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  • Another RenEvo?

    I still chuckle when I come across things like this.

    http://www.cloud-zone.com/forums/index.php?topic=4847.0

    Apparently this guy is the co-founder of "RenEvo" with someone else, making Renegade 2. Nice fail at Google sir, nice fail.

  • We are on Facebook now

    Finally setup a Facebook page.

    Stop by and Like us if you get a chance!

  • EAW Extractor (Empire At War mod tool)

    So, the EAW Extractor, for Empire At War by Petroglyph, was a bit more popular than I had recently realized.

    eawextractor

    Not to shabby.

    With the recent release of Empire At War on Steam, I think I will probably fish out this old code and make sure it is compatible with it and do a “refresh” of the code base. Maybe even play with the UI a bit, been looking for something “old” to work on, just have to clear it with the legal department at work.

  • Ultimate Desk version 4.0 alpha

    So, since I haven’t built out my own website yet for posting personal stuff, this site gets it!

    Instead of working on some software projects at home, I have decided that it is time to give my office a serious make over. The first step is already in progress.

    When we purchased this house, I staked claim to the formal dining room to become my office, my man cave, my off limits for the wife area. The first step was replacing the pseudo chandelier in the middle room with more manly (and higher; kept hitting my head) lights. I now have 3 directional spots that are on a dimmer switch that allow me to go from barely lit, to bright as the sun if needed.

    The second step, was to get rid of the one problem with the room; two entrances. There “was” two doors to the formal dining room. One that was directly from the main front door, and one from the kitchen. I opted to keep the door to the kitchen (easy fridge access) and close up the four foot French door opening. Over the last few (I won’t say days/weeks/months) I have ripped out the doors, framed it in, and am in the process of finishing up the drywall to completely close it off.

    After this is complete, I will be painting the room a dark blue to darken the rooms atmosphere a bit more (keeping the white ceiling/floor boards, and crown molding for now). Then comes the fun stuff, building the interior of the office.

    I have searched literally for months for a desk replacement for my thirty-two inch by six foot cherry “executive” desk to no avail. Everything from Ikea, Herman Miller, and about everything in between. Nothing really seemed to be a good fit for what I wanted, and ALL of them were so shallow. I have used this desk for literally 8 years, and am used to the depth it has. I could easily fit 2 CRT monitors (back in the day), my keyboard, and still keep my elbows on the desk; which is a requirement, I like my arms up to the elbows, up on the desk. So, in the spirit of DIY, I am going to roll my own.

    There is one catch to this, it has to be epic.

    I am a musician, I spend a lot of time gaming, I am an audiophile, and I like to watch movies and Hulu on the computer. This new ultimate desk has to support this, and my office also has to be atmospheric for it at well.

    The first brainstorming was to just take my desk, turn it around, add some shelves and some book cases and be done with it, but that only meets one of my needs, and that isn’t very epic. Eventually I settled on a cross between a pseudo studio, a guitar rack based system, and a “control room” look & feel.

    Right now on my desk I have about 20 different peripherals, from gaming to phones, to iStuff, 3d glasses and IR blaster, USB hubs, studio speakers, cable box, surround sound speakers, headphones, and a headset for gaming. Not to mention my keyboard/mouse. I then figured out that 90% of this can be custom rack mounted, and that they could go into my “control center” quiet nicely.

    So the idea is that I will buy a bunch of project boxes, mangle the crap out of a lot of peripherals to put them in the boxes, and rack mount them in an easy to reach location, while mixing in my “real” rack mounted equipment (guitar effects, EQ, bass effects, etc…) for quick access. Then stick my monitors and speakers inside of the racks, make a keyboard/mouse storage compartment, mount a touch screen below the main monitor, and end up with the most epic desk/desktop that sits in the corner of the room, where the old door pretty much was. And to top it all off, I don’t want the run of the mill forty-five degree corner desk, I am going to build a nineteen degree desk and build it out to forty five on the extensions, giving me a spot to run studio monitor speakers on stands behind the “control rack”. Then the right side of my desk will be capped out with a book case / file cabinet, and the right side will house my guitar cabinets (stored inside a book case). Above the guitar cabinets I plan on mounting all of my guitars with a switch for lighting each one (wall mounted LED). The remainder of the wall will be book case/storage for “stuff”.

    The real kicker is that above my control center, I want to mount a forty inch LCD (not yet purchased) that points down at a ten degree angle. This way I can watch it while playing games or surfing the web – or jump back to the sofa (not yet found) on the other side of the room and just kick back. Next to the sofa? A bookshelf with all my nerd books (programming books), a place for me to charge up my iPad, and a reading light mounted off the wall.

    Well, that’s the goal, lots of work building everything out over the next few months; tons of things to buy (already started getting some things – more later); and tons of drawing/modeling to do to mock up the things to build.

    My goal is to finish this by the end of the year, and kick back and enjoy the ultimate desk, control center, entertainment center, recording studio, sanctuary, and man cave I can imagine that is perfect for “me”.

    Here is the first box out of the desk, I plan on adding a lot more detail to it, getting some of the shapes figured out, and starting to do some placement for the peripherals in the rack kits.

    deskBuildLog01

    Stay tuned for some progress pictures of me tearing the door out and filling it in. I want to post them all at the same time.

  • Friends band

    I love when this happens – not added to the playlist, but all of the sudden my friends band is on my playlist of songs I will like :)

     

    image

    Check them out @ http://stofma.com

  • Powered by -

    Some fun facts:

    Anyway, this will probably go on my about page for TomAnderson.me, just bored still waiting for Visual Studio 2010 to download.

  • Rolling my own – TomAnderson.me

    Well, that’s it.

    I am just going to roll my own, what better way to learn, than to do (paraphrased from “The only source of knowledge is experience.”  by Albert Einstein).

    I have installed ASP.Net MVC 2, and am downloading Visual Studio 2010 Premium RC (which luckily has a “go live” license attached to it).  This will allow me to utilize not only the newest in ASP.Net MVC, but also start working on .Net 4.0, which is another one of my goals.

    So for today, I want to get the project started up, separate out the projects in the specific concerns and areas, as well as stripping out any sort of Windows Authentication/Forms Authentication in a traditional ASP.Net fashion for the wonderfulness of OpenId.

    Once I have the site structure, as well as the logins, I want to start working on the base master page. For now I will most likely style it after a cleaned up version of the current TomAnderson.me – I like the colors, but obviously for copyright reasons, I will have to make some adjustments and roll my own images for the site.

    Because my hosting does not yet support .Net 4.0 (because it is an RC) I won’t be able to get live updates until they do, but I plan on posting it up to a codeplex or Google code project for anyone to enjoy and comment on, all feedback is welcome.

    The first iterations are going to be very strongly about getting some of the things I want to do fleshed out (site.com/sandbox/blah) most likely, and then re-identifying things I like across the web, and figuring out how to implement them, either on the client, or the server.

    Well, while I download the 2.2gb of Visual Studio 2010, I will be creating the directory structure and the hosted source control, will update when those are available.

  • AtomSite – Well that lasted about 20 minutes

    So I downloaded and installed AtomSite, checked it out, the front end seemed pretty good, the admin section was quite nice, and the plugin architecture seemed… sharepointy…

    I then took a look at the source code, and seriously decided against it.  I am looking for a pure ASP.Net MVC application to work with if I don’t write my own, unfortunately AtomSite is not, it uses some things from ASP.Net MVC, but in fact is using a custom View engine (which I don’t want at this point), and a lot of overhead on the code.

    I am looking for simple, light, and easily modified code.  Looks like I might still be rolling my own, as this just isn’t what I am looking for at this point.

    Back to the drawing board, literally…

  • AtomSite – Site Development Continues

    So, a while back I had mentioned something about creating a site for TomAnderson.me.

    Originally I was going to write the entire thing from scratch, then release the source, etc… Well, life happens, I don’t have that kind of time, and I want to “get in an code”.

    I am going to check out the Atom Site open source project for ASP.Net MVC and see how I like it, who knows, I might actually get the site up and running in the next few years.

    Anyway, off to the races!

  • Spammers

    I have disabled new user registration for the time being, as the site is being new user spammed like mad right now.

  • Site Themes

    There are two new themes under development right now by DreamWraith and myself.  You can find them under your user options (dw and beta).

    Not sure how fast they will be updated, but feel free to check them out. I can’t guarantee they are going to always work though.

  • Site is getting dated

    image

    Just starting to notice how dated my web site is getting. It has been a few years since I have updated the look and feel of the site.

    Thinking maybe over the next month or so I might update the look a bit, I don’t think I have the time to do more than that really. And I definitely don’t have the time for a full site rewrite, which I would like to do, considering that the features even with the blog are getting dated (have to use the FTP option now with Live Writer to upload images).

     

     

    Not to mention that I will probably switch hosting when I redo the site, to cut the costs down quite a bit, as I don’t get nearly the traffic that I used to, but go figure, don’t update your site that often, the traffic slows down.

  • Still finding random posts

    I still find it amusing to find projects I have released on random pages around the internet.  This one shocked me.

    image

    Amidst all that advertising is a listing for C&C Far Cry on gamershell.com. (is it gamers hell or gamer shell?)

  • Mono – the good kind

    So here lately I have been doing some discovery with C++ and C# using mono. Can’t get into the details, but I may build a project in one of my old stomping grounds just to play with. Should be fun to monkey around in some old API’s, but who knows, I might enjoy it enough to release it, just got to sign off on the release of it with my new job.

     

    Enjoy the holidays!

  • Server Issues – Downtime

    Seems that we are experiencing some issues with our SQL server connections, hopefully this will be resolved shortly.

  • Not bad for a 2yr old system

    image

    Graphics card has degraded over time (drivers), need to upgrade to a newer generation GeForce 200 series, just having a hard time letting go of the Quadro FX 3500.

  • Windows 7

    After being selected as a “Windows 7 Launch Party Host”, I received my party pack that included a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate Signature Edition both in 32 and 64 bit editions.

    This weekend I took the plunge and upgraded my Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate. Normally I don’t upgrade my operating system, as a matter of a fact I look down on it, but I figured I would try it out, to save some major time in installing software. I recently went through my Vista installation and did some major house keeping, so the OS was running pretty fast as it was.

