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Older News from 2005

These are archived news. More recent news can be found on the front page.


Forums Down

December 27, 2005 #

2dnow closed down. If someone has a web based forum and would like to host my tutorial forums, I'd appreciate it.

Due to several requests, I wrote some guidelines on what kinds of things I want people to use the graphics tutorial for; scroll to the end of the page for info.

I still haven't had time to touch the tutorial, but I still plan to.. in the meantime, why don't you learn SQL? =)

Tucows Likes GalaXQL

December 13, 2005 #

Tucows' The Farm blogged about galaxql, and they seem to like it. Quote:

Noodling with GalaXQL is the most fun database tutorial I've ever seen. It's way more fun to change the shape of a spinning galalxy than to do some exercise that spits out tables of which students are taking three or more courses with the same professor. It's also a good demonstration of the sort of interesting app you can write with open source tools like wxWidgets and SQLite.

Going Bloggy Again

December 11, 2005 #

Warning: time to go a bit more bloggy again.

I fetched new version of ultraedit today - for no specific reason, just noticed that there's a new version available. I've been using UE for over 7 years now, and have got it bought to two different companies, and also bought my own copy. It's just a generic tool that I've learned to rely on; there's probably better tools for some of the things I use it for, but I know it's always there when I need to open something fast. And it's the only tool I use for HTML nowadays.

Talking of tools, I used Anthemion DialogBlocks in the GalaXQL project. I probably wouldn't have, unless a registered copy was included with the wxWidgets book, but I'm happy that I did.

wxWidgets has a strange learning curve; it's steep at first, but once you've gotten over the first steps, things get easier. The book and especially dialogblocks editor help. But as with any new programming task, the only way to learn is to code. Hence, GalaXQL is probably not the best example of wxWidgets or DialogBlocks code. I was learning a lot while working on it.

Another bit of GalaXQL was SQLite, which was ridiculously easy to integrate in the project. It's not perfect tool for every database task, but if you need something lightweight and easy to intgrate, take a look; it's worth it.

On the subject of GalaXQL; I've heard from couple places that it's going to be used (as one tool among others) to teach people SQL. I'd love to hear about these kinds of things, and if you've found it useful, I'd love to get publishable quotes from you.

Same applies for my other tutorials, such as the still ongoing graphics tutorial, which I should probably update at some point. I've received some nice messages about the graphics tutorial, and I know some bits that I should update; the setup chapters definitely need more screenshots to kill off some ambiguities.

I'm not doing an wxWidgets tutorial at this point, but thanks for asking. (Well, pay me enough for it, and I might =)

I've now had my ipod nano for about three months or so, and yes, it does get scratched, and no, that doesn't affect its usability in any way. True, it doesn't look exactly as sexy as it was when it was brand new, but it doesn't look like crap either.

I've looked into podcasts, and found three that I've started listening so much that I've kept deleting my cd-ripped audio to make room for new episodes. The ones on my list are, Techtronic sound and the next big hit. What the three have in common are mostly music and very little talk, lots of music styles that I enjoy, and horrible websites. All three are subscribable through itunes, though, so I don't need to care about the last. What I'd love is similar podcast with some light classical music, but I haven't found one.

And on to apple products. I've had my mac laptop for about a year now, and I still love it; the ipod is also something that I carry around all the time, even if I find myself not using it for a week at a time. The shipping of both products was an interesting experience. The term "shipping" brings to my mind something that is in a crate, loaded into a ship, and, most importantly, is on the move. Apple's definition of the same seems to be in a crate, outside the door of their warehouse, waiting to be picked up by the courier sometime next week, maybe.

Well, that might be a bit too harsh, as the courier tracking system doesn't exactly tell everything, such as if part of the shipment is still on the way from the other side of the planet, or something, but so far, when I've received the "we have shipped your goods" e-mail, the goods haven't, by my definition, have shipped yet.

I've also been a student member of apple developer connection for about a year now. I joined to get some kind of student discount for the laptop, but even without that I think that the membership has been well worth the $100, and I'm planning to renew my membership. The price point is pretty good, as if it was much higer, I probably woudln't. The non-student memberships are probably worth it if you're a company and you're making software for the mac; as a hobbyist mac developer I haven't had any need for the tech support that comes with the more costly memberships.

On memberships.. google doesn't seem to like this site for some reason, as you can see from the well-targeted ads on some pages. They've said that their search bot gets timeouts from some of the pages, which I find weird, but can't do much about.

