Friday, September 24, 2010

Canvas 2D game engine - Flax.ie


Canvas is bringing some unique opportunities to the isometric gaming world. Here's a new 2d game engine I've add to my isometric game engine list:
The Flax Engine (henceforth called Flax) is to be a 2D game engine for the web, using features introduced in HTML5, specifically the canvas and audio tags. Flax will be developed in Java using GWT 2.0 to cross compile the code into robust JavaScript code which will run across all mordern browsers and is intended to be a native framework for developing 2D browser-based games. Adobe Flash is used to program the vast majority of browser-based games (with Java applets coming distant second), though Flash is not supported on many mobile devices (specifically, any running Apple’s iOS) and is also rather heavy on hardware requirements. Also with the upcoming release of an operating system which completely depends on the Internet for its applications and data storage (Chromium OS) we are very excited about being able to develop games for these type of mobile devices.

Monday, September 20, 2010

How to sabotage a job opportunity

My job sometimes requires me hiring some very skilled programmers for companies. I'm no headhunter (I profession I disdain) but I am proud of the fact I've placed several key people into roles they love in a company that values their expertise. Overall I've placed about 8 people in various programming jobs. Not a high number at all, but I am not a headhunter. An interesting observation is that out of those 8 people I've hired, only only one was local.

One thing that always irked about people who were applying for jobs is an attitude of 'entitlement' - this either killed the job opportunity or kept the hiree from future growth. Some examples.
  • One applicant from Western Europe wanted to a full range of medical, leave and other benefits that are not available here in this country. This was for a job from a self funded startup. Lack of doing 'your homework' about the country you want to move to as well as the company itself left bad taste in mouth. It especially irked me to hear "Because I'm from [x] country - No one will hire me!" - no one will hire you because you are making unreasonable demands!
  • One North American applicant was going swingingly through the application process. The salary and work was agreed upon. One the third interview out of the blue the applicant demands 10K more in salary - startling us. I wasn't so much the 10K - it was more the attitude of greed. We said that after a trial period we would be more than happy to increase his salary but demanding it upfront was in bad taste. Needless to say, he left without a job.
  • Last example actually came from a successful applicant. This applicant was actually a very honest person and terrific negotiator. He was very good during the interview process and managed to get salary that was substantially higher than not only the other programmers but more than the directors of the company themselves!

    So whats wrong with that? Nothing - but the problem was that this was a start up. Since he negotiated salary - something more in the 'here and now' he missed out hugely on getting shares of the company. Other programmers started out much lower than him and got shares and now make much more than him. He is still the highest salaried employer in the organisation- but will never be offered shares because he felt 'entitled' to get a high salary.
The people that were hired were hungry to prove themselves - proud of the coding abilities but with a realisation that sometimes you have to start a bit humbler to get places - and I can say these guys are all getting paid very well now!

Google Blogger Custom Domains for NZ, AU Domains

I recently helped a friend set up a blogger custom domain for Australia (.com.au) and New Zealand (.co.nz) registrars.

For the most part, its fairly straight forward - you can add a cname record as detailed here http://www.google.com/support/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=58317.

However for some registrars in New Zealand and Australia it doesn't quite go so smoothly. The 'www' would go to the blogger site, where the naked domain still remained parked at the registrar. For instance:

www.custombloggerdomain.com would go to google blogger (yay!)
customerbloggerdomain.com would go to registrar parking page (boo!)

As usual, the registrar support system was very poor. However I found a link from google that was a lifesaver: http://www.google.com/support/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55373

You have to set up an addition 'A' Record with Google's IP for the 'naked' domain and set the name for the www domain. So it should look a bit like this:

Hostname: customerbloggerdomain.com
Record Type: A
Value: 216.239.32.21

Hostname: www.customerbloggerdomain.com
Record Type: CNAME
Value: ghs.google.com

It was the first time I had deal with both CNAME and A Records for Blogger, most large American registrars make this process easy. I suppose these particular registrars don't deal much with Google Blogger - but hopefully that will be useful to anybody setting up Blogger with a New Zealand or Australian registrar!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Unique Homemade Motorhome

Here's yet another strange motorhome - this time its in the UK.
At first glance, the sight of a tiny 1960s car inside a bus recalls the finale to movie classic The Italian Job. But engineer Graham Smith has no intention of dumping his small Fiat 500 over the side of a mountain.

Instead, the 62-year-old has spent 20 years converting his 1968 Daimler Fleetline double-decker bus into an all mod-cons home away from home.
And, amazingly, Mr Smith even factored in enough room to park his car inside the unique vehicle, known as Harold.

The father-of-four from Sible Hedingham, Essex, said: 'If Cliff Richard did it in his film Summer Holiday why can't we?' But he admitted: 'We have had some odd looks when we turn up at camping sites.'





see more homemade motorhomes here.

Another Homemade Motorhome

I've come across this excellent pic of a homemade motorhome from littlelow on travelpad. I am not sure how mobile it is - it from Christchurch New Zealand.


Check out my other posts on homemade motorhomes here.