    The upgrade took about 3 hours, mostly due to the fact that I had about 1.3 million user files, without those it would have went decently quick.

    Fired up and running, it is pretty smooth, doesn’t feel much different at all, except the boot times are a bit faster, the task bar is a bit different.

    One of the neat things I found right off the bat, was the device pages:
    image

    Was nice to see that it picked up this fast, most likely Creative jumped in early and go this in there. Another reason why I have a Creative mp3 player instead of an iPod. The Creative works perfectly with my operating system.

    Past that, all the other “goodies” are there, rotating desktop background, floating dockable gadgets instead of the sidebar, ribbon based WordPad and paint, new calculator, and tons of other UI updates.

    I did have to uninstall Live OneCare, although the now Free Microsoft Security Essentials replaced it quite well.

    Overall, I have been excited to update to Windows 7, I have held out through the beta/RC period, and after building 2 computers with Windows 7, I have been itching pretty hard to upgrade. The Windows 7 Launch Party thing came just in time!

    I would definitely recommend this OS to anyone with XP, and especially to anyone using Vista (this is as said, basically a feature based Service Pack for Vista) the speed increases and UI overhauls are worth the change. Not to mention the system requirements have dramatically decreased from Vista, as well as the running usage (with all the frills).

    Even the amount of processes running has decreased, after doing a lot of stuff today, and having upgraded from a pretty rich software package install (3ds, CS4 master suite, visual studio, SQL Server, Source Control and Bug Tracking servers, etc…) I only have 65 processes running (10 of those are chrome), and of those, only about 20 are windows services. MUCH improved over Windows Vista.

    Any who, just sharing some of my thoughts.

  • Hello there

    So, it has been a bit since my last post.

    I have been working pretty hard here lately @ Blizzard. Can’t really talk about what, just tons and tons of C# work.

    In some “work related” news, Blizzard has just unveiled its completely revamped website and its pretty damn slick, not bad for a 10 year makeover.

    Also, if you haven’t heard, a new WoW expansion is under development, I am pretty excited about this one.

    In other news, I have been working tons, and haven’t really done much of anything else. I did however update to Adobe CS4 and am learning the new features in Photoshop and Illustrator. I have also found myself re-installing Fruity Loops, guess I got some sort of itch to scratch.

    Anyway, Halloween is coming up, got a big party planned at the house, and tons of horror movies planned to watch, so hopefully I can update this blog a bit more frequently in the near future eh?

  • Pandora One

    image

    So last month about mid-way through I got the message from Pandora’s online site that my hours were up. In case you didn’t know, due to the final settlement with Pandora and the record companies, they have to limit people to 40 hours a month. Well, I listen to it all day long at work, so this didn’t cut it. Enter Pandora One. Basically, Pandora One is a $36 a year upgrade that allows me to listen without limitations, without commercials, 5 hours between “are you still listening” messages, as well as getting better quality and a better playlist it seems. At roughly $3 a month, seriously worth the upgrade. The application runs inside of Adobe Air, so if you already have an app like TweetDeck, you already have the base installed. It has a nice run from tray ability (left side of the image is the tray icon menu) which makes it pretty much totally in the background.

    All in all, I say it is worth the upgrade, but then again I am an audiophile who listens to music pretty much the entire time I am on the computer.

  • Chrome 3 – Get it

    No seriously… Don’t wait, get it on the devchannel

    *Sorry, added the link.

  • Website Journal Part 4 – Follow up

    So, it has been a little over a week since my last post, this week has been pretty tight with work.

    A few things have popped up in the last few days that have finalized some of the design aspects of the website.  For one, I have decided against the “Entire Post” blog posts, this model didn’t work well with the “Facebook/Twitter” type of update system I am planning. Luckily Windows Live Writer supports the ability to create “Excerpts” via the Metablog API and the Windows Live Writer “Supports Excerpts” blog configuration. This is a bit more work for me for posting new blogs, but simply pasting a paragraph from the post should do suffice for most cases.

    I will hopefully start jotting down some wireframes this week for the basic layouts so I can get started with the feature requirements and get cranking on the code… Which is what this is all about right?

    More coming soon…

  • Vista Media Sharing Server

    Recently my media sharing server on Vista Ultimate stopped working and none of my other PC’s, including my PS3, could use it.  After a LOT of digging around I did the following fixes.

    First, apply this registry fix, as well as download the CCCP codecs.

    Lastly, reset the permissions on my personal folders so that the WMPNetworkSvc had Read and List folder contents permissions.

    Everything is back up and running, thankfully….

  • Coding Humor

       1:                  // shitty code
       2:                  using (var toilet = new SewerStream())
       3:                  {
       4:                      toilet.Write("lunch");
       5:                      if (!toilet.AutoFlush)
       6:                          toilet.Flush();
       7:                  }
  • Website Journal Part 3 – Scouring the web for ideas

    Full post disclosure

    image

    Most websites only show a fragment of the posts, not revealing the entire post unless you drill down into the header link or the “read more”. This was one of the first things that I modified into RenEvo to be easier to read new content for the visitors. I could see if you are depending on ad exposure separating the topics from the news would give you additional points of advertising, but since I don’t do either, there is no reason to just show the visitor the entire post.

    Simple Posts

    image

    Facebook has this ideal notion of showing “mini-posts” or “Simple Posts”, there will be times on my site when I don’t want to sit down and add an entire post, but maybe just want to post up an interesting tech video I saw somewhere, or other Facebook functionality.  Yes, I am stealing this idea, but this is my site, I get what I want.

    Filterable Homepage

    image

    Because I will be adding different types of posts, it is only natural that I will need someway to display only certain things on my site. Facebook does this pretty cool like by adding filters on the users Home tab that allows them to only show individual posts by type, or a “News Feed” that shows everything. Just by adding this I will easily be able to combine multiple parts of my wanted functionality all on the home page.

    Visitor Bug Reporting

    image

    Sometimes I can’t test everything on every browser both logged in and anonymous, so providing some sort of bug reporting and feedback mechanism would be ideal way for the visitors to let me know where I goofed up.

    Dynamically Load Older Posts

    image

    Not taking it as far as the Google Reader methodology that reloads all the content as you scroll down, Facebook again has the ability to load the next (x) amount of older posts on demand, allowing a visitor to catch up on content.

    Inline Commenting and Liking

    image

    As a way for me to allow visitors to say something about my posts easily, as well as let me know if the crap I am posting on the site is even worth my efforts, or possibly allow me to statistically analyze what content I could concentrate on more, the Like and inline commenting option both above on Facebook and below on Stackoverflow would be ideal.

    image

    Although I would want to go a bit further and allow a user to post more information, kind of like how codinghorror.com does it, I would allow users to enter their name and “optional” email ONLY for hashing and used for generating a Gravatar avatar image. This way people could easily brand their own comments, but antonymous would still be able to be kept.

    Tag Based RSS Feeds

    Stackoverflow has the ability to create feeds based on their tags. Essentially any feed that is created on their website can be accessed via a feed. Say you don’t care about my home life that I post about, but you are fascinated with my car, you can simply just subscribe to items tagged “Charlie” – the name of my car…

    Easy and Quick Adding of Content

    image

    Again, going on the idea of me being able to update this site as easily as possible, there will not always be times when I want to open up Live Writer to build a post, so I can easily go to any browser, sign in with my OpenId, and quickly add a new link, video, or quick text about what I am wanting to say.

    Auto-Update Networking Sites

    image

    Because I will not want to go through and double add content from my site, to Facebook, to twitter, to RenEvo, to… I will be using Networking API software to directly post content based on tags and type. For example if I post a video, it will also share it on Facebook, if I just plop in some quick text, it will also update my twitter and Facebook pages. If I post a blog and tag it with Renevo then it will automatically post to RenEvo.com. Features like this will easily allow me to stop jumping all around the internet to post information, I will only need to go to Facebook to see what everyone else is doing.

    Personal About Page

    image

    Taking from the guidelines to create a great “About Me” page from Smashing Magazine, I want to create an about page that is kind of personal, rather than “hi, i am tom, i do stuff… *to-do update this later” I really like this one as it shows the person with a full body shot on the page, and some clean information about him.


    That pretty much wraps up this part, I think that the next step might be doing some quick preliminary chicken scratches of how I want the main page to look and flow. Stay tuned.

  • Website Journal Part 2 – Technology

    Ok, so I decided to add this bit after watching a great video from Joel Spolsky about the technology used in Stackoverflow.

    image

    This is not really that far off from my own list, but I wanted to go ahead and include more information and fill it out for myself as a sort of, ok… did that.

    • Server Framework: ASP.Net 3.5 SP1
    • Language: C#
    • Dev Environment: Visual Studio 2008
    • Web Framework: Asp.Net MVC
    • Browser Framework: jQuery, jQuery UI, XHtml, CSS2
    • Database: Microsoft SQL Server 2005
    • Data Access Layer: LinqToSql
    • Source Control: Seapine Surround SCM
    • Authentication: OpenID
    • Editor: Microsoft Live Writer
    • Hosting: Server Intellect
    • Spam Control: Defensio
    • Design: Adobe Photoshop CS3

    That is it for part 2, now off to keep searching sites for neat features I like.

  • Website Journal Part 1 – Planning

    So today I started out the first steps of the new site TomAnderson.me, the first step was to first start the initial ideas and design of the website. In order to achieve this, I am going to have to first decide what I want on the site, and then build up from there. Planning will be a huge part of this project for one, because I am telling all of you about every step of the process, as well as I want to just deploy this site and have it ready to go live on one date, then do tweaking only after that.

    IMG_2140 My tools for this initial planning state will be a bit old school and a bit new school. I will be using some hard bound notebooks I picked up at Barnes & Nobles that will open flat to allow me to scan them easily, as well as an Aiptek HP 12000U tablet to use for tracing things directly from the notebook into Photoshop, as well as working with the designs later.

    Before the comments come up, I like purple (hence the big purple car), and I am a huge fan of Taoism, so I think these were made for me.

    Moving along, I roughed out a quick logo that had been kind of stuck in my head a bit. It is based on my handwritten initials, and will be prettified and redone in Photoshop extensively. I also jotted down a few primary notes on what I want on my site.

