Fancy scrolling widgets, part 2

I heard on the grapevine that some people were whining that the scrolling wasn’t very smooth on the video I posted before. I should probably just ignore it, the code’s there, you can try it yourself – but I’ll point out that in the demo I recorded, the widget is set to target 10fps (plenty fast for the tiny OpenMoko screen), and the recording doesn’t even convey this very well. This probably wasn’t helped by Koen’s video of the same app running with the old, extremely slow, pixmap theme from OpenMoko. I was going to make a better video, but it seems Eduardo’s beaten me to the punch 🙂

Update: koen’s made a video with the new theme that runs a lot better – thanks 🙂

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Peter Molyneux

The day after graduation, Peter Molyneux was receiving an honorary degree at my university (Southampton). I was one of the lucky few students to be invited to talk with him and show him some of my work, which was a great honor. It’s not every day that you get to chat with one of the most creative minds in gaming history! He liked my IES game (Domino Blast), which was extremely flattering. I’m going to come off as a fan-boy, but I’m going to go ahead and gush anyway. Peter Molyneux is a very humble, level-headed and smart guy. I’m not sure why I was surprised, you don’t get into those positions if you aren’t (do you?), but it was nice to find out first hand. Most refreshing of all, he actually seemed to be a real hard-core gamer, and knew all the games I spoke about. He said some very interesting things and it was good to know that a lot of the things I find disheartening/annoying about modern games, he also felt the same way about. I love my current job and have no intention of going anywhere (assuming I do a good enough job to stay where I am…), but this certainly rekindles my interest in the gaming industry. Perhaps a few years down the line I might reconsider my options…

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Graduation

So, I attended my graduation ceremony on Monday and received my certificate. Certified Master of Engineering in Computer Science, with first class honours 🙂 Was a lot of fun, and cool to hang out with uni friends again. Ate a little too much, got a little too drunk and felt absolutely God-awful the next morning, but it was worth it. I don’t think I’ll be graduating from anything else anytime soon, anyway! I’ve bashed the masters course in previous posts, but I guess in hindsight it’s not such a bad thing. If you’re the sort of person that does great in coursework and terrible in exams (like myself), it’s a good opportunity to raise your grade. For a lot of people, it’ll increase your starting salary too, so worth doing if you aim to be rich while you’re still young. On the other hand, if you already have a first, you’d probably be better served by finding a reasonable job and getting some experience (a much more valuable commodity, at least in choosing the jobs you want). Pictures should be on Facebook/Flickr soon.

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Guadec ’07

Got back from Guadec last week, which I enjoyed. I had more fun last year, but I think this was a combination of it being in Spain (nice weather is a luxury for us British folk!) and also being a bit burnt out from uni. A lot of interesting things are going on at the moment. Most surprising to me was the Gecko work for maemo. For anyone that has an N800 and hasn’t tried it, I’d highly recommend they do so; for me at least, it’s better than Opera! Among highlights are a much, much faster and more complete JavaScript interpreter (which makes Google Reader usable, btw), native-looking widgets without a special theme, and just in general, better rendering performance. Also worth mentioning, java-gnome (exciting work, and a really excellent presentation to highlight that) and OpenMoko, the latter of which I’m currently working on. Hopefully they’ll be some news regarding that soon.

What stole the show though, in my opinion (and I’m sure many others), was Clutter. A GTK-like, easy-to-use, OpenGL(ES) canvas is a very cool thing indeed. Although I work at OpenedHand, I unfortunately had no hand in this, but it’s definitely one of the many things that make me feel proud to work there. Matthew did a great talk, which deservedly resulted in spontaneous outbursts of applause and guffaws alike. Hopefully this week-end I’ll finish up and commit my own Pong implementation (unrelated to Rob’s already existing code) and I look forward to seeing what other people use Clutter for.

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Pre-Guadec 2007

So, here I am at 2:30am, wishing I’d started preparing a little earlier… Got my clothes packed, got Maemo Mapper setup with the various points and maps I’ll probably need, got my MP3 player synchronised with my favourite music and just copying some episodes of House MD over to my N800 to watch on the ~3:30 train journey. Hopefully I won’t forget anything vital and I’ll see people tomorrow 🙂

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