Archive for the 'PC' Category

Pidgin-Webkit works! (on Linux)

So basically, there’s this other libpurple based client on that other platform, called Adium, which uses webkit as the IM rendering backend and allows for tons of crazy message styles that really make the IM client a more unique and aesthetically appealing program. These days, webkit is being used everwhere, from desktop browsers such as Safari and Chrome to smartphone OSes like iPhone OS X and Android. It seems that webkit is in general easier to embed into other applications than gecko, which is kind of a shame in my opinion, but I suppose if something works better for certain purposes, it makes sense to use it.

Some time ago, one of the pidgin developers, Sean Egan, decided to try and embed webkit into Pidgin and then use Adium’s message styles. He got it into a working state, the results of which can be seen here, but it was kind of left out for the public to see and never got integrated into Pidgin proper, since I assume the code was somewhat hackish. Of course, as this was a very exciting development, eventually someone else picked it up and developed it a bit.

The latest pidgin-webkit source can be found on launchpad, a site run by Canonical that is similar to Sourceforge, Google Code, github, etc. You can check out the source using bzr and after installing the proper development headers for pidgin and webkit, the plugin actually compiles, and you can use it! Under Ubuntu at least the proper headers are found in packages nicely labeled libwebkit-dev and pidgin-dev. After installing the dependencies you just do a make and then make install to get the plugin installed into Pidgin. You can then use it as you would any plugin, and you just put the Adium messagestyles folders into $PURPLEHOME/message_styles.

Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten it to compile on Windows yet, which is my primary OS at the moment, but I’m working on setting up a Pidgin cross-compile environment in a VM so I can try to compile a Windows .dll, which would be the height of awesomeness. I think if I have free time I would love to actually look at the plugin and try to continue development, since the last guy working on it seems to have become too busy.

Oh, this is the homepage for Pidgin-webkit.

Text Invaders Plans

So I’ve got a handful of free time this summer, between robotics, getting a driver’s license, and trying to get back in shape, and I’ve decided to start working on a Java port of Text Invaders. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish the game this time. Unfortunately with the original VB6 version it languished for a while, and when I was actually interested in completing it I had learned Java and Visual Basic seemed too primitive. VB6 isn’t even fully object-oriented. For example there are classes and inheritance, but it’s only interface inheritance and not implementation inheritance, so any subclasses have to rewrite inherited methods, which kind of defeats the purpose of inheritance in my opinion. And my code for Text Invaders was so sloppy, and mostly in one file, that I just couldn’t bear to edit it anymore.

Now, I’ve taken the basic drawing code I used for my APCS final project, named LANeroids now, and modified it to use text instead of polygons. By moving to Java I gain a lot of nice things like true object orientation and instant cross-platform capabilities, but sadly I also give up some nice things like DirectX support. I think it might be possible to add DirectX to a Java app, but that would make it cease being cross-platform, so I don’t know if that’s worth it. OpenGL is a nice alternative I guess, but I’d also need to use OpenAL for sound most likely. And I was so proud of my 3D positional effects, too. Once I’ve gotten a definitive Java version done, complete with actual levels with perhaps multiple waves per level, bosses, online high score boards, automatic updates, and such, I’m considering doing a Wii or DS homebrew port. A post-1.0 version might also add in co-op multiplayer. Anyway, this is all speculation right now. Back to coding!

LANeroids now online, will be worked on soon

Yay, finally got around to putting the source for LANeroids (my catchy name for my APCS final project) on my google code svn repository, and I plan to work on it further. I have some ideas about optimizing performance to make it not suck, such as ripping out all the serialization junk and replacing it with sending strings over sockets instead. Much less dense and less bandwidth required, and I have a feeling serialization takes a fair bit of time in Java. I was pulling out just the graphics code for a Robotics thing and I found that the graphics/keyboard input portion without the networking runs 10x faster on my computer, so the serialized network code is definitely to blame.

My New Computer

So, I built a computer in August and it’s pretty fast and wasn’t too expensive either. Runs all the newest games in high resolutions and stuff.

Athlon 64 X2 5000+ @ 2.9Ghz (from 2.6 stock)

2x1GB Mushkin DDR2-800

512MB Radeon HD 2900 Pro @ 742/1000mhz (XT speeds, from 600/800 stock, only OC for demanding games though)

Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H 690G Socket AM2 motherboard (w/ integrated Radeon x1250)

250GB Seagate 7200.10 SATA 3g (233GiB)

Windows Vista Home Premium x64

So far it’s great, moving up from an Athlon XP 2200+ w/ 512MB and 128MB R9200SE was amazing. Crysis runs, lol, and UT3 runs fast @60fps on 1440×900, around 50 and dips on 1680×1050 native.