    Web-Journal---001

    This is why I like these binders, they lay nice and flat into the scanner, and allow me to transfer things pretty quickly.

    TA-Logo

    The logo was then quickly redone in Photoshop using the tablet and my awesome handwriting skills, but it gave me the look that I wanted for the logo. I saved it as a 96dpi image at 800x600. This will be plenty big of a base for me to work with later as I redo it for real. It will also allow me to use it for numerous different mediums, such as signatures, favicon, site logo, etc…


    Next I quickly wrote out some features that I want on the site.

    • Blog with anonymous comments
    • Tag based favorite links
    • Tag based favorite YouTube videos
    • A portfolio with my Websites, applications, and designs
    • About me
    • Anonymous “shouts” from people, basically… leave a message

    Now that I have a baseline for what I want on the website, I will start delving into the next few stages. Browsing around and collecting ideas of things I like on other websites and doing a sketch up of the website, or a “wireframe”. This will allow me to then start deciding on different design elements, colors, how functionality that I like will be implemented and used, and how everything will fit together.

  • YouTube Preview Images

    So today, I got a hair up my bum to figure out where those strange little images come from on YouTube.

    Turns out, its pretty darn simple. I have only been able to find 4 different ones so far, I am sure there are more, and I am sure there is probably documentation somewhere on the web.

    Anyway, here are the ones I have found, replace the {0} with the video id (v= from the url)

    Big one, usually used on YouTube.com for the spotlight – looks like these are 480x360
    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/{0}/hqdefault.jpg
    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/IDwvLWCvKA0/hqdefault.jpg

    The next 3 are various parts of the video, with some investigation, you could probably find the exact formula for finding the exact time frames, but… yah.  These are 120x90 from what I have found, it is also what Facebook and others use to display the preview.
    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/{0}/1.jpg
    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/IDwvLWCvKA0/1.jpg

     

    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/{0}/2.jpg
    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/IDwvLWCvKA0/2.jpg


    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/{0}/3.jpg
    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/IDwvLWCvKA0/3.jpg

    Neat huh?

  • Tom Anderson dot me

    A while back I bought the domain TomAnderson.me and have not done anything with it. After digging back into web development last week at work, I decided that I wanted to do some more.

    image

    This site will essentially be me moving the “personal” stuff off of RenEvo Software & Designs to focus more on development and design (go figure), and give me a place to start fresh, without losing any information. My first thought was to do it here on RenEvo, but I actually like how the site is currently working, so I won’t be messing with it.

    The plan is to kind of take my time and create the site to do a few things that I have wanted to do for a while, all in one place, while keeping a good design and sleek functionality.

    BTW, the design you see above is actually a hacked version of my server host Server Intellect’s home page, and will NOT be the final, it is only a placeholder to replace the “this site is owned by someone” page that has been there for 6 or so months.

    I will be blogging about the process of designing and building the site, from scratch drawings all the way up to code explanations and most likely when I am done, I will release the source to the site for anyone to customize and use.

    Technology:

    • ASP.Net MVC Framework – c#, I love this framework for personal and social websites
    • jQuery – I think enough has been said about this already around the web
    • jQuery UI – For modal windows and some form elements, I definitely like this suite of utilities though
    • OpenId – I will be using OpenId for all “user” related functionality, whether or not I let people register is still undecided.
    • Metablog API – I will use this so I can manage the entire site through Window Live Writer
    • Windows Live Writer – Content Management, I use this for all blog and article posting on RenEvo

    So, for those that follow this site’s blogs, and for those that may stumble across it, enjoy the coming articles, I will be spending some considerable time on this, as this is the first site for “me” rather than something else.

  • Renegade X – Killer C&C Total Conversion for UT3

    A few years back a guy IM’s me and is like “hey, since you changed your name, can we use Renegade X?” Since I didn’t own any copyrights, and was actually surprised someone asked, I definitely gave him a yes and wished them luck.

    Secretly though, just like most total conversions, I figured this was going to get some great art out real quick, and then die into the ground, but they have seriously proved me wrong. These guys are doing a kick ass job remaking all of the art from C&C Renegade in the UT3 game engine, and I can’t wait to give it a try.

    Some Art:

    Head over to Renegade-X’s website and check them out.

  • Epoch time to local time

    Been dealing with the Facebook services here lately and they use the epoch time GMT 0 to time stamp everything, this is a stupid simple way to find out the real time.

       1:  DateTime.Parse("1/1/1970").AddSeconds(1244367137).ToLocalTime()

    And that is simple.

  • Rounded Regions – API Version

    In a blog post a while back I posted how to calculate rounded edges for rectangles, it turns out there is a GDI32 API to do just this.

    Check it out

    This is definitely a much better approach, and a cleaner one at that.

  • Critical Windows Update

    So today I received a notification via windows update that I had a critical windows update, Internet Explorer 8 x64. Since I use Google Chrome anyway, I figured, what the hell right?

    After a reboot (dumb), I launched it, went directly to this site, everything seemed fine, then went to Facebook. After 10 seconds of looking at Facebook being completely bonked, what is a normal user supposed to do? The “compatibility mode” that I remember hearing about on tech blogs might be able to be used, but what about the normal Joe visitor?

    Anyway, just thought I would chime in and say that I am still happy with my Google Chrome.

  • ok, this is getting ridiculous.

    An update to the Eric De La Cruz thing, they have raised almost $660k with the help of names like Trent Reznor and Tony Hawk, got approval from Medicare because they have the $150k for that, now UCLA is saying they need supplemental insurance, which he won’t be able to get due to his condition.

    This is just becoming serious bullshit. You can try to do something about it.

  • Gah, why so serious lately?

    Sorry so serious lately, just had to get some stuff off my chest.

  • I live in a free country, but what is most important isn’t free – life.

    Ok, I am not anti-America, I am not a socialist, and I am not a hippie. Now that that is clear, let us continue.

    Over my 30 years of life, I have had the advantages of being everything from lower class living in my car to owning a home in one of the most expensive housing markets in the United States. Over these years I have noticed some thing that has always bothered me. Living isn’t free, but everything else is. So let me break this down based on the basic necessities in order to live.

    1. Air: We breath this stuff, if they could charge for it, I imagine they would. Remember that scene in Spaceballs where the president is sniffing down some canned oxygen?

    2. Water: If you don’t have water, you are going to die period, as a large portion of our bodies are made up of this, we need to continue to replenish what is lost. Is water free? Yes actually, there are many state laws that require that gas stations provide free water, not to mention lakes, rain, and other sources of water we can get our hands on. Granted, you might want to boil most of it before drinking on a free fire.

    3. Food: Ok, this one is a bit trickier, and requires a bit of planning, but guess what, still free. There are tons of edible plants that grow wild, as well as being able to collect seeds and grow all kinds of vegetables. Although the majority of people prefer others to do that work for them and pay for the end results, nasty chemicals and additives usually non-optional.

    Ok, so those are our primary 3 things we need to survive. At least until the age of 30.  Which is generally when nature thinks our body is done, and begins to fall apart. So what do we do now? We usually end up going to the doctor when something starts to go wrong, get guidance on how to be better (less nasty chemicals and additives, more moving around) and in most cases, we get yummy medicine and treatments that helps us get better.

    Now, lets say that I am not the perfect specimen of human genetics, and one of my organs fail like my appendix. If you don’t know, if your appendix blows, and you don’t get immediate medical attention, you are going to die. Or lets say that I have a problem were another organ, say the gall bladder, starts deciding to send shooting pains through my entire body because it has stones in it and can’t function? Again, get to the doctor, get it fixed, or live with pain that causes you to barely be able to see straight and you can’t stand up without screaming in agony. By the way, I was told (I don’t have references) that the reason for gall stones is unknown and seems to happen randomly in all ranges of age, sex, and races.

    This is were I got confused. I can live as long as I can if I am healthy in a country that supports it and as a matter of a fact is based on freedoms of all types, yet when it comes to a point where I am no longer “my best”, I must hunt down someone who will put a price tag on what my life is worth and fix it, if I can afford it.

    Who exactly is the one that decides what my life is worth? And honestly, why do I have to pay to live due to something beyond my control?

    Recently a story came up, that a lot of people are familiar with, mainly because the sister of the person this is about is a CNN news anchor. A person is unable to get a heart transplant because his state doesn’t have the facilities to do it. Oh yeah, he only has government insurance and because he has a pre-existing condition, he can’t get any other insurance. A heart transplant can start at around $200,000, but usually varies greatly based on the hospital and doctor doing it, most likely it will be 2 to 4 times that in the end. Another funny thing is some insurance companies don’t cover transplants.

    So there is a guy out there right now, who is basically told by the government that is there to take care of us that he doesn’t have a choice but to die or pay out of pocket. Granted they are petitioning like crazy, that was the response from officials.

    Die? Really, that is what we have to do if we don’t have money.

    I am a firm believer in free enterprise, I think it is awesome that someone can develop something, patent, manufacture, and sell said “things”, but is life part of free enterprise?

    These pharmaceutical companies, medical providers, doctors (more on this in a second), and medical equipment developers are seriously walking a fine line in my opinion. Most of these companies are probably working off of grants for the research and development of these new technologies and drugs and they turn around and sell the services for MASSIVE profits, for example GE. There revenue from medical devices was just over $17 billion last year, yet they less than $1 billion on research and development. That is a $16 billion difference, for those that have trouble with math. Now lets look at a drug company, such as Pfizer who in the first quarter of this year reported revenues of almost $11 billion. Seriously… we are in a recession and this company is still bringing in $11 billion in revenue. Oh wait, that is because people getting sick isn’t related to the economy, we still need drugs for our conditions.

    Now, lets talk about doctors for a second. Doctors are required to take an oath before they can practice, this “Hippocratic Oath” has been around for so long and is the guidance for the basic morals for a person who will treat others. It has been updated to be less Greek, but it still has the same basis. These are the issues I have with most doctors.

    I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

    Does doing harm include telling someone “I can not treat you, you don’t have money?”.

    In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves.

    Again, does this mean that if someone doesn’t have money, they get treated differently?