I guess that's enough ranting and raving for a good bit =)

GalaXQL for OS X and Linux

December 5, 2005 #

Version 1.0 of GalaXQL for Mac OS X released, along with sources that should compile as is under linux as well (makefile included).

GalaXQL Finished

December 4, 2005 #

Version 1.0 of GalaXQL is finally done! I only need to make sure that the mac version works fine and the project will be finished.

GalaXQL Almost Done

November 27, 2005 #

Version 0.9.14 of GalaXQL; six chapters to go. I also put a mac os X version up.

GalaXQL Gains Virtual Teacher

November 23, 2005 #

Version 0.9.12 of GalaXQL; with virtual teacher drawn by Mikko Finneman.

GalaXQL 0.9.11

November 21, 2005 #

Version 0.9.11 of GalaXQL. I'd love to hear any comments about it..

GalaXQL Page

November 20, 2005 #

Set up a page for GalaXQL, as it has grown big enough to be considered useful. I'm now calling it an interactive SQL tutorial. Also, a new version is available, now with 9 of the planned 20 chapters.

Also, Random has also put up some information about some of the projects we've done at Fathammer. My role in all of the projects has been platform support, low-level architecture, and general support.

GalaXQL Teaching SQL, Yo

November 19, 2005 #

GalaXQL 0.8. The project is taking shape: an SQL teaching application. Now all I need to do is write couple dozen chapters of SQL tutorial. 0.8 has five chapters, so you can see what it's supposed to become. I'll probably release the whole thing under BSD license when I'm satisfied with it.. and since it's based on wxwidgets and sqlite, OS X and linux versions shouldn't be too hard either. (In fact, I've already been compiling GalaXQL on OS X for the heck of it).

Another Overkill Project Raises its Head

November 13, 2005 #

OpenGL, wxWidgets, SQLite and a course of relational databases at school.

What do we get? GalaXQL 0.5, an application where you can query, alter or even destroy galaxies using SQL.

GalaXQL is not quite finished yet, but it's in mature enough state that I feel I can let people look at it. If you're learning SQL for whatever reason, you might wish to check it out, as it may give you some rather different insights on the language..

Also added some of those adsense-ads-for-adsense buttons..

TMDC8 Invitation

October 30, 2005 #

Added the RSS feed that people have been asking for..

The TMDC8 invitation has been released - go grab it! Pouet page is also available.

Various Updates

October 29, 2005 #

Has it been a month already? I've been very busy lately with my school and things. On the positive side, I've got the TMDC invitation done finally, and it'll be released tomorrow if nothing strange happens.

The law was passed, making all finnish ISPs illegal, as well as turning majority of finns into criminals. One interesting point in the law is that you're not even supposed to discuss copy protection methods.. another interesting point which Mr. Kasvi pointed out is that under the new law, giving someone else a cracking program or some such is comparable to buying sex from an under-age person.

I doubt the new law will change anything, except for killing off small import stores, reducing record sales and people's respect for the law.

I could rant on, but other people have already said things better than I can. I do know that I will vote from now on, and there's a long list of people I'm not voting.

Anyway, like I said, I've been busy. So busy, in fact, that for the first time in my life I haven't had time to respond to all my email. =) I have a couple of emails related to the graphics tutorial that I should process, and make fixes to the tutorial. Thanks for the emails. I've also received some postcards that I haven't had the time to act on.

Added ad banners for a couple more pages for the heck of it. (For those wondering how much money the banners have brought in so far, well.. they've been online for 3 months now and I'm far from the $50 that's the minimun that google pays. But don't click on the banners to "support me". Google is pretty good at detecting pointless clicks).

For those curious about what I've done at work for the past five years or so, Nitro has listed some of the projects on his website. Nitro has also opened a little art gallery over at DeviantArt. Check it out.

I'm hoping to find some time to update the tutorial next month, but most likely the teachers at school have other plans..

Going Bloggish

September 27, 2005 #

I'm afraid this update is more blog-ish than I usually do, but what the heck.

School has started, as I mentioned before, and the year marches on. Evenings and mornings are turning dark again, and we've had a couple of cold mornings, although the temperature has risen again. On the very first cold morning, our dog, Jana, decided to dig herself under covers in our bed. This is the dog that hates warm weather and loves to run around in the snow..

When the school started again, I had the opportunity to finish off a couple of courses that I hadn't been able to finish before the summer break started.

