. In place of the Windows builds, I will be releasing MS-DOS builds compiled with DJGPP in dosemu. Unfortuantily, these will not be able to access the DZZT.NET homepage, and will run slower because of the way Windows 2000 / XP handle DOS applications.

As for Dreamcast CD images, I will continue to release plain files, and probably BIN + CUE images. If anyone knows of a way to generate SBI files from linux, please let me know.

The next release of DreamZZT, which includes saved game support, should be out by next week.

Yesterday between noon and 3pm my apartment, along with several others in the building, was robbed by someone with a master key, you can read more about that in my journal. They took all our laptops, including the one I use for doing Dreamcast and Windows releases. I’m very very luckey that they left our desktop computers, since that’s where I keep all my source code.

What this means is that until I get access to a Windows machine again, I will be unable to produce Nero or DiscJuggler images, and will be unable to do any further Windows releases for DreamZZT. In place of the Windows builds, I will be releasing MS-DOS builds compiled under dosemu. Unfortuantily, these will not be able to access the DZZT.NET homepage, and run slower because of the way Windows 2000 / XP handle DOS applications.

As for CD images, I will continue to release plain files, and probably BIN + CUE images. If anyone knows of a way to generate SBI files from linux, please let me know.

The next release of DreamZZT, which includes saved game support, should be out by next week.

Welcome to Newark, Part 2

Well, today was certainly exciting.. it started out pretty normal. We left the apartment at around 12:30 to get an x-ray of jayyy‘s lung that’s been hurting him for the past week. When we were done, we went to shoprite and it started snowing. Hard. And then it stopped. So we’re putting the groceries in his car, and it thunders! Sky is cloudy with a bit of blue, it’s still kinda snowing, and it’s thundering. I said to Jay, “Wow, you must have pissed someone off..”. But apparently that wasn’t the end of our bad omen..

We come back home as usual around 3, unpack groceries, and jump to our computers for the usual chatting. First person I jump on is Sohail, ’cause he owes me money and I’m broke.

(15:51:18) Sam Steele: think you could mail me a money order or something? I really need that money..

Timestamp is here for future reference if I need it.. anyway back to the story. So I’m waiting for him to reply, and I glance around my room, and stop at the heating vent / window sill. On this sill sits part of my collection of stuffed animals, my clock radio, and an old laptop I was planning on turning into a digital picture frame. At least, it used to. Sitting there now, however, is just the frame.. no laptop.

So I look at the floor next to me, where Kento’s laptop was charging.. it’s gone too! I’m thinking.. ok, maybe Jay wanted to use Kento’s laptop and ended up taking mine by mistake, and not wanting to wake me, just took both of them. So I walk into Jay’s room and ask him “Hey, you wouldn’t happen to have my Compaq laptop, would you?”.. he glances around.. notices the laptop Scott gave him is missing, and says “hey yeah, where is it?”. At this point I realize what happens, and think “fuck!”. I walk into the living room.. my personal laptop is gone too! We’ve been robbed! We start looking around for anything else that’s missing, and I tell Jay I’m gonna go talk to the security desk while he looks.

I get to the desk, and the guard tells me someone else got hit last night, and he calls the police. I get tired of waiting, go back upstairs to talk to Jay. He tells me that they emptied his change jar (which is a freaking huge glass jar) and took all the change off his desk. Luckely my change jar was safe, apparently my desk is too messy for crooks to consider stealing from 🙂 Anyway we go back downstairs and wait some more, get tired of waiting, and decide to wait in our apartment.

Finally the police officer arrives, asks questions, fills out a report, etc. We think there might be some prints on jay’s jar since it’s glass, so we wait around for the fingerprint guy. Apparently, there’s only 1 person in the entire city of Newark that can do fingerprinting, so we had to wait a few hours. He finally gets here while I’m making spaghetti, so he and Jay do their fingerprint thing, doens’t turn up anything. But he does notice the poster of two guys hugging on Jay’s wall, so as he’s leaving, he referrs to me as Jay’s “partner”. Hah! Jay’s already taken by codymah 🙁

Anyway, we get a call on the intercom from the front desk asking of the police were still there, apparently another apartment on the 22nd floor also got hit. Apparently this guy has keys to the entire building, ’cause there’s no signs of forceful entry, and our door was locked when we left.

It’s not so bad I guess. Luckely they didn’t take my desktop computer, which has a very very very large amount of important stuff on it, like code, and code, and more code. Most of my code is stored on my server at home, but both DreamZZT and the e-commerce project we’re working on are stored up here for quicker access. I guess it’s time for another backup, eh?

Anyway, as I said to Jay as I realised what had happened.. “Welcome to Newark: You’ve been Robbed!”