    To answer both of those questions, absolutely not, they mean just the opposite. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are doctors out there who abide by these, and many doctors whom I respect quite a bit for helping out with the poor and diseased in other countries, we just rarely get this treatment in our own. Which is down right retarded. (sorry, couldn’t find a better word for that)

    Due to the fact that I am just getting more angry the more I think about it, I leave you with a final thought:

    If a cure for cancer is ever found, who will we be able to afford it, and will insurance companies have a committee to decide if they will pay for it?

    I decided to add this last bit: This opinion is only based on medical treatment you need to survive and function, not to gain anything. Cosmetic surgery (there are still some special cases where I have an issue like disfigurements), “feel good” meds, and a few others are pretty much pay to be better stuff.

  • Buy them while they last!!!

    I know what it means, but I am getting all my friends to buy these. Besides, I think I was around before that “MySpace” guy anyway.

    If you want to give me a bit of a referral XP, join from the link below. This is pretty much the only place I am buying T-Shirts now.

  • New job, new mentality

    Well, I have been with my new employer for just over a week now, and it has been a dream come true. It is hands down one of the best companies that I have seen, and worked for, as well as the people being great.

    Coming from my past jobs, I was always the lead, the decision maker, the guy to go to when things went wrong. Now, I am thankfully put into a position where there are people with more knowledge than myself that I can learn from and grow considerably through their insight and experience. I still have my own knowledge and experiences that I hope I can (and am) contributing to the team, but to have such a great team of developers who are just as, and even more, programming minded as myself is a great growth spurt for myself waiting to happen. Already I have learned so much, and there is only tons more to learn and teach.

    Anyway, as always, you will never find any specifics about my job, or especially any information about the company I work for, but from time to time I will be posting things I learn on my own here and there on the site. I am still in a huge learning curve on the projects I am working on, so by the time I get home I am pretty mind blasted, once I get back into the flow, I am sure you will see more site updates here.

    For now, enjoy the thinking monkey.

  • MySpace vs. Facebook who wins me?

    Ok, I certainly don’t go into networking conversations on this site usually, and I definitely don’t usually go this extremely off topic. But this is a definite point of interest for me as of late, and I decided to put my $.20 worth. Yes, I have that much to say.

    Ok, so a few years ago, I jumped up on this MySpace thing, you can view my page here: http://www.myspace.com/renevo. Back then it was basically anything goes, JavaScript, total control over the pages, non-structured mess basically, but it blew up pretty quick. Then my friends got on MySpace, not all of them, but the local ones. I didn’t really spend that much time looking for them, as it wasn’t that clear on how to find them, since so many people match “Tom Anderson” they certainly had a hard time finding me. And then came the will to impress, I must make a kick ass looking MySpace page, as a web developer/designer it was my duty. I ended up with a page that pretty much just had a :) on it, literally, a 60pt font sized sideways smiley face with a black background, and that was my page for about 6 months.

    MySpace made it so I didn’t care, I had to visit 900 pages to find out what people I was interested in was doing, or see stuff, and when I did finally find their page, it would take a while for the CSS overrides just about everyone had on MySpace to show me their version of a “cool looking” page. I love my friends, they are awesome, but most of them are color blind and non-designers. They don’t think about how things line up, how big files are to download, how many sounds play at once on a page, and how many YouTube videos start playing along with generally a song I probably don’t like. So, over the years, I have neglected my MySpace page, cause really, I don’t have anything to do there.

    Then came Facebook, I heard about it, didn’t sign up, well, didn’t think I had signed up, but turns out I had an account from around when it first launched. Instantly after adding my wife, and a few friends I knew was on Facebook, I was able to find quite of few people, and then Facebook started telling me people I probably know, and then started showing me directly on my Facebook home page exactly what my friends were posting. Wow, no searching through my list of contacts to find out what this or that person is doing, it is there. Oh look, someone posted new pictures, that is there too! Oh wait, someone found ME in a picture, nice to know that! And lets talk about Facebook styles for a second. As a designer, Facebook doesn’t give me the initial “must do” feeling of customizing, so I can concentrate on just posting crap, talking to friends, meeting new people, and… doing what a social network is for, socializing.

    So people will tell me now, “MySpace has stuff like that, kind of”, yes, and it is too little too late in my opinion. Sure, MySpace has its pro’s, but for a regular guy who just wants to communicate via this internet thingy with some friends, post pictures, updates, and meet some people, Facebook is much more inline with what I want to do.

    So me, I am pro Facebook, and will probably do nothing more with my MySpace page, as it does nothing for me.

    Twitter, that is just for quickies, and I use TweetDeck to post to Facebook and Twitter at the same time, Twitter lets me see what people I don’t need to be friends with are doing and what interests them http://twitter.com/jimmyfallon for example, fat chance I will be friends with him on Facebook, maybe a fan. You can find me there @ http://twitter.com/renevo_tom which the homepage also shows my twitter updates.

    MySpace: http://myspace.com/renevo
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=637688073
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/renevo_tom

    Isn’t socializing fun on the internet?

  • I have gotten my dream job

  • It’s been a while

    So, long time no news eh?

    It has been a pretty eventful/uneventful last couple of weeks for me, I have been doing some testing and interviewing for the same company that I did last time, for a different position this time, a bit more challenging, but I am quite excited. I have yet to hear back on my test results yet, but hopefully early next week I will hear something.

    On the other end, the test that I took really brought out some things I want to do some development articles on, as I finish them I will update this post, but for now, here is the list.

    • Non-Confusing Localization with WPF using standard resource files. (WPF standard not fun)
    • Easy to use Unity Framework for Dependency Injection (DI) and Inversion of Control (IOC)
    • MVP design pattern with WPF – the easy way

    These are just a few that I had an idea for, hopefully you will find them interesting, as well as find some “tweaks” that I had to do during this process, that were a bit annoying, useful for the lack of a mature designer for XAML (Blend and Visual Studio still have some… issues).

    Anyway, look for these articles tonight, as I feel like I am in a writing mood.

  • Pandora – Great for free music streaming

    image

    I have been listening a lot to Pandora internet radio, and I have to say that it doesn’t disappoint, my primary playlist is Paul Oakenfold + Crystal Method + Juno Reactor.  The songs that it adds during the mix is right on, and I have yet had to do a “this song sucks” down vote, the algorithm seems right on.

    Give it a shot, its free, has very un-obstructed advertising, the only cut back is that if the window isn’t active for a while, it asks if you are still there, which isn’t really a big deal.

  • Twitting more

    image I have been “twitting”, or whatever that buzz word is, a lot here lately, if you want to check out what I am up to at near stalker rates, you can follow me on Twitter.

    If you are lazy, and just want to visit this site, you can just look to the right on the homepage, I have added a Twitter widget.

    In other news, I am currently working on http://www.stofma.com. This is a total rewrite, as the Silverlight test didn’t go very well, a lot of people are still confused on what it is, and why they have to install it, yet it surprises me that people install Flash.

    I guess I will never understand the mentality of the world.

  • Wolverine Game

    I’m not usually someone who looks at games, and then writes reviews on them, I leave that up to the pro’s.  But this game seems to look fairly awesome, and the graphics, wow.

    If the video didn’t show up above for some stupid reason, you can view it from GameTrailers.com

  • Motivation

     

    So I have been pretty unmotivated here lately, been looking for work, doing some contract work for my previous employer, as well as playing WoW.  But I am losing motivation pretty quickly the longer I am unemployed. It is not that I am not looking, on a daily basis I am submitting about 5 resumes, have had quite a few phone interviews, and a few in person interviews, the problem is, I am too expensive, even with a $30k drop in salary, for the current market place. It isn’t that people don’t “want” to hire a Sr. .Net Developer, they don’t have the budget to hire them right now.

    I have to admit, it is getting a bit tiresome, hopefully soon it will pick up, at least it better, the bank accounts are draining pretty fast.

  • My hero made a movie

  • Ja!

  • 2 more days

    Gah, this waiting 2 more days until my interview is driving me nuts, I feel like Eric Cartman waiting for the Wii to come out. But I have an unnatural fear of talking beavers.

  • Interview on Tuesday

     

    I have a pretty big interview on Tuesday, I can’t wait to talk about it, but I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag until the deal is sealed.

    Wish me luck!

  • Unemployed

    After four great years at my job, Friday I was laid off due to cutbacks from the economies effect on the Restaurant business.

    I have a few other job prospects, none of which I am ready to talk about, but still being without steady work sucks ass. Nothing like working at a job, being “part of the family”, then come in on a Friday to get your walking papers and a “good luck”.

    Oh well, no sense dwelling in on the negative, I have work to do, err… find.

  • GI Joe Movie

    Ok, I have already taken too long to post this, but…

    image

    I’m sorry, snake eyes and storm shadow… in a movie… fighting…

     

    I can’t wait.

  • Back in action

    So, I took a bit of a hiatus over the last few weeks. Catching up with friends, family, and the wife. But now I am back and have got quite a bit lined up for articles over the next few weeks.

    Dave over at DCOM Productions has also started posting up again on the Developer blog.

    A few new blog posts have made it this way, good reads so you should check them out!

    More to come, so stay tuned!

  • Windows 7 Style WPF Ribbon

    Included in .Net 4.0 is the new Windows 7 style Ribbon. Unfortunately right now it seems that it is only available for WPF, but even then it is really cool for Microsoft to finally give us a way to create applications that match their styling.

    Below is a small WPF application I made (with a lot of guess work, seems that the documentation isn’t available yet) using the WPF Futures and Licensed Office 2007 Ribbon Control components. The first view is with the default Windows 7 ribbon, and the second view (with a single line of code) is the Office 2007 silver and blue style.

    image image image

    Personally, I prefer the Windows 7 look over the “Big Bubble” thingy, but you could easily allow users to decide which one to use.

    I will probably try to do a write up of how I got this working, but tonight I am too busy playing.  I may even build a notepad replacement as that seems to be the only app in Windows 7 that didn’t get a Ribbon.

  • stackoverflow Reputation Tracker

    So, I was feeling a bit antsy at work today, and the results show clearly below.

    image

    Above you see a wonderful JSON query to the stackoverflow site pulling my reputation for the day, highlighting answers in green, items with up and down votes in yellow, and (what i hid) answers with no up votes and all down votes in red. Items with up votes that are not answers and don’t have down votes simply show in vanilla white.