Behold the first circuit board by yours truly. I don't actually know whether the logic on it works or not; I'm hoping that I have some free time later on to solder in the couple of logic chips and leds that it needs. (Assuming I can find the notes that I made so that I can buy the parts).

I also bought my very first MP3 player, the ipod nano. My timing is rather interesting, since the Finnish government is preparing a new copyright law, which will basically render the use of MP3 players illegal - or at least limit their legal use severaly. One of the major changes in the law is that it is illegal to break copy protections in order to gain more interoperability - something that has, so far, been legal based on Finnish law.

I really haven't been interested in politics so far, and the lawmakers in Finland have tended to be more or less sane so far, and we have been able to laugh at all the RIAA and software patent insanity that's going on on the other side of the pond. This time the RIAA-equivalents of Finland seem to have gotten the upper hand.

I find it rather strange that they're making laws that can't be controlled, nor will be obeyed.. There's still a chance that the law doesn't go through, but we'll see.

Finally, TMDC8 is going onwards nicely. There'll be some very nice prizes for the top rated demos; I'll update the TMDC8 site when I have the details nailed down. I've also started with the invitation demo, and I'm hoping to get it together before the competition starts =)

Back to School

September 2, 2005 #

School started again, so I probably won't have much time for hobby projects.

I will still organize TMDC8. I hope it won't kill me. =)

Made some endorsements available as a pdf as well.

Vital Curriculae

August 18, 2005 #

Due to some requests, my CV is now available as a pdf.

Graphics Tutorial part D

August 14, 2005 #

Got the Part D of the graphics tutorial ready at last - about 8000 words in nine new chapters (not counting the code snippets), covering things like integration of the new effects to the game, moving camera, larger levels, collisions with walls, a better physics model, game states and transitions.

There's bound to be some errors in the new chapters, so don't hesitate to mail me if you find something strange.

Move from Planet-D Finished

August 12, 2005 #

Planet-d is up again, so I took a backup of the old site and found that a couple of files were missing from my earlier backups. They're available again. I'm discarding a couple of things, though, including the altparty3 gallery.

Made some progress with the graphics tutorial, hoping to get the next block done by next Monday (9 chapters including integration of the effects to the game, camera control, bigger levels, wall tiles, etc).

Graphics Tutorial Update

August 9, 2005 #

Walked through the so-far published chapters of the graphics tutorial, fixing a couple of VS.NET compatibility problems. I've also clarified couple bits here and there.

Visual Studio.NET Support Added

August 8, 2005 #

Added Visual Studio.NET 2003 support to the graphics tutorial. I haven't gone through all of the chapters yet, so there's bound to be some problems with at least sqrt() in some of the latter chapters.


August 4, 2005 #

As an experiment, threw some google ads around.

Preparing to Move the Site

August 3, 2005 #

Since planet-d was down again for some time, I decided that it's time to move to another server. Please update your bookmarks, and this time make them point at as it's permanent.

Some Releases

August 2, 2005 #

Going through unreleased stuff, and for starter's, here's 'omena' (win32 version) (mac os x version), a school project. Concept and code by me, graphics, translations, testing etc. by bunch of schoolfriends, and music by nitro.

It's a basic math learning program. It throws simple arithmetic at you (like 2+3) and you have to be fast enough with the correct answer to go on. (Also available under 'stuff').

I blew some dust off TextMedia, my textmode windows media player. It now also has webcam support (i.e. you can use a webcam as the video source). Available under 'files'. The changes are actually over year old, but I only got around to releasing this version now because there were some talks about using it in some modern art exhibition that never materialized.

Talking about webcams, I whipped together an easy webcam-using API for those who want to play with their webcams without the overhead of figuring out how directmedia works. ESCAPI is available under 'code'.

Miscellaneous Stuff

August 1, 2005 #

Thanks for all the positive comments I've received on the demo.

Added the demo to the 'files' page.

Packaged up the L-system generator's sources (as well as win32 binaries), now available at 'code' (under zlib/libpng license).

Tapwave, makers of the zodiac, apparently went out of business. Or at least they shut down the zodiac side of their business; if they have some other side of business, I don't know. Anyway, the device is still cool today; it's just too bad they didn't have the marketing muscle..

I turned 30 couple weeks ago.

Related to the graphics tutorial (which seems to have turned into the most popular feature on this site) - one of the prizes we got from the demo was vs.net03 professional, so I guess I should update the tutorial to cover it.

Oh well, the holiday's over, and I'll be returning to work tomorrow.

