Monthly Archives: April 2006

The jPentris block that makes you angry

We’ve been playing jPentris for some time now and nobody seems to be able to beat GA’s highscore. In my opinion, this block here is the reason why we all fail:

jPentris Block

Trying to repair the audio jack of an Acer notebook … (Part II)

Finally the audio jack was replaced with the line-in jack. The picture below shows the result. As you may notice there is only one jack left.

replaced audio jack

Btw, thanks to Mario “The master of circuits” W.

So the reassembling process could be started. I was very suprised that the whole process took only 45 minutes and that the damn thing worked afterwords. The next picture should supply evidence:

reassembled notebook

But as in every reassembling process there was one part left. A damn little screw :-)


Trying to repair the audio jack of an Acer notebook … (Part I)

On a journey to spain I destroyed the audio jack of my Acer notebook. Hence, I can’t plug the notebook to the sound system of my car anymore. So I decided to repair it by my self. The easiest way to do this is to replace the audio jack with the line-in jack (which I don’t need). So I had to disassemble the notebook. You can see the result of the disassembling on the first picture shown below. The second shows the destroyed audio jack. Read more about the repairing process in part II :-)

Notebook partsaudio jack

Brain Maintenance

Programming all day is nice, but sometimes it’s necessary to turn off your brain. In order to do so, I started doing fitness sport again. Running, to be more specific. Although it often seems that the tight schedule does not allow such things, I think one has to take that time off. It’s a great opportunity to leave one’s brain with itself for a while so that it can recharge for the next programming session. And no hehe, it’s not that I just want to do something again a certain cliché.

Somehow, it’s a miracle that after running for an hour or so, when you are zapped and your body is toast, your brain starts being creative again. Problems you’ve been bugging around with for hours are solved in just a few minutes and you’re fully motivated to hack some code.

Off topic: Potato chips are definitely one of the greatest inventions of mankind.

In Memoriam: The good old coffee machine

Yes. It’s true. The good old coffee machine died a few days ago. Every morning it woke me up with some fresh brewed coffee. Every morning in the past months if not years. Actually, it gave all team members some caffeine rushing through their veins to survive all the dev-times. Finally, after 14699 cups (not a joke, the machine has a counter) it decided not to heat water anymore.

Somehow this seems a little suspicious to me. First, I got these problems (grml and grrr) with my cup warmer, but now even the coffee machine refuses to heat water for my coffee. There is something cooking…

Touching old code…

…oh I hate it. Especially if it was written in a great hurry back then. Do you know the surprise when you look at old and dirty code, asking yourself if you were the one who wrote that crap? I’m currently in the situation of improving some things of pre-alpha stage software I wrote last year.

First, when you start reviewing the code and playing with it, no danger seems to emerge from it besides a strange feeling of uncertainty. Then, however, when you alter the first line of it, all hell breaks loose. The requested features for the new version depend on changing a lot of stuff in the old code, or updating the third party libraries results in messing up the whole thing. Or even worse, your own code just breaks apart and stops working and you have no idea why.

That’s the point where you start thinking of rewriting it from scratch, but then end up in just doing some patchwork to get it up and running again. For at least another year or until the next feature requests arrive.

For those of you thinking something like “oh no, we’re never gonna play a game by this guy” – no worries, I wasn’t talking about game related software this time, but of one of the software projects I had to work on during my studies at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences.

The Cup Warmer Investigation (Part #1)

I already explained the problem with my USB cup warmer in one of my last entries, but recently I’ve made some further investigations. I completely disassembled the whole thing as you can see on these photos:

Cup Warmer (1)Cup Warmer (2)PICT0792.JPG

I thought the inner life of such a warmer would be more complex, but in fact it’s rather simple, as there are just two resistors mounted on a cork plate as you can see on the second photo.
The heating plate itself is mounted on top of these resistors and has some heat-conductive paste on it (see photo #3). In my opinion, the problem is that the resistors are too central and there is too little paste on the plate to transport the heat to the margins of the heating plate.

So it looks like I’m gonna drink cold coffee until I trash the warmer and buy a better one or find a self-made solution for it. Hmm, so what about greasing more paste on to the heating plate…

Oh yeah, I’m not religious or something, but Happy Easter to all of you ;)

Conspiracy Thoughts

I’m currently reading The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide by Douglas Adams and found the following fact interesting: It is mentioned that dolphins are very intelligent creatures and that they are superior to human beings. This is also mentioned in Illuminatus! by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, which I’ve read a few weeks ago. Now to the conspiracy part of the story: Is it pure coincidence or synchronicity that you can find it in chapter 23 of the Hitchhiker’s Guide and that this chapter consists of 23 lines?

A virus goes cross-platform…

I just got a link to an article (in German) which states that a virus appeared that is capable of harming both Windows and Linux machines. As far as I remember, this is the first appearance of such a virus and also the first time I’m not supporting the idea of making software cross-platform compatible.

Obviously, writing a virus demands for at least some intelligence, but isn’t there a better way to allow free play to one’s creativity? Develop a game, instead. Err no, wait. Don’t. Already too much competition here ;) While talking with a friend of mine, we both agreed upon the statement that in the case of a virus programmer, the intelligence is overriden by the bad intention. However, I fully understand that the search for security issues is exciting, but it’d be better to help increasing systems’ stability and security.

Some more IGDA chapter meeting photos

There are some more photos of the last IGDA vienna chapter meeting. You can find them here. I was suprised at getting caught on the last photo, although I took the red pill.