    In the task bar it shows my my reputation that I have earned in total for the day.

    This is a fun tool, and I hope to add a date selector as well as a tray icon, it is super low bandwidth to the server, as it only pulls on demand, not on a timer or anything.

    I realize there are a lot of other tools just like this one, but I had fun learning how to interact with JSON.

    If anyone is interested in it, let me know, I might toss it up open source on Google code or Codeplex.

  • New Lua plug-in for C&C Renegade

    Daniel from DCOM Productions has released a new version of his Lua plug-in for C&C Renegade.

    Two major things in the new release are better socket handling and an OnThink().

    You can read more about the release from the release thread, or download it directly from DCOM Productions.

  • Free games – Legally

    Where do good games go when they die? In other words, were can I get a bunch of older games for free?

    Wikipedia has an entry for older games that are released legally for free for download, including such titles as Command & Conquer, Command and Conquer: Red ALert, F.E.A.R. Combat, Grand Theft Auto 1 and 2, Savage and even Savage 2 (2008), SimCity, and Tabula Rasa (Free MMO for about 2 more months).

    Head on over to Wikpedia and enjoy this list of games.

  • Stop reading and do…

    After reading this blog post on active learning, I have decided to stop doing so much damn reading and start doing more.

    "Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking." – Albert Einstein

    I have a few planned projects and will begin work on them in the days to come, I will be trying to blog about what I am doing as much as possible in the Developer blog.

  • Stack Overflow – A great wiki style programmer Q&A site

    Have you found Stack Overflow’s website yet?

    image

    Taken from the about page:

    Stack Overflow is a programming Q & A site that's free. Free to ask questions, free to answer questions, free to read, free to index, built with plain old HTML, no fake rot13 text on the home page, no scammy google-cloaking tactics, no salespeople, no JavaScript windows dropping down in front of the answer asking for $12.95 to go away. You can register if you want to collect karma and win valuable flair that will appear next to your name, but otherwise, it's just free. And fast. Very, very fast.

    We don't run Stack Overflow. You do. Stack Overflow is collaboratively built and maintained by your fellow programmers. Once the system learns to trust you, you'll be able to edit anything, much like Wikipedia. With your help, we can build good answers to every imaginable programming question together. No matter what programming language you use, or what operating system you call home -- better programming is our goal.

    Stack Overflow is as frictionless and painless to use as we could make it. We believe finding the right answer to your programming questions should be as easy as falling into the pit of success. And maybe even a little fun along the way.

    The site is extremely helpful, and with the reputation system and voting system the users really drive to help you find the right answers to your questions.

    The website is also a great implementation of the ASP.Net MVC framework. Jeff Atwood worked with the Microsoft team through the pre-releases to build the website and it really shines as an easy to use, easy to navigate, very searchable, great website for its purpose.

    If you want to check out my activity, here is a link to my Stack Overflow Profile. There you can check out some of my activity on the site, as well as any questions I have asked or answered. The website uses myOpenID for its authentication, which is basically another open authentication system similar to Microsoft’s Live ID system.

  • Happy New Years

    For those about to drink, I salute you.

    I will most likely be drinking, playing Rock Band 2, and some random Wii games with some guests at my house tonight, I hope your night goes well!

    Tonight is the night when everyone picks out that major flaw in their life and makes a promise that in the new year they will change it, well, why not take the thought out of it?

    I recently found this neat little Resolution Randomizer online, it is a lot of fun.  Below is my random resolution for next year.

    image

    Looks like I am going to be Exploring gaining weight next year, and here I am thinking that I need to lose weight! Although I was kind of looking forward to Exploring speaking loudly when I’m alone.

  • Finally a good icon creator

    If like me you have found yourself challenged on an almost daily basis with finding a program that will create multi-sized icons, then this is the program for you.  And best of all it is free.

    IcoFX is an award winning freeware icon editor. It is an all-in-one solution for icon creation, extraction and editing. It is designed to work with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Macintosh icons supporting transparency.

    With a wealth of tools and more than 40 effects at your fingertips, there’s virtually no limit to the icons you can create. You can easily convert your favorite images into icons, or icons into images. IcoFX gives you the possibility to create icon libraries or change icons inside exe files. Create a favicon for your website or blog.

    Convert your Macintosh icons to Windows icons and vice versa. With IcoFX you can extract icons from other files, including Windows Vista and Macintosh files. You can easily work with multiple files using the batch processing capability of IcoFX.

    At first use, it was simple to use right out of the box, I used a 128x128 source PNG and generated all of the icon sizes I would ever need, then simply saved.

    Definitely a recommended tool.

  • Google Chrome – Out of beta

    Unlike most of Google’s projects, the super slim browser that Google cooked up came out of release after a few short months in beta.

    While the browser is a bit “different’ than what I am used to, I will give it a one to two week trial before I go back to my old favorite Internet Explorer.

    You can download it here.

    *Edit: My favorite goodie so far, using Google’s browser, you can’t view iGoogle’s chat feature.

    image

  • Grand Theft Auto 4

    Yup, I’m pretty much hooked on this game right now. I haven’t really played many of the previous Grand Theft Auto games, but this one I picked up at Blockbuster to rent, and have since put it on my Christmas list for the wife to buy me!

    I like sandbox games, I can either do the missions in any order that I want, or turn off the phone (which is required to not get negative ratings on people calling you to hang out) and go cause some mayhem around “Liberty City”, a.k.a. a really good New York knock off.

    If you feel the need to play some multi-player, add me as a friend on the Playstation Network, my name is “Denate”.

  • DCOM Productions Updates

    DCOM Productions has underwent a bit of a site overhaul, including moving their domain name, as well as upgrading the visual consistency of the site.

    image

    Some of the changes that took place are:

    Global
    - Domain DCOMPRODUCTIONS.NET has been permanently moved to DCOMPRODUCTIONS.COM
    - Domain DCOMPRODUCTIONS.COM is now the primary domain.
    - Logo was redesigned
    - Name changed from DCOM Productions .NET, back to DCOM Productions for professionalism.
    Website
    - Style completely redone according to the Windows Vista developer guidelines. Colors, font sizes, etc. are now corrected.
    - Blogs, and all other unneeded pages were removed. Blogs will shortly be resumed over at our partner site, RenEvo.
    - Downloads have been reorganized for better accessibility.
    Forums
    - Users can now upload, link-to, and use their own avatars.
    - Group management controls have been fixed.
    - Maximum signature length lifted from 150 characters to 225 characters.

    Remind me to get Dave a spell checker for posting news!

    Check out the full change list here.

  • Star Trek Movie

    I am not much of a Star Trek nerd, I will admit it.  I am more of a Star Wars kind of guy, just not an “uber” geek.

    Anyway, the new Star Trek movie kind of has me excited. For those that have been under a rock, it is basically a complete reboot of the franchise, meaning they redid the entire concept using just the idea and names of the original series. You can find the trailer at http://www.startrekmovie.com

    One thing I did notice though, is the very Star Wars cop that is in the intro of the 2nd trailer, for some reason, I really dig this helmet.

    image

    Which is why, it has become my new avatar.

    image

    I used paths to draw around the image, and then created a layer mask based on the path.  Simple enough.

  • Cooliris 1.9

    Formerly known as PicLens, I can’t explain how much the Cooliris plug-in has changed my browsing experience on the web.

    image

    Cooliris is a plug-in that gives you a 3d wall of images and video in your web browser.  The application is very similar in look and feel to the iPod. I will admit, at first it took a bit of getting used to on big monitors, as I actually felt a bit of motion sickness, but after using it for a while, that feeling went away pretty quick.

    You will find that searching and browsing such sites as deviantArt, YouTube, Google Images, Photobucket, and even MySpace is changed when using this plug-in, enough with the crappy html, let me see the media!

     RenEvo Supports Cooliris

  • Visual Studio Launcher release 1.5

    DCOM Productions has released a new version of the Visual Studio Launcher.

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    Release 1.5 is finally here after many internal code changes, feature additions, testing and builds. The new version features include a fully automated update process that will keep your application up to date, as well as the ability to add process and file shortcuts to your developer menu. The settings screen has been redesigned to match the Visual Studio options screen format, and has had some new options added.
    As always, you can grab the new version from our
    downloads page, or via direct link here.

    This is a great program that I personally use quite often, not to mention I am one of the supporting developers on the project.

  • Took some time off

    Well, after finishing up all of my surgery, I decided to take a few days off from work, from computers, from… stress.

    I took the time to spend some time with the wife and some friends, as well as catch up on some video gaming (PS3). It was a nice break, but now I am back to the grind.  In the meanwhile, here is some key points to my time off.

    Watched Saturday's UFC fight, two words for how that ended… “HULK SMASH”.

    Sunday I spent about 4 hours tearing my fingers apart learning and playing Chevelle on my 5 string bass.  It has been a while since I have played, the muscle memory is coming back nicely, but my poor poor finger tips on both hands are ripped to shreds. I played for about 2 hours again last night, until I re-opened some of the tears in my fingers.

    On Monday I started a project with my friend from STOFMA, basically I will be building a custom pedal board for him that will house and power all of his midi and pedal controllers for his guitar rack.  Including a built in tuner, mute, phantom power, and a custom cable that will save on some on-stage wiring. I will be posting a blog post about the entire thing on the Developer blog, so stay tuned for some pictures real soon, as this project is going under way right now.

    Tuesday was basically about spending some time with the wife, we watched some reality TV, played a lot of Wii, and generally … well, what I do with my wife in the privacy of our home is not your business, this isn’t that kind of blog!

    Last night, I spent time finishing off The Force Unleashed. That game just didn’t disappoint at all, and without revealing too much, I chose to be bad, and the costume you get for it is seriously bad ass. Too bad the emperor didn’t dress up Vader half as good as that. My only huge gripe I had was when advancing through the game the second time (hit continue after you beat the game) it kept changing my costume to that level’s costume, instead of my kick ass Sith Armor.  Also, the flipping of the cinematic to the level costume no matter what was a bit annoying, but understandable as they are probably pre-baked. One fun thing is that playing the second time through with all of the powers you didn’t have the first time is a breeze. In the opening battles I literally just stood there in the middle of the hangar and let them shoot themselves with my saber deflect maxed out. It was pretty funny, especially when you run into a room of around 20 guys and about 3 hits later they all die, it really had a feel for being a super powerful Jedi.  Even more so than the first level playing as Vader.