4th at Assembly

July 31, 2005 #

Assembly came and went, and what do you know, I came 4th with The Line Age (win32 binary), which consists of effects that are based on OpenGL line primitives. Thanks for the votes!

Thanks to Scali on #coders for noticing that I had been living in the wrong year again (this update was dated 2006)

Few Things

July 5, 2005 #

Little fixes in a couple of graphics tutorial chapters.

I wrote a little dock demo for Mac OS X (based on the little docktest I mentioned earlier), and it won a contest in The package contains sources. There's also a Pouet thread about it.

Cleaned up my mailbox and updated the VFSBench results page with lots of new results with various palm devices.

Planning on a demo for assembly, but I don't know if I'll have the time in the end - managed to break my arm doing some construction work at our summer cottage.. (typical, eh?)

Summer's Approaching

May 28, 2005 #

Summer is approaching at an alarming pace, and I've been up to my neck in exams.

No update on the graphics tutorial yet.

Did something little and cute for you Mac OS X users - docktest - it's a small julia renderer that runs as a dock icon. Try it out. It's also my very first cocoa app.

OSX Support Added

April 4, 2005 #

Added Mac OS X and Linux instructions to the graphics tutorial, along with an appendix on how to make your application releasable under Mac OS X. Thanks to Larry Reznick for the Linux instructions.

I've written perhaps 30% of the 'part D' of the tutorial, and I've been extremely busy lately, so it will take some time. If you want to be emailed when new stuff appears related to the tutorial, drop me a message.


April 3, 2005 #


Orbital sniper (Mac os X version). Almost a direct port of the original; added a couple of keys for zooming, with which it can be played with a single-button mouse.

Mac Attack

March 24, 2005 #

The powerbook arrived yesterday. So far, I've got some SDL apps running, wlan stuff works surprisingly well. I'll probably update the tutorial on the subject of OS X support at some point. Too bad SDL_Mixer etc. doesn't have ready OS X install packages.

Getting a Mac

March 11, 2005 #

While still suffering from major lack of time, I'm slowly working on 'part D' of the tutorial. I've already decided that 'part D' won't cover all of the 'other 90%' - there's simply too much to write about (and this way the followers of said tutorial won't have to wait until Christmas for the next bit). Anyway, even that part will take a while.

I've accumulated enough excuses for myself to get a mac. So, I've ordered a powerbook. It should arrive later this month. Expect the graphics tutorial to support OS X sometime after. If someone can point me to the main apple development communities out there, I'd be grateful (although I'm pretty sure I'll gravitate to those eventually).

Bloodshed Dev-C++ Support Added

March 2, 2005 #

Modified the tutorial to support Bloodshed Dev-C++, a free, gcc-based windows development environment.

Graphics Tutorial Part C

February 26, 2005 #

Part C of the graphics tutorial is now online. Comments, corrections and fan mails are appreciated as usual.

From Graphics to Game Tutorial

February 19, 2005 #

I'm ill, which is pretty typical since my (almost) week-long winter vacation is about to start. I have tons and tons of school work to do during the week, but I'm planning to write a couple of chapters in the 'graphics tutorial' (which is turning more and more into 'game tutorial'..)

Before continuing with the rest of the game, I'll be writing four more chapters on typical 'demo effects', which will then be used in the game. These effects are shown in the way too big teaser pic on the right: 2d bitmap tunnel (game backdrop), 2d bump mapping (for the menus), some simple 3d rotations (to decorate the ball) and a ripple effect (for transitions).

I may even continue on the game side of the tutorial, but it all depends on how much free time I actually end up having with everything else going on.. as well as my inspiration. Comments on the tutorial and general fan mail is always appreciated =).

The game tutorial uses the resolution of 480x320. Tapwave Zodiac has the same resolution. Coinsidence? Bets, anyone?

TMDC7 is Over

January 21, 2005 #

TMDC7 is over; the results and all of the demos are available, and for the first time in TMDC history, all the prizes have been shipped within one month of the results.

Some people had trouble noticing that the graphics for beginners tutorial also has 'part b' there, so I changed the contents to a "tree view" sort of thing. Should be a bit more intuitive.

The website for Stuntcar Extreme is open - go there and buy a zillion copies of it.

New Year

January 9, 2005 #

Happy new year!

Updated the 'graphics for beginners' tutorial with 10 new chapters, where I'm building a simple 2d game using SDL.

Year 2004 and older news archived here

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