    I also picked up Fallout 3, I will be playing that for the next few days and see how it stacks up, as well as probably playing Red Alert 3 finally.

    BTW, I am a huge Burnout Paradise fan on the PS3 and am looking for some regular people to hang out with in game and do a bunch of stupid stunts, if you are interested, add me as a friend on the PS3, my name is Denate.

  • Ok… I Removed the ads

    Well I got the picture, you guys don’t like advertisements, if you want to see the picture, below is a screenshot from analytics.

    image

    Pretty clear?

  • Dental work finally done

    If there is one piece of advice I can give you, take care of your teeth.  After two months of grueling dental work, I finally went in today for my final session and will spend the rest of the week recovering.

    Now maybe I can get back to focusing on what I want to do, rather than managing the pain with medications.

  • Wiisis Event Roundup

    Well, the first Wiisis event finally finished.  Here is a quick run down of the small 6 person event.

    The event was hosted on a Lenovo ThinkPad T60 laptop connected to a 52” Plasma w/o a IR Sensor, a mistake I wish I didn’t make. After a few game issues with Crysis running in mirrored mode for the presentation, I had to delete my profile (which was a clean install anyway, only tested it a few times) after that, it worked out great.

    Papa John’s provided our pre-play testing, two large pizza’s and bread sticks.  I went over the Wii Remote technology, as well as using the WRLib Sandbox Tool to display the functionality of the remote with the nun-chuck.  I even had one person stand on the other side of the room holding up two lighters so they could understand how the IR sensors actually worked in the Wii Remote.

    We hopped in game and started a new single player campaign, I didn’t show them anything and handed controls off to one of the attendees.  Right away, he picked up the movement and controls, the rolling left and right for turning was a bit awkward without the IR Sensor, but it was doable. After a bit of time everyone in the room played through parts of the first mission, ending around the first village, a few lessons were learned during the event, and will change some minor functionality for Wiisis to make it more enjoyable.

    1. The pickup and throw are a pain in the ass, between three of us, we just couldn’t get the hang of this gesture.  I am going to add an option in Wiisis that will allow you to use the A button to pickup and throw objects, similar to Resident Evil 4’s “Use” button functionality.

    2. Playing the game without a sensor bar really hurts your wrists, the constant turning back and forth during a fire fight kind of put an ache in my already carpel tunnel wrist, I think a disclaimer should be added to Wiisis that states the game play experience without an IR sensor is not recommended for those with wrist problems.

    These changes will be rolled out in a Wiisis 1.2.1.1 version and will be released before the next major version of Wiisis, which is now planned to have basic head tracking support for single point reference, where as zoom in and out feature will probably come a bit later, if at all.

    This was a great experience, and really was a lot of fun.  I may plan for a more public version of this Wiisis demonstration later, but I will definitely need some sponsors for that one.

  • Oh No – Advertising…

    Yes, I have joined the entire internet and am trying to help pay for the server costs for hosting RenEvo using Google’s AdSense.

    I have although removed the ads from the forums and downloads, because they are just invasive.

    Depending on the results from the first couple of weeks, I will see about the realism of keeping them around versus the plastering feel of them.

    If you have any suggestions for better placement, feel free to let me know!

  • First Ever Wiisis Event

    This week I will be sponsoring the first ever RenEvo Software & Designs Wiisis Event.

    image

    This event will be hosted by my work for the software development department, depending on how well this event goes, there may be more in the future.

    And before you ask, sorry, this is a closed event.

  • The Next Version of Wiisis

    So some time on my end has become freed up, and I have decided that the Wiisis project could use a few more features.

    We have two major features that we are thinking about adding to Wiisis, and we wanted to get the communities feedback on which feature to build first.

    WiiFit Support

    The idea behind WiiFit support would be for movement driven by the balance board, simply stand on the board and your character will move depending on your offset to center.  If you slightly lean forward, your character will slowly move forward, if you lean hard forward your character would run forward, etc…

    Head Tracking with a Second Wiimote
    Everyone knows what head tracking is, basically you have a Wiimote pointed at your head while you wear a special set of glasses with IR lights on it, as you move your head your point of view in the game is adjusted as per your head movements.

    Let your votes count, head over to RenEvo Software & Designs user voice page and cast your votes!

  • WiiFit

    So last week was my wife’s birthday, she had been wanting a Wii forever, and finally I picked one up for her.  The WiiFit has been a nightmare to try to find in stores, but we finally got lucky yesterday. After the huge amount of setup time to get it all configured for your body, balance, and setup some goals; it was actually a lot of fun for a video game designed to get your big butt smaller. Me and the wife both set goals for ourselves, we are actually having a little competition to see who meets their one month goals.

    After seeing how this board actually works, I think adding support to it for Wiisis might just be really fun, just got to get it hooked up to the Wiisis driver framework and find out what kind of feedback we are getting from it, but look forward to the possibility of some WiiFit integration for Wiisis!

  • About RenEvo Software & Designs

    ren·e·gade (n.)

    1. One who rejects a religion, cause, allegiance, or group for another; a deserter.
    2. An outlaw; a rebel.
    ev·o·lu·tion (n.)
    1. A process in which something passes by degrees to a more advanced or mature stage.
    2. The sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms.

    Renegade Evolutions, now known as RenEvo Software & Designs, was started in January 2003 by Tom “Dante” Anderson.  RenEvo was originally a community site for C&C Renegade, a First Person Shooter in the C&C universe. Gradually over time the website has been a clan/guild site for the RenEvo clan/guild that took place in C&C Renegade, Counter Strike: Source with a hosted server, Planetside, Star Wars Galaxies, and Far Cry, a mod powerhouse with, at different times, three different total conversions being worked on or with, to finally providing software, web design, and graphics design for various contracted customers.  Not to mention the newest features of programming articles and open source and free to use utilities.

    Over the years RenEvo has built many applications, mods, and tools for a multitude of games, to include the following software and websites:

    There are many other small applications and mods that have been created over time, these are just a few things that have been produced or created by RenEvo.

    Now heading into our 6th year as a community, our new focus is to bring quality software and services to our customers and communities.

    For fun, take a ride on the “Wayback Machine” with RenEvo.

  • Give us your feedback!

    I have recently registered an account with UserVoice that will allow anyone who visits RenEvo Software & Designs to provide site feedback and report any bugs with any of our software (quickly, although the Forums are still the recommended for detailed feedback).

    You will also notice to the right that their is a Feedback button, this allows you to quickly submit bugs that you find and/or provide quick feedback!

    So go ahead, let us know what you want from RenEvo!

  • New .Net Logo

    Microsoft just recently announced the new Microsoft .Net logo.  This will replace the old logo that has been hanging around for the last 8 years.

    We needed a logo that was in sync with the key values that we want .NET to stand for: consistency, robustness and great user experiences. We also wanted a logo that conformed to the design principles that are driving Microsoft’s brand identity evolution and is reflected in newer brands such as Silverlight, Surface and more.  Finally, we needed a logo that is more strongly aligned with the portfolio of brands that .NET is most strongly aligned with: Silverlight, Visual Studio and the AppPlat server products.

    Find out more from MSDN Blogs.

  • Windows vs Walls

    I liked this image and press information quite a bit, thought I would share it, as not a lot of people get a chance to see it.

  • Minor Site Updates

    I have worked on the site a bit today, updating some small components to the site.  Below is a list of the current changes.

    Removed IRC, Sample, and C&C FarCry from the tabbed browsing links at the top, you can still reach the following links:

    These two pages are considered legacy, and will no longer be updated, but will not be removed.

    I have also added the 2 partners to the right, as well as 3 affiliates to the website. RenEvo’s current Microsoft Partner status is “Registered” I am currently working on finishing the requirements for the “Certified” status.

    You may notice the addition of the “About” page, I will be working on this over the coarse of the next few days, so please bear with me while I update it.

  • New Partner Community

    RenEvo Software & Designs is proud to announce it’s first partner community, DCOM Productions .Net or DPDN. With the commonality of our websites, it is only logical to partner with them.

    DPDN is a software development "business", though not officially. We develop what we think is cool, what we desire. We have made a few products for a few games out there and also a few utilities, and other cool programs. We hope to continue to make great software that we can share with the world. Though I venture to say we just do software development, I also do web development on my part. Locally I make and help people deploy websites for their own use.

    Dave Anderson is a colleague of mine who my company is contracting to do some work with our financial integration software.  Dave is quite a bright guy and hopefully our company will be able to snag him up full time and move him out to sunny California.

    As a partner, we will be cross posting news, as well as more involved partnerships with our software products, as well as our blogs.

    Come back soon for more information on this partnership as the details are worked out! I am very excited about this partnership.

    Read more about DCOM and visit their forums.

  • Logo Redesign

    I have redone the top web logo, turns out I can’t find the original Photoshop file for it, so I just redid it from scratch.  I have also created an affiliate image that others can use *more on that soon*. The key reason to redoing the logo was to remove the hand over the start that showed up in the top right.

    RenEvoLogo

  • Hello my name is…

    Well, its about that time that I drop the “online” nick, as oddly enough, I have people in my life who actually try to call me “Dante”.  From now on I will be working to keep my name “Dante” and/or “Denate” for use in online games, and some gaming websites, while my personal website and programming websites, I will attempt to use this ultra common name of “TomAnderson”.

    I have a few more announcements to make soon, so stay tuned!

  • Gimme mah food!

    So, been away for a few, having some dental work done (about 2 weeks worth of being jacked up on pain medications).  I am kind of back, in about a week and a half, I get to get some more done, so... good times.

    Thought for no other reason than to put a picture to the name I would post this ugly ass picture of myself, I'm unshaven, swollen slightly from my dental work, and my hair looks like ratted ass, but hey, there I am...

    Anyway, just picked up the new Samsung Instinct.  Still playing around with it quite a bit, for a price of $129 after mail-in rebate (my wife is great at actually sending those in) its a great phone, and much thinner than my last phone (Treo 700wx), not to mention, once again, about $500 less than what I paid for the Treo when it came out.  Small learning curve on the touch screen, like how to scroll properly, as a computer user, everything in my mind says to go down to scroll down, but you actually move up, as to slide the list up. Other than that, its a breeze to use, decent phone quality, TV, radio, games, sync contacts, killer GPS applications, and a nitty gritty Sprint media manager application for syncing music, video, and images.  The amount of accessories that came with it out of the box was great, not to mention the inclusion of an extra batter and stand alone enclosure to charge the battery. Also included was a decent leather case, stylus (web browsing much easier thank you), USB to mini-USB cable, wall wart to mini-USB cable, a 2 gig micro sd, and some other random crap (headphones with talk capability, etc...) I dig it, period.

    Now to get the thing paired up with Charlie (the big'ol purple charger) and I will be good to go.

    Everyone take it easy, as I know I am, soon as all this damn dental work is done, and I'm not jacked up on pain medications or dying with a head/jaw ache, I will get back to business as usual, I am doing some analysis right now to find out what needs to be improved on the site, low and behold, its content. Funny how that works, a web site needing content.

  • Bitchin Popcorn Machine

    Lets put it this way, this machine, in my house, sooner than later.

    Check more out about them at PopNGo Advantage.  Good High Yield Investment here.

  • My First Silverlight Web Site

    After playing around a bit, it looks like I will be creating the http://www.stofma.com web site with Silverlight and C#.  This will be new territory for me, but honestly, it is way easier than dealing with flash.  The requirements of the web site is to have a single page that has an animated header capable of playing mp3's as well as changing the content of the page via AJAX all on an Apache web server.  With Silverlight I will be able to accomplish all of this without some serious Java Script linkage between Action Script and Html.

    As I get the site updated, I will post here with updates. The goal is to have a landing page by Monday for the CD release on Tuesday.  The extra functionality will come quickly there after to have quite a few pages.

    Some other technology additions that I will be using for this site is using http://www.renevo.com as the data warehouse for updating the pages and news via a custom Word press implementation in ASP.Net for Windows Live Writer and web services to server the data to the Apache web site.  This will enable the band to open and edit pages directly from inside of Windows Live Writer, as well as add, edit, and delete news and blog entries.  Most likely the source code for the server side component will be released on http://www.renevo.com, as well as a sample implementation in Silverlight on how to use the data and web services.

    Wish me luck, this is a very current technology web site, and will really allow me to use a lot of things that I have learned over the last few years.

  • RenEvo – Designs

    As some of you may have read from the title of this web site, not only does RenEvo create software, but we also create designs.  These designs are for games, web, or other media.  Below is a web site design that I am currently working on for a band http://www.stofma.com, the web site is going to be based solely on the album art design.  As well as the new web design, I will also be updating their MySpace with a similar template.

    Enjoy.

    Web

  • Star Off Machine - Burn This

    My friends new album is releasing this week, you can purchase it now from iTunes, Napster, or Amazon. I am currently one of their graphic designers and web master, and am very excited about this album, it is really top of the line.

    Burn This

    Buy From Amazon
    Home page
    MySpace

  • [FGPlugins] Iterators and LookAt




    As promised earlier last week, two more plugins take their place among the current library of Flowgraph Plugins available for the Flowgraph Plugin System.


    About the Flowgraph Plugin System
    Perhaps it is just this humble person’s opinion, but it seems safe to say these days that 9/10ths of Crysis modding is based at least in part on flowgraphs. It’s amazing to see the creative works the modding community has managed to do successfully with this system. Everything from new weapons and AI logic, to entire new gameplay formats (such as RTS mode) have been crafted using the available tools provided by the flowgraph system in its present state. Now imagine what the community could do if they were given even more tools to work with in their flowgraphs.

    The modding community has already taken on the initiative to provide more tools for everyone to use. This is evident in the Big Flowgraph Node Request Topic. The problem is, getting these newer tools to the community has proven to be quite a pain. With forum members such as Jameszhao00 and ins taking on roles to help aid the community in utilizing these new tools, progress has been made. But still the pain relies on getting everyone all of the custom flowgraph nodes (said tools) so they can use them in their own custom maps and mods. Currently, a custom Mod Dll must be built that contains all these new nodes, and this mod must be distributed to each community member who wishes to use the new nodes. Adding on new nodes or making changes to existing nodes would mean everyone would have to get the new custom Mod Dll again. What a pain!

    The Flowgraph Plugin System aims to relieve this pain by separating the new custom flowgraph nodes being developed by the community into separate, individual files. Effectively, instead of trying to merge all these different flowgraph nodes into one single Mod Dll, they have now been separated into their own, lightweight Dll file, known as a plugin. These plugins are then detected and loaded by the system automatically, merging its contents of flowgraph nodes into the main system.

    From an end user's point-of-view, you only have to copy and paste the Dlls containing the flowgraph nodes you want into a special folder, and launch the game or Sandbox editor. Like magic, all of the flowgraph nodes appear in the Flowgraph editor. You can mix and match as many plugins as you want to control the amount of modding power you wish to have at your disposal.


    New Plugin - Iterator1
    This Plugin adds four (4) custom Flowgraph Nodes that allow you to iterate through a dynamic list of entities generated at runtime given some search criteria. Each of the entites found are outputted through the same line, allowing you to execute the same set of Flowgraph logic on each returned entity.

    The amount of creative ways you can utilize these nodes are endless. The example further below demonstrates blowing up all the vehicles inside a defined AreaShape by using an Iterator node.


    New Plugin - LookAt
    This Plugin adds a custom Flowgraph Node that allows you to orient an entity to look at another one. This node supports interpolation and constant updating. It is very robust and can allow you to do anything from creating security cameras that follow the player, to forcing the player to focus on an object in the world.

    As a proof, the example provided further below shows the node controlling both the player's view and an LTV, making both follow a melon as it moves around in a loop.


    Examples
    Here are two examples showing these new nodes in action! (Not terribly exciting I'm afraid...)


    Video: Iterator Node Example

    Video: LookAt Node Example


    Download Links
    - Download: Flowgraph Plugin System
    - Download: Flowgraph Plugin - Iterators1
    - Download: Flowgraph Plugin - LookAt
    - Download: Flowgraph Plugin Source Collection (Updated with source code for these new Plugins!)


    Still up for suggestions on what Plugins should be made next. (And yes, I hear you MP people...)

    - Cry-Vlok for RenEvo Software & Designs

  • Small site downtime

    The web site was down for a few days, I was away so I wasn't aware of it.  All has been fixed and we are resuming as expected.  As I may repeat, RenEvo isn't going anywhere and there are a few announcements in the pipe, so stick around.

  • Funny game trailer

    I don't normally watch game trailers for fun, unless they become epic like the Gears of War or the Assassin trailers, but this was just... funny as hell.

    Bad Company Trailer

  • Farewell George Carlin

    As most of you know, if you haven't been living under a rock, the great George Carlin passed on sunday at the age of 71.

    George Carlin was by far my favorite comedian of all time, in retrospect, his witty and intellectually based comedy just really got a good laugh out of me, no matter what mood I was in. I don't really have a lot to say, I am still a bit in shock over the news, so I will leave you with this.

    The 7 words you can never say on TV

    I love words. I thank you for hearing my words. I want to tell you something about words that I think is important. They're my work, they're my play, they're my passion. Words are all we have, really. We have thoughts but thoughts are fluid. then we assign a word to a thought and we're stuck with that word for that thought, so be careful with words. I like to think that the same words that hurt can heal, it is a matter of how you pick them.

    There are some people that are not into all the words. There are some that would have you not use certain words. There are 400,000 words in the English language and there are 7 of them you can't say on television. What a ratio that is. 399,993 to 7. They must really be bad. They'd have to be outrageous to be seperated from a group that large. All of you over here,you 7, Bad Words. That's what they told us they were, remember? "That's a bad word!" No bad words, bad thoughts, bad intentions, and words.

    You know the 7, don't you, that you can't say on television? "Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, CockSucker, MotherFucker, and Tits" Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that'll infect your soul, curve your spine, and keep the country from winning the war. "Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, CockSucker, MotherFucker, and Tits" Wow! ...and Tits doesn't even belong on the list. That is such a friendly sounding word. It sounds like a nickname, right? "Hey, Tits, come here, man. Hey Tits, meet Toots. Toots, Tits. Tits, Toots." It sounds like a snack, doesn't it? Yes, I know, it is a snack. I don't mean your sexist snack. I mean New Nabisco Tits!, and new Cheese Tits, Corn Tits, Pizza Tits, Sesame Tits, Onion Tits, Tater Tits. "Betcha Can't Eat Just One." That's true. I usually switch off.

    But I mean, that word does not belong on the list. Actually none of the words belong on the list, but you can understand why some of them are there. I'm not completely insensetive to people's feelings. I can understand why some of those words got on the list, like CockSucker and MotherFucker. Those are heavyweight words. There is a lot going on there. Besides the literal translation and the emotional feeling. I mean, they're just busy words. There's a lot of syllables to contend with. And those Ks, those are agressive sounds. They just jump out at you like "coCKsuCKer, motherfuCKer. coCKsuCKer, motherfuCKer." It's like an assualt on you. We mentioned Shit earlier, and 2 of the other 4-letter Anglo-Saxon words are Piss and Cunt, which go together of course. A little accedental humor there. The reason that Piss and Cunt are on the list is because a long time ago, there were certain ladies that said "Those are the 2 I am not going to say. I don't mind Fuck and Shit but 'P' and 'C' are out.", which led to such stupid sentences as "Okay you fuckers, I'm going to tinckle now." And, of course, the word Fuck. I don't really, well that's more accedental humor, I don't wanna get into that now because I think it takes to long. But I do mean that. I think the word Fuck is a very imprortant word. It is the beginning of life, yet it is a word we use to hurt one another quite often. People much wiser than I am said, "I'd rather have my son watch a film with 2 people making love than 2 people trying to kill one another. I, of course, can agree. It is a great sentence. I wish I knew who said it first. I agree with that but I like to take it a step further.

    I'd like to substitute the word Fuck for the word Kill in all of those movie cliches we grew up with. "Okay, Sherrif, we're gonna Fuck you now, but we're gonna Fuck you slow." So maybe next year I'll have a whole fuckin' ramp on the N word. I hope so. Those are the 7 you can never say on television, under any circumstanses. You just cannot say them ever ever ever. Not even clinically. You cannot weave them in on the panel with Doc, and Ed, and Johnny. I mean, it is just impossible. Forget tHose 7. They're out.

    But there are some 2-way words, those double-meaning words. Remember the ones you giggled at in sixth grade? "...And the cock CROWED 3 times" "Hey, tha cock CROWED 3 times. ha ha ha ha. Hey, it's in the bible. ha ha ha ha. There are some 2-way words, like it is okay for Kirk Youdi to say "Roberto Clametti has 2 balls on him.", but he can't say "I think he hurt his balls on that play, Tony. Don't you? He's holding them. He must've hurt them, by God." and the other 2-way word that goes with that one is Prik. It's okay if it happens to your finger. You can prik your finger but don't finger your prik. No,no.

  • Released! Flowgraph Plugin System and More!




    It’s been several weeks since we first introduced you to the Flowgraph Plugin System. Well the wait is finally over and we are now happy to announce the system, along with SIX (6!) Flowgraph Plugins are available for download now. Also available is the Source Package which contains the source code solutions for the system and the six initial plugins, as well as a template project to help you create your own Flowgraph Plugin.




    Download Links

    System: Flowgraph Plugin System
    Plugins: EntityScreen, GOC, Math1, Signaler, SpawnEntity, StringCombine
    Source Package: Flowgraph Plugin Source Collection


    Remarks
    There are still several plugins I have in the works but are not completed yet. As these become completed, I will release each one immediately. So be sure to keep an eye out for them here at RenEvo Software & Designs or over at the CryMod Modding Portal website. I’m also open for any suggestions; if there’s a large enough public demand for a particular Flowgraph Node, I’ll make it a higher priority to complete it.


    Related Links
    - Forum Thread: Released! Flowgraph Plugin System and More!
    - Intro News: Introducing the Flowgraph Plugin System


    I hope everyone enjoys this feature and I am looking forward to seeing what creative things are invented with the aid of these new Flowgraph Nodes!

    - Cry-Vlok for RenEvo Software & Designs
  • R.I.P. Command & Crysis: The Dead Six

    deadsix.dead

    Figuratively speaking, the Dead Six has almost always been a mod of dead activity.  Early back in the humble beginnings of the mod, it was planned as an expansion to the Single Player campaign for C&C Renegade that would allow you to play more with the characters somewhat introduced in the last half of the game.  First called "Renegade X".

    The Dead Six has literally moved through 4 game engines, and has little to show except a huge chunk of programming done on those 4 game engines, some concept art, and a handful of models made for those different engines.  W3D engine, Source Engine, CryEngine 1, and finally CryEngine 2.

    I would like to take the time to thank everyone that ever supported the mod, as well as any past members of the mod.  It was my honor to work with you all and have you help me try to make a game that only lived in my head.  I blame no one but myself for the failure of this mod, and I expect to hear all of the banters of "i told you so" and "and?" responses across anywhere this may be posted.

    If I was to give one piece of advice to anyone wanting to start a new mod, especially a Total Conversion, be sure you know what you are getting into, what you want to make, and make lots of notes on what you want, because not everyone can read your mind. This will help you share your vision with the communities, and specifically, with anyone crazy enough to join you on that trip of making a very selfish game based on your ideas.

    RenEvo is not going anywhere, I still plan on keeping it up for support of Wiisis and other old projects, as well as my programming blog, but currently there are no big projects that need to be announced from RenEvo.

    The source code for the project as well as the resources for the mod will most likely be released (all versions we still have) at a later date, for people to play around with.

    Again, thanks to everyone who ever helped or supported this mod and my vain attempt at making "my" perfect game.

  • "tooting" my own horn a bit

    Here for the last few months I have been rewriting a vb6 application into 100% .Net and upgrading a web site from .Net 1.1 to .Net 2.0.  This system is one of our feature products where I work.

    NorthStar Recipe Viewer

    The NorthStar Recipe System was designed to give recipe administrators the ability to centrally manage recipes and cooking procedures in a stable, user friendly environment. Recipes are centrally managed and disseminated via a web based portal, which allows multi-unit chains the ability to edit and update any recipe company wide with the push of a button.  The Recipe Editor program makes it easy for users to embed pictures and multimedia into recipes.  Streaming video allows companies to truly demonstrate your cooking procedures and other training, such as quality of service and safety programs. 

    The Recipe Editor software allows a single user or groups of users to create, edit, and delete recipes quickly and simultaneously.  Users can access the database from different workstations at the same time, and an entire recipe collection can be created within days.  Recipes can then be added, modified, or put into practice immediately; and every unit within the organization can be notified of the change within seconds.

    The application consists of two parts, the front end of the system is a portal based web application that is geared for kiosk touch screen terminals.

    image  image image

    One of the requirements for the application was to have a WYSIWYG editor for the Recipes. In the screen shots below, you will see the actual Recipe editor, which is as close to WYSIWYG as I could get in the first rev.

    image image image

    The application was a lot of fun to develop, and still has quite a ways to go until it is fully released, but from the screen shots above and the description, you get a general idea of what I have been working on for the last couple months.

    More Information

  • News - Displaying full posts now

    After some hacking around (additionally) I am now displaying the full posts on the front page of RenEvo, instead of the tiny previews.

    Hope you enjoy!

  • PicLens Support

    RenEvo Home page officially has PicLens support (officially as in it works, not in as we are sponsored by them).

    PicLens 1.6 Tutorial Video

     

    Check it out.

  • Site Updates Coming

    Just letting everyone know (and as a reminder to myself) that during this week I plan on restructuring the top links a bit, as well as adding some "landing pages" for each section.

    The new proposed layout will be:

    • Home
    • Products
      • Game Tools
      • Wiisis
      • Command & Crysis: The Dead Six
      • Archived Projects
    • Community
      • Dashboard
      • Blogs
      • Media
      • Forums
      • Affiliates
    • Downloads
    • About

    Some other site enhancements will be done as well.

    • Add link to RenEvo Dead Six Forums for people to talk about the mod and ask questions (dead6.renevo.com)
    • Enable PicLens support for both RenEvo and Dead Six web sites (home page support)
    • Change the way that the front page displays recent blog posts, changing to display last 5 full posts, instead of 5 summaries.
    • Add an affiliate registration process, so other sites can link-exchange (must be a registered user of this site).
    • Provide banners and image buttons for link-exchange.
    • Add some snazzy graphics on the right side of the home page, instead of static links to sub-sections (dead six, wiisis, etc...)
  • Exciting Team News

    For those of you that might not know just yet, one of our very own RenEvo developers has been hired and relocated to work at Crytek.  If you have been living in a hole for a few years, Crytek is that amazing company that created CryEngine 1 and 2 as well as the games to go with them; FarCry and Crysis.

    I would like to take this time to say how proud I am personally of Kevin "vloktboky" for being able to achieve his dream of working at a game studio, and landing a job at a triple A game studio to boot!

    So everyone congratulate "Cry-Vlok"!

    http://www.crytek.com
    http://www.crymod.com

  • Wiisis Updates & WiiMod

    We have a large update to deliver from WiiLabs today and it is chock full of many goodies for all you modders and players alike. We (finally!) have the release of WiiMod available for download. We also have an update to the WRLib C++ API and the Wiisis modification.

    WiiMod Release
    It took a bit longer than we had expected, but available now for downloading is WiiMod. WiiMod is an asset for mod teams who wish to incorporate the Nintendo Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers into their own custom modifications, but do not have the means or desire to deal with C++. WiiMod is a pre-compiled custom GameDll and file package that adds support for the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers to your custom modification by means of exclusive Flowgraph Nodes and an expandable Lua scripting framework.

    Features of WiiMod include:

    • Over 50 custom Flowgraph Nodes that let you control up to 4 Wii Remotes and get button, motion and sensor input from them.
    • Complete Lua framework that gives you equal power and accessibility of the WRLib C++ API.
    • Customizable Xml file to control basic mod features, including intro videos and starting Singleplayer map.

    WiiMod Demonstration Modification
    Also available is a small mini-mod that utilizes WiiMod and demonstrates its abilities. It comes packaged with a small level with several mini-games that use the Wii Remote. All of these mini-games were made using WiiMod’s custom Flowgraph nodes and Lua framework. One of the puzzles involves “constructing and using a light switch” using the Wii Remote’s motion controls in a style similar to Metroid Prime and Zelda puzzles.

    Wiisis and WRLib C++ API Update
    One of the top priorities when constructing WiiMod was to correct any major problems that arose after Wiisis’ release. Wiisis is a modification released last month that brings the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers into Crysis. The WRLib C++ API is the source code package that adds support for the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers to the Crysis C++ Mod SDK.
    These two items have been updated to improve the support and overall functionality. The change log for Wiisis is as followed:

    • [Bug] Fixed bug that caused Nunchuk gestures to not be recognized very well
    • [Bug] Fixed bug that sometimes prevented LED lights from refreshing on start
    • [Bug] Fixed bug that caused the default Windows cursor to be used
    • [Bug] Fixed bug that caused the Wii Remote Manager to think it was in the main menu while playing in Editor mode
    • [Change] Reworked Wii Remote Warning video
    • [Change] Reworked Nano Suit Menu controls to use the IR Sensor cursor instead of the Nunchuk analog stick for selection usage

    Related Links:
    - WiiMod Download
    - WiiMod Demo Download
    - Wiisis Download
    - WRLib C++ API Download
    - RenEvo Website
    - Wiisis Website


    We hope you enjoy these releases and we are looking forward to seeing any mods that add support for the Wii Remote controller.

  • Pretty

    image

     

    Just a random thought, haven't posted in a while.

    I am still alive, one more house warming party to go, them I am free and clear to start my regular life (well, as regular as it gets with a new house) again.

    Hope everyone is groovy!

  • Home Sweet Home

    So, in case some of you did not know, or read any previous blogs, I am in the final process of purchasing a new house and should be getting the keys on Wednesday to move in!

    Here is a picture of my new home, in Orange California.

    DSC00198

    So, needless to say, I do have my Sprint Card for my laptop, but I may be offline for a few days during